Planning ahead for Postpartum | Mums Orchard House

Almost four years ago, I gave birth to my first child. I constantly find myself saying, “If I had known then what I know now, things would’ve been so different…”

There are so many reasons I have mouthed these words. At the time, the relationship between P’s biological father & I was not a healthy, happy one. I found myself living alone with a newborn & was scared to death to care for him on my own. I had a short, unpaid maternity leave. I could no longer afford the counseling I received during my pregnancy. My bank account was empty & I was worried that I might not be able to stay where we were living. We had nothing but struggles from day one with breastfeeding. I wasn’t receiving the proper support. I spent countless nights, putting my baby to bed & just crying, alone.

Planning ahead for Postpartum. #Motherhood #Postpartum #FourthTrimester.

At the time, I simply chalked it up to the uncertainty in my life. I was scared, had very little stability & was being hit with change after change in my life with no one cheering me on. It was years later that I started seeing other women open up about their struggles online. Women who talked of similar challenges & feelings after having given birth. It wasn’t until I was in a much better place, looking back on those dark days that I came to think, “that was me, too.” I had likely suffered from postpartum depression.

Knowing how I felt after having my first born, I was determined to plan ahead to make my second postpartum experience a much more positive one. I talked with my (now) partner openly about my first experience & what I did/didn’t enjoy about it, asked my midwives about what I could do to prepare & committed to a plan of action for my maternity leave. If just one person reads this & finds one thing that could help them have a better postpartum experience too, then this was more than worth sharing!

I’m sure there are small bits that I will forget to mention that certainly contribute to my success in having a positive maternity leave & postpartum experience but my plan was envisioned & written down prior to having my baby so that I could easily be held accountable. So, here it is…

{Please understand that one of my main motto’s is “what works for one family, may not work for the next.” Just as my postpartum plan may not work for you… Take everything with a grain of salt, friends.}


1. Maintain weight –

In a world full of so-called health coaches baiting moms just because they used #Pregnancy in one of their bump photos & women who sadly feel the need to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight overnight, maintaining a healthy weight postpartum is crucial. First of all, it takes NINE MONTHS to grow a baby & give birth to him or her… Don’t you think it might take at least nine months to recover? Give yourselves a break Mums! On the flip side, I lost TOO MUCH weight after my first. I was clearly stressed, I didn’t have help at home & I was breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see that I was outputting more calories than I was taking in & apparently neither could those around me since they felt it appropriate to focus on my looks by saying things like, “Wow, you’re so skinny!” & “Look at you bouncing right back after baby!” Instead of maybe saying something like, “How are you feeling?”

2. Placenta encapsulation –

Yupp, I ate my placenta. Go ahead & think I’m some crazy hippie (most do) but have you ever stopped to think about all the nutrients a woman loses to birth & her baby after pregnancy & labor? Why would it not make sense to try to replenish as much of that as possible? So, yes, I had a student midwife (better pricing going through a student) encapsulate my placenta so that I can take some daily. Consuming your placenta has different effects on everyone but it is said to aid in; balancing hormones, replenishing iron levels, healthy milk production, postpartum depression, slowing bleeding, increasing energy levels & assisting uterus in returning to natural state. Since my “cute little placenta” was a bit on the small side, I didn’t get as many pills as anticipated so, I take less than the recommended dosage & find that I don’t get that buzz of energy that others have experienced however, I have noticed a decrease in my mood swings, hormonal sweats, great milk production compared to my first time around & overall happiness.



3. Vitamin D –

This one is a given for anyone that lives on this side of the hemisphere, really but especially important for myself given that I had a winter baby & have a history of seasonal effects & the baby blues. It’s tough for us to get outdoors & even if we did, there is no way we’d be getting an adequate amount of Vitamin D so, I have added this to my must-take supplements.

4. Get out of the house –

I’m not knocking my daughter’s birthday but I really thought I would’ve planned to avoid having a baby in the winter. I knew well ahead of time that one of my biggest challenges would be fighting off the cabin fever & forcing myself to get out of the house even if just for a few moments at a time to let the sun & fresh air kiss my face. Thankfully the birth house where I received my prenatal care hosts a weekly “Baby Tea Time” which is only 20 minutes away from home. I even pushed myself outside the box to try something new & took a belly dancing class where the instructor was perfectly fine with me wearing the baby.  Often times just getting myself there is the hardest part so, I planned ahead & thought of activities that I could commit to & get me out of the house at least once a week.



