What can I do in advance to make caring for my newborn—and myself—easier postpartum?
A: As the big day approaches it’s a common concern for expectant moms to wonder how they will cope with recovering from birth along with caring for the needs of a new baby. Thankfully, there are a few things one can do to be prepared and ensure a seamless transition.
First and foremost, don’t skimp on nutrition. Eat whole foods, and drink plenty of water during and after pregnancy to provide your body essential nutrients to bounce back from birth.
The next step is to set up a support system. This will look different for everyone,depending on whether you have local family and friends who are able and willing to help. It could mean grandma coming to stay a few weeks, hiring a postpartum doula to help with light chores, pets and older children, or relying on the help of friends and neighbors. The most important thing to emphasize is that those who come over to help should help with household needs, allowing you to bond with and care for baby—not the other way around.
Lastly, over the course of your pregnancy, stock up on items your household tends to run out of within a month, set up auto-pay on your bills, and consider taking advantage of grocery delivery services. These first few weeks will fly by, but with a bit of planning, your household will seem to run on autopilot and you’ll be free to soak up each precious moment with your new baby.
—Tahwii Porter, founder of In Natural Harmony, a holistic maternity concierge and baby planning service