Great suggestions already!
I may repeat some, b/c I've got a mental list going and I really need to type it out.
First, we are getting a post-partum doula. I had a c-sec with DS and DH went back to 12 hour work days 4 days after we got home (and we were discharged early) and I NO other help. No way am I going to suffer this time with an older one running around. She will come at whatever times we want her for a few visits (included in package) Then we can pay her hourly after that as needed. We're really comfortable with her (she's my birth doula too) and DS really likes her, so we're very happy.
She's experienced in breastfeeding, but I also have a lactation consultant set up for 2 visits. She'll even bring a scale to weigh baby before/after feeds. This is important for me b/c I don't want to have to leave the house if I don't have to.
- cabbage - some leaves in freezer, some in the fridge, great to stuff around the boobs (not the nipple) when the milk comes in. I remember how awful the engorgement felt!
- goal of REST. I did way too much too soon last time b/c I thought I would be a better mom if I could do everything. Learned my lesson. This time even if I'm feeling good, I'm doing the bare minimum - full recovery is more important to me.
- herbs, vitamin's all stocked prior so I don't have to go out. Things like Vit c, probiotics for me and baby, nipple creams, herbs for recovery, EFA's for me, mother's milk teas etc.
- food. Lot's of dry goods that are quick and easy to cook. Lot's of freezer cooked or ready to cook meals (muffins, oatmeal cookies and stuff too.) I was surprised just how hungry I was sometimes, but then not on some days at all - good to have options. Also, looking into a local organic grocery delivery service, so I don't have to go to the grocery store if I don't need to. (top up toiletries and cleaning supplies too)
- New books and activities for DS to keep him busy
- batteries, camera charged with room for new pics. Baby pictures are addicting!
- preparing potential visitors ahead of time of your ideal visiting schedule. Some people love a lot of people right away, it was way too much for me last time. Struggling with breastfeeding, leaking from all ends and just feeling like a fish out of water was not how I wanted to be around guests. I'm going to be letting people know to be patient while we get settled for a wee bit (a week maybe even 2) this time to allow breastfeeding to get off to a successful start and let DS get adjusted without a revolving door of people (which tends to make him really hyper) This will be easier than trying to do while hormonal post-partum.
- have friends handy to call when you are hormonal post-partum. DH was just not ready for all the tears that came and it was nice to call on friends who really understood.
- already mentioned - frozen pads for the lady bits if needed
- a place for diapers, extra sleepers and the baby to sleep in the main rooms (ie. bedroom and living room here since it's where we spend the most time) Getting up and walking up stairs or across the house numerous times a day isn't necessary when I can just have everything close by - it worked well last time.
- sleep!!!! I'll need it even more this time and really need to remind myself to take advantage when I can
I'm sure there's more, but that's my list so far :)