5. Daycare for P –

I’ve said this before but I definitely consider this a luxury. I understand that many mums, including stay at home mothers, may not have the option to send their child to a paid daycare at least 3 days a week after having another baby. We have made sacrifices & you better believe our budget is tighter than ever to make this happen but you know what? We are all happier for it. P thrives on the routine & socialization & it gives me a chance to be really intentional with this time & bond with my newest baby. This doesn’t mean that I neglect my older child. I often hand the baby off when Brandon gets home, make myself available for bedtime stories and include him in helping to care for our baby.

6. Breath work –

One of the most impactful things I learned during my birth prep was how important our breath is to our overall health. I worked with a holistic movement therapist on ways to manage pregnancy discomfort, labor pains & postpartum recovery. Of all the tools she instilled in me, finding my core breath rhythm was the most helpful during labor & in recovery. It is something I will continue to practice moving forward now that I know it helps to draw in more oxygen to the core of my body where it is needed most & that it is the least invasive way to slowly help tighten my core back up before exercise is even considered or needed.

7. Eat well –

I know that after #1, this should be a given but eating well goes above & beyond maintaining weight. I could likely do that by eating triple the junk food & processed frozen meals. That doesn’t mean that the weight I keep on would be healthy & sustain me. I’m only 6 weeks in but I was quickly reminded that snack prepping healthy foods is a must for me & I’ve already realized that I need to up my calorie intake, even if that means setting an alarm to remind myself to eat again. I keep healthy snacks in easy to grab places like the diaper bag, night stand & next to the chair I pump/nurse in. Equally as important, I try to always keep my water bottle full because it seems like no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to drink nearly enough water.

8. Self care + Self love –

Whether you’re a brand new mom or a seasoned veteran, you know just how easy it is to slip on your self care. Before you know it, it’s been days since you’ve showered & all you can see when you look in the mirror is the bags under your eyes… Before having another baby, we were in a really laid back place of parenthood which allowed me to go to yoga weekly, meet up with friends, take a bath alone, etc. Now, I have to make a point to tell Brandon ahead of time when I really need some time to myself or even just a shower. This is where we are at & that’s okay but it just means, I need to get creative about what “me time” looks like & make the time for it. I still like romantic, candle-lit baths but I might only be in there alone for 10 minutes before he brings me a hungry baby…

9. Personal development –

Since I work outside the home as well as on the side, I committed to making the most of my maternity leave by investing in myself. I ordered a few books that have been on my wish list, I have been able to schedule wedding client calls in the morning when I am more awake, I have been able to write & blog at my leisure & even check some dated items off my personal to-do list, which gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I know this balance will be reevaluated once again when I go back to my day job but none the less, I feel like I will look back at this time & feel very proud of myself.

peron dev

10. Access my support system –

This seems so obvious right? But that naïve, first time mother I’m looking back on, took way too long to suck up her pride & ask for help… I won’t make that mistake again. Both Brandon & I have made sacrifices well worth it to be where we are at this moment, including him working over-time but even after a long day of work, he comes home willing to listen to me ramble on when I’ve had a hard day or am feeling anxious. He never second guesses justifying the cost of my health which has been entirely out of pocket & he is my best “judge of character” to know when I’m out of sorts… I have maintained contact with my midwives & have asked for help from my friends & family on some of the most simple tasks just to lighten my load & breath a little easier. Support can be found in some of the most unlikely of places as well like chiropractic care, holistic therapy, movement classes & through women like you, the sisterhood of mamas who make up this online village. THANK YOU – Thank you for being there for myself & so many other women who don’t have the ability to build these relationships in person for so many different reasons. We are not alone because of you.



Be well mums,



12 thoughts on “Planning ahead for Postpartum | Mums Orchard House

  1. Fantastic goals my friend! Glad to hear you are keeping on track and staying healthy with your beautiful daughter. You’ve inspired me… just in case I ever need to to this again…

  2. Getting out is so important, even for just a little bit. Being a work at home mom, it’s just as important now as it was right after little one was born.

  3. I think these are such good ideas! As moms, we prioritize the silly little things like grocery lists and laundry postpartum; but, we forget to prioritize ourselves! I need to always remember to breathe deeply. And getting out of the house is huge!

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