Planning for baby? | Mom Self Care Free Printable

When you're planning for baby, the vast majority of pregnancy and birth checklists out there all about what you need to do for your baby. But what about you? Giving birth is a feat no matter how you do it, and in the flurry and excitement of packing, it's easy to forget about the things you'll need after baby is here!

planning for baby

Planning for baby means planning for you, too. We asked some veteran moms about their must-have items for the hospital and back home. Here's what they said:

Of course you're going to pack toiletries and clothes for you and baby. Here's what to pack in your hospital bag for you:

Pillows from home: Because we know hospital pillows aren't known for their extra-fluffiness. Extra-long charging cable: Keep in touch when you want, from anywhere in your room. Oh, and Netflix. Chapstick: Trust us, it's a must-have. Mints: Freshen up until you can brush your teeth again. Comfy leggings or pajama pants: There's nothing quite like slipping on a pair of cozy pants after a nice shower. Soft, light robe: Be visitor-ready in no time! Fuzzy blanket from home: Hospital blankets are thin, and who doesn't love a fuzzy throw? Your favorite instant coffee (ex. Starbucks Via): Coffee emergencies are a thing. Water bottle: Skip the styrofoam and stay hydrated in style! Snacks for after birth: Your favorite takeout menus and a Designated Bringer of Food wouldn't hurt, either. Post-birth beverage: Finally, you can have that drink you've been craving your whole pregnancy! Nursing pillow: Save your neck and arms by bringing baby up closer to you. Nursing tanks/clothes to labor in: Nursing tanks are great for skin-to-skin after birth. Pair with a knee-length maxi skirt for an alternative to that hospital gown. Button-down or pull-down shirts: for easy nursing access.

You're back home with all of your stuff, and a new baby. Here's what to keep around for those days after birth:

Depends (No really, trust us!): Because it's no fun when your pad moves around. Tucks Pads: A common hemorrhoid relief, but they're oh-so-nice for a sore perineum too! Peri Bottle: A lifesaver when wiping is the last thing you want to do. Constipation relief: No shame in that stool softener game! Water bottle: Between taking care of a newborn, nursing, and recovering from birth, hydration in reach is essential! Late-night snack basket: When nighttime hunger strikes, you'll be prepared. Dim night light: So you can see to change that diaper and then get everyone back to dreamland Freezer meals: Consider hosting a freezer meal shower to stock up before baby comes. One-handed snacks: Feed baby and yourself at the same time! Fresh, cut-up fruits and veggies: Because you can only eat so much lasagna. Baby carrier: For hands-free snuggling and walking around. Lanolin/nipple butter: Relief for nipples that are adjusting to a newborn feeding schedule. Journal: A place for your thoughts and feelings. Extra phone chargers: It's no fun when you phone dies and you're stuck under a baby.  Postpartum doula: A postpartum doula is a valuable member of your village! We're there to make sure you have all of the help, rest, and support you need after baby comes home.

Love our list? What would you add?

Click here to download our Mom Self Care Free Printable!

mom-self-care-free-printable

Your doula

Things are different now from the way they used to be. In an ideal world, everyone would be so supported by their communities and “villages” that my job wouldn’t exist. your doula

But our world isn’t ideal- families live far away or are working, we’re stretched thin, we’re isolated, and it seems like everyone around us is busy. Not your doula. Your doula is not too busy because your doula is there for you.

We go to our doctor appointments and we wait an hour for ten to fifteen minutes of face time. Unless there’s something urgent on our minds, oftentimes our questions leave us in the moment, or we forgot to write them down, or we think of something on our way out the door. Who is there for us then? Who has answers, or knows how to get them? Google? Friends who may or may not understand? Our parents who gave birth in a totally different world? What if we just need to talk about something, and it’s not necessarily “doctor-worthy”? Your doula can help. She can listen, validate concerns, calm fears, help you think of questions, help you avoid Google and direct you to the best source for the answers you seek. She’ll never judge, never think you’re silly, and is a constant for you. When we go to give birth, often it’s just us and our partners punctuated by hospital staff coming in and out at various intervals but never able to stay for very long. They care about you, but they are also focused on making sure your baby is healthy and safe. It seems as if nobody is there exclusively for you, not even your partner. He’s having a baby too, and his focus is divided between you and your baby. He has needs of his own that must be met as he tries to balance them with meeting your needs. What if he gets tired? Anxious? Hungry? As much as he wants to be, he cannot be there exclusively for you.

Your doula can. Your doula is the only one whose job it is to prioritize you and your needs. Everything she does revolves around you.

She is a buffer, someone who makes things easier for everyone around you. Her presence and support ensures that everyone around you can focus on their jobs because they know you are taken care of. She supports your partner by helping guide him in supporting you better. She can be the firm hands on your hips so that he can be the gentle voice in your ear.

She takes the pressure off of him to be everything and instead gives him the freedom to be himself, the one who loves you and the one you need in that moment.

Your doula is experienced in childbirth and knows how to anticipate your needs. You have work to do, and she helps you to make the most of it. Your doula knows what to say to give strength and encouragement to everyone around her, but especially you. After your baby is born, your doula rejoices with you and begins the work of adjusting pillows, snapping a few candids of those first moments (if you’d like, of course), and helping you as the rest of the world melts away and your world is now on your chest. She assists you as you settle in until she sees you breathe deep, that sigh that tells her that it’s time to slip away. Don’t worry, you’ll see her again at home soon, when she will sit down with you to answer your questions and talk about anything you need, whether it’s your birth or how beautiful your baby is.

When everyone else is there to see the baby, she is there to see you, because her work is making sure that you are cared for and that you know how important you are to her.