Most people are familiar with birth planning but what happens when you bring your new baby home? As professionals that walk through the journey of birth with clients every day, we believe Postpartum Planning for expectant parents is equally important as birth planning. Who will walk the dog? Who will prepare dinner? Getting this in line before birth creates a sense of security and peace after baby arrives. Need a hand? Check out our Postpartum Planning Guide below!

What is Postpartum Planning?

Creating a plan for after the baby has arrived covers many different aspects of your life. A good Postpartum Plan should include discussion with your partner and anyone who will be with you for an extended period of time immediately after birth. The plan is meant to facilitate communication between you and your support team, whoever that includes.

What should I consider for my Postpartum Planning Guide?

There are many aspects to running your home and life and planning for all of them can get overwhelming. We recommend that you break everything down into categories. If you like guides, you can download our Postpartum Planning Guide here (for Free!).

Multi page preview of Postpartum Planning Guide from Doulas of Baltimore

Before Pregnancy

We suggest covering topics like parental leave, childcare preferences, birth providers and birth locations and parenting topics.

Early Pregnancy

During your first trimester it’s a great time to discuss things like childcare options, where the baby will sleep in your home, announcing your pregnancy, and care providers for your birth and postpartum.


Around your second trimester is a great time to begin hiring support for birth and postpartum, creating your baby registry, planning a Babymoon, and getting to any large house projects like renovations or upgrades.

Late Pregnancy

Your third trimester will feel both long and very short! It’s time to start tying up loose ends like setting up your home to welcome your baby, outline lists of who does what around the house and who can help with those tasks while the birthing parent is healing, and creating a resource list full of providers such as your OBGYN/Midwife, your doula, and your Lactation Consultant.

Easing the Transition

We also recommend considering how you will ease the transition for you, your baby, the baby’s siblings, your fur babies, and your extended family. How will you structure your day? How will you ensure everyone’s needs are met? What boundaries will you put in place to ensure visiting family offers support and not more burdens?

Who should help with my Postpartum Planning Guide?

The best people to help with your postpartum plan fall into two categories. One is the people who will be directly involved in caring for you after you give birth. This could include a partner, siblings, parents, or other loved ones who step up. The other category is the professionals you’ve added to your support team. This could include a chat with your birth doula or a session with your postpartum doula.


The best place to begin? In our opinion, our Free Postpartum Planning Guide!


There isn’t a handbook for pregnancy, birth, or parenthood and that can be overwhelming. If you’re finding yourself with notebooks or spreadsheets full of information to wade through, you’re not alone. We have access to an entire internet full of recommendations, be they current or outdated. Finding reasonable, science-backed answers can feel like an uphill battle and a lonely one at that. Are childbirth classes really necessary? Are newborn care classes worth it?Where can I find newborn classes and childbirth education in Baltimore?

That’s a call only you and your partner can make.

Childbirth Education

What is Childbirth Education?

Childbirth Education Classes are educational programs taught by experienced instructors well versed in the field of Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum. Childbirth Education curriculum varies and classes attended are generally chosen based on your preferences. Some focus heavily on a larger, trademarked curriculum such as Evidence Based Birth or Lamaze, while others are completely unique to the instructor such as Doulas of Baltimore’s signature Complete Childbirth Education Series.

Childbirth Education classes can be taught in person, online, in a group setting, or on an individual basis. There are many options and approaches, the bottom line is finding one that someone you trust teaches.


What should my class cover?

While there are many different types of curriculum, and the benefits of childbirth education still require more official study, it’s well known that access to education increases positive outcomes. When looking at classes, ensure yours covers these basic topics:

  • Decision making strategies to ensure you remain an active participant in your birth story
  • Tips for staying healthy and comfortable in late pregnancy
  • Physiology and the process of labor and birth
  • Common interventions and medication options
  • How to create and communicate your birth preferences
  • Hands-on coping, comfort and relaxation techniques 
  • Preparing for the postpartum experience


Whether you’re planning on going through childbirth without an epidural or are open to medication, understanding these key topics can help you create the birth and postpartum experience that will set you up for success.


Doulas of Baltimore is hosting our Spring session of our Complete Childbirth Series on Saturdays beginning April 6th, 2024 in Baltimore and our One Day Baby 101 workshop in Frederick. Our Complete Childbirth Series runs 4 weeks and covers 12 hours of science-backed education in an affirming and open environment. Our Baby 101 workshop is a one day intensive that gives new parents all the essential information they need. Learn more and register here!

Newborn Care Classes

What are Newborn Care Classes?

Newborn Care Classes are educational sessions for anyone who needs updated information on the care and keeping of newborn babies. Experienced teachers lead these classes who have taken professional training and work in the field. There are many different options for taking these classes including Hospital-based programs and more uniquely designed curriculum created by individuals. Ensure the source and how frequently the materials are updated are considered when searching for your classes. Safety standards for newborns and infants change regularly and ensuring you have the latest information ensures you’re able to keep your baby safe and those around your baby updated.

