Plan For Postpartum

  • How To Take Maternity Leave When You Are An Entrepreneur| A Postpartum Doula’s Perspective

    If you are an executive, entrepreneur, business owner or any other version of a boss babe, AND you are a mom to be…this is for you. You have been planning for months to welcome your first baby and now sh*t is about to get real. You’ve got all of the things, but emotionally, you’re a wreck.  You can’t avoid it any longer. It’s time to start really mentally preparing yourself to be a mom. You’ve done everything the books and blogs say you need to do and you feel ready, but you don’t feel prepared.

    And if you’re the type that’s used to planning your days and sticking to a tight schedule, the thought of taking maternity leave might be a completely foreign concept.  Especially, if you are a soloprenuer or manage a small team. The idea of taking a chunk of time away and/or leaving others in charge might worry you or seem impossible. You might be afraid that your business will suffer if you take maternity leave.

    But I’m here to let you know that taking maternity leave as an entrepreneur is totally doable and you and your business can thrive as a result.

    Here are some tips to help set you and business up for success as your embark on the journey to becoming a parent.

    ADD SOME STRUCTURE

    First things first ADD SOME STRUCTURE to your maternity leave.

    Define your maternity leave with a clear start date and end date. Some new parents feel just fine working right up until they give birth. Others may want to have some time off before baby arrives. For example, you can decide to take 4 full weeks off from work starting after you give birth. Or you could choose to take time off starting before your due date. Either way, schedule time off and take it seriously.

    Can you take 4, 6, or 8 weeks off from your business to give yourself the time to recover and care for your newborn?

    How will you return to your work? Many new moms find that they like to ease themselves back into working. If possible, making your first couple of days back, half days, can help you get back into the swing of things without being overwhelming.

    Be ready when its actually time for your maternity leave to start. The structure of your business will play a huge role here.

    If you are a solopreneur, think about the systems that you have in place to keep your business running smoothly.

    If you have a team, think about who your point person will be, what are the crucial tasks that must get done on a day to day basis, and the situations that you should be notified about. Make sure each member of your team is clear about their roles and your expectations while you are on your leave.

    Either way, you should also think about how you will communicate important details about your leave with your clients or customers. They will appreciate you being up front about what is going on with you and your business. 

    READY YOUR HOME

    Next it’s time to READY YOUR HOME, not just your body.

    In addition to getting your body ready for pregnancy and birth, it’s also very important that you get your home ready. Prepare you home for baby but also for lounging, resting and nursing/feeding your baby.  You may have also begun to prepare a nursery or sleep space for your baby. Don’t forget to create a cozy space for nursing your baby and for you to lounge and rest. This should be outside of your bedroom, if possible.

    When preparing your registry, add items with readying your whole home in mind. You might be surprised at which typically registry items actually go unused. Talk to real moms to find out what are the absolute necessities after giving birth.

    HONOR YOUR BODY

    HONOR YOUR BODY and your experiences in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

    Many entrepreneurs learn the value of self care and investing in your physical and mental wellness as a part of their entrepreneurship journey.  Pay special attention to your body after birth and prioritize your physical recovery. Your physical recovery and how satisfied you are can impact your overall postpartum and how your bond with your baby.

    Take the time to document and track important details of your birth and physical recovery.  Allow your self the space and time to process your birth so that you can let go of any pain or trauma from your experience. There are lots of different ways to work through the hard feelings that can come with birth and postpartum. You deserve to find the method that works for you.

    FOCUS ON POSTPARTUM

    Get real and FOCUS ON POSTPARTUM. This is not a time to take lightly.

    Many business owners and first time parents look at the time as a vacation. They plan on outings and trips with their new baby. And I get it. You probably haven’t had a non-work vacation in who knows how long. But this is not that. Your maternity leave aka the early part of you postpartum, is not a get out and explore vacation.

    It’s more of a stay off of your feet and let others take care of you kind of vacation. And I see that when I put it like that, it sounds pretty effing awesome.  But don’t forget that during this time you will recovering from pregnancy and birth in addition to caring for a brand new human being that cannot meet any of their own needs.

    Postpartum and maternity leave is really a time to focusing on resting, recovering, and learning your baby. Things like housework and workwork kind of fall to the way side temporarily. This is when you lean heavy on your circle of support to maintain those things, so that you can focus on getting motherhood of to a great start.

