1) If your family is out of town and wants to come visit for the birth, you should consider having them visit shortly AFTER birth. For some women this won't work, because they have the dream of having their mom there for labor and delivery. You will know what you want best, BUT many of the moms I sat around with said they would have preferred their family coming after the baby was born. Since you don't usually know the exact date of arrival, the days leading up can be nerve-wracking, and having people stare at your every contraction wondering if "it's time"can get old. One friend also said that her parents planned in staying for a month, and once the baby came, they had less than a week left. She would have preferred their presence and help once the baby had arrived.
2) REALLY limit who is allowed to visit you in the hospital. Many people only allow family, and have friends visit later at home. Although one of my friend's has a very large Mexican family for her in-laws, so this was nearly impossible for her and she wished it had been different. She struggled with the fact that the entire family wanted to be there for every moment while she learned to breastfeed and comfort, and while she was healing from natural childbirth. She also said she had a relative become offended that she asked her to wait a few minutes to come in while she breastfed. Which leads me to the next point...
3) Don't be afraid of hurting people's feelings. I am not saying to blatantly tell them 'no' or turn them away, I am just saying that this is an extremely new experience in your life and you have no idea how you will feel or act until you're in it. If you need to ask everyone to leave, then do it. If you need to turn people away and just be with your husband and child, do it. You are so fragile and vulnerable during this time and you need peace, quiet, and comfort. You may hurt some feelings (which is absurd in itself, because YOU just had the baby!), but you can't worry about that in the few precious moments of getting to know your baby. THIS is your new job, and THIS is the little one you now need to do right by. Do what you need to do.
4) Ask a friend or family member to set up a Food Tidings webpage for your friends and family to sign up to bring you meals. Share it on Facebook and by email. After we had Piper, we had two weeks straight of meals provided! Some friends even went over and above, bringing one-handed snacks for the days when Daddy was back at work. If you ask Daniel, he will still tell you that this was the best part of having a baby! We felt so loved and taken care of, and we were sure to provide this as a time for our friends to meet the baby (instead of the hospital). Some of my friends only had 1 or 2 meals provided, so I am so thankful for our supportive group!
5) Connect with other mom friends. These are the women who will understand and support you in those first few days. They will drop food off on your porch and text you about it, knowing that you are probably sleeping, but will need to be fed. They are the ones who will visit you for the first time WITHOUT their kids, because they know how hectic kids can be around a new baby- and a new mom! They will have the tips and tricks for colic, explosive diapers, and sleepless nights. HOPEFULLY, these are the ones who will understand when you are forgetful, tired, and drained in these first few weeks, and they will not hold it against you! Sometimes, these moms will be your lifeline.