Postpartum Goal v. Reality: The First Forty Days

Goal: 40 days to heal and bond with out the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning or having to leave the house. 

Reality: Neil is lucky enough to work for a company that provides 8 weeks of paternity leave that can be used in the first year of babies life. At this time we are looking at him taking 3-4 weeks so that being said 40 days automatically gets cut to 21-28 days.  He will take the remainder of his leave a different point in the next year. 

In addition to 40 days not being realistic for us we also already have two children and life does not pause for a new baby. While I am hoping to spend at least the first week completely horizontal, eating nourishing foods and nursing a new babe I know that might not be completely possible for the entirety of Neil’s paternity leave.  

Also Edith is turning five in two weeks so baby and I will be leaving the house to get out and celebrate her special day. This is a non-negotiable (unless my midwife says differently). 

Game Plan:

  • Be Flexible. 
  • Spend as much of the 2-3 weeks as I can relaxing, healing and bonding. 
  • Prep as many meals as I can before this babe arrives (this has successfully been accomplished and our teeny freezer is filled to the brim).
  • Create a meal plan with easy to prepare recipes for Neil and kids. 
  • Utilize meal services such as Splendid Spoon, Green Chef, and Terra’s Kitchen. 
  • Avoid food delivery ($$$$)
  • Take advantage of help when it is offered.
  • Keep outings for me and the baby to a minimum. 

What has your postpartum experience been like or what are your plans? Any tips? 



  1. This is such a wonderful and intentional plan! I didn’t go into my second postpartum period with anything like this—and so I ended up working from home about a week after #2 was born. Not ideal, I know! I’d recommend asking for help when you need it. You have friends who would love to lend a hand in some way!

  2. Paternity leave is the best! I think not leaving the house would have driven me crazy postpartum (and I say that as the biggest homebody there ever was); going for walks on the trail by our house was both relaxing and invigorating to me, and it definitely helped deal with the baby blues. But having my husband home (and my parents came to visit too) to help deal with cleaning and taking our toddler out for adventures was a lifesaver. I could focus on just taking care of the baby and myself.

  3. It’s always such a trick, taking care of yourself while you are trying to take care of a brand new human. Meal services are relatively new thing: I would have definitely taken advantage of them if they had been around when I had my babies.

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