Getting Help and Stocking Up

As the birth approaches, you'll need to do some planning for how things will function once your little one arrives. You'll be focused on your new baby's needs, so who will take care of your other responsibilities? To keep everything running smoothly, you'll need to enlist the help of friends and family and keep your house stocked with the essentials at all times.

Who Will Help?

A postpartum doula is a valuable resource during late pregnancy and the first few weeks after the birth. Your doula might prepare meals for you, do the grocery shopping, or take care of the laundry. You can also ask friends and family for help with these things, though some of these people might be more interested in seeing and holding the baby than helping you with chores. Be sure your helpers are trustworthy and willing to take care of what you need.

As the birth approaches and after the baby is born, friends and family will probably ask you the same question over and over again: “Can I help with anything?” Many people don't like to ask for help, but when you have a new baby at home, you could always use a little assistance. Prepare a list of things you need brought to you or need done around the house and keep it handy at all times. This way, when someone asks what she can do to help, you can offer her a list of suggestions. By giving the person options, she can choose something she's capable of handling, and you won't feel as though you are obligating her to do a particular task.

Essential Items

Other than the usual supply of baby products, it's advisable to have two weeks worth of food and other essentials in the house at all times. Be sure to have plenty of toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, and disposable dishes. You will not want to be standing over a sink washing dishes when you're only days away from your due date. Also stock up on nonperishable food items that can be used to make quick meals, such as pasta, rice, and canned soups. Preparing meals ahead of time can also be helpful. Before you get too close to your due date, prepare some large casseroles or pans of lasagna and freeze the leftovers. During the last month of pregnancy, you can simply reheat these for quick meals.

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