When it comes to preparing for a new baby, the most important things to consider are not actually things. They are the people that support you and make your journey healthier, more manageable, and significantly more enjoyable. As a society, we are accustomed to spending so many of our resources stocking the nursery with everything we think our babies will need. Yet we fall short of providing our babies, ourselves, and our families, with the critical support that we actually need.
Perhaps it requires a shift from the way many of us have been lead into preparing for a new baby, and instead taking a minimal approach to stocking the nursery. If you can put your greatest resources toward the people that will become your support system, you will be far better off than you could ever imagine. Invest in the people who will guide you, and make you feel safe, nourished, and encouraged—so that you can find the most whole version of yourself, during your journey through new motherhood.
Give yourself permission to unapologetically invest in your support system. Support and self-care are not luxuries—they are essential for your well-being. Set yourself up to thrive by preparing in ways that will make the biggest difference in one of the most important times of your life.
WHAT TO INVEST IN DURING PREGNANCY
Someone to hold your hand through all stages of pregnancy, and provide resources and referrals as you need them. A doula
Someone to help you plan for birth. A doula or a birth coach
Someone to keep your body in balance and to help relieve your physical discomforts. An acupuncturist
Someone to give you a massage. A prenatal masseuse
Someone to help you build your physical strength in preparation for birth. A prenatal yoga or pilates instructor
Someone to help you manage your mental health during pregnancy. A maternal mental health therapist
Someone to coach you through labor and advocate for you in the hospital—or wherever you give birth. A doula
WHAT TO INVEST IN DURING THE POSTPARTUM YEAR
Someone to look after your baby overnight so you can sleep. A doula, a certified newborn care specialist, or an infant care specialist
Someone to look after you, mothering you, and providing remedies while you heal. A doula, a certified newborn care specialist, or an infant care specialist
Someone to give you peace of mind that your baby is healthy and everything looks ok. A doula, a certified newborn care specialist, or an infant care specialist
Someone to teach you about breastfeeding and maintaining a healthy milk supply. A lactation consultant
Someone to cook for you and your family. A chef or pre-arranged meal delivery service
Someone to clean your house, and do your laundry. A housekeeper or maid service
Someone to wash your baby bottles and pump supplies. A doula, a certified newborn care specialist, or an infant care specialist
Someone to keep your mental health in check. A maternal mental health or postpartum therapist
Someone to help restore your body’s balance and improve your healing. An acupuncturist
Someone to facilitate pelvic health, strengthening, and rehabilitation. A pelvic health physical therapist
Someone to help you rebuild your strength of body and mind after birth. A yoga & meditation instructor
Someone to watch your baby so you can take a walk, grab coffee with a friend or have a date night. A nanny or babysitter
Someone to help you navigate the many phases of your baby’s first year. A nanny
Someone to help you understand baby’s sleep rhythms. A sleep consultant
Someone to feed, walk, and care for pets in the home. A dog walker or pet care specialist
Be sure to browse our articles for more information on these support services that can make the biggest difference in your motherhood journey.
What were your best investments during pregnancy and postpartum? Are there support givers that you’d like to recommend to our community? Please share in the comments below.