Hi everyone! I'm a super newbie poster, but I've stalked these forums for months. :) I'm due to have my first baby at home somewhere around July 1st. My question for you experienced mommas is, what are some practical things I can do to ensure I properly rest and heal during the postpartum period if I will not have adequate support?
My husband recently started a new job and has NO paid leave, not even sick leave, available for the first 12 months. We live on one income mostly, and can't afford for him to take more than a day or two off for the birth. I have friends and family available to help here and there, but they all work or have their own families and would not be available so much during the daytime when my husband is at work. Up until now, my husband and I have had a very traditional division of labor, with me taking care of 90% of the household responsibilities, cooking, cleaning, etc. It has just worked out that way, and worked for us. Unfortunately, I now have little confidence that even if he were able to take off work, he'd be able to keep things running smoothly on his own while I recover. And with him working 50+ hours a week (and likely losing a lot of sleep at night), it seems near impossible.
I would love to have a post-partum doula, but it just cannot happen financially, unless we run in to unexpected money between now and then. We have way too many other expenses that we're barely covering. We'd have to go into debt, and that's not an option.
At my last childbirth prep class, the instructor made a really big deal about mothers not overdoing it after delivery, which she says drastically increases recovery time. Her rule of thumb is "1 week in bed, 1 week around bed, 1 week around the house." She says for the first week, the mother should not even be making her own meals, and only getting out of bed to use the bathroom.
There's a chance my family/friends might bring us meals afterward, but no one has offered anything yet. I'm thinking maybe I could make and freeze a bunch of meals myself beforehand, and create a menu/schedule for my husband to follow. And maybe I could put a microwave and cooler next to the bed? I'm not sure if this is realistic...
Any tips or ideas? What can I do now and plan now to make recovery go more smoothly?
Thanks for your help!