Postpartum is not maternity leave! Postpartum is a vulnerable two years after baby is born. Most women plan their gender reveal parties and baby showers more than they do their postpartum time.
In this episode, Carolina passionately dives into what most people miss when planning their postpartum.
What you’ll learn:
2:00 The postpartum mistakes
2:20 Things that you should do to prepare for postpartum
2:35 What is a postpartum doula and how they can help you
5:30 How to find the perfect doula for your needs
8:48 Why you should give yourself enough space to unfold in this new experience
11:58 A reminder that you don’t need too much stuff for the baby
14:48 Why it’s important to have a relationship with a therapist
16:55 Be emotionally safe in your relationships
If you are expecting then this episode is a must-listen!
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The Carolina Sotomayor Podcast is brought to you by Carolina Sotomayor and the Fertility Foundation.
Carolina Sotomayor is an Expert Womb Healer who helps women conceive by removing physiological blockages with Reiki. She is the host of the Carolina Sotomayor Podcast, a show that covers everything from fertility to postpartum to motherhood, and the creator of Fertility Foundation Collective, an online membership that helps women heal at their own pace to boost their fertility.
Carolina has served over 500 women from around the world to heal. She is passionate about helping women create their families. As a result, there are over 60 reiki babies in the world.
Fertility Foundation Collective: https://carolinasotomayor.com/membership
Carolina Sotomayor Reiki: https://carolinasotomayor.com/
Full episode transcript:
Hi, I’m Carolina, your Ricky Master and Womb healer and podcast host. Thank you so much for being here. Before we get started, don’t forget to go ahead and leave a rating and review. It helps us get further on those charts and we’re so excited. Last month we ranked number 249 on the Apple Podcast virtual reality category.
I know that may not seem like much, but my only goal was to provide quality episodes every week. I don’t eventually. With a number next to my name. So my goals are already coming true. So today we’re talking about something I know I feel like I’m an expert in, but I think you’re definitely gonna find very insightful, and I’m definitely not an expert, but what most people get wrong about postpartum.
I know , you’re like, what? What do you mean people get something wrong with their postpartum? So as mothers, we spend so much time talking about conceiving, and then we’re getting pregnant. And we’re surviving morning sickness. And then you’re planning your baby showers, your 20 week appointment, all the milestones in pregnancy and surviving the third postpartum, uh, third trimester exhaustion, and you go straight into birth.
But postpartum is so commonly overlooked. This is a, the fourth trimester is a commonly as told, and we don’t plan appropriately for this very delicate, vulnerable. And that’s the mistake that people get wrong with postpartum. They don’t plan enough or plan appropriately for postpartum. And we’re gonna dive into what some things you should do to prepare for postpartum.
The first thing you should do is understand that you’re gonna need support, and that support’s gonna be a little bit different. I recommend hiring a postpartum Do. Postpartum doula is a person. They range between 25 to $75 an hour in some areas, sometimes more, and you can buy packages. There are some.
Doulas or doula agencies that will value to have as part of your baby shower. You can have your guests or family members by hours. And a postpartum doula really is an expert too in postpartum, knowing they’ve studied in their certification. What days are your hormones gonna peak? What are some signs of more than postpartum blues or baby?
What are some things your husband can be doing or your partner can be doing to support you on those really hard days? Our postpartum doula, we had one was amazing and she was really helping my husband. Anticipate. All right. Tomorrow is gonna be a peak of something or her swollen feet should go down by now it’s time to call a doctor.
They are not medical professionals, but they are definitely guides. It’s really important to understand that they are not medical professionals, but they have studied postpartum disorders and they can. Be on the look at when they’re like caring for you. Ah, that’s, that’s not right. We should probably call someone, or we should get in touch with your doctor, or they’re also in newborn care.
They’re helping you take care of the new baby and doing lighthouse work, doing chores, maybe doing some light meal prep or heating up a food. They’re helping move things along in your home so that you can rest. Usually postpartum doulas come in either in the daytime or in the nighttime. They take care of baby.
They make sure maybe if you’re breast pumping or if you’re feeding, they bring you baby and then take baby back so you can rest. Usually they’re stepping in to allow you to have some ease, and especially as your first time mom, they are the most up to date. I don’t care if your mom. Is the best in the world, but the probably the last time your mom had a baby was 30 years ago, two decades ago.
So postpartum doulas are the most up to date in what is modern and current practice in newborn care. They’re also gonna be, Like valuable resources in knowing what parenting styles are available, what is maybe helping you with lactation? So do you need a nipple shield? Do you need to see an I B C L C, which is an international board certified lactation consultant, which is the most specialized kind of lactation consultant you can have.
Does baby need weighted feedings like they might be able to foresee things that you may have no idea. That should be a concern because again, they’re like walking psychoed of this time period in your life, and they have gone through a very rigorous certification to have that. So enough about that postpartum doulas.
