So you’re pregnant and will be having a baby soon! How exciting! I bet there are so many emotions running through your head. A little bit of nervousness, a ton of anticipation, maybe even a little bit of worry. Don’t feel alone — almost all of us moms felt that way in the days leading up to having our babies. And I think preparation is one of the best ways to help calm those nerves.
Here are my top 10 tips for preparing to give birth.
1. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. You were made for this moment and your body will do exactly what it needs to do for the baby. Plus, you’ll have a team of medical professionals whose sole focus will be a healthy delivery of your new bundle of joy.
2. Don’t overpack. The last thing you want to do is to be running around the house after your water breaks and end up having to gather and carry a bunch of bags. The hospital will provide nearly everything you need for you and your baby during and after delivery.
3. Finish filling out your birthing plan, so that when you go in to deliver they know what you are expecting. This includes details like whether or not you want an epidural, if you’re willing to have a C-section if need be, if you are going to save the umbilical cord tissue, etc.
4. Take a birthing class. My husband and I took a birthing class at our hospital in the months leading up to KJ’s birth and it really helped me to feel prepared for what was to come.
5. Cook a few freezable meals ahead of time and store them in your freezer. This way, you can just pop them in the oven or slow cooker on a day where you don’t have the energy to make a big meal from start to finish.
6. Get a bassinet. I made sure to have one in my room so the baby was easily accessible for those nighttime diaper changes and feedings.
7. Decide now who you want in the room when you give birth. The last thing you want is a random family member insisting on being in the room and you being too kind to ask them to leave. Be sure to tell your nurses so they can ask all visitors to leave for the birth other than the specific people you’ve chosen.
8. Line up your help for after the baby is born. My in-laws came when I had both my boys, and they were such a big help to me. All my family was. And I’m so glad they had already scheduled their visit to see us. I needed all the help I could get after I had my babies.
9. Exercise. Regular exercise during pregnancy could help to keep your muscles strong for the delivery, and possibly help your body to recover quicker and get back into shape afterwards. However before you start any exercise plan, consult your doctor.
10. Let your doctor know if you would like instant skin-to-skin contact after your baby is born and whether you want to breastfeed right away. The more info you give your doctor and team of nurses, the better it will go.
What an exciting time this is for you as you prepare to meet your growing bundle of joy for the first time! I hope this list helps to calm your nerves and makes you feel a little more prepared for that big day. You’ll do great!