5 ways to ask for help in the fourth trimester | Salisbury MD Birth Doula
There’s not much people are willing to agree on these days but I think one thing we can agree on is that us grown ups hate asking for help. Especially during the times we really need it.
When I was pregnant with my second I had HG (a subject for a different post) and I was beyond exhausted, couldn’t eat anything and could barely drink anything without it coming back up. All the while caring for my 2 year old.
If you have had the pleasure of meeting Myla, you know she’s my little wild child and I always joke it’s because she was raised by curious George for the whole time I was pregnant with micah. ( I think we know each episode by heart) But more than that my family really came through for me. Without me even really asking for help. I don’t know what I would have done without them!
I willingly admit I was spoiled by my family and I recognize not everyone has family that is able to help them so I wanted to share some idea that might be helpful to you or if you know someone that is or nearing their postpartum journey!
1) Register for a cleaning service!
Not having to worry about the house being a mess is such a huge burden lifted off of our shoulders as new parents. And then you can spend that time bonding with your new baby and HEALING!
2) Have friends bring freezer meals instead of cards or presents to your shower.
Meal trains are amazing ( and a bonus tip, set them up for every other day instead of daily!) but they tend to only last a week of two and then you’re left to your own. The postpartum lasts so much longer than 2 weeks and you never know when you might not have the energy to make a nutritious meal. How much better would it be to know your freezer is stocked with meals instead of calling the local pizza place! (But no shame in the pizza game either)
3) Postpartum doulas!
Both Thrive and Shore Grace offer postpartum doula services. This can look very different depending on the family. And is another thing you can put on your registry to have people contribute towards!
4) Take advantage of when people ask if you need anything or stop by!
Its pretty common for people to say “congratulations let me know if you need anything” or something similar when people announce their baby has made their debut. I know how easy it is to say they don’t mean it or it’s just too overwhelming to come up with a simple task they could do. Heres a tip- have a message saved in your notes that you can copy and paste and send to people when they say this. You can tweak to it the person or situation and list a few things that could be really helpful. Heres an example:
Hey Aunt Linda! Thank you so much for your kind words and offering to help! Here’s a list of things I’ve decided I could use some help with if you don’t mind helping out with one! Folding laundry, picking up grocery order from Walmart pick up, dropping this package off at the ups store, vacuuming the carpets, or we are always open to meals! Thank you again, it means so much to have your support!
Even typing this out I felt the discomfort of asking for help BUT if so offers to help, take advantage of it! Most people are more than willing to help if they knew what you needed! And if it feels really icky still think about ordering some kind of small gift or treat to give in return for their time!
5) Talk to a perinatal mental health professional.
So this one is taking a bit of a different direction but I felt it was super important to address. The hormone shifts we experience during pregnancy and postpartum can cause minor to very serious imbalances. Postpartum depression and anxiety are so much more common than people want to talk about. While it’s true that during the first 2 weeks postpartum it’s common to feel a bit down or out of sorts, something referred to as ”the baby blues” If it is disrupting your life or lasting longer than that two week period, it might be a great idea to get some help. This is also a time that can strain relationships so talking to a professional to get some help and make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible is always a great idea!
Bonus tip! This isn’t so much a way to ask for help as a possible way to help yourself. Have you heard of placental encapsulation? Basically your placenta is dehydrated, made into a powder and put into capsules for you to take during your postpartum period. There hasn’t been a ton of research on it but the thought behind it is that the placenta is full of all the yummy hormones your body just lost. After your baby is born you experience huge shift in hormones and that’s what makes those baby blues or PPD/A happen. So the placenta pills is a great way to bridge that drop in hormone levels. Some women find that they can’t take them because they make them jittering or anxious. But they are good to have on hand if you need them! This is another service that Thrive offers!