Postpartum can be challenging. Mom and Dad are adjusting to having a new family member who is totally dependant on them for everything. Mom is facing the reality if she is breastfeeding that she is the 24 hour all you can eat buffet for baby. Mom is also dealing with being sore from labor and birth, having bleeding and maybe leaky breasts that turn on and off at random when baby isn't nursing. Dad is trying to figure out how best to help Mom while learning that there are some problems that he can't fix for Mom. Both parents are navigating all this while in a very sleep deprived state, and may be getting all kind of conflicting advice about sleep, feeding, holding baby etc from friends, family and caregivers.
Don't get me wrong, postpartum can be wonderful. Baby is here and Dad can finally touch and hold him or her. There's nothing to match the feelings of seeing your baby's first smile, or hear that first belly laugh, not to mention the delight in locking gazes with baby. There is a special joy in knowing someone is so dependant on you and that you can take care of them.
There are things you can do to set yourself up to have an easier postpartum, or fourth trimester. One of the most important things you can do is to have help available for the first 2-3 weeks postpartum. Maybe a family member stays with you and helps with meals, cleaning and all the household duties so the parents can focus on baby and recovering from pregnancy and birth. Some families hire a postpartum doula to help, or they have someone arrange for a meal train, and use delivery services for groceries, diapers and other necessities of life for the first few weeks. Having some easy to prep meals, or freezer meals on hand is another great way to prep for postpartum. Having a diaper changing station, or basket with all the diaper necesseties to keep close at hand when baby is here, as well as a snack station for mom are other ways to make postpartum a little easier, especially if you are not able to arrange for someone to always be around in the first few days and weeks.
You get to decide what you want your postpartum time to look like. Maybe it includes things like dates and times you will be able to receive visitors. I personally recommend that any visitors have a job do to like laundry, cooking, dishes etc as part of the visit (you could have a list of things you want help with for visitors to pick from). Maybe there's a scheduled time for Dad to go hang out with friends, or Mom steps out to get a pedicure. Maybe you have a list of older siblings' favorite games, movies, or places to visit for friends and family who want to help with siblings. The options are endless, so think through what you feel you will need, and what you want. Consider making a written postpartum plan which can help with communicating your needs and desires with others. You can share it with family and friends who are going to be part of your support team. Remember, it is your postpartum and not anyone else's so do what you need to do to have the postpartum you need and want.