I’m Andrea Knox, a mother of two, a lover of the outdoors, and a lifelong planner. I have always enjoyed making spreadsheets, timelines, and lists! It brings me a sense of calm and security to see things laid out and consider my next steps. I also have always done things quite independently, and had a hard time asking and trusting others for help. So, when I had my first child, I planned for everything but the Fourth Trimester. I was bewildered and a little annoyed that people kept asking “do you have help after the baby comes?” I didn’t have help lined up, or much knowledge of resources I may need. But I was smart and capable, I had a great husband, I could handle it… I would be fine!
When my son arrived, I was so shocked by how hard it was to feed and care for a baby around the clock, and generally adjust to parenthood. I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety, and suffered for weeks before I accessed the help I needed. I wished there was some way to have been more prepared for all this before delivery. With my second child, I made a postpartum plan, and the results were so much different. I outlined week by week what we would need, how we would call in help, our backup resources, and who was supporting us. I was able to focus more fully on bonding and enjoying my baby instead of struggling through the weeks.
My experience inspired me to learn more about supporting parents in the transition to parenthood. I attended trainings, read books, and created a focus in my previous career as a marriage and family therapist to support new and expecting mothers. I have had the privilege to sit with many couples, mothers, and fathers and heard their stories of postpartum adjustment. Being in this space with parents has underlined the need I see for adequate postpartum planning. I feel called to help parents- whether they are single, couples, same-sex, adopting, or birthing through surrogacy- to prepare for the right support and resources through postpartum planning. I wish for all parents to have a well-supported experience as they launch into caring for their new child, for the benefit of themselves and their baby.