Setting Yourself Up for Success in the Fourth Trimester

Today on the Pulling Curls Podcast, Hilary talks about the importance of creating a postpartum plan. She discusses key considerations such as what to watch for, who can help you, and how they can assist you. Stay tuned for some helpful insights.

Find it here on Apple or Spotify Podcasts

Big thanks to our sponsor my new class Postpartum Made Easy: It’s about You Too — SO much good postpartum advice to help keep you safe!


00:00 Encouragement for postpartum plan and monitoring signs.
04:04 Leverage support for better postpartum sleep and nutrition.
06:26 Postpartum care, pelvic therapy, and labor insights.


  1. The importance of having a postpartum plan
  2. Identification of three key components of a postpartum plan
  3. Reviewing signs to watch for after birth
  4. The significance of having a support system after giving birth
  5. Understanding how to utilize help effectively
  6. The importance of getting continuous sleep and utilizing support for it
  7. The need for open communication with family members about postpartum needs
  8. Nurturing oneself postpartum and taking time to heal
  9. Encouragement to prepare for life after the baby is born
  10. A preview of the upcoming podcast topics on postpartum care and labor nurse responsibilities.

Producer: Drew Erickson

[00:00:00.200] – Hilary Erickson

Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today, we are talking about your postpartum plan. I think it is so important, so let’s untangle it.

[00:00:10.190] – Hilary Erickson

Hi, I’m Hilary, a serial overcomplicator. I’m also a nurse, mom to three, and the curly head behind Pulling Curls and the pregnancy nurse. This podcast aims to help us stop over complicating things and remember how much easier it is to keep things simple. Let’s smooth out those snarles with pregnancy and parenting untangled, the Pulling Curls Podcast.

[00:00:37.100] – Hilary Erickson

Today’s episode is sponsored by my postpartum checklist. You are going to want to make sure to grab that. It gives you all the things that you’re going to need for your body after baby is born because it is so easy to forget those things when you’re planning for all the needs of a baby, so go grab it.

[00:00:52.070] – Hilary Erickson

People spend so much time thinking about their labor plan, right? But did you know that your postpartum plan is way longer lasting. You have more control over it. There’s more planning that you can do. It is so helpful.

[00:01:05.420] – Hilary Erickson

I want to encourage all of you guys to make a postpartum plan. I’m going to give you three things that you guys can think about to put on there because I think it is so important.

[00:01:14.650] – Hilary Erickson

These are things that we actually talk a lot about in the online prenatal class for couples where we dive into things that you and your partner should be thinking about before baby is born, including where is baby going to sleep? Because a lot of times mom has an idea of where baby is going to sleep and dad has a completely different idea and they are not on the same page at all. Even simple things like that can be really important to review before baby comes.

[00:01:36.040] – Hilary Erickson

One of the most important things is to review what to watch for. I actually have a whole postpartum class that reviews the trouble signs of what to watch for after baby is out. Because if you are in the United States, you know that postpartum mortality is rising and I want to stop that.

[00:01:51.650] – Hilary Erickson

There are some specific things that you and your partner can watch out for to help protect you and stay safe after baby is born. Things like fever, blood clots larger than a golf ball, feelings about hurting yourself or others, all these different things you’re going to want to go through. I will put that in the show notes where you guys can check it out.

[00:02:09.150] – Hilary Erickson

The second thing you’re going to want on your postpartum plan is who can help you. Hopefully you have a partner that can help you. You guys need to review how long they’re going to be able to be home, honestly, how long you’re going to be able to be home from work and things like that, and who can come help you? His mom, can they come help you? Your mom, people from church, people from your community. Who can come over and help you?

[00:02:28.640] – Hilary Erickson

I actually just went the other day and helped my friend clean after a baby because that is actually easier for me where I’m at in my life than making dinner for somebody, and she really appreciated it. Thinking about who can come help you and what you could use from those people, this isn’t to say that people will always come and help clean your house, but these are just things you can have an idea of, Yeah, that would be really great. I was actually really glad that my friend let me come over and clean her house because she had lots of kids and I just think it was a great way to help.

[00:02:56.770] – Hilary Erickson

I think it would be really easy to have Pride get in the way and be like, No, I don’t want somebody to come clean my house, but I’m so glad that she let me come. I felt really good going over to help her out. Who can come help you? If you don’t get along well with your mother-in-law, she may not be a great option to have come in the first few weeks because that might hurt your mental health to a certain point.

[00:03:14.490] – Hilary Erickson

I wish I had had a talk with my mom about what I would have found helpful for her because it wasn’t exceedingly helpful what she did do or how much she was able to do. I think if we had had a little bit more open communication line about what would be helpful, I think might have been better for both of us.

