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!
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.
- 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