Oct 31 2014
For expectant parents it’s normal to focus on and get ready for the upcoming birth. Once baby arrives, some say, ‘We wish someone had told us to prepare more for THIS.’ Life with a new baby IS a precious time, yet at moments it can feel overwhelming.
For 25 years as an educator and postpartum doula I’ve been helping families prepare for their baby’s arrival. Easing parents’ transition during the first months is my area of expertise. For information on my services, visit http://www.dakinidoula.com/postpartum-doula.html
In this article I offer some tips on how to prepare BEFORE your baby arrives.
honor the ‘baby moon’, imagine snuggling with baby, bonding and resting
contemplate lowering your expectations/standards of what will be accomplished in a day, recognizing that you and your baby come first!
envision a very short ‘to do’ list for yourself (Realize that accomplishing one major chore daily is a triumph! Rest trumps all.)
plan realistically your partner’s participation, ie. night time waking & daily household work load, plan for once they return to work, having extra support
inform family/friends that visits will be limited in the early days and weeks
make a ‘to do’ list (chalk board in kitchen) so friends & family can check off chores they will do, ie. folding baby laundry, loading dish washer, emptying recycling, tidying up
suggest baby shower gift ideas – ie. a cleaning service, doula chef, postpartum doula
create menu plans for the first 2 week period with easy recipes
prepare & freeze 1 pot meals for the first 2 week period
designate a friend to organize a ‘meal train’
hire a ‘doula’ chef to prepare nutritious meals in your home
stock up on household supplies & non-perishables
buy paper plates, plastic utensils to cut down on time spent washing dishes
arrange for a temporary house cleaning service
video tape your favorite shows to watch later on when you are nursing your baby
pay some bills ahead of time
close off some rooms that you may not use, make space, de-clutter
set up a grocery delivery service for the first couple of weeks
organize pet care/dog walking services
line up a neighbor’s teen or a student to do odd jobs
attend a La Leche League meeting to learn from breastfeeding moms
research cloth diaper services
create a Facebook page to share info with couples from your childbirth prep class
join Facebook swap groups to find great buys on gently used baby stuff – ‘Vancouver BC Kids Shop and Swap’, ‘Baby and Children’s Clothes, strollers, toys for sale or free’
Congrats & all the best on your parenting journey! Debra Woods
Oct 14 2014
I just took a whole month off and went to Europe; a place I have not been to in 30 years. I feel very lucky to have been able to do this with my husband and partner in crime. We did it all; ate too much, walked,drank too much, walked some more, slept in, stayed out late, walked even more. It was so great to be able to turn off, read a book, look at art, people watch and have no agenda for the day.
Being away reminded me how very important holidays are to my well-being. Just to be out of my routine for a month has given me a new perspective on my life and shown me how I want to live a little differently.
1. I plan on taking time to eat: We saw very few “to-go” restaurants. Instead we saw friends and families gathering to enjoy food and actually talk to each other. Cellphones were not as prevalent as they seem to be in Vancouver.
2. I want to take in my surroundings. Europeans live among some of the oldest, most historic buildings, churches and art galleries in the world. They may take it for granted how very beautiful it all is. I, too, sometimes get caught up in my day to day and forget to see the mountains, the ocean and the sky that make Vancouver one of the most visited cities on the planet.
3. I want to slow down and make good decisions about how I spend my time..to be thoughtful, mindful and to connect with my loved ones on a deep level. Not just fill my time with stuff that doesn’t really matter.
And finally, I was shown that all our lives are not that different from one another…we are all human with human needs, desires, gifts and need for community.
Holidays have also taught me to have a few unplanned days now and then the magic and spontaneity can take place. I don’t have to fly somewhere to have a holiday. I could do something on a day off that I don’t normally do; ride your bike, take the seabus, go up Grouse, go for a steambath, sauna or massage, go to an art gallery, etc.
Now, I can honestly say it is good to be home..