postpartum recovery

So, You Just Had a Baby

It is such a strange but liberating feeling to go from heavily pregnant, to holding your baby in your arms. Suddenly you’re no longer unevenly balanced from carrying a constant, heavy load in front of your body. You're FREE! I’ve always thought it was a bit like taking off skates after you’ve been on the ice for a couple of hours…you know that feeling? It’s a sweet sigh of relief. (I might tie my skates too tight.)

This new freedom might come with some feelings of sadness, but mostly you're enjoying the ease of being able to move, walk, bend, or tie your shoes! And as the early days pass, the busyness builds: the piles of laundry, the  meals needing to be cooked, the dishes needing to be washed, the floors needing to be swept, the toddler needing to be pushed on the swing, and the list goes on, and on. 

But try, if you can, to take a breath, take a break, put the lists down and the aspirations aside, and slow your pace for just this brief space in time. And not because, “you’ll never get this time back”, and “these days will pass you by”; do it for you; do it for your healing; do it for your body, mind, and soul. 

 

You’ve just accomplished a major physical feat, and not just for one or two laborious days, but for 9, long months. I encourage families to try and block out at least two weeks; two weeks of rest, two weeks of zero obligations, two weeks of rooming in, laying low, and gently adjusting. Why? : 

You’re going through an intense, hormonal shift. You’re body is re-regulating it’s hormones. Your emotions might be a bit unstable, your mood might shift, your whole internal endocrine system is adjusting to this life on the outside. 

You’re producing a food supply and learning to use your body to feed a baby; nourishing food, rest, and time, are all necessary pieces to this process. 

You’ve become a whole new unit; perhaps two has become three, or four, or more. Let that sink in a while.

You’re running on a lot less sleep, with much greater demands; you’re everything to one small person, don’t undermine all that you give and do by just being what your baby needs. 

The dinners can be made by someone else. The laundry and dishes will be there tomorrow. The eager visitors can lend a hand. Your loving partner can carry the load for a while. Honour you, relish this time, hold this space for a while, the rest of it can wait. 

{Also - we know a few great doulas that can lend a hand with each and every one of these things, and it’s one of our favourite things to do.}

- Andrea

 

A Day in the Life of a Postpartum Doula

You’ve done it; you’ve brought your baby into this big wide world. After 9 months of waiting, wondering, planning, and preparing, now begins the next chapter. You’re home with baby: knee deep in diapers, spit-up, and burp pads, with laundry piling on the bed and dishes overflowing in the sink.

Meet the Postpartum Doula. 

The postpartum doula is much like the birth doula; she is a calm, reassuring presence, a physical support, a wealth of information, and an ear to listen and understand. She’s like Mary Poppins for the whole family, with a suitcase spilling over with everything your family needs to feel supported through this adjustment with baby.

The day might start with a knock at the door that lets you know she’s here. You don’t need to get up, she’ll let herself in. If you’ve left her a list of to do’s, she’ll get started, but not before checking in with you to be sure you are fed, comfortable, and content. 

If you’re sleeping…


…She’ll wisk around quietly, doing the things that won’t disturb your precious moments of rest. She might be carrying in the groceries you asked her to pick up on the way, like the emergency pack of diapers you desperately realized you needed after you used up your last one last night. She’ll fold the laundry, sweep the floors, wipe the counters. She’ll tidy your toddlers toys left out from the day before and hang the jackets in the closet. If it’s morning, she’ll turn on the coffee (or tea), and prepare a nourishing breakfast. She might switch on the oven and do some baking or prepare a snack or meal for later when she’s gone. 

And then the baby wakes…

…She’ll bring you baby and help you get set up and comfortable for a feeding. If a bottle needs preparing, she’ll deliver it, warmed. If breastfeeding is still underway, she’ll help and support you as you latch your baby to nurse. 

But the exhaustion from a long night hasn’t worn off…

…She’ll bring you a sip of something warm and a bite to eat; you’re tired, but she reminds you that you need to stay hydrated and nourished. She’ll make sure you’re comfortable, and she’ll offer to take your now wide-awake babe to hold, allowing you to sleep a while longer or take a long shower to start your morning off right. 

You’re up for the day now…

…And she might make a bit more noise; she’ll start the laundry or run the dishwasher. She’ll pull out pots and pans for dinner preparations, and slip into your room while she can to fill up your water, make your bed, and tidy the clothes off your floor. 

She sits at the table folding dish towels,  joining you over your second cup of tea. She listens as you tell your birth story again; it seems like a distant memory as you’ve been taken up by the throws of this life-changing parenthood gig, but you still can’t believe all that transpired just before all of this happened. She laughs with you while you re-live the latest public poop explosion, and holds your hand through the ups and downs of your hormone rollercoaster as you question your sanity and wonder if you’ll ever feel 'normal', again. She understand you,  she sees you, she hears you. She knows that your journey is unique, and she helps you find the confidence to do this thing your way; the only way it should be done. 

At In Bloom Births, it is an honour to be welcomed into your into your home, into your life, into your day. It is our greatest goal to provide the compassionate, attentive, and expert support that you long for in these intense, early weeks or months. We lighten the load and offer you the space to focus on what you need most: giving your undivided attention to you and baby, as you rest, recover, and adjust to life with the smallest of humans.

Every family is unique in the support they will benefit from most. We'd love to sit down with you and create a plan that meets your unique needs. You can learn more about the details of our Postpartum Services here; we look forward to meeting you!