4 Things Every Mom Needs In The First 3 Months After Birth
by michelle clookie
Have you heard of the 4th Trimester? It’s a real thing, and thankfully more and more people are talking about it. The 4th trimester means that our babies are still gestating, just not in our womb, and this also means that these first few months (and beyond) are sacred and need protection. In a culture of go, and do and buy and accomplish, what every mom needs in this first months postpartum is a plan to be still. So with that, I give you full permission to set up a plan designed to protect your new relationship with that sweet babe in your arms, or the one that will be shortly.
1. A visitor plan.
Who’s helpful in your life? Who do you want to be wearing mesh panties and diaper pads around? No one? That’s ok! Having a plan of who is visiting you in those first 3 weeks after baby is born is crucial. Create this plan a head of time, have these conversations ahead of time. As much as we may think a rush of flowers and balloons at the hospital door may be lovely, it may also be a time where you desire quiet and to be topless. So you have permission to make a plan that includes just you, your baby and your partner. You also have permission to change your mind at any point, based on what you need. So before the crowds of loving well intended family members and friends start booking plane tickets, think hard about what you want this time to look like. Not right now, doesn’t mean never, it just means not right now.
2. A support system:
Know where the support lives. It takes a village, in fact, it sometimes takes a well-qualified army to raise a baby. The key is to find the group that makes you feel safe, and to have support that aligns with your values and goals. Where do these people live in your area? What breastfeeding support groups does your community offer? Where are the postpartum support groups, mommy yoga classes, and lactation consultants? Find them now, visit them, know where the parking is, this will help ease the anxiety of traveling with a new little. This will also make asking for help, and searching for a community, so much easier on little sleep. We all need help, we all need support so knowing where it lives is key!
3. A flexible mind set:
Most of us have heard the term ‘hope for the best and prepare for the worst’. Sometimes that can feel negative to me, so I like to say ‘just stay flexible’. As a planner, and researcher, and goal setter, I like to have my ducks in a row. What parenthood taught me immediately is, your baby also has ducks and they may not fit in your row. They probably won’t even like rows. This means, if all the things you planned for sleep, for feeding your baby, for going back to work, for how you envisioned how you would feel about motherhood isn’t going as planned, that’s ok. You can set new goals, and you can do that every single week, day by day.
4. An Empty Calendar:
That’s right mamas, there are no gold medals handed out when you go on your first walk 1 week postpartum, or take a solo trip to the grocery store within the first few weeks, or even when you start exercising. None of these things are bad, and I get it, we all get stir crazy, but let’s also give props to long days on the couch binge watching house wives and snuggling our new baby. Let’s have our postpartum plan include an empty calendar for those first 3 months, and a slow one as we move forward. Every family needs the space and time to allow for all the unknowns. Let’s make space for the unexpected, and say no to unneeded expectations.
You’ve got this Mama, you are enough!
Michelle Clookie is a Lactation Consultant, and also works for the Postpartum Health Alliance supporting families in their parenting journey. As a Lactation Consultant, Michelle works to help families reach their unique goals for feeding their babies, and is passionate about normalizing all things motherhood. Michelle also works to provide Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMADs) awareness by providing families, and clinicians with education through the work she does with the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance. Before shifting her work focus after her first born, Michelle spent 9 years in non-profit working as a Training and Development Director. Michelle, along with her husband Jeremy, live in San Diego with their daughter Charlotte (4 years), son Beckett (2 years), and baby number 3 due this Fall!
You can follow on Instagram or visit her website www.michelleclookie.co