Getting Prepared for Baby
Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most magical yet nerve racking moments of your entire life. So we put together a list to help you prepare for your new arrival.
Whether you were trying or not, there is always that moment of excitement, joy and love, followed by,”Oh crap how am I going to do this?”
Many people out there, especially new moms, will tell you that the thought of giving birth gives them anxiety. A lot of first time fathers-to-be will tell you the same thing. Because of that, we have come up with a few key ways to get ready for baby to help reduce anxiety and leave room for more excitement.
- Find a doctor you are comfortable with – This is a key part of the process of carrying a baby for nine months. You will visit your doctor every month until the last month or so, then it will be every few weeks. If you’re not comfortable with your doctor during routine visits, chances are you’re going to have a really hard time during delivery. When I was pregnant, I found a doctor who was not only super sweet but lived the same kind of active lifestyle that I did. When people would tell me things like exercise was not good for my baby, she was there to help make sure I was doing the right exercise which put my mind at ease. So, take your time, interview different doctors, research stats, and most importantly make sure you could tell them anything and everything. This not only goes for the mom-to-be but also the father.
- Get on the same page with your partner – Not only with the birth experience, but also raising a child. It is going to be amazing, rewarding & the most difficult thing you will ever do. It is a day by day, moment by moment, life changing event that requires all-hands-on-deck. Being on the same page as your partner will make this process easier. You need to be a team because if you are divided, things will only get worse with each step. I remember before I got pregnant, my husband always talked about a home birth and how he didn’t want me to take any drugs for fear it could harm the baby. I thought, “Okay, let’s talk about that when the time comes.” Fast forward to our first doctor visit. She gave us all the information we needed to know about both a natural and epidural birth. We went home later that night and talked it through. We needed to be on the same page so we knew what to expect and how to handle any situation that might come up. If you don’t have a partner, then you need to make sure that your family, friends, or anyone else who is there to help knows what you want.
- Talk to veteran moms – This one is a catch 22. Most veteran moms are great and will give you so much knowledge on what to expect, but be mindful of people who want to push their birth plan onto you. How you feel is the most important thing, so use them as tools to help you learn, but know that you are your own woman and should never feel bad if your birth plan is different from someone else’s. However, woman who have been through pregnancy before can provide valuable information about must have items for baby, what to pack in your hospital bag, and what to expect during delivery. We are a good network for free advice.
- Prepare siblings and/or pets – Adding a new addition to your family will totally rock a sibling’s or pet’s world. Think about it. Going from getting all the attention to getting less attention. There are many ways to get siblings excited about the new baby, including using baby dolls or having them go to special new baby classes at the hospital. Giving them the sense of responsibility for baby will also get siblings more excited about the new addition. The same goes with pets. With our pup, Waldo, we had him sit in the nursery with us as we decorated. We let him smell the new baby stuff, and most importantly, we had our brother bring the baby’s hat home first for him to smell before we brought our little one home. We even took it as far as letting him come out to sniff her before we took her inside. Involving pets and siblings in all things baby helps the transition. Also, make sure you have lined up family or a babysitter to watch siblings or pets while you are in delivery and recovery with your new family member.
- Line up help for after the baby is born– Whether you are a first-time parent or a veteran this is very important: You need to make sure that you have help once baby comes. Make sure your help knows your expectations. A lot of first-time parents have friends and family come to help. Keep in mind that sometimes helping turns into everyone fawning over the new baby and you doing all the house work, laundry, and cleaning, all while you are trying to deal with a rush of crazy emotions. So, have the talk beforehand, make to-do lists and put them on the fridge. Most importantly, don’t feel bad about hogging YOUR baby. Giving birth is one of the most important moments in a mom’s life, and the second most important part is finally being able to hold the one you have been carrying for nine months. It is your time with your baby.
- Know what to do when labor starts – We have all seen it. That moment in the movies when the water breaks and everyone starts freaking out, throwing bags in the car, and speeding off to the hospital. The best thing for you and your partner is to have a plan and to know exactly what to do. Talking with your doctor about this will also help and give you a good idea of what to expect. Getting sent home from the hospital because your contractions aren’t strong or close enough is one of the worst feelings in the world. Download the contraction app onto your phone so you can start timing and recording your contractions. I went in the morning of my delivery because my contractions were consistently a few minutes apart, but the hospital sent me home because my contractions weren’t strong enough. So, make sure you hold off until those bad boys have you doubled over and taking deep breaths. I know it sounds awesome right!
- Decide who will attend the birth – This is your moment, so you can have as many or as few people in your delivery room as you would like, depending on room size of course. For us, it was a private moment that only the two of us wanted to share. I told the nurse beforehand that I didn’t want anyone but my husband in the room. She was a big help in making sure that visitors waited outside until we were ready for them. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you are like me and don’t really want to be showing your lady parts to your entire family, then you need to make sure you have that talk with your partner about who will be in the room.
- Pack a bag – Make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready to go. I packed my bag about a month out, and while my husband took the dog for a walk, I put it in the back of the car so Waldo wouldn’t see. Since we lived out of our car for a year before the pregnancy, when Waldo sees a bag packed, he thinks we are going somewhere. If we go without him with a bag, he gets anxious. So, if you have pets, you might need to get a little sneaky. I find having it in the car is best because you never know when your water will break or where you will be.