Maternity leave is a wonderful opportunity for you to focus on those final weeks of your pregnancy, prepare your home and your own mind for the little one and to enjoy the early days of your baby’s life. Unfortunately, the stress of simply knowing that maternity leave is going to end will set in soon; for many women, it happens almost immediately after your baby is born.

To make matters worse, chances are pretty good your spouse is going to go back to work before you do. It can be intimidating – the thought of being alone all day with a brand new baby – and you may not know quite what to expect.

Encourage and schedule visitors

One of the best ways to get through the rest of maternity leave without feeling alone and overwhelmed is to ask friends and family members to stop by. Even an hour or so during the day can help you relax, take time for a shower and give you some “adult time.”

Prepare yourself for your partner being away.

Be ready for whatever happens. It may be a hectic few days at first, where you feel like you don’t even have time to stop and make yourself something to eat. Pack a couple of lunches for the week ahead of time; you’ll want something you can grab quickly in between feedings and diaperings.

Spend some time outside

If the weather cooperates with you, take baby for a stroll around the block. If you live in town, you can head down to a coffee shop and enjoy some fresh brew until your little one wakes up. The sunlight will help your mood, and being around other people will help you feel less isolated.

Talk to other moms – or just anyone at all

Joining a new moms’ group can be a wonderful way to share your experience with others and gain from their experiences as well. If you’re feeling alone, isolated and down, give an old friend a call on the telephone. Even just five minutes of long-distance interaction can do a world of good.