I'm pregnant with my third baby and this news usually gets us lots of jokes about Taragos and being outnumbered. I'm well aware that three is a crazy idea! Sometimes (usually when scraping play dough off the carpet again) I ask myself what on earth were we thinking?!
But having a third baby gives me the beautiful benefit of hindsight. I've learned so much along the way, both personally and professionally, and I feel really lucky that I get put it into practise myself.
My birth plan is easy. Choose a care provider who I trust, in my case an independent midwife, and have as few interventions as possible. I've also experienced the way that babies come in their own time, in their own way, and I know I have very little control over this.
On the other hand, I'm really getting into the postpartum planning! I plan on spending 6 weeks at home and I'm aiming for a retreat type experience. I want to feel 'pampered' like the women in this traditional postpartum story.
If you are pregnant for the first time, listen up! Here's where the gold is. Here is what we all wish we could go back and tell ourselves. Invest some time and energy on the bit afterwards - birth is only the beginning!
With the benefit of hindsight, here are some of my postpartum plans. In no particular order.
1. The only thing my baby needs is me (and a tonne of nappies!)
Having said that there are a few gadgets that make parents lives easier. I'll be renting a few things to make my life easier (a co sleeper and a hospital style bassinet) cause it's cheaper and better for the environment. I already have a cot and a baby carrier (I recommend a stretchy wrap for the early months, although I'll be mostly lying around, not carrying my baby!). A rocker is awesome too when you need to have a shower. Zip up swaddles are super handy if your baby loves being swaddled - we'll wait and see.
2. Netflix makes breastfeeding more fun
Breastfeeding can take around 8 hours a day in those early weeks and I'm not planning on leaving the house much. I'll need some entertainment so I'll be catching up with the screen. Hit me up with your recommendations for feel good movies and tv shows. Some great books would go down well too.
3. Meals on wheels
One of the doulas I have trained now delivers Ayurvedic postpartum meals so that's my food sorted for at least the first six weeks. If you live in Freo, check her out here: http://mothernurturedoula.net/
Learn more about the value of Ayurvedic postpartum food here: www.nourishingnewbornmothers.com/
I'll also set up a meal registry cause there are a lot of mouths to feed in my house these days!
4. Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning
I already have the house cleaned once a week but will add on to that a laundry and ironing service, and maybe a few extra hours cleaning if needed. I made the mistake last time of thinking my husband could run the house, and whilst he is better at cleaning than I am he will want to spend as much time as possible with our children too.
My older kids will need some TLC too so we are planning on making up some snack and activity bags for emergencies. They are also super excited about the baby so we are baking a birthday cake with a '0' candle and playing with baby dolls.
We got loads of ideas from our favourite birth video for kids here.
6. Parental Leave
My husband and I both have flexibility at work. I'll be taking off a full six weeks and leaving my business in the hands of my trusted assistant. After that I'll slowly ease back in to things if and when I feel ready.
My husband will take off one month, and for a second month he will work only school hours so I never have to do the school run - no school run is perhaps one of the things I am most excited about! That seriously feels like pampering to me :)
7. Ayurvedic Herbs
I'll be taking some classical formula's including arishtams and leyhams as advised by my Ayurvedic doctor. These have had a huge impact on my health over the past ten years of my life, perhaps second only to my diet.
8. Incontinence Knickers
Oh yeah. And loads of breast pads. And plenty of cloths / muslins / nappy squares / spare sets of sheets... You and your baby will be leaking from everywhere!
9. Online Shopping
I don't like leaving the house much at the best of times, so online shopping is my best friend. I'll have all my groceries delivered as usual.
10. Belly Binding
My second baby was 4.4kg and belly binding was such a godsend. I'll be using my own belly binding during my 6 weeks of rest, and after that I'll be starting gentle exercise to heal my pelvic floor and abdomen.
Buy belly binding here.
I already have an excellent Ayurvedic massage therapist who visits me at home, I'll ask her to come a few times a week during those early months. Massage is super important if you plan to spend an extended amount of time resting. Massage increases your circulation and metabolism whilst you are taking a break from exercise.
Postpartum will still rock me to the core, that's what becoming a mother does, every time, but I am pretty happy with the emotional and physical support systems I am setting up.
I know I can't control what happens, but I can ask for help and that is exactly what I'm planning on doing.
I'm really looking forward to sharing this journey with you!