What Is A Postpartum Plan & Why Do You Need One?


You’ve heard of a birth plan, but have you heard of a postpartum plan?

When I was pregnant with my son, I stumbled across the concept of a postpartum plan quite by accident. I was watching a YouTube video where a mother was talking about working with a postpartum doula to create a plan for post-birth.

I had never even heard of a postpartum doula at that point, let alone a postpartum plan, but my interest was piqued and I started to dive deep into the topic online, quickly becoming convinced that I needed to prepare for my postpartum the way I had been trying to do for my birth.

Well, let me tell you – this changed my experience of early motherhood for the better. I am SO glad I had a plan for those first couple of months, and I’d proactively put support in place for myself.

Ironically, the birth I thought I’d prepared so well for turned out to be a fairly traumatic experience, and breastfeeding didn’t get off to a great start either. But despite this, my first weeks and months as a mother were some of the most blissful and restful of my life.

I have my postpartum plan to thank for this.

Now, when I work with parents-to-be, I always offer support in creating a postpartum plan that’s tailored to their unique circumstances and needs. It’s also a key part of my postpartum prep course, Beyond Birth.

By being conscious of how we want to recover and receive care in early postpartum, we can greatly improve both our physical and emotional well-being during that crucial time.

So what kind of things are in a postpartum plan?

There are so many unique ways we can construct a postpartum plan. It’s helpful to start by looking at your goals post-birth.

Some things that can be important to many parents are:

  • Supporting physical recovery from birth.
  • Facilitating bonding between baby and parents.
  • Ensuring older children are cared for.
  • Having good boundaries in place for visitors.
  • Nourishing the family with good quality food (especially the mother or birthing parent).
  • Caring for the mother/birthing parent, so they can focus on caring for the baby.

Some ideas for things to include are:

  • A plan for food (for the whole family). Who is going to prepare meals? Where is this food coming from? Can any of it be prepared in advance? Can family and friends contribute? If the mother is breastfeeding, how will she be nourished and hydrated?
  • Setting expectations and roles around household chores.
  • A plan for how pets will be cared for.
  • Your preferences around visitors (e.g. when you feel comfortable with people coming over, whether you’d like them to have any vaccinations or other health checks first, what they can help with when they are there, etc).
  • Clear expectations for couples, around what their roles will be in those early days, and what they need from each other.
  • A mental health plan – what to do if signs and symptoms of PNDA appear.
  • What support people will care for you and offer respite – e.g. postpartum doula, family members, massage therapist, lactation consultant, counsellor.
  • Your plans for parental leave and return to work.

You may also wish to explore your plans for things like feeding, sleep, and other baby care practices. And to remain flexible/put backup options in place in case things don’t go as expected.

A good postpartum plan can provide a level of comfort and reassurance during pregnancy, as parents feel more prepared for what’s to come. Although you can never truly understand what life with a newborn is like until you live it, having a plan for support to wrap around you as soon as you give birth is invaluable.

In my course, Beyond Birth: Your Ultimate Guide to Thriving in the First Year Postpartum, I work with you to explore all your options, then support you in creating a postpartum plan that is right for you.

Your kid is going to be ok

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