Postpartum Plan

The Postpartum Plan is a simple and effective way to provide free meals, errands, housekeeping, and childcare to a new mother in the early postpartum weeks. This allows her to focus on her new baby. The below article explains how it works. You can download the documents to print out a plan and follow the instructions. This makes a great shower gift!

Postpartum Plan Title Page 
PPP Coordinator
PPP Calendar

The Postpartum Plan – Mothering Magazine (Jan/Feb 2004)

Several generations ago, when a woman gave birth to a baby, she was cared for by her mother, relatives, and neighbors. Even in our present, fast paced society, it’s possible to re-create the kind of nurturing that women enjoyed long ago. A successful plan that has been implemented in Rockland County, New York, coordinates free postpartum care provided by family and friends. The plan includes meals, errands, light housekeeping, and childcare (if there are other children in the home). For six weeks after the birth, the mother is pampered by her friends and relatives at no extra cost to herself, and with reasonable time expenditure by the participants. The plan is flexible enough to choose any and all categories of help, though most women prefer help with meals.

This is how it works: The mother-to-be makes a list of the names and phone numbers of 6 to 12 friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers whom she thinks would be willing to participate in her postpartum care. She gives this list, as well as a list of any food restrictions she might have, to a close friend of relative who can coordinate the plan.

The coordinator then informs each person on the list that a group of friends is getting together to provide postpartum care for the new mother. Beginning with the meal plan, participants are asked to make two meals over the next six weeks. It’s helpful to space the meals out during the week. For example, meals can be scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Five to six friends can provide 10 to t 2 meals during the new mother’s recovery; 12 people can contribute 24 meals. That amounts to two to four meals per week for the new family. If large portions of food are donated, they can last two days, or be frozen for future lunches.

The plan can also ease the burdens of errands and housekeeping. Two neighbors volunteer to help with errands, each once a week. For example. Elsa calls the new mother early in the week to ask her what she needs from town. At the end of the week, Suzanne calls to offer any additional help. These volunteers can integrate the mother’s errands–such as trips to the food store, dry-cleaners, post office, and library–into their own. Industrious volunteers can offer housekeeping. If the mother doesn’t have a cleaning service, it can be an incredible help if someone stops by to straighten up, vacuum, or do a few loads of laundry. Having this scheduled once or twice a week is a blessing to a new mom.