    Give yourself time and grace to rest and recover. And when you feel ready, start connecting with your local mom community. Being an entrepreneur can have its lonely moments, especially if you are a solo boss. The time after birth can also be similarly isolating. With the intersection of those two lifestyles, the sooner your find your mom gang or mom bestie, the better.

    So there you have it. A postpartum doula’s take on how to rock maternity leave as an entrepreneur. Some thing that taking maternity leave will hurt their business but its actually the opposite. When you chose to focus on your self and your new family after birth, you allow yourself the space and clarity to step away from your business and return eagerly and confidently.

    how to take maternity leve when your an entreprenuer< a small business owner, CEO or the boss
  • Thriving Through Summer Break

    You’ve seen the memes. Schools out, parents are stocking up on snacks, guzzling wine and counting down the days until back to school. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I love when my older son is home for summer break. The mornings are slower, the days are filled with adventures and we make lots of memories. I’m so lucky that my doula business allows me the flexibility to set my schedule but even if your home on maternity leave, you can have peaceful, exciting and fun summer with your newborn AND your school-agers home for break.

    If your school aged kids are in camp while you’re home with your newborn baby:

    1. Have a plan. Get a game plan together for drop offs and pickups. If your partner, family or friend can help with this great! Pack bags, lunches and outfits the night before so that the mornings move smoothly. What’s for breakfast? Something quick and healthy like blueberry muffins and fresh fruit simplify your routine. Make sure you eat too!
    2. Maximize your time. Know what times your newborn tend to wake for their morning feedings and work around those times for your morning routine.  If your newborn doesn’t go back to sleep after your morning nursing session, baby wearing can free up your hands to help get your older kids ready and into the car.
    3. Take it easy. After drop of reward yourself with a snack and a big glass of water and relax. You have the rest of the day to focus on yourself and your newborn. But be mindful of your baby’s afternoon awake/ nursing times and pick – up times so you can be strategic with your timing.
    4. Get some help. If you’re doing things solo, enlist the help of postpartum doula or mother’s helper to help you with drop offs and pick ups. You can even have them stay through the day to help you make the most of your time with your newborn.

    If your school-aged kids are home with you and your newborn baby:

    1. Have a plan. Set a loose schedule for the day. Think of some low key outdoor activities and some engaging indoor events that will keep your older kids interest. You want to think things like water play outside, splash pads, age appropriate playgrounds, storytimes, gymnastics open play, music classes, robotics classes, art activities etc. you want to be able to sit and rest when needed and keep an eye on your older children from a safe distance that works for you. Again, wearing your newborn can help make things easy, especially if you have to nurse while out and about. Remember to schedule some quiet down time with your children too.
    2. Maximize your time. Schedule outings and activities around nursing times as you see fit. If you are uncomfortable nursing away from home you can focus on shorter activities and staying closer to home. If you find things to do that are popular for moms with newborns you can take that as a chance to practice nursing while out and about with your baby.
    3. Take it easy. Don’t try to do everything in one day.  I like to focus on getting out of the house or doing our highest energy activity in the morning after breakfast and taking it easy after lunch. Let your older kids embrace their older sibling roles and model positive parenting.
    4. Get some help. If your doing things solo this summer and your older kids are staying home for the summer you could seriously benefit from the help of a postpartum doula. Or even a mother’s helper or nanny. Having an extra set of hands, eyes and ears can really save your sanity through the summer months. Plus, you’ll have another adult (who can answer all of your breastfeeding, postpartum and newborn questions) to talk too. Yes!

    So what do you have going on this summer? Are you home with
    your newborn baby? And older kids? Is everyone going to daycare and school? Got
    any summer parenting questions?

  • What They Don’t Tell You When You’re Pregnant…

    I don’t know who needs to hear this but…

    You deserve to thrive postpartum.

    Yup, I said it. And I wholeheartedly believe it. And you should too.

    I really mean it though. You should believe this deep down at the core of your being. Let me elaborate.

    You have spent so much time preparing your body and mind for pregnancy and birth.

    Changing your diet and excersizing more

    Reading all of the books and blogs and creating a birth plan

    Curating a registry and preparing baby’s nursery

    Celebrating with friends and family at your gender reveal and baby shower…

    All so that your baby gets the very best from the start.

    But I have to remind you of one thing. I have to let you in on something that many pregnant women overlook.

    I’m sure your birthing books and pregnancy classes have mentioned it.

    And other mothers speak about it in hushed tones with looks of pity or shame in their eyes.

    I have to tell you about this one huge thing that many new moms just like you say they feel unprepared for.

