Gameplay - Creating Your Epic Postpartum Plan
My husband is a huge fan of Tim Ferris. He listens to his podcast religiously. Last fall as we hopped into the car and set out for our baby-moon Tim Ferris' podcast began to play. I sighed and rolled my eyes, not wanting to listen to an interview (No offense Tim). I wanted to just listen to some tunes and talk about how big my belly was getting. But, the interview played on and as the minutes passed I was really intrigued by what this woman, Jane McGonigal had to say.
Among many things, Jane is the inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter. This game has helped almost half a million people confront challenges such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury. She talked about her personal experience recovering from a concussion and how she healed her brain through gameplay.
First, she created an alias, Jane the Concussion Slayer and asked close friends and family to act as her allies. She then came up with something she called, power-ups. A power-up was anything to boost her dopamine and oxytocin levels. It could be as simple as cuddling with her dog for ten minutes or going for a walk around the block. Her allies would give her challenges each day/week and keep her accountable for collecting power-ups. As she was describing her real life game I couldn't help thinking how this idea could translate over to the postpartum time.
It doesn't matter what your pregnancy or birth experience was like, becoming a mom is a HUUUGE transition. All women are in need of support during the first few days, weeks, months...hell, the entire first year. But when you're in the midst of sleepless nights and charting wet and poopy diapers you're not necessarily thinking about how another person can support you, which is why it's a great idea to set up a plan of attack ahead of time.
The interview with Jane came at the perfect time. My husband and I spent the rest of that weekend soaking in mineral pools, napping in hammocks and coming up with our postpartum plan. I became "Kick Ass Kiki" and called in a few close friends to be my allies. My husband and I wanted the first couple weeks to be intimate, so my allies would text me to check in, or drop off food. Now that I'm 8 weeks postpartum my allies are supporting me by getting me out of the house for walks and lunch dates. I also asked them to send me articles or podcasts that they find interesting so I can keep learning and enjoy adult conversations. A few of my "power-ups" have been things like showering each day. A shower seems so ordinary, but it's now one of the best parts of my day. It's where I get to be alone for a few minutes to recharge and care for myself. Another power-up is to hug my husband for more than 20 seconds. This seems like it should be easy, but when my hands are full with a sweet squishy baby and he's cooking me my 7th meal for the day (the hunger is real people) we sometimes forget to embrace. It's so important to have those few seconds or minutes because it allows us to connect and meet the other person where their at.
My favorite part about this gameplay idea is that it makes asking for help so much easier. You may not know the exact type of support you're going to need or want, and that's okay. But this allows you to start thinking about the postpartum time and what support can look like in a more creative way.
So, I challenge you to:
Choose your Alias
Call on 3-5 Allies
Come up with 5 Power-ups
Kiersten Markham aka Kick Ass Kiki
CPD | BIRTHFIT Coach | Birth & Postpartum Doula
BIRTHFITSanDiego.com | 708.560.6365