On Postpartum and Princesses
We all saw the idyllic picture of a perfectly coifed Kate Middleton, flawless make-up and a red dress that hid any sign that she may have given birth to her 3rd child only hours earlier, standing on the hospital steps waving to her subjects. It got me to wondering – was she wearing standard issue hospital mesh panties under her red dress, or do the royals have their own method of soaking up lochia post birth? Was she dreaming of getting home and getting an ice pack on to her sore nether regions or maybe soaking them in a sitz bath? Was her postpartum staff waiting at home to tuck her and baby into bed for the next 30 days where they could bond, become a happy nursing dyad, and nourish her with tasty soups and stews? Does she get to choose whether to breastfeed her baby? Or will a baby nurse whisk baby away for bottles only? What is the postpartum period like for a princess?
Unless you have a staff at home, or some truly amazing friends and relatives available around the clock you likely will have a different postpartum experience from the Duchess of Cambridge. I can tell you for the rest of us commoners it’s certainly not all smiles and waves. If you got a shower after the birth or your baby, it might be the last one you can muster for a little while. Perhaps you are sore and a bit itchy if you had stitches, or staying in the hospital for extra days if you had an unplanned cesarean section. Do you feel ready to go home with your little one and face the daily challenges?
Here are a few pro tips to get you started on your 4th trimester:
- Rest when the baby rests – it’s tempting to try to “get things done” when baby is sleeping, but for the first few weeks (or longer) let the dishes pile up and lay down when you can;
- Eat when the baby eats – this will require preparation or a helper to bring you snacks/meals to eat one handed while feeding baby;
- Get clean when the baby gets clean – this also requires a helper, while baby is getting a fresh diaper or a bath – you should get to the bathroom – take care of business and get a washcloth to those regions that need it, maybe brush your hair, and brush your teeth;
- Educate yourself on typical newborn sleep – the phrase “sleeping like a baby” did not come from anyone who was the parent of a newborn;
- Ask for and accept help- put those friends and relatives who come by to wish you well to work – can you hold the baby so I can shower? maybe they help with that pile of dishes? Or maybe toss in a load of laundry? Maybe they will play with the baby so you can rest. Don’t be afraid to ask or better yet – enlist helpers before the baby arrives. A list of things you need done makes it easy for someone to come in and lend a hand.
- Meals – in the weeks before baby arrives cook double batches of your favorites and freeze half; have ingredients on hand for simple and nutrient dense meals; ask friends and relatives to bring a meal (just make sure thy drop it off and don’t stay to visit.
The 4th trimester is a magical and challenging time – the better prepared you are with what to expect and with the tools you need to make life easier the more you can enjoy this special time with baby and enjoying being a family.
Need more tips?
Preparing for the 4th Trimester, Sunday May 6th 2-4pm. Pyramid Atlantic, 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD
More info? Or to register? firstname.lastname@example.org