[00:03:31.750] – Hilary Erickson

I will say that my mom was so helpful on babies two and three because I had another kid and she was really great with the other kids. That was super helpful. Our needs changed. On the first one, I needed her to come help me do a baby bath and things like that. On the second one, I didn’t need that, but I needed somebody to reassure my other kids that life wasn’t falling apart, even though it really was falling apart, and it seemed like it was falling apart probably to them.

[00:03:55.140] – Hilary Erickson

Then the last thing is how can that help you? I think a lot of times we’re like, How are they going to come help us with the baby? Often it’s just like, Yeah, I’ll come hold the baby for you. I’ll tell you the baby’s cute, or I’ll bring you a present.

[00:04:07.810] – Hilary Erickson

But how is that going to help you? One of the most important things that you can do postpartum is try to get four hours of continuous sleep in a few times a week in the first month of life. That probably isn’t going to happen in the first couple weeks of life, but hopefully after that, after your milk supplies come in and things are going a little bit better, you can somehow try and get four hours of sleep in. That means using your partner, it might mean using your mom. Maybe your mom can put the baby to sleep after you feed or something like that. How are you going to use those people to actually help you. Making dinner, things like that?

[00:04:42.200] – Hilary Erickson

Having people bring in fruits and vegetables, that can help you. Because a lot of times you’re just like, I’m just going to eat Oreos all day because they’re there. Whereas if it had been cut up cantalope, I probably would have eaten that just as easily as I ate Oreos. I just needed something that I could grab and put in my mouth because I wasn’t sitting down to eat full meals like I normally was.

[00:05:01.540] – Hilary Erickson

So how can you use the people who will be around you and available to help to help mom? Not always so much to help baby, if that makes sense.

What people love about the Online Prenatal Class for Couples
[00:05:10.460] – Hilary Erickson

Honestly, just having somebody who calls and checks in on you and reminds you to take it easy, that you don’t need to be going to Costco, that other people would be happy to bring something in. You can just Venmo them for the milk that they brought you. I have so many friends that are like, Oh, I needed to run to the store. I’m like, No, you didn’t. I would have brought that to you. Stay in and stay safe.

[00:05:29.440] – Hilary Erickson

I do love the idea that you take a few days in bed once you get home and then you have few days around the bed and then a few days where you return to the bed very frequently. Some people do that. They call it the 555. They’re in the bed for five days, they’re around the bed for five days, and then they’re close by the bed for five days. Because I think in the United States, one of our biggest problems is that we overdo it.

[00:05:51.450] – Hilary Erickson

We think, Well, I’m just back to normal. I’ve just had a baby. I’ve got to return to regular life. Because a lot of us maybe have to go to work within six weeks or something like that. That is not the case. Take those six weeks to heal. You don’t need to be back to normal by two weeks because you do at least have a little bit more time. So be kinder to yourselves.

[00:06:07.730] – Hilary Erickson

Talk with your partner about who can help you, how they’re going to help, and how you could maybe get those four hours of sleep in. Those are my best tips. I hope you guys are going to make a postpartum plan and come join me in the online prenatal class for couples where we go over lots of things like this that can really help you get prepared for life after baby. Because life after baby lasts a really long time and labor, maybe max two, maybe three days of your life and parenting lasts a lot longer than that. So getting off on a good start on your postpartum life is a great thing.

[00:06:37.570] – Hilary Erickson

Stay tuned. We’ve got some good things coming up. We are talking about pelvic floor physical therapy. A great one to go along with this because that should be on your postpartum plan too. How are you going to get your pelvic floor retoned so you’re not peeing your pants the rest of your life?

[00:06:48.770] – Hilary Erickson

And then the week after that, I’m talking a little bit about what your labor nurse is doing with all the charting because there is so much charting and I don’t think people understand what they’re doing and what they’re assessing all the time. So stay tuned.

[00:06:59.470] – Hilary Erickson

Thanks for joining us on The Pulling Curls Podcast today. If you like today’s episode, please consider reviewing, sharing, subscribing. It really helps our podcast grow. Thank you.


postpartum plan, labor plan, prenatal class, postpartum checklist, postpartum mortality, trouble signs, partner support, maternal health, continuous sleep, support system, mental health, community support, pelvic floor physical therapy, charting in labor, parenting tips, baby care, partner communication, maternal recovery, newborn care, maternal well-being, self-care after birth, maternal support, postpartum healing, postpartum period, new motherhood, maternal rest, returning to work after birth, childbirth recovery, postpartum resources, postpartum assistance

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