And a handful of awesome resources I love for general postpartum prep!
After moving from Houston to Nashville this summer and finally feeling a little more settled into our routine, I feel like I have more space to nest into our new house and prepare for our baby to arrive in January. I’ve gotten a jumpstart on nesting, perhaps, by already clearing out piles of stuff and taking it to Goodwill. It’s a circle of giving since I find most of our great-condition house stuff and some clothes there.
It’s amazing what we had stashed away in closet corners that we ended up packing and moving with us…only to donate. Ha, and I call myself a mostly-minimalist! But I’ll give myself credit, it does take moving into a new space to find out what really fits with your new home. I am no stranger to moving – this was our fourth time in 5 years! Fingers crossed we’ll be settled for two years before moving again.
Here are some of the projects I’ll be working on for the coming months of the third trimester to keep my mind at ease, aside from resting. On that note – I have never slept more in my entire life than this year’s pregnancy. I have taken a nap for 90% of my pregnant days, I’m astounded by what my little toddler can do to expend the pregnancy-energy I have.
I hope this little list will help inspire any mom to feel a little more organized and confident for the coming changes of adding a new family member! Xx Paris
Meal Prepping for Postpartum
Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks! I am going for it. I can’t wait to post about my progress with it. And as I’ve heard now several times – my future self will THANK ME.
(I always thank myself for preparing the coffee pot the night before, hallelujah!)
Meal prepping is, not surprisingly, the biggest piece of advice I’ve come across for postpartum preparation. I feel like I’m in the kitchen cooking three times a day sometimes, just for myself, my husband, and my toddler! Thankfully we have a deep freezer that has loads of space with our diminishing supply of venison from last hunting season. It’ll be chock-full of baked goods before the New Year for my breastmilk-making days to come shortly after.
I found this article from Fed & Fit to be a very inspirational starting point for finding out how, what, and when to start freezer-prepping meals for postpartum. This is one of the biggest projects I’ll be tackling, but I’m so excited about it. It lists casserole recipes, soups, stews, breakfast burritos, baked treats, bone broth, and more, AND how to get it all ready for the freezer to make your life so simple when it comes to meals while taking care of a newborn.
I’ve been researching a lot about bone broth and the amazing nutritional replenishment it can have for our body after-baby. I haven’t made it yet but this bone broth recipe from The Forked Spoon looks like it has killer reviews. I’d love to test out two or three bone broth recipes and find out which one ends up tasting the best. I’ve also found a good-looking Instant Pot bone broth recipe in one of my current favorite reads – The Instant Pot Bible.
I’ve been on a roll lately finding some amazing and simple recipes for my Instant Pot Pro I’ve had for two years and I’m getting into using it more! The fact that it can cook prepared meals from frozen is a game-changer. The Fed & Fit Postpartum Freezer Prep article tells you how to throw raw chicken, spices, vegetables, etc in a freezer bag, label it, and pull it out to cook in your slow cooker or Instant Pot and you have a meal in an hour! Talk about easy prep.
Assembling my Take-Everywhere Breastfeeding Basket
This was a great tip I got from a podcast. I’m planning on fully breastfeeding again for this baby and looking back at my first postpartum era, I could’ve benefitted from having a single small basket to take with me everywhere I needed it in the house. I remember feeling that as soon as baby latched, I was SO thirsty and tied down to my rocking chair for 40 minutes! Plus, we were renting a HUGE house in Texas (huge to us…2,400+ square feet…4 times the size of our previous Colorado one-bedroom apartment!).
Snack-wise, we stocked up from Costco just before birth and these were definitely the best breastfeeding snacks I could’ve asked for! Omega-3 nuts and individually-wrapped madeleines have always been my favorite, as well as KIND bars, beef jerky, and rice cake rollers. I kept this snack basket next to my rocking chair for all of my middle-of-the-night feedings. Costco also sells several kinds of variety snack boxes, an awesome and creative gift for anyone you know who’s expecting!
Having a few things in my take-everywhere basket will make minimal preparation for when it comes time to sit down and breastfeed. I can just grab my phone, my waterbottle, maybe a tea thermos of tea and hang out with my basket. (We’ll see if this is easier said than done, ha!). A few ideas:
- Portable phone charger
- Nipple cream
- Burp cloth
- Water bottle
- Snacks! Individually packed and shelf-stable (note: keep basket away from dog!)
- Breast pads
- Notepad & pen.
Minimizing, simplifying, organizing, putting things away. We lost an outdoor storage unit moving to our new apartment, and about two extra indoor closet spaces – that’s a lot of space! We’ve ended up selling weight plates on Craigslist, reorganized tools and camping equipment into large clear bins from Target, and have had to get creative with other storage space (our 4′ and 6′ folding tables I use for craft markets fit perfectly underneath our couch, surprisingly!)
I’m also preparing my closet with clothes that will fit and I’ll actually wear. I’m putting away clothes that will fit by era so that I don’t get frustrated that I’m looking at the same t-shirt that used-to-fit-and-I-can’t-wait-to-fit-3-months-from-now, etc. I”m buying a few new comfy postpartum clothing sets for my maternity leave that will mentally prepare me for just staying cozy and not dressing up and getting out too much so I can prioritize rest. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from round 1.
Here we come! Here’s the book that’s given me SO much confidence to get started, plus the author is hilarious: Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki. I found a great used copy on Thriftbooks for $3.50.
Other Books and Resources I’m Loving
I love Rachel Brathen’s podcast From the Heart (@yogagirl). She released an amazing 1.5-hour podcast episode on July 28, 2023, called “The Big Postpartum Episode”. She shares a whole list of holistic and practical healing tools and practices she implemented to encourage and prioritize her rest post-baby!
Here are a few books I mostly-read last time and am currently re-reading that mentally helped prepare me for birth. I personally lean towards the midwifery model of care which looks at birth as a natural and safe process rather than the medical model which views birth as something that requires intervention and treatment. These books get to the point without having to read 5 million books to prepare and are some of the most inspirational positive resources I’ve found.
- Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth
- Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
I am a list-lover and general advice receiver when it comes to how to handle the postpartum era. There’s no right way to go about the hard times, but it sure helps me to know what worked for someone else in the trenches.
Preparation is KEY as I’ve learned – mental, physical, and emotional. Doesn’t that go for many things? Exams, road trips, moving, grocery shopping (I cannot shop if I know I will fall apart, or, don’t have a few meals picked out for the week and ingredients on my list).
I’ll let you know the reality of how many of these things work for me in the postpartum era, but I have faith that anything I can do to help prepare my future self for success will always be well worth it.