To make your postpartum recovery as stress free as possible, you'll want to have the names and contact information for any professionals you may need to contact on hand and easy to access. You won't want to be digging around for phone numbers when you're trying to feed a baby and rest!
Pediatrician or Family Doctor
You'll want to figure out who your baby's doctor is going to be before he's born, and see if you can arrange for him or her to visit your baby before you leave the hospital. Otherwise, you'll get whoever is on staff at the hospital. Now is a good time to ask friends, family, or a mother's support group for recommendations. You'll want to be sure whichever doctor you choose will support your parenting philosophy and is well educated about breastfeeding — not all of them are. Also, keep in mind that you don't have to take your baby to a pediatrician if you can't find one you like. Family doctors and general practitioners are usually trained to care for all members of a family, from infancy on.
Keep handy the name and phone number of a massage therapist who's experienced in massaging pregnant and postpartum women, and call to set up an appointment for a postpartum massage soon after your baby is born. Better yet, set up the appointment before your baby is born; make it for a couple of weeks after your due date — and keep it. Massage can help relax muscles that are sore and tight after birth, or from holding and nursing your baby. It also releases endorphins that can help you relax and feel less sore, and can help you sleep better. Gift certificates for postpartum massages are a great thing to suggest to friends and family that want to give you something.
If your hospital or birth center doesn't have lactation consultants on staff, you'll want to find one before you go into labor, and you should keep her number handy in case you run into any issues. La Leche League (LLL) is another great free resource for breastfeeding problems that may arise. You might find that it's easier to reach out for this help if you go to a meeting or two before having your baby. For more information on how to find a lactation consultant or local La Leche League leader, see Appendix B.