I understand that you may not have the option to plan or create a team of each one of these categories below, and if you do, that’s great! However, look at this as a starting list to get your creative juices flowing – where are the areas you need people to support you?
A traditional practice in the postpartum period is for meals to be provided to the family. You can easily take this one step further by requesting quality and nourishing meals that are specific to your season. Warm soups and stews are especially helpful to your digestive system and aid in your initial healing. Do not be afraid to request specific recipes for the first two weeks. These recipes can include meals as well as healthy and grounding snacks. Mealbaby or Meal Train are two different apps that most people use to schedule. Delegate this out the week of your due date to a trusted friend or family member.
Creating a list of individuals that you trust to take care of your baby is a must. Even if it’s for 15 minutes or an hour, having someone care for the baby while you sleep, rest, shower (or do anything else your heart desires) can be just what you need for a physical and emotional reset. I made a list of three people that I trusted and asked them ahead of time if they were willing and available. This helped tremendously because in the moment, we had already communicated clear expectations and that allowed me to silence fears and feeling like a burden.
Cleaning // Errands
The first two weeks of postpartum should be a time of resting and recovery from labor + birth. This can be difficult to yield to when you see a house that needs to be cleaned or groceries that need to be purchased. I created a list of 2-3 people that I could call for such purposes. I actually had three friends come and deep clean my house about three days before my third baby was born. He was able to be welcomed into a peaceful and clean environment. It was the best! It may also be helpful to have a scheduled clean 2-4 weeks postpartum so you can focus on being present and not needing to clean up after anyone. One other option is having those 2-3 individuals call you while they are grocery shopping for themselves and ask if you need anything while they are out. Simple steps like this help tremendously during those first few days/weeks.
If you have multiple children, creating a list of people to care for the bigs can be so helpful. Have someone take them for a walk while the baby sleeps so you can actually rest, or take them to the park, the movies, or over to their house for a few hours. This allows some one on one time with your baby – which can be treasured moments for you two. Bonus, it gives people who are maybe nervous in caring for the baby to be able to help with something and still support you.
One final portion of your postpartum team is your emotional support group. Being able to make a list of 3-4 friends that you can call no matter what. These friends would be able to come clean up the spit up, sit with you in tears, laugh with you or whatever you need. Even if they aren’t local, they would be able to call or facetime in the first few weeks to check up and see how you are doing with the transition. These friends are your inner circle and people you don’t feel like you need to host, have a face on or anything like that. I asked a few to check on me around day 5 and day 14 since I knew those were typical lows for me in the past. It helped so much in having their support.