It is important to prepare and plan as best as you can before the baby arrives (in HypnoBirthing®, we refer to the first 40 days after birth as the Fourth Trimester). While, you do need to get clothing, diapers, and crib, and all those things, preparing for a baby involves a lot more than stuff. When talking to new parents, most of them agree on how hard postpartum is initially. There are a few topics worth discussing ahead of time with your partner that will make you feel more calm and confident as a team in the early days of parenthood.
- Who will be feeding the baby, and how?
- Who will be waking up at night? Is it possible to create a system or tag team with your partner?
- Who will be preparing meals?
- If there are other children, who will support them?
- What systems can you put in place when you need a break? (in-laws, siblings, etc come over to watch the baby)
- How can you support each other when you are exhausted?
Consider your day-to-day lives now and what you do with your time. How much of your time do your spend working, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, and doing all of the other little things that life demands. A new baby requires a great deal of attention and time being fed, burped, changed, soothed, bathed, etc. With so much time being shifted to the baby, how will everything else get completed? Are you hiring a postpartum doula, housekeeper, getting help from a family member, or taking time off from work? There are numerous ways to handle these new responsibilities, but having a plan in place is key.
If you hire a birth doula, one thing they can help with is providing resources and recommendations to support you during the fourth trimester.