What should my class cover?

All Newborn Care classes should cover the basics of baby care such as feeding and diapering as well as:

  • Preparing your home and family for a newborn
  • Common baby gear and gadgets
  • Normal newborn characteristics
  • Hygiene including diapering, bathing, and dressing
  • Crying and newborn communication
  • Comfort and bonding techniques
  • Newborn sleep patterns and safe sleep
  • Feeding options and techniques
  • Hunger and satiation cues
  • Common feeding obstacles


Doulas of Baltimore has an opportunity for Newborn Care Education this Spring. Join us in Baltimore for our 4 Week Essential Newborn Care Series. This class runs 4 weeks and covers 12 hours of science-backed education in an affirming and open environment. Learn more and register here!


When considering the question, “What childbirth classes should I take?” consider who is teaching it, what the course covers, and if the curriculum is aligned with your birth wishes. If you’re searching for infant care classes for new parents we recommend ensuring that the course is based in science and has up-to-date information on safety and development for newborn babies. We recommend if you’re searching for Newborn classes and Childbirth Education in Baltimore or Frederick, consider Doulas of Baltimore!


We believe education is one of the most important things you can invest in. Above all when we educate ourselves we empower ourselves to make sound decisions, enter any situation with confidence, and create a great environment for a positive experience. Generally taking classes with your birth partner prior to giving birth can deeply connect you to one another creating a sense of safety and support.

Pinterest graphic about classes for new parents to take

Welcoming a baby into your family is a joy, but a joy that can come with worry. If you’re expecting baby number two, you might be worried about how your older child will adjust to a new sibling. Jealousy is a natural emotion for kids, especially during the ages when they are particularly attached to their parents. They’ll notice you are taking time to care for baby and that people are excited about baby. But, there are still ways that you can help your older child adjust. 

How can I help my older child adjust to a new baby? 

One of the ways that parents can help older children adjust to a new baby is by involving siblings in newborn care, to the extent that they want to be involved. If they are a little older, they might want to help with feeding or bathing. If they’re younger, you can have them get a pacifier and put it in baby’s mouth (gently) or get a diaper. 

Especially for toddlers, it can be helpful for parents to acknowledge the difference between them and the baby. You might find yourself telling the older child to wait while you feed baby or change a diaper. On occasion, you can tell baby that they have to wait while you do something with your older child. You can also remind your older child that they are a big kid and doing something or have something that baby can’t. Emphasizing that they are special can help with feelings of jealousy. 

How do I keep my older child from feeling overwhelmed when baby comes?

 Having a baby can throw everyone’s schedules off, from sleep to meals. One tip to help your older child adjust to a new baby is by keeping their schedule as consistent as possible. If they go to daycare three days a week, keep them at daycare even if you or your partner are home with baby. 

Babies do need a lot of attention, which can create feelings of jealousy in your older child or that there is a certain level of unpredictability. When you feed your baby and do need to devote attention solely to baby, it can help to find something calm and special that the older child can do. While you are trying to have a calm moment for feeding, you can let your older child watch a special show or read a book. 

How can friends and relatives help my older child adjust to a new baby? 

One of the easiest things friends and relatives can do to help your older child or children adjust to baby is acknowledge the sibling first. When they come over to meet baby, have visitors prioritize the sibling. It is so easy for everyone to get excited about the new baby, and your other child can notice this excitement. Have friends and family ask the older sibling if they want to introduce baby or share something special about their new sibling. 

If you have someone who can help you during the postpartum period–whether it is a doula, a family member or friend–you have a great opportunity to prioritize each child on their own. They can take care of baby so that you have quality time with the older sibling. Or, they can take care of the older sibling so you can either rest or take care of baby. 

We’ll start with the unfortunate truth: the US does not guarantee paid parental leave on a national level, and not all workers qualify for the six weeks of unpaid leave federal law mandates. According to the Washington Post, “Most Americans do not have access to paid family leave through their employer.” 

All of this means that there is no standard for when you return to work after parental leave: it could be six weeks or six months. But regardless, returning to work–for either the birthing person or partner, can be a significant transition. You may be thinking about everything from your energy levels, your schedule, pumping and/or feeding, your partner’s schedule, and how your baby will do without you. Here are 4 things to consider and plan for before you return to work. 

Know what your leave looks like and be open with your employer. 

Long before delivery you may be thinking about your parental leave options–both what your employer offers and what your ideal scenario might be. Be open with your employer and consider asking for something that might make the transition back to work easier. That might include returning part-time at first or working from home. Your employer might also be willing to be flexible in ways that they haven’t shared with you. Ask other employees or your employer directly about how others have returned to work after leave. 

Think about childcare after parental leave, and then come up with a back-up plan. 

