During pregnancy I had an extensive to do list, mostly to prepare for the birth, the baby, and my maternity leave from my business. But there were also a few things I did to make the postpartum process easier on myself. Here are 4 things I did to prepare and 2 that I wish I had put more of a focus on!
1. Buy flowy tops and maternity tops that will work after the baby is born. I wish I had put more of a focus on this! You have way more time to shop now than you will when you're trying to keep a newborn asleep in the stroller. I loved fitted maternity clothes that showed off my bump, so I was already in my third trimester when I started thinking about how I was going to dressy my body after baby. So shop now and stock up on flowy tops and anything that is flattering to the midsection. Also make sure you have plenty of comfy pants with loose waistbands - yoga pants, pjs, sweatpants... whatever you want to wear on days you don't need to leave the house. It's recommended to wait to buy nursing bras and you'll also need to go out and buy yourself a new pair of jeans after a month or so. And trust me, that's plenty of shopping for a new mama! (And enjoy shopping! I miss shopping leisurely now. I'm always on a time crunch!)
2. If you plan to breastfeed, find the nursing rooms and bathroom lounges at places you commonly visit. Since you're visiting the bathroom EVERYWHERE you go right now, make note of the department stores and retailers that have nursing rooms. You'll appreciate it later, because it's not something that can easily be Googled. (But if all else fails, you can also use a dressing room.) I also wanted to mention that we love our Milk Snob nursing cover, but it took us a few months to be ready to use a cover.
3. Download a baby app (and a contraction app while you're at it). The first two weeks at home with the baby will be one big blur. You'll have no sense of time and you won't remember even the simplest things. So having your phone tell you how long it's been since your baby ate will be very helpful when you can't figure how why he is crying. (Darcy is 6 months old and we're still using the app to make notes of what time he eats and sleeps!)
4. Stock the freezer. People will be so kind and bring you meals for the first couple weeks, but I don't think I needed to cook anything for the first 6 weeks of Darcy's life because we had stocked the freezer with easy crockpot or baked dish meals. And it was such a blessing! We also made a few batches of zucchini bread, muffins, and breakfast burritos that I could grab for breakfast and snacks. So whether you're making freezer meals in disposable pans or just stocking up from the freezer section of the grocery store, fill the freezer to the brim!
5. Read about babies, not just about birth. This can be an overwhelming task, believe me, I know. But you're going to be thankful that you did. Think about what kind of mama you think you want to be and read about that kind of parenting. (But also know that it might not work for your baby at all and that's okay too!) Also, find a good Facebook group or other support system that you can go to for help. You'll have lots of questions.
6. Streamline your beauty routine. Most days I don't wear makeup, but it's nice to have a quick system when I only have 5 minutes to put it on before running out the door. And if you can't buy the product at Walmart or Target, stock up. Because nobody has time to go to the store just to buy mascara.