Having a baby is the single most important thing you will do in your life. Creating a human being is a privilege and millions of babies enter the world every day. From the moment you discover you’re pregnant, you will probably have imagined many times over meeting that little person and the moment you hold him/her for the first time. Having a baby is exciting and the start of a journey. Parenting can be so rewarding, and you will be excited about this new chapter. You may also be feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering if you have everything organized. If you are a first-time parent it’s natural to wonder if everything is in place and worry about the little things. Writing things down or having a handy reference list, will help you feel ready, so what should you do before having a baby?
Make a birth plan
Everyone knows that the best-laid plans don’t always turn out the way you envisage them, however that doesn’t meet you shouldn’t make them. Having an idea of how you would like your labor and birth to progress will help inform your caregivers of preferences and help them make appropriate decisions. What should you include in your plan?
- Where you want to give birth
- Who you want with you
- Labor environment
You may be considering having a home birth, so you must make prior arrangements to support this. Ordering a birthing pool and informing the midwife is crucial, so you are prepared when the day arrives. Informing your caregivers who you want to be with you will prevent any misunderstandings when you go into labor. Creating a list of things you would like in the birthing room, such as candles, music or other calming objects will make it easier if you are finding it hard to communicate in the early stages of labor. When you’ve finished your plan it’s a good idea to keep a copy and give one to the doctor; schedule time to discuss it, so everyone is clear.
Sadly there are times when things don’t go according to plan. According to a birth injury attorney in New York, although giving birth is a very natural part of life, things do go wrong. Most caregivers provide an excellent service for expectant moms, but what if you feel your care has been compromised or the birth plan has not been followed, resulting in a serious problem for you or your baby? Hopefully, this will never happen to you, but if it does there are attorneys available to provide the support that specializes in birth injuries.
Look after your health
Looking after your health when you’re expecting a baby is important for maintaining energy levels and ensuring your baby gets enough nutrients. Eating plenty of fruit and veg will give your body vital vitamins and minerals and help keep your digestive system functioning well. As the baby grows it’s common to experience heartburn or acid reflux, eating smaller meals with help ease the symptoms. Don’t be tempted to eat less, just space your meals out so as not to overload yourself.
Taking a folic acid supplement will help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord, and it should be taken before you plan to get pregnant, or as soon as you find out. It is recommended if you’re planning a baby, take one pill every day as soon as you start trying.
Protein is known to be the building block needed to create healthy skin, muscles, and bones. So it isn’t surprising that taking in enough protein is essential for your growing baby. Adding eggs, red meat, and fish into your diet will help you get your daily protein requirements. Don’t eat raw fish or eggs though as this can increase the risk of food poisoning.
As well as eating the right food, engaging in some gentle exercise will help keep your metabolism functioning well and help you to not gain excessive weight. You may feel hungrier during pregnancy, but eating the right food is more important than quantity, and exercise will help you stay fit.
Shop for the essentials
You have probably started your shopping extravaganza already, especially if this is your first baby. But here are something that you definitely need before you bring your baby home.
Although tiny, your baby will need a warm and secure bed. For the first few months, it’s important that the baby sleeps near you. It makes it easier for nighttime feeds and helps you identify any problem, and get help if needed. A moses basket or attachment to your bed may be all that’s needed whilst they are tiny. You can think about moving them to a proper cot in their own room at a later date.
Nappies, muslins, babygrows
You will be surprised how many nappies you’ll need for such a small person. There are environmentally friendly options so decide beforehand and stock up.
Muslins are useful to protect your clothes from the inevitable vomit that the baby produces after feeding. Don’t be put off, this stage doesn’t last long.
Babygrows are really the only home clothes requirement for newborns, especially if it’s summertime. If the baby is arriving in the winter invest in some warm long sleeves onesies, they are super easy to use and relatively cheap.
As you enter a very exciting part of your life, remember to enjoy every moment of it. The time will be gone in a flash, and you will want to look back with fondness happy memories to treasure forever.