If you’re an expecting mom approaching your due date this is one great thing to get prepared for! The Lying-In period.
The Lying-In Period is the period of time before, during and after the birth of your baby when you are solely focused on resting and bonding with your newborn.
In general this is a time to recover and for you and baby to get the hang of breastfeeding. This time is essential for both you and your newborn to have for many reasons!
We can also use this phrase, Lying-In, to describe any point in your breastfeeding journey where mom and baby need time to regroup, rest and reestablish a milk supply.
Benefits of a Lying-In period
- Your body will have the time needed for recovery, no matter which type of birth you had–any type of childbirth leaves large wounds to heal.
- Hormones will be regulating and so the less outer stimulation and stress you have to deal with, the better!
- Baby will be establishing your milk supply. Milk production picks up within the first week post-partum, and it can take up to 4 weeks to stabilize! However, it’s the first 6 weeks that are typically the most challenging for newly breastfeeding women, so best to be as calm and centered as you can!
So what should you be doing during the Lying-In period and what things can help you make the most of this time?
To begin with, make sure your entire support network, including your close family and friends understand your plans to embrace a Lying-In period. Set guidelines ahead of time for appropriate times for them to visit you and your newborn so that there aren’t any issues later.
Here are more ways to plan and be fully prepared for your Lying-In period so that you can get the most out of it.
- Have the right clothing. Make sure you have an arsenal of loose-fitting clothing designed for comfort, support and easy access for baby. This includes nursing tanks, comfortable nursing bras and soft, stretchy sweat pants that won’t interfere with surgical incisions and sore belly muscles. Own motherhood comfortably with one of these labor & delivery/nursing robes (on Amazon).
- Hydrate! Pull out your favorite or find a new water bottle you love and keep it filled with water and within arms reach 24/7. Staying hydrated is the number one way to recover quickly after childbirth! Plus, drinking lots of water is a great way to increase and stabilize your milk production.
- Eat well. Eat a lot! Your milk supply needs it and your body’s healing depends on good, frequent nutrients. If you are fortunate to have the help, line up ahead of time a meal train–family and friends schedule out at least a week of providing meals to you and your family! Otherwise, meal prep! Search pinterest for yummy, easy meals to prep and freeze ahead of time.
- Enjoy your baby. I’m not lying when I tell you, speaking from experience, those first several days postpartum are–yes, tough–they are also magical. So prepare in every way you can to take full advantage of the time you rightfully have to recover and snuggle and love your baby!
How Long Should You Stay In Bed During Your Lying-In Period?
Most nursing moms say they have a hard time laying in bed or lying down at all for more than a week, but remember, the easier you are on yourself in those first 4 weeks the faster you will heal, less complications you’ll have (especially if you had a c-section) and the more time your baby will have to feel completely secure and bonded with you before taking on this new world!
Aim for a week or two of total rest. After that, go with how you feel. Don’t expect too much of yourself though! You will soon have all the obligations and responsibilities that come with being a new mom (or mom to one more!), without much “time off”, so by all means, relax Mama!
When Can You Start Doing Housework Again After Having A Baby?
It’s natural to want to begin setting a new routine and trying to get in the motions of being a new mom or adding another member to your existing family. However, most surgical complications and issues with breastfeeding typically occur in those first several weeks postpartum, so go easy on yourself! There’s no harm in letting others help you in this critical time, so welcome the help while (if) you can get it!
The Lying-In period is a special time for mom and baby and one I highly recommend, especially for first time mothers who will be met with some of the most challenging months of her life! To battle through cluster feeding, latching issues, sore breasts and avoid clogged ducts and mastitis in the beginning stages of breastfeeding, give yourself this time to emerge smoothly from such a huge life change, healed and a breastfeeding warrior!
For moms looking to increase, reestablish or jump start their breastmilk supply, Lying-In can also be one effective method! You’ll be doing all of the same things mentioned here, but likely not need more than 2 weeks to accomplish your goal! You can read more tips for establishing a healthy milk supply and relactation here, in this post.
Good luck to you Mama!! Xxoo