Preparing for Post Partum

by January Harshe on January 2, 2015

I have been enjoying the last few weeks being home with no events/traveling. It has been wonderful to be able to focus on the end of my pregnancy and upcoming birth. What really gets me excited, though, is preparing for postpartum. Being my sixth child, I know the importance of the care a mom needs in those delicate first few months, also referred to the 4th trimester.

After my 4th child, my husband was home for two weeks. He was able to help with the other three children as we all adjusted and settled in. It was a wonderful time and gave me time to figure out nursing, eat healthy food, and bond.

After my 5th child, our situation was harder (I’ll write more about this one day). My husband had literally just opened our first chiropractic business and was also working an overnight valet job to try and make ends meet. Our other four children were young and we were living in a tiny apartment we could barely afford. I coped with Netflix at night while my husband was gone. Neither one of us could catch our breath and we were both sleep deprived. This resulted in some serious postpartum depression.

Going through these experiences, I know what I don’t want to happen, but also what I can do to help have a better 4th trimester.

I shared this image of some postpartum bins I am making for after beard baby arrives. With my other children, I sat a lot (usually on a Boppy Pillow). Healing and nursing. It’s nice to have a bin right there with all the essentials you may need.

post partum bin

Here is what I’ve put in mine (one for downstairs, one for upstairs):

  • Onsies, diapers, and wipes to change baby.
  • A thermometer in one.
  • Pacifiers.
  • Blankets.
  • Kleenex.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby lip balm, nipple butter, and angel baby bottom balm.
  • Hair ties.
  • I’ll add bottled water and snacks once baby arrives.
  • Many moms also suggest a NoseFrida.
  • Add anything else you may need/want or along the way.

post partum bin essentials

Something else that is incredibly helpful is having a spot in your most used bathroom for postpartum care. If you will or have had a cesarean, I can’t recommend Earth Mama C-Salve enough. It is incredible at helping the wound heal with less scarring. I also put a pad horizontally along my incisions as it made it feel more protected. Belly binding is also helpful.

For a vaginal birth, making frozen pads is a great idea. Many women use witch hazel for this. I’ll be using Earth MamaBath PostPartum Bath Herbs to make mine.

Then, I’ve made a little bin with other things that will be nice to have every time I use the bathroom.

  • I’ll add a peri bottle for rinsing.
  • Earth Mama Bottom Spray and Balm (you guys, this stuff is magic, even 3 years post partum).
  • Nipple Butter, wash and lotions (all organic and gmo-free for me and baby).
  • Happy Mama Spray (not pictured).
  • Hair ties.

post partum birth essentials

Photo courtesy Earth Mama Angel Baby

Photo courtesy Earth Mama Angel Baby

OK, I obviously love Earth Mama, but they are THE BEST and I’m so grateful I’ll have their products this time around (for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum).

For other things I may not have thought of for during birth and postpartum, I have a Push Pack bag. These are so handy for home or hospital birth!

push pack january harshe

I have also been nesting. Cleaning the house and organizing spaces. I moved furniture around to have a space upstairs in my room. There will be many hours I’ll be bonding, soaking in the oxytocin, and figuring out nursing all over again. Knowing this, I want a comfortable, happy space to do this in. Downstairs, I have a chair in my front room with a side table as well as the couch in the family room. Upstairs, I created this space in my room for those long nights or late mornings. I’ll make sure to have Netflix and a good book available, too.

One more thing. Earth Mama Monthly Comfort Tea, also known as their postpartum tea. Our hormones go from one end to the other just like that (imagine I just snapped my fingers like a badass). This herbal tea helps to balance that for postpartum moms.

No matter how hard things have been this pregnancy I have enjoyed all that I’m blessed with. The difference between where my family was my last postpartum and now are huge and I’m deeply grateful for that. So, preparing for the 4th trimester has made me genuinely happy and excited. I know I’m doing all I can to ensure a smooth transition with another baby as my body and hormones balance out. I’ll have that sacred window of time before beard baby and I take to the sky to meet many more of you amazing people this year!

*This post is not sponsored by any company. It’s what I find to be the best and most helpful! Leave a comment with other ideas to help with a smooth postpartum.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Taylor, MA, MT-BC, birth doula January 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Dear January, thank you for taking the time through your journey to teach others how to prepare for the fourth trimester. It is such an important time as you know for you, your baby and the whole family. I wanted to take a moment and express how awesome it is to see a guitar in your cozy, healing post partum space. I can imagine how therapeutic it will be for the whole family: soft lullabies, gentle romantic serendades and even perhaps a rousing family rendition of Happy Birthday for this special beardbaby.

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Lindsey January 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

I love the idea of setting up spaces in your home to nurse! I didn’t do that before my baby was born, but my couch and side table quickly turned into my “nest” after she was born. Next time, I’ll be more intentional, I’ve even thought about buying a mini-fridge to put next to the couch.

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Laura January 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm

I had the upstairs & downstairs diaper bins too! SO helpful!! Another thing that saved my sanity was meals I had prepared & frozen ahead of time.

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Lucy January 3, 2015 at 2:12 am

If there’s a time you remember being cared for, or not, it’s at this precious fragile time. I wish you a beautiful babymoon xxxx

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Pryia January 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Thank you so much for this! I’m having baby #1 in like 12 days and I’m do afraid of PPD and I have no idea how I’ll handle life after birth. This is extremely helpful. At least there are a few things I can do to give myself the feeling of control and maybe even make things easier. A thousand thanks to you!

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Tracey January 4, 2015 at 1:32 am

I had prepared baskets like you said. Plus being a single mom, stocked up on TP, stocked my freezer with prepared meals, and my fridge with easy to grab things to eat. Like yogurt.

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Jenn January 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm

I agree that Earth Mama Angel Baby is among the best available for babies and mamas. It’s the first brand I recommend to all my customers, and my go to brand in my own household! Every product I’ve tried from Earth Mama Angel Baby has been great. Love this article.

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Heather July 5, 2015 at 6:12 pm

I love all this and would only add: hire a birth photographer. Having beautiful images of labor and delivery can heal during the 4th trimester, in a way nothing else can. It allows moms to process their experience one moment at a time, and so so so much more. “I don’t know how Mom’s do without it…” –1st time mom, birth session client <3

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