If you're in your third trimester, it's time to write your postpartum plan! Sure, there's the birth plan (and that's important, too), but equally helpful is a postpartum plan -- a guide to help you plan for and receive good support during the first few months after giving birth.
In most other cultures outside the United States, it's normal and expected to receive intensive care (usually from family members) for the first 1-3 months after giving birth, typically in the form of meals, physical/bodily recovery care, and assistance with baby care and breastfeeding. Despite this level of care being less common in the United States, it's still needed and helpful. Postpartum support improves physical and mental health for parents and babies alike. For resources on writing a postpartum plan, we've written some helpful previous posts:
Postpartum Planning During Covid-19
With most of the world still coping with life during a pandemic, you need to consider how to adjust your postpartum plan according to guidelines in place to avoid contracting Covid-19. For the most part, it means addressing one major decision: who will be allowed in and out of your home after the birth of your baby? And then, for those allowed in, what safety guidelines will you put in place to limit your family's risk of contracting Covid?
In considering who will be allowed around you and your baby, consider what their risk is of having Covid based on the following:
- Where they live (is their geographic location seeing a spike in numbers, for example)
- How many people they have interacted with in the past two weeks
- Where they have traveled to in the past two weeks
- How are they feeling; are they experiencing any symptoms that could be caused by Covid-19?
Once you decide who is allowed to come into your home after the birth of your baby, you must then decide what kinds of safety measures, if any, you will take to reduce the risk of transmission. Hand washing is always a good practice around babies, pandemic or not! Covid-specific safety practices include:
- Wearing masks (adults and children, not babies) over the nose and mouth
- Checking temperature prior to visit
- Maintaining a distance of 6 feet apart from people not living in your household
- Spending time outdoors instead of inside your home
- Sanitizing surfaces after a visit
- Limiting the number of visitors
- Postponing visits, especially if there are any symptoms of any illness
Making decisions about who will be allowed around you and your infant after birth during a pandemic isn't easy. While there is the risk of transmission and the myriad possible ways Covid can make you sick to consider, there's also the importance of your own physical and mental health and well being that comes from being properly supported during the postpartum period. Phone calls, video calls, and texts are helpful, but they don't replace in-person support from loved ones and/or a professional postpartum doula. It's important to weigh risks on both sides of the equation. Talk to your doctor and your partner to decide what will be best for your family.
TagsPostpartum Postpartum Plan COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic