I prepared for my second birth and postpartum as if I was preparing to run a marathon. I went to regular counselling to work on some fear associated to the actual birth, and I prepared in any way I could for my fourth trimester by prepping meals and freezing them, getting help lined up for toddler childcare and clearing our calendars of any obligations for the next few months.
I am a very visual person and do well with reminders or inspirations that I will write on a mirror or print and put up on a wall. So for some reason during my pregnancy, I felt compelled to start giving my postpartum self advice. I kept a note on my phone with little inspirations, tips and reminders whenever I thought of something, almost as if I was telling a close friend. I thought it would be valuable to print out all these tips and reminders with a pretty design and put it around the house where I could read it everyday. From that, my Postpartum Manifesto was birthed. I printed them out and put one next to my bed, next to the toilet (to read while I was sitting in my sitz baths), and next to my nursing chair. The idea was that I would read it once or twice a day and feel inspire, remember something important to me, or just get some perspective on my whole situation and be reminded that it was all temporary and all would be OK!
Looking back on this manifesto, I think I could have definitely shorten it, and there are a couple lines that I wouldn’t necessarily use again, but that is what worked for me at the time (almost 2 years ago). Here are a few of the highlights of my manifesto:
Appreciate your baby and enjoy this moment.
You are a strong, beautiful, and amazing woman and mother.
You are exactly where you need to be right now.
This is the hardest part…It will get easier.
Sleep is #1, nothing else matters right now.
Be gentle with yourself… Let it be.
Here is the entire postpartum Manifesto (it is a pretty long read 😉 ):
Are you pregnant or postpartum and feel like your own manifesto or reminders could help you? What would you tell your best friend going through what you are going through?