You may have come up with the perfect childcare solution: you are returning part-time to work and a friend or family member is baby-sitting on the other days. In 2022, that might be problematic because of changes in school openings due to COVID. Or, the caregiver might have to quarantine after a COVID exposure. Problems could arise simply because they are not as reliable as you would like them to be. Whatever your childcare plan involves after you return to work, come up with a backup plan. If you have a family member caring for baby, what happens if they are sick? 

If you are working from home, remember that you are still working and taking care of baby is also full-time work. Although working from home can make it easier to care of baby, you should still try to have a secondary caregiver available. Some of our clients have utilized our postpartum doulas while working from home to ease that transition. 

Figure out priorities and roles for when return to work after parental leave. 

You partner may have taken little or no time off after baby arrived. But, your transition back to work is still a transition for them as well. Take time to figure out each of your priorities and roles. If you are not a morning person, consider having your partner take care of baby’s or the family’s morning routine. This way, you can get ready for work in the way that you need to. Discuss who will pickup baby or kids from caregivers, daycare, or school. You may have figured out a postpartum plan of who was cooking and cleaning, but you may need to revisit those plans if both partners are back at work. 

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your emotions and ask for help. 

The postpartum period can be difficult: you are adapting to a new family member. If you gave birth, you may be experiencing physical changes in your body as well (link to blog). You are going to have a lot of emotions–from being excited about being back at work to sad that your baby is someone else’s care. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that whole range of emotions and understand that they are all OK. If you being feeling overwhelmed when you return to work after parental leave, ask for help, whether from your partner, family, friends, or other loved ones.

Are you introducing your baby to family and friends this holiday season? Thanksgiving and the winter holidays present a perfect opportunity to gather with loved ones. But because of COVID, you may not have had the chance to have your baby meet everyone yet. And we can all imagine what happens next: everyone wants to hold baby, give them lots of love, and share in the joy. That can be exhausting for you and the baby. Here are some tips for keeping everyone happy when your newborn meets family and friends. 

Manage Everyone’s Expectations When Newborn Meets Friends and Family

Within the first month of bringing baby home, you may not want to have visitors because it can be exhausting. Don’t be afraid to ask guests for help. They can bring a meal, help with household chores, or care for pets and siblings. If you’d rather they spend time with baby, then set them up to care for baby so you can focus on your needs. This might be taking a shower or a nap, eating a meal, or running an errand. 

If you are traveling for the holidays, it is also important to manage everyone’s expectations. Think about spreading out meetings or having multiple events with smaller numbers of people, rather than having one large event with lots of friends and family. 

Be Aware of Germs 

COVID has made us all hyper-aware of germs, but because babies have new immune systems, we should always be careful around them. The minimum hygiene requirements for someone holding baby should be thoroughly washing hands, wearing a mask, and avoiding touching or kissing baby’s face (as hard as that might be for them!). You may also want to limit the exposure to germs carried by younger children who are in daycare or school. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask about family member’s vaccination status. If you are uncomfortable being around someone unvaccinated, it’s OK to say so. 

Think About How Your Baby is Going to React

Even if your baby is just a month old, you’ve already learned how they react to different situations. Keep that in mind as you plan meeting family members and friends over the holidays. You should also prioritize your baby’s needs. First, make sure feedings are consistent with how you’ve been doing them at home. Think about the comfort level for you and your friends or family if you need to breastfeed or pump. If others want to feed baby, make sure they are doing so appropriately. Make sure they are holding baby right and giving the right amount of food. 

Recognize When Your Baby is Overwhelmed 

For a baby who has been at home with one or two primary caregivers for a few months, a room full of people could easily get overwhelming. Use the 5 S’s (swaddle, suck, side, sway and shhh) to reduce external stimulus and calm baby. Also considering creating a relaxation space wherever you are traveling. This can be a space for you, your baby, and partner to relax and get away from the crowd. Consider inviting in one or two people at a time, rather than passing baby around. Bring a portable crib or bassinet to make this space a safe one for baby to sleep in. And, just like feeding times should stay as consistent as possible, try to make nap times consistent as well. 

Make an Exit Strategy 

One easy way to make sure you and your baby stay relaxed is by setting parameters for the visit ahead of time. If someone is coming over to your house, ask them to come for a specific amount of time like dinner, a walk, or an afternoon nap. Be straightforward with your communication, and don’t be afraid to say, “We are going to get ready for bed. Thanks for coming over and bringing us dinner. Please don’t forget your dish!” If you are traveling, you can also say when you have to leave by or make it clear what times you will be visiting. If you are staying with a family member or friend, you can also say you are going to bed (or put baby to bed and slip away, too). 

The holidays with your new baby are a great time to make memories and see people we haven’t seen in a long time. But, the memories are even sweeter when we are as relaxed and healthy as possible.