Postpartum Support

By Deana Midmer, BScN, EdD, FACCE on March 12, 2007
Planning for help when you go home

It's common for women to be sent home within 48 hours of giving birth, so you and your partner should develop a plan that will provide assistance following your first pregnancy.

Taking Care of Yourself

Before your baby is born:

  • Stock the kitchen with nutritious and quick meals.
  • Clean your home to minimize tasks after pregnancy. 
  • Organize your baby's nursery by stocking up on necessary baby items.

After your baby is born:

  • Consider using a cleaning service.
  • Make lists of daily activities, and cross off tasks as you complete them.
  • Schedule regular breaks during the day to treat yourself!

Family Life

Fathers/partners, you can help too:

  • At night bring the newborn to their mother when its time for breastfeeding.
  • Change and bathe the baby.
  • Take the baby and/or older children out.
  • Help with household chores and groceries.
  • Arrange for a babysitter and take your partner out.
  • Encourage your partner.

Family & Friends:
  • Discuss with your family what assistance you require. 
  • Be flexible and appreciate the support offered.
  • Request that visitors phone, rather than show up unexpectedly.
  • Set limits ahead of time - you may feel less assertive after giving birth.
  • Ask family to take out your children or have them overnight. Your primary concern is the baby’s well being. 

Community Support

  • Get the hospital phone number for postpartum help.
  • For breastfeeding help, keep numbers for La Leche League and local lactation clinics.
  • Find out the locations, hours and services at drop-in centres for new parents. LB

Deana Midmer, BScN, EdD, FACCE, is the coordinator of Prenatal and Family Life Education at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto; assistant professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; and postpartum counsellor in private practice.

Published in March 2007

By Deana Midmer, BScN, EdD, FACCE| March 12, 2007

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