    They wonder “why didnt anyone tell me?”

    They wish they had done things differently earlier on. That they had done more to prepare.

    But I dont want you to think like them.

    I want you to know the whole truth BEFORE you give birth. So that you can truly prepare your mind.

    The truth that exsists no matter how you birth your baby. Whether you have a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth. Whether you have a birth with little or lots of complications. Whether this is your first or fifth birth. Whether you are planning a home, birth center or hospital birth. Whether you chose to hire an OB, midwife or choose to birth unassited.

    No matter how your birth story unfolds. There is one truth that exsists after you cross the threshold from maiden to mother.

    That one basic truth is that you deserve to thrive postpartum.

    Pregnancy and birth are just the beginning of the journey. Postpartum is when the real work of motherhood begins.

    You deserve a thriving postpartum.

    You deserve to rest and recovery after you give birth.

    You deserve judgement free support that allows you the time and space to recover from pregnancy and birth. You also deserve this time and space as you learn to care for and bond with your baby.

    Despite what some might say or think, it is possible to do more than just survive postpartum. Take the time to prepare for this time while you are pregnant and take the fear out of postpartum. Embrace a thriving postpartum mindset and take charge of your journey to motherhood. There will be so many unknowns, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay ready.

    With a thriving postpartum mindset you will:

    Get a strong start towards your infant feeding goals

    Learn and bond with your baby with ease

    Maximize the growth and changes in your brain

    Strengthen your momfidence (mom confidence)

    Discover the new version of yourself and level up with ease

    Discover and embrace your new identity as a mother

    Stay connected with your partner

    Strengthen communication and intimacy

    Find and embrace your village of support

    Process your birth story and let go of birth trauma

    Reduce complications as you recover from pregnancy and birth

    Make time for self care

    Get as much restorative sleep as possible

    Let go of fears of postpartum depression

    With a thriving postpartum mindset your baby will get the very best YOU from the start.

    I know its a lot to take in but I know you can handle it. If you start planning now while you are pregnant, you will feel ready and confident with a toolbelt of resources at your fingertips.

    Don’t be that mom that vows to do things differently next time around. Do what you feel you need to do THIS time so that you have the best postpartum possible.

    And if you’re not sure where to start, contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

    Plan Ahead For A Thriving Postpartum
  • Sleep + Postpartum You = ???

    If you are an adult human being like me, I’m sure you love sleep to some extent. If you are also like me, you may be looking back at your 5 year old refusing to take a nap self with pity.

    Maybe you aren’t like me and you relish running on adreniline and caffine. Either way, one this is certain. When you become a parent, sleep is essential.

    One more thing is certain…

    Your baby has no concerns about how much sleep you are or aren’t getting.

    Nowadays we know that sleep, or lack thereof, can leave you functioning at a level well below your best. In the early newborn/ postpartum days this becomes even more clear.

    Sleep is how your body recharges and recovers from the stressors and activities of the day.

    When you are postpartum, you will be sleeping to recover from the strains of pregnancy on your body. You will be sleeping to recover from the intense process of labor and your baby being born.

    Sleeping will allow your body to recharge after the intense mental task you have accomplished. Sleep helps you recharge after a day of being there emotionally and physically for your baby and your family.

    Without adequate sleep, you are at a higher risk of postpartum mood disorders.

    Your communication can break down and your relationships could suffer.

    Without enough sleep and rest, your body might not have the best recovery possible, you could even slow down your recovery (especially if you have a cesarean or repair.)

    Plan ahead for getting as much sleep as possible by considering things like:

    • Where will your baby sleep? In your room? In your bed? In their own room in a crib?
    • Who will help with night-time (between 8pm – 6am) parenting? Will it be a joint effort? Will one partner focus on feeding baby and the other on diapering and getting baby back to sleep?
    • Will you get up to breastfeed at night time? Or have your baby brought to you? Or pump during the day and have someone else feed the baby at night?
    • Will you need to hire additional help if you don’t have family nearby or are a single parent?

    There is not right or wrong way to do things here. The best way for you is the plan you put together where your needs are met and you feel confident and supported.

    Of course your baby’s needs are super important too! However, you can not adequately meet your baby’s needs if your needs aren’t met first.

    Need help putting together a sleep plan for your new family? As a professional postpartum doula and all around mom advocate, I am happy to help you create a sleep plan or postpartum plan that fits your needs. Let’s chat today! 24-353-7062