• samara ferguson

Preparing for the Postpartum Period During COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Apr 3

Hello Pregnant and Postpartum people! So grateful to have you here and I hope in some way, this will send some calm to the nerves and warmth to the heart knowing we are all thinking of you and the ways in which we can support you.

We are in such a strange time as people, not just pregnant people, but on a global level. Even though we are experiencing things globally, this can be a bigger and stranger (or even scarier time) if we are pregnant or home with a newborn. With so much media coming in and the news ever-changing as things change in the world. We are trying to stay up-to-date and in the know, but sometimes all of that knowledge can be A LOT and in turn overwhelm us and create a busy mind. When we are in a state of "busy mind" we tend to over analyze, so my suggestion is to go week by week since things are changing as new protocols are put in place for safety.  Follow your care providers suggestions or directions as your care provider will continue to update you as things update for them and know they are doing everything in their power to give you the safest birth and postpartum experience.  I ask you, in the next few weeks or months, pre-and postpartum, to take some time to work on the self care.  Self-care is of the utmost right now, it literally is that importance of caring for ourselves. It doesn’t just mean getting massages, drinking green juices, taking a bubble bath or getting more sleep.  It’s really an attitude that says when I’m at my best I’m more apt to show up in a more powerful way. I can meet whatever changes are coming my way with a calmer outlook. I'm taken care of.

It seems so obvious, but self-care is something that shifts dramatically as we become parents (not just during a pandemic) and even more so when we are parenting or crossing the threshold into parenthood in a time of a pandemic.  So much conflicting information is coming our way when we’re already in a vulnerable state. So this the question you can ask yourself - How can I set myself up during pregnancy and postpartum to feel safe and in control when things feel out of control? I want to use a technique with you that we use in labour called the B R A I N  D technique. This is something that we use to bring the birthing person from sympathetic response back to the parasympathetic response, from a state of fight or flight to a place of rest and digest. B - Benefits - so something has changed in my birth or postpartum plan.  What are the benefits here? Why is this changing for me? Are the benefits that I will be safer, my baby will be safer? My care provider ? Or my family? R - Risks - what are the risks to the benefits?  What happens if we go forward as planned?  This isn’t to bring you to a negative place, but to work through all of the knowing.  Or is there less risk than was assumed? A - Alternatives - what are the alternatives to this new plan or procedure? Is there a different option that we can try first if this plan/procedure/protocol isn’t something that I want to try or even want?  What are my other options? I - Intuition - what is my intuition telling me?  From my gut or my soul fire/ solar plexus.  What am I feeling with this decision or this new information? N - Nothing - what if we do nothing right now?  Is this new information affecting me right now? Do I need to rush through a decision?  If my due date isn’t for weeks to come and we are looking at things one week at a time and things are changing all of the time, does this new information affect me now?  Is this an emergency or can I let me body or mind slow down and just wait? D - Discuss and Decide - once you have worked through these questions - Discuss them with your care provider, your partner, your doula or a friend and move from there. Unless you are in an immediate emergency, you have time to think each thing through. 

We cannot stress ourselves to a solution.  “Recharge, Renew and then Respond” This is a great time to look at your”rings of support”. Who will be with you when baby arrives, who will be able to assist you so that you’re able to eat, take a shower, nourish yourself. Who could virtually entertain any siblings? What resources can I put in place now so I'm not scrambling when I really need it. When we feel out of control or not in control of what our needs are - how can we take back control?  If I can’t have:_____ what can I have instead?  How can I shift the balance to what I can control (in a healthy way). What nourishes me? What nourishes my partner? How will we find time to take care of ourselves when it just us and the baby? What kind of schedule can we work out so that we are all being well cared for? The beginning of the day is the best time of day to get your mind in good shape.  Do what you need to do to get your mind healthy, don’t pick up the phone, don’t turn on the news.  Tend to yourself like your life depends on it, because it does.  Go to your online community, FaceTime or call anyone you need to.  Have your partner bring you nourishing foods and make sure your water bottles are full - not only where you feed your baby in the day but also in the night. This is the perfect time to stock the pantry with healthy, nourishing foods and create meal ideas and go-to grocery lists that you can have on hand for someone else to do the shop. If things shift and someone in your household becomes sick, your care provider will provide you with best strategies for keeping you and baby safe.  Know you will be in good hands. Ask all the questions you need. Create your cozy nest, the one in the daytime and the one in the nigh time. Make your bed your sanctuary, how do you want that to look and feel.  Let this be your place of refuge, where you feel safe. Ask yourself these questions;  what do I need to recharge, renew and respond?  What is my body telling me I need? Know that everyone is here to support you as you grow and nurture your baby.

We need to tend to the soil and grow from there. Here is a quick recap after we've tended to the soil:

-What can we do to remain in the present and set ourselves up to feel safe?

-What can we do around the house to prepare for baby's safe arrival and cozy settling in?

-Meal planning/easy shopping lists for someone else to gather for us.

-Create our rings of virtual support

-Find reliable resources and community building

-Check in with your Care Provider once a week on any changes to protocol regarding COVID-19

-Put your phones/media away an hour before bedtime and wake to a quiet tea or good book.

-Communicate with your partner, friends or family about any concerns your having, release them from the body.

-Find out who your support people will be virtually or social distance wise.

-What resets your nervous system when you are feeling overhwhelmed?

-How will I safely go outside for walks and fresh air with baby?

If you're in the Cowichan Valley, join the "Here We Grow Cowichan" Facebook group where we do weekly check-ins and provide resources and support for every trimester from the 1st to the 4th! Hosted by Kaya Edwards, Cowichan Doula - Full Sprectrum Doula as well as ChildBirth Educator and Car Seat Technician and Meg Fulton of Rosewater Reproductive Wellness- Holistic Reproductive Practitioner and Full Spectrum Doula as well as myself!

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