Preparing for Pregnancy and Postpartum Virtually
How You Can Adapt to the Changes and Be Prepared for an Empowered Birth
There’s no denying it: last year was rough. While we’re not totally back to the way things were, and we are adjusting to a “new normal,” things are looking up. Though, if you are pregnant or preparing for pregnancy, things can still feel a bit uncertain. BeauGen is here to help with tips and friendly advice for preparing for pregnancy and postpartum virtually.
Just because we’re still social distancing doesn’t mean that we’re totally alone. There are many women and professionals upon which we can lean for support, advice, and guidance. Most of our classes, appointments, and childbirth education can be conducted virtually, giving us the support we need, especially as new mothers...
Preparing for Pregnancy:
Therapy and Counseling
During your whole perinatal period, from the beginning of pregnancy through one year postpartum, therapy or counseling is extremely healthy for new moms, second-time moms, third-time moms -- all moms really. It’s beneficial to help create the right team for you and talk about all the things you want to discuss, whatever that may be.
Yes, friends and family often make great listeners, but therapists and counselors are especially equipped to help us process our thoughts and feelings and guide us through this emotional landscape. The expressed privacy of these sessions can encourage us to talk through some things that we might otherwise keep from friends and family as well.
Pregnancy can feel isolating, and this year can intensify those feelings as we keep our growing families safe. A great way to avoid feeling alone, is to actually prove that we are not the only ones going through this. Pregnancy and birth podcasts provide us with friendly, open, and honest stories. They can lift us up, educate us, and entertain us. We have a list of great podcasts in this post on having an empowered birth.
Support During Pregnancy:
There’s a reason the phrase “It takes a village” has withstood the test of time. Raising a baby is hard. Raising a baby when your ability to actually get together with friends, family, and people in your community is downright tough. But just because we are still social distancing doesn’t mean we are totally cut off from our village. We just have to put in a little bit of extra effort to create it sometimes.
Take a Virtual Birthing Education Course
If this is your first pregnancy, we highly recommend taking a virtual birthing class. Even if you’ve had a baby before, it’s still a good idea. Often, these are taught or hosted by the hospital or birthing center where you will give birth. Taking a class can help you prepare by knowing what options are available for birthing positions, birth aids, access to IBCLCs and CLCs, and more!
Consider Virtual Breastfeeding Courses
Breastfeeding might be natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It can take a bit of work, some patience, and a lot of trial and error. But you can do yourself and your baby a tremendous favor by taking a virtual breastfeeding course. In these courses, you can learn skills that will help make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. You can learn how to spot potential issues, and learn how to avoid common mistakes. BeauGen offers amazing courses that are packed full of information. These digital courses are on demand, which means you can fit them into your schedule.
Doula Support (In Person or Virtually)
Whether you decide to go the hospital route, birthing center, or home birth, having a doula on your care team provides a world of support and knowledge. A doula’s job is to support you, the mother, during this life changing process. They are trained to care for you physically, but also mentally. A doula not only guides you through this journey but advocates for you and your desires along the way.
Add to Registry:
When you think of a baby registry, you tend to think of everything the baby needs, or that you need to care for the baby. But today you can build a more comprehensive registry that encompasses your life with the new baby, not just the new baby. Often there are other parts of our life that suffer when we first bring a new baby home. The dog still needs to be walked. The house needs to be cleaned. The yard needs to be mown. Dinner doesn’t cook itself. Adding options like dog walking services, meal delivery services, cleaning services, etc. to your typical baby registry can make life after baby a lot easier.
Talk it Through:
Before your delivery, there are a number of decisions that you can make with your partner to make life after your delivery less stressful. Get on the same page about visitors, not just at the hospital but at your home. Are you okay with visitors? Maybe not during the first month, but after that it might be okay? Are there some you are okay with but not others?
Also deciding when they can visit is helpful. This can cut down on surprise visits when you’re trying to put your baby down for a nap, or too close to bedtime. Decide whether visitors can come inside, or if you’ll meet them outside, and whether you would like them to wear a mask around your family.
Support During Postpartum:
The birth of your baby is life changing. But so is the postpartum period. Yes there are loads of baby snuggles, itty bitty baths, and lots of bonding. But this is also an emotional time for moms. Recovering from your birth takes time. You’ll be tired, and physically you won’t even be cleared to do some of the house and yard work. It’s important to take time to cultivate support during postpartum.
Postpartum Mom Support Groups
Being able to talk to other moms feels like a lifeline. It's great to be able to hear their stories and to share in your experiences. In these groups, you can ask questions and receive a wealth of feedback and support. You can find many online mom groups. Facebook has a number of them - some filled with mamas from around the world and others closer to home. BeauGen is building a Facebook group full of supportive mamas and we would love to have you join us!
People love to give advice as a means of support both during your pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. This means you can potentially receive a lot of advice. How do you sift through it all to find what works for you and your baby? What if you receive conflicting advice? How do you know what is good advice? Finding a lactation support person, a CLC or an IBCLC, on whom you can rely can alleviate so much stress but also provide you a wealth of support and comfort.
As a mama, you have options. Take the time to speak to a few of these individuals and find a person with whom you feel comfortable. You’ll be getting up close and personal with this person talking about your body and your baby so you want to be able to for a relationship with this person. You interview your pediatrician, why not your lactation support?
Having a doula during your pregnancy and birth experience can be an enormous source of support, but what happens when the baby is here, you’re two weeks out and don’t know what “normal” is? This is where a postpartum doula can make an impact in your life.
“Postpartum doulas are objective, and evidence-based resources for new moms. Do we want to hold your sweet new baby just like your best friend does? Of course, but our first priority is you and making sure you feel supported, that you are nourishing your body, and that your space doesn't feel like it's closing in on you. We'll whip up a healthy snack, throw a load of towels in or empty your dishwasher, so you can hold your sweet baby and have a conversation with someone who understands all that is the fourth trimester.”
~ Stephani Dill, BeauGen Marketing Manager and Certifying Doula.