Interview at least three. Go with one that you think is gonna be amazing and with your gut. They are not just to take care of baby, they are also to make sure your house is running, cleaning, pumping parts. Some of ’em do double duty, meaning they’re lactation consultant and postpartum doula. And let me tell you, that is priceless because if they’re doing like an overnight shift and you’re having trouble pumping, I don’t care what anyone says, I took the breast pumping class.
and like actually doing it. , when your milks come in is so different, or trying to get your milk to come in is so different than it is when you’re still pregnant and babies inside of you. I think it’s so important. I wish every mom could afford and be given a postpartum doula. Just having someone that’s serving you just to make sure you’re well.
Is such a game changer cuz I didn’t have any family around. The next thing is you don’t meal prep. I see that common, like what are we doing to make sure that you have enough food in your freezer. Also, the food that we put in the freezer needs to make sure it’s like no tomatoes, no heavy garlic. If you’re lactose intolerant, we need to carry that.
We wanna be mindful of what we’re meal prepping because if you are gonna be breastfeeding, I believe fed is best. Always fed is best, but if you are breastfeeding, we don’t know what potentially could upset baby’s stomach. Things that you think are inflammatory foods, think that that could potentially make baby gassy like beans.
Tomatoes are like the two things, overly garlic things. If you’re, I’m lactose intolerant, so my mom actually came in and she made everything non-dairy for me and no pasta dishes. Also, you don’t necessarily, if you don’t have, like we live in an apartment when we had Allie, so we didn’t. A super big freezer, but we had at least a few weeks and we also were able to do a meal train.
So we had some friends bring food or give gift cards. So if you have a dear friend or if you have a best friend or your mom can do this for you, I think it’s still up. I mean, I used to do this when I was involved in our. I used to be in charge of the meal train for people who may were elderly or sick or hospitalized in our church.
And you can start a meal train and everyone can take a spot or they can gift you. Or now you know, this is way back when I had OIE in 2016. We had something that’s incredible is DoorDash. You have Instacarts, so like you can. Instacart groceries as a gift to someone now and for us is like you can get ready go meals from Costco.
Those are fantastic ideas and ways to, so maybe you don’t have a whole lot of family, but if you’re don’t have a lot of freezer space, understand that they’re ready to go meals in a lot more places than it used to be. So make sure that you are seeking those. An Instacart subscription is like a hundred dollars a year and allows you to get things delivered to you.
And honestly, it saves so much time. The next thing is you don’t give yourself enough space to unfold in this new experience. You’re like, what? What does that mean? It means that you push this watermelon out of your hoo-ha and. You’re never gonna be the same based upon that birth experience. Whether it was really empowering and my truest hope is that it was, and now you’ll be forever changed.
You are now responsible for this tiny human, and sometimes that is like a full like moment, understanding it’s not just you now. Like that was a freak out moment I think for my husband and myself. Oh my God. Like if I f this up, like I, it’s not just me anymore. And like the full realization when you’re holding this tiny human.
I remember we were in the baby’s room and I was sitting in the recliner and I was staring at him as he slept. He was in my arms and I thought, holy shit, I made this human. It’s freaking cute. How am I going to support him for the rest of my life? I felt like I had gotten lucky my entire life on all the things that did go right.
How the hell am I gonna figure this out? So understanding that you really don’t know how you’re gonna expand, and that’s the best way to explain it, is you’re gonna expand, you’re going to change, and you’re not gonna go back to the formal version of yourself before you’re pregnant. You are going to change in some ways.
And it could be for the better. Most of the time it is because you’re serving this new human, but understanding you need to give yourself space and grace during this time so that you can let it unfold because you don’t know how you’re gonna change. And a lot of that comes with time. With the help of my postpartum doula, I realized like I became hyper organized, but I realized that was a result of the hormones because I was coming off this traumatic experience with my birth.
I was looking for things to control to help me cope, and I wasn’t really aware of that. So I was like being very, like would tie myself. I would carry the baby. I was doing everything one-handed. I really wasn’t supposed to move that much because of my C-section. And. Understand also then after that I became very dormant and I didn’t really move that much and I had to give myself space to process everything that happened and how it changed.
I also became very patient before I used to be called Hurricane Rina, and I became very still. And very patient and almost like observant of everything. And then I moved past that and I started to become more like a full functioning human being part of the postpartum. You’re gonna go through a lot. Just give yourself time to expand contract or just unfold the way it’s going to, and if you need help, make sure you seek it.
The last part is you don’t need all the stuff. You don’t need all the baby swings, you don’t need all of the things. I do think actually a swing is helpful, but I don’t think that you need all of, like, everything that’s in. Bye bye baby. I think babies need very little and if you feel like you haven’t bought enough, we bought so much stuff and like he outgrew half the clothes.
We end up using one pacifier. And honestly, it wasn’t even the pacifier like that I thought he would like. He’s gonna have his own preferences. The baby’s gonna want their own stuff like, You may think one bottle’s really great, but they may not like that nipple of the bottle. Maybe they only, like, I remember what all he went on strike one time and he would only drink at the breast, like he would starve himself and I would have to go to the daycare and he would only drink from boob.
