In preparing for the arrival of my first child, I was so overwhelmed with the massive amount of pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby gear to learn about (which I since realized can mostly be figured out along the way and there are only a handful of things you really NEED right when baby is born), that I didn’t think at all about preparing for the immediate effects on my postpartum body.
I ended up having a c-section for my first, and then a vaginal delivery later with my second. With both, there were recovery periods I didn’t anticipate needing, and they were quite different from each other. The doctors and nurses were wonderful while I was still at the hospital, but were no longer available once I went home!
So my advice to parents to-be is: Baby NEEDS a car seat (if you have a car), a safe place to sleep (they use cardboard boxes in some countries), and a few diapers. Most everything else you can get later as you get to know baby. Hopefully knowing that, it’ll give you a little time to research a few things about postpartum care before the time comes. Like, for example, if you deliver vaginally, you’ll want a few squirt bottles in your bathrooms because you can’t use toilet paper.
Oh and also: Look into pelvic floor physical therapy after you’ve healed and have some semblance of a schedule. I learned that regardless of how your baby is delivered, PT is invaluable!