This is a sponsored post in partnership with MegaFood.
by Ana Taney
The postpartum recovery period is often a long adjustment that may come as a shock to new parents. Ups and downs may arise as you focus on caring for your growing family. Although you can’t always plan for everything you encounter, you can make the transition much smoother with a little prep work. Below are some of the best ways to make for a smoother postpartum transition, from stocking up on essentials, creating a support network and prioritizing nutrition with the help of natural ingredients like MegaFood.
Prepare for the Physical Adjustments
Most parents prepare for the arrival of their new baby with essentials for just the baby — diapers, blankets, bottles, baby gear, and more — but rarely prepare the essentials mom will need during recovery. Unfortunately, this can frequently happen as the postpartum time period is not often discussed in advance
However, those early days and weeks after birth are a critical time of healing, in which the new mother must take it easy and allow her body the time and support to properly recover. This means, along with whatever the hospital or birthing center provides, mothers should also have plenty of extras at home including postpartum pads, underwear, comfortable clothing for easy nursing, pain medication, and a system to easily access things or avoid stumbling around.
One way to do this is to prepare a basket with personal care items stored in the bathroom and another with snacks, water, and meds near the bedside. Everything should be within arm’s reach.
A list of symptoms to watch out for along with a doctor’s number should also be kept handy for everyone at home to access.
Set a Visitor Policy
Another key area to focus on for a smoother postpartum transition is a visitor policy after birth. While family and friends may be eager to come over and meet the new baby, the timing can pose issues for the new mother who is trying to care for herself and manage the baby's needs at the same time. Having guests over too soon may add to new mom anxieties and feel more pressure to entertain or clean up instead of prioritizing rest.
Communicate any wishes and needs to your partner to set boundaries around visitors — this can include visiting hours, expectations during visits, and how guests can best support the family.
It may feel odd at first to set visiting rules, but this goes a long way and can reduce conflict within the family later.
Create a Support Network
Those first few weeks after bringing home the baby can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you may be joyfully soaking in those precious moments, and the next sobbing uncontrollably. While these feelings, the baby blues, are a normal part of the hormonal fluctuations after birth, it’s important to know where to turn if you are feeling down, hopeless or anxious for more than two weeks because it can be a sign of a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.
Keep a list of contacts you can reach out to for emotional and physical support. Start with friends and family that can help at home, mom groups you can share struggles with, and a list of providers available for additional support or therapy.
Put Together a Sleep Plan
Sleep deprivation after baby is another topic that tends to get swept under the rug until we are actually experiencing it. Because we can wrongly assume that babies will eat, poop, and sleep a lot early on and that there’s no need to worry. And while this holds some truth, the reality is, that sleep for a newborn is not consecutive but rather occurs in short chunks throughout the day.
This can take a major toll on the entire family, especially because quality sleep is essential to a mother’s mental and physical well-being and the lack of it can put both parents at risk for things like postpartum depression (PPD).
To help make that transition into postpartum smoother, parents should consider a sleep plan to troubleshoot issues.
This can include things like:
- Finding ways to take shifts at night to help parents get some restorative sleep — even if it’s just a couple times a week, it makes a difference for the parent waking with baby.
- Making sure mom is napping whenever possible, especially if she doesn’t have other children at home.
- Setting a bedtime routine to help baby learn sleep cues over time.
- And calling in the experts when sleep issues persist.
Nourish your Body
Along with all of the above, one of the absolute best ways to aid postpartum healing is by making sure you are fueling your body with essential foods and nutrients.
After birth, it is common for mothers to experience postnatal depletion or physical and mental deterioration and loss of nutrients. This happens because your body has been working hard to grow and nourish a new baby, taking any necessary nutrients from the mother’s own reserves. Additionally, excessive blood loss, the labor and delivery process, and breastfeeding will increase nutritional needs.
Postpartum women therefore must replenish any nutrients lost in childbirth, such as iron, Vitamin B12, Choline and Vitamin D.
Mothers should aim to consume a well-balanced meal plan that includes protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
However, because it is often impossible for a new mother to eat perfectly well with the demands of a new baby, a multivitamin is strongly recommended to supplement her needs.
MegaFood Baby 2 Me Postnatal Multi are a great option to bridge this gap and support optimal nutrition for new & breastfeeding moms and developing baby.
This Postnatal Multi includes those essential nutrients postpartum mothers may need to aid in the recovery, including choline, Vitamin C & D3. Plus, the organic moringa leaf helps to support milk production for breastfeeding mothers*.
While there may be many vitamins on the market for new mothers, one thing that stands out about MegaFood is the dedication to using key nutrients and real food ingredients to make the highest quality supplements.
It’s refreshing to know MegaFood partners with farmers to provide nutrient-dense foods and soil health while testing for various pesticides so moms have one less thing to worry about and can simply focus on their well-being and new baby.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.