So you really just need to evaluate what you need and if there’s like this fomo, like fear of missing out. Honestly, there’s gonna be a new gadget next week. You really don’t need everything. And I would spend more money on things that are gonna make you feel good, like new pajamas, that button down clothes are important and postpartum.
I think anything that’s gonna create like easy access if you’re breastfeeding is great. I think if you’re going to. If I really had to give recommendations for clothes for postpartum, I would get a really great robe, not something that’s too bulky. Um, I would get your favorite pair of sweatpants, and especially if you’re like in cold weather, get great pair of socks and if you have maternity leave, and I hope that you do, I would really go ahead and understand.
I would just wear the rope, no shirt, and then I would just pop out my boob and feed the baby when you need to. I also would recommend like creating a breastfeeding station if you’re really new to breastfeeding and have everything there. Really master breastfeeding, cuz that’s a skill for you that you’re gonna have to learn.
Newborn babies have to learn breastfeeding too, and some of them have to learn how to suck correctly or how to get the nipple fully in their mouth. And I think having one station or one area where you’re going to breastfeed consistently for a while and learning the different breastfeeding. Makes it easier and then go from there.
I think with postpartum it’s an important to know that you don’t know how your birth’s gonna go and you don’t know how baby is gonna be after they come out. But having some prep and support ahead of time with the food makes one less thing you have to worry about and you don’t know how you are going to be in postpartum.
And I recommend the last recommendation. Make sure you have a standing relationship, an established relationship with a therapist. If you are prone to depression or anxiety now, and you are not pregnant, it is possible you can develop, you’re more likely statistically to have what’s called prenatal anxiety, which is anxiety while you’re pregnant.
And then much more likely to have what we call postpartum anxiety or postpartum depression, which are both known as P P A and P P D. It is much easier to feel safe and much easier to move through those things that are already hard. if you have an established relationship with a therapist. So if you are pregnant and you’re listening to this, make it unwanted.
Your to-do things during your pregnancy is to go see a therapist. You can go see a therapist. Even if you are emotionally well. You don’t need to go to a therapist only when things are bad. and I don’t think people know that it’s important to have an established relationship. I also think that it’s important to talk to your OB about any anxieties you may be having while you’re pregnant.
It’s also very, very important to understand that talk therapy is very helpful. But done in addition with other things can be even more helpful, can be very transformational and very impactful, much quicker than you would think. Things that I love for postpartum recovery are acupuncture, reiki, along with talk therapy.
I also really love trauma massage. Trauma massage is much different than a regular massage. It. Purposeful to remove the trauma that’s stuck in your tissues. If you’re doing talk therapy, you’re doing reiki or acupuncture and get a trauma massage, you’re gonna be golden. It’s also important to make sure that you are feeling emotionally safe in your relationships.
Emotional safety is gonna be very, very important for you to. Share how you’re feeling and sometimes how we feel in postpartum is not necessarily rational. You can have irrational fears in postpartum and they need to be talked about. I had a client who was afraid that a plane was going to drop out of the sky and hit her car directly.
My irrational fear in postpartum was I was gonna drop Ali in the church when we were gonna get him baptized. In that he would end up like Edward Collins in one of the scenes from Twilight, you know, one of the fighting scenes. So, and you know, it was super terrifying. It was super hard to like wrap my head around and, but I saw my midwife, I saw a therapist, and I saw my reiki practitioner, reiki master during my postpartum all.
I was being monitored and I had a postpartum doula and luckily we had stayed up enough money. We also had a mommy helper, cuz literally I had a very tough postpartum. So I know I was very privileged and very blessed. I also lived far away from my own family and lot of my relationships changed. After I had Ollie, I changed after I had my son.
So again, that goes back to giving yourself space. To expand. I no longer cared about the same things I used to before and the things that I was scared of or insecure about before I gave no shit about. There was a lot of used to work at a plant and there was a lot of mean high girl girl bullshit. That would happen.
A lot of girl bullying. It was awful. And then when I went back I was just like, I give no shits. I have a little boy. I’m married, I’m driving an hour each way. So literally, I used to be super insecure whether people liked me or not. And then I just came back after four months home with my little one and I was like, I’m here to work.
And I lasted two months maybe before I quit and went on to a better job. So, and no one would’ve ever thought I would’ve left that job cuz I was. A top performer, so give yourself time to expand after you give birth to baby, and make sure you can reach out for support if you cannot afford a doula. There are some agencies or nonprofits in your area that might provide you grants to pay for one, so look for agencies or nonprofits in your areas to see if you’re eligible.
Sometimes also, depending on the provider of the postpartum doula, they might have a sliding scale. For services, it varies from state to state. We’re in the Midwest, and also the level of experience. A number of certification a persons has might also determine higher rate for them. I always recommend interviewing three and read the contracts they all have contracts, and make sure that you understand how many hours you’re getting and how long that you’re holding their services for.
If you have questions about postpartum, I would love to hear from you. I would love to know what you thought of this. And you can always reach me on Instagram. Send me a voice note. I wanna know you.
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