Having a postpartum support team in place will help you feel cared for when constantly caring for a newborn without added stress.
You may have heard the wellness quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true in so many areas of life, but especially in the foggy, sleep-deprived newness after just having a baby.
Labor and childbirth leave many women feeling utterly depleted.
In contrast, the new love and full-time commitment to taking care of an infant leave others unable to prioritize their own self-care. No matter where you land on this spectrum, the reality is that it’s tough for new mamas to make changes in their own care teams in the few months after having a baby. Having the right postpartum support team in place can help.
Who to put on your postpartum support team
We believe that building that team before the baby arrives is essential for setting yourself up for success. In addition to your OB and Pediatrician, we recommend spending some time during your pregnancy researching and reaching out to the following providers so that you already have connections that you can lean upon if and when you need them.
A Chinese Medicine trained acupuncturist with a specialty in fertility or women’s health is typically well versed in the needs of a new mama and can help guide you on Qi and Blood nourishing nutrition, provide acupuncture to help regulate hormones and control night sweats, as well as address common postpartum issues.
Acupuncture helps create a safe space for you to fully rest without keeping one ear open for the baby monitor. Acupuncturists typically like to see pregnant mamas weekly after 35 weeks to help the body prepare for labor, so the third trimester is a great time to form a connection with a trusted acupuncturist.
An RD can make sure you’re getting all the nourishing foods and nutrients you need for post-partum recovery. They can provide you with meal and snack ideas to help with breastfeeding, plus one-handed snacks and sippable ideas to stash all over your home.
Please note that the postpartum few months is not a time to detox or cleanse or obsess over weight loss. Your body has been through a lot and deserves proper nourishment.
There are several subspecialties in the field of psychotherapy, and perinatal psychotherapists are specifically trained to deal with issues of new parenthood including, but not limited to postpartum depression and anxiety.
Many of these therapists also work with women during pregnancy, so reach out during this time to find someone to talk to about any struggles during pregnancy and make a plan to connect for a few weeks after your baby is due.
It can feel so hard to pick up the phone and ask for help when you’re already managing the big emotions of new parenthood, so planning ahead can be a great deal of help and your postpartum deserves support.
Pelvic Floor PT
A physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor work is often overlooked, but in our experience, a crucial member of your support team. If you have any low back pain, sciatica, or pelvic pain during pregnancy, a pelvic floor PT can really help.
If you’re looking to optimize the musculoskeletal aspects of the birth process, see a PT around 34 weeks to set a game plan. Plan on also seeing a PT about six weeks after your bundle of joy arrives to make sure you are doing all you can to heal and regain pelvic floor strength, no matter what type of delivery you had.
Other support professionals to consider
We also recommend researching night nurses, postpartum doulas, and lactation consultants during your pregnancy so that you have some names to reach out to if you need support. Read more about who to have on your postpartum care team.
Final thoughts on your postpartum support team
As they say, it takes a village and it’s absolutely true.
If you’re having trouble finding providers, seek out recommendations on social media, neighborhood groups, your doctor’s office, or ask a trusted friend.