Postpartum Support

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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

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