How to prepare for the weeks after birth
I talked about the sort of things you can expect after the birth of your baby here so I thought it would be useful to list a few ways you and your partner can prepare for those slow weeks, so that when they come you won’t have to worry about cooking/cleaning/running out of essentials etc.
One thing you really won't want to be worrying about doing is cooking. The hours in a day during the first few weeks slip by and it is far to much too ask of you and your partner to remember to make breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Now I know it would be nice to order Deliveroo for every meal but let's be honest it's pretty expensive and not always the healthiest option. So in the last few weeks of your pregnancy you could batch cook a few dishes to pop into the freezer so you have a stash of healthy, home cooked meals ready to go when the time comes. Pinterest is a great resource for freezable, batch cooked meals (or dump meals as they're delightfully called in the US). Another option if you can't cook, won't cook is the company, Cook, who deliver fresh, home made frozen meals to your door. They have a fantastic range of dishes including healthy meals for kids and currently have 10% off 6 months of meals for new parents, score!
Whilst on the subject of food, if you haven't already, now is the time to sign up for grocery delivery. You could even set up a standard order and save it so that all you have to do every week is click a couple of buttons and Bob's your Uncle you've got milk/chocolate/wine there at your door. God bless Ocado and all who sail in her.
Another excellent service to throw money at is a Cleaner. Even if its only for the first few of weeks it will do you the world of good to have one less thing to worry about.
During the first couple of months you will find yourself sat with what feels like a constantly feeding baby. Breastfeeding in particular can take up a lot of time in the early days when your milk is coming in and you're getting to grips with it all. Setting up a feeding 'station' before baby arrives is a great idea; you'll probably find yourself bored and (especially breastfeeding) hungry, and there is nothing worse than being stuck under a baby and not being able to reach the essentials (Hobnobs and the remote).
So pick a comfy chair in your living room, set up a table next to it - nesting Mothers are highly skilled at moving furniture around at a moments notice - and keep any/all of the following within arms reach at all times:
* Snacks - probably nice to try and keep this healthy but if a newly post-partum Mother can't indulge in vast amounts of chocolate and cookies then who can? For the best of both worlds try these Lactation Cookies by Mothers Love Cookies
* Water - Breast or bottle feeding you need to watch your H2O intake - keep that bottle topped up and close by at all times!
* Wet wipes, muslins, breast pads and hand sanitiser - Babies poo, pee and puke and breasts leak - no two ways about it I'm afraid.
* Entertainment - New books and magazines, iPad/tablet plus headphones (don't wake a sleeping baby!), the TV remotes and anything else you can do one handed to wile away the hours not spent staring at your precious newborn.
Before baby arrives and you have a little time on your hands it's a good idea to research Postnatal Doulas to see whether you could benefit from their services. They act as a support for you and your family and are really beneficial when trying to navigate everything from sleepless nights, feeding, Health Visitors and caring for yourself in the early days.
Hopefully this will all help you take it easy and slow in the post-partum period. I know I sound like a stuck record but it really is so important to look after yourself mentally and physically after child birth. It's not just about the newborn, but about you too, and you cannot pour from an empty cup.