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7 Tips to Prepare for Postpartum Recovery as a Military Spouse

Preparing everything before the baby can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re a military spouse whose home life structure may differ slightly from others.

As mothers, it’s sometimes in our nature to bypass our own needs and focus on our newborn, but we’re here to tell you that it’s crucial to prioritize yourself and your postpartum healing, which will allow you to give your baby your best. 

Balancing the demands of military life and the needs of a newborn can be both physically and emotionally taxing, but it’s essential to know that you are not alone.

We’ve created a compassionate guide for you on navigating and preparing for the postpartum period as a military spouse. We understand the sacrifices you and your family make daily and want to ensure you have the support and knowledge necessary to prioritize your well-being during this precious time. 

Preparing for overall postpartum recovery 

Preparing for postpartum recovery before the baby comes is essential for ensuring a smooth and healthy transition for you and your newborn. It’s impossible to know precisely how your recovery process will be.

Still, there are always helpful steps you can take in advance that will be life savers in the long run, especially as a military spouse.

1. Understand common postpartum changes

First and foremost, it’s beneficial to research and learn about the various physical and emotional changes that occur during the postpartum period.

Understand common postpartum symptoms, such as hormonal shifts, breastfeeding challenges, and sleep deprivation, so you can be better prepared to address them. 

2. Stock up on postpartum essentials

Before your baby arrives, ensure you have all the necessary postpartum supplies.

Stock up on postpartum recovery essentials such as diapers and pads, nursing bras, comfortable clothing, breastfeeding supplies, and baby care items.

Remember, it’s essential to have recovery items for both a vaginal and cesarean birth recovery. Being prepared can save you a lot of stress when you’re back home, and you can always gift or donate items you don’t use.

3. Create a space for recovery

It’s a great idea to set up a designated space that is comfortable and peaceful for yourself and your baby so you can both rest and bond with one another.

Arrange a cozy nursing area, gather items that promote relaxation, and create a calm ambiance to facilitate rest and healing.

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4. Meal prep in advance

Lastly, if you or someone you’re close with can prepare and freeze nutritious meals in advance, this will significantly minimize the time and effort spent figuring out what to eat and cooking, allowing you to prioritize rest and recovery.

By taking steps ahead of time to prepare for postpartum recovery, you can optimize your healing process and create a supportive environment for both you and your baby.

These are just some essential tips that all moms can benefit from, but as a military spouse about to bring a new life into the world, these will make your recovery process exponentially easier. 

Postpartum recovery as a military spouse

  1. Create a solid support system
  2. Communicate with your partner
  3. Prioritize your emotional well-being
  4. Connect with postpartum resources
  5. Set aside time for self-care
  6. Take advantage of military benefits
  7. Embrace healthy habits

As military spouses, you possess unmatched strength and resilience that allows you to navigate the many hurdles of military life with so much grace. Bringing a new life into the world can be the most transformative experience.

Still, the demands of motherhood and the military can feel overwhelming regarding postpartum recovery.

Below are some tips that can help you prepare for postpartum recovery as a military spouse so that your well-being is supported as much as possible during this time. From physical to emotional healing, we will explore valuable strategies and resources to empower you during this postpartum recovery journey.

1. Create a solid support system

As a military spouse, you are part of a community that understands the unique sacrifices and challenges you face daily.

You can contact other military spouses, join local support groups, and connect with local organizations helping military families. You could also consider hiring a Postpartum Doula to support you.

Tip: TRICARE will cover six visits from a certified labor doula, which you can use before or after birth. See full postpartum benefits.

Don’t hesitate to lean on your support system of friends, family, and circle of other spouses who have also walked this path during your postpartum recovery.

These connections can be vital for you, who understand and can assist during this time.

2. Communicate with your partner

Clear and open communication with your spouse is always essential, especially before and during the postpartum period, especially when they’re in the military.

Open up about your needs, concerns, and expectations, so your partner can better understand how they can provide the support you require. Remember that this can be a challenging time for you and your partner, so keeping that open line of communication is vital.

Together, create a plan for sharing household responsibilities, childcare duties, and any potential deployment or training schedules that may impact your recovery.

You are a team; navigating this period together will strengthen your bond.

2. Prioritize your emotional well-being

The postpartum period can bring about many emotions, ranging from joy and exhaustion to sometimes even feelings of isolation or anxiety.

It’s so crucial to prioritize your emotional well-being during this time. You can discuss your feelings with your partner, friends, family, or a therapist.

There are also plenty of organizations out there that offer mental health resources specifically tailored to military families. Seeking help is always a sign of strength, and you are never alone in this journey.

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3. Connect with postpartum resources

As a military spouse in the age of the internet, you have access to a range of resources specifically designed to support new parents.

You can contact your local military healthcare provider or family support center for information on postpartum support programs, breastfeeding assistance, and mental health services.

Postpartum Support International also has excellent online postpartum resources for all the different branches of the military. Military family life consultants are also valuable sources of guidance and support during the postpartum period.

4. Set aside time for self-care

Caring for a newborn while managing military life can leave little time for self-care, but it is genuinely essential to prioritize your well-being during this period.

Set aside small amounts of time each day for activities that rejuvenate you, whether taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, cooking, watching your favorite tv show, or going for a walk when possible.

Remember, placing your baby in a safe space while you take time for yourself is always okay. These moments of self-care will help replenish your energy and restore your emotional balance.

5. Take advantage of unique military benefits

You’re eligible for various postpartum benefits through TRICARE, many of which are fully or partially covered.

Postpartum benefits may include:

  • Six visits from a certified labor doula
  • Lactation and breastfeeding support
  • At least two postpartum visits*

*TRICARE will cover more visits if your provider believes you need them.

6. Embrace healthy habits

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of the utmost importance during the postpartum period.

Nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, and getting rest whenever possible will make all the difference in how you feel. You can incorporate gentle exercises, such as postnatal yoga or walking, into your routine to help with physical recovery when you feel ready to.

These healthy habits will aid in healing, boost your energy levels, and contribute to your overall well-being while recovering from giving birth.

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Navigating motherhood as a military spouse

Facing the postpartum period as a military spouse may present unique challenges. When you’re prepared with the right tools, strategies, and circle of support, you can prioritize your recovery and well-being.

Be sure to embrace the many resources available and approach this journey confidently because you are as strong as possible.

By being proactive and nurturing yourself, you will create a solid foundation to care for your newborn and navigate motherhood’s beautiful journey with strength and grace.

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