Mrika Harrigan
Area Partner MCAS Cherry Point/Camp Lejeune, NC

As your pregnancy progresses further into the third trimester, are you finding yourself thinking about the upcoming weeks? Maybe you’ve found yourself beginning the infamous “nesting stage” where you are arranging and rearranging your baby’s nursery and endlessly re-organizing. Or perhaps you are feeling like you have a whole list of things you “should” be doing but you do not quite know where to start. You are not alone! 

Amidst the busyness of life, creating registries, planning for a baby, learning about the birthing process and breast/chestfeeding, it can feel a little overwhelming. That’s why we have come up with some tips to help ease you through this transition. As always, everyone’s circumstance is different but these tips are a place to start as you come up with a plan that works for your specific needs and those of your family.

At this point, you may have considered your birth plan and talked it through with your partner, OBGYN, midwife, and the ever beneficial labor doula, but have you also thought about your postpartum plan?  Many of us find ourselves with a very detailed birth plan that we have carefully curated, but we have not given much thought to our postpartum plan, especially as first-time parents. Having a postpartum plan can be very helpful as you navigate the first few days and weeks after the baby is born.

Here are some questions that might be helpful as you consider your own postpartum plan:  

  • Who will be your support system when you return home from the hospital? 
  • Will you need to utilize friends? 
  • Do you have family close by or will they be able to travel to help? 
  • Have you considered the need to use your medical and professional care support system such as mental health therapists, your child’s pediatrician, your own OB or PCM, an IBCLC or lactation professional, or a postpartum doula or similar postpartum support provider? 
  • Will you have help with childcare for older children? 
  • Will one of your support networks be able to help with household tasks such as laundry, meal prep, and caring for animals?

These questions are just a few to consider as you create your postpartum birth plan. They are there to help make the transition back home easier, reduce stress and provide support for you and your family. For many of us, being far from relatives, can require us to go out of our comfort zone and ask for help from our military family. While this can be uncomfortable, remember that many of us in the military community have been through those early postpartum days without our support system, and we are here to help one another through these transitional times. New parent support groups at your local installation can also be a great resource for parents. They offer classes and have great resources that can provide support in various ways. Military Mommies Area Partners are here to support you along your pregnancy and postpartum journey as well! Our program was created to help support fellow Tricare beneficiaries understand their Tricare benefits regarding breast pump and accessories coverage, as well as to help determine which pump might fit your unique needs. As you plan your registry, if you find yourself with any questions about pumps,Tricare coverage, or are just looking for local lactation/postpartum resources, please reach out to us. We are here to support you along your pregnancy and postpartum journey!

You can contact Mrika at mharrigan@militarymommies.com