Welcoming in a new year is always a big deal, but this year, we are also welcoming in a new decade. If you’re expecting a new baby (or multiple new babies!) in the new year, here are some new year resolutions that might feel particularly relevant:
Say goodbye to the old year, and turn your gaze to what lies ahead. Whatever your journey has been to get here—whether you’re pregnant with your first baby, your seventh baby, whether you’ve tried everything to get pregnant, or whether this is an unexpected surprise—you can look this past year and past decade square in the eye and say farewell. This new year and new decade will bring you new life, new beginnings, a new chapter, and new family dynamics. Honor the path you’ve been on, and bid it adieu. Then… Be proactive. It’s never too early to plan for your birth and postpartum time. Read and watch and learn about labor and birth, so that you can develop your birth preferences based on accurate and current information, and then write those preferences down to share with your birth team. Read and watch and learn about the postpartum time and breastfeeding, so that you can develop your postpartum plan based on your family’s priorities, needs, and goals. This should include the needs of everyone in your family, including partners, older children, and pets. Here are great links for creating a birth plan or a postpartum plan.
Get serious about eating for two (or three, or more). Eating well while growing your little one(s) in utero is so important, but good nutrition during breastfeeding is essential as well, especially because you actually need 300-500 more calories per day during breastfeeding than while you are pregnant. If you’re having twins or more, then even more calories are needed! We love the pregnancy and postpartum nutrition shared over at marissamccormick.com — she’s one of our favorite local nutrition experts!
Find a way to move your body that doesn’t hurt it. Truly, exercising while pregnant should be different than exercising while not pregnant, because the bigger your belly gets, the harder your bones and muscles and ligaments are working to balance and hold and lift and tuck and move. Blooma has amazing prenatal yoga and barre options. Perhaps even more important, exercising your postpartum body should look very different than exercising your pregnant body or pre-pregnant body. The postpartum body has abdominal muscles that need to come back together (if they don’t, it’s called diastasis recti) and pelvic floor muscles that need to rest, as well as breasts that are bigger and more sensitive to movement and bouncing. If you start doing all the same workouts after pregnancy as you did before or during pregnancy, you will hurt yourself. Invest some time into figuring out how to properly heal your core and pelvic floor first, before you return to your favorite workouts. Our favorite postpartum rehabilitation experts are BirthFit, Elevate Pilates and Lindsey’s postpartum workouts over at NourishMoveLove.
Find your birth and postpartum team. Locate your birth doula and postpartum doula support now (because we book up months in advance!), and reserve their services so that you know your birth and postpartum time will be well-supported. This is an investment you will not regret, and in the big picture, having a peaceful and empowered birth and postpartum experience truly can impact the rest of your life. It may sound like an exaggeration, but how we feel about our birth and postpartum time is important, and how we remember them is important.
Remember that you can never be fully prepared. You don’t need to know every step before you walk a path, and often, the paths with unknown places are the most beautiful and rewarding. Yes, you should take classes, and yes, you should read books, and yes, you should plan and prepare. But also, parenthood—even if this is not your first child—is a wild adventure, and inevitably, we are all just doing our best with what we have at the present moment. And that’s truly what our babies need most.