As your due date approaches, doing research on ways to prepare for birth can really help you have a better birth experience. And there are even things you can do to make life after giving birth a little easier. The transition of bringing baby home can be rough if you don’t do a little prep work, so below are my tips on ways to prepare for birth!
Perhaps the most important of all ways to prepare for birth is to have a birth plan. Know who is going to take you to the hospital when you go into labor, and have a backup driver and vehicle just in case something goes wrong. Know where to go in the hospital. Finally, know about different birth scenarios, and pain relief options, and which you prefer. Discuss your birth plan with your care provider and ask any questions or listen to any advice he or she may have to offer.
You may be surprised at how much stress can be taken off of you by choosing your baby’s doctor prior to giving birth. A good pediatrician is key since you need to feel confident and comfortable with their advice. Meet with as many pediatricians as you would like, and know that you can always change doctors later if you aren’t satisfied.
So your maternity leave from work is over and it’s time to go back to the grindstone. The process of finding a sitter or a nanny you can trust and feel comfortable with can take time, patience, and lots of research, so get on the ball with this before even giving birth. Even if you’re a stay at home mom, knowing you have a reliable sitter in case you need a break or have an errand to do where you can’t bring baby along will ease your mind immensely.
Don’t wait until you’re in labor to discuss your ideas, plans, and feelings surrounding birth with your partner. You should make sure amply ahead of time that your birth partner knows what you want and can firmly support your decisions. It helps to go over your birth plan multiple times to keep it fresh in your partner's mind. Remember though, in the case of a medical emergency, doctors will step in and do what is necessary to prevent disaster from ensuing.
This one can be tricky for first-time moms especially. If you think you’re in labor, but you’re not sure, you can always call your doctor's office. Your best bet, however, is to know the signs of true labor. Ask your doctor or nurse how to time contractions, and what contractions feel like. Know if there are other signs you should watch for as well, such as bleeding, cramping, or leaking fluids.
Have an overnight bag packed with things that you and the baby will need during your hospital stay about 3 weeks prior to your due date. Keep it near the door so you can be ready to go as soon as you start labor. Ask your hospital for a checklist of items to bring. Remember to bring anything that will keep you comfortable too, such as your own socks, your own blanket, glasses or contact lenses, and any other items you might need.
Those first few weeks back home from the hospital, you may not feel like making constant trips to the store. Try to stock up on essentials prior to birth. These may include but aren’t limited to: Diapers, wipes, rash cream, formula if you bottle feed, baby sleepers, extra pads for you, paper dishes, quick and easy prep freezer meals, and lots of nutritious snacks to get your energy back.
If this isn’t your first baby, make sure that other little ones in the family know that there will be a new member soon. Talk about how the baby will look, sound, and act. Encourage questions, and spend lots of time soothing fears, worries, and talking about how much fun big sister or brother will have with the new baby. Make sure family pets are accustomed to the sound of crying, and are aware of being gentle and quiet around sleeping babies.
Remember, just because you have a birth plan all mapped out, or a scheduled date to be induced for labor, that doesn’t mean everything will go according to plan. Babies can come early or late, you could have a fast labor or a slow labor, or you may go naturally or need a C-section. Be prepared for anything, so you won’t be shocked if your plan doesn’t work out!
Giving birth can be a wonderful experience, but just like everything else in life you should prepare and get ready for it. Talking with veteran moms is a great way to soothe fears or seek advice. What are your birth experiences? Please comment below and thanks for reading!
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