After the birth
It really happened. You gave birth to YOUR baby! And, it's starting to set in that you are needed in a brand new, special way. Your newborn is, in a word: captivating. You live from moment to moment, and sometimes, you forget what YOU need. RECOVERY. Embracing the postpartum period is not selfish, but rather, necessary to the overall health family.
What can you do before birth to have a smoother postpartum transition?
Get familiar with what your baby's needs will be.
Select a care provider for your baby.
Collect immediate necessities for baby (diapers, wipes, clothes) and create a convenient baby care 'station'.
During pregnancy, read a book on infant care and one on breastfeeding.
Gather breastfeeding supplies.
Nursing bras, breast pads, an ointment (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) for nipples, and a breast pump
Ask your doula or find contact info for local breastfeeding support consultants + groups
Organize help for you and your family's needs.
In order to reduce standing time in the kitchen- make a few meals before the birth and freeze them; ask extended family and friends to do a postpartum meal train
In order to get as much rest as possible-
Arrange childcare for older siblings- ask close friends and extended family to help you by having your older children go on special playdates during the week or 2 immediately following birth (or first week or 2 at home from the hospital)