Are you an expecting parent? It’s important to prepare for your baby’s arrival well in advance. This list of tips covers everything from dealing with the physical symptoms of pregnancy to creating a birth plan that works for you and your partner. By following these helpful tips, you can feel more confident as you prepare for this exciting new phase of your life.
Establish Care With a Prenatal Professional
Establishing care with an OB/GYN is important if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. An OB/GYN, an obstetrician-gynecologist, specializes in women’s reproductive health and childbirth. Regular prenatal visits with an OB/GYN can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery for both the mother and baby. It is recommended that women start seeing an OB/GYN early on in their pregnancy, typically around eight weeks, to receive proper medical attention and guidance throughout their pregnancy journey.
Attend Parenting Classes and Consult Experts
One of the best things parents-to-be can do to prepare for their baby’s arrival is attend parenting classes and consult experts. Parenting classes can provide valuable information on topics like breastfeeding, infant care, and sleep training. They can also allow you to connect with other soon-to-be parents and build a support network. Additionally, consider consulting with pediatricians or doulas who can advise finding the right doctor for your baby, preparing for childbirth, and adjusting to life as new parents. With the help of these resources, you can feel more confident as you navigate this exciting new chapter in your life.
Understand Prenatal Screening Tests
Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) is a type of prenatal genetic testing that can detect certain chromosome abnormalities in a fetus through a simple blood test from the mother. This type of screening is non-invasive and does not carry any risk to the pregnancy, unlike invasive procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. It is typically offered to women with a higher risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities, including those with advanced maternal age or previous pregnancies with chromosomal abnormalities. If NIPS detects an abnormality, further diagnostic testing may be recommended for confirmation.
Indulge in Healthy Lifestyle Habits
As a parent-to-be, it’s important to focus on your own physical and emotional well-being and prepare for your baby’s arrival. A healthy lifestyle can benefit you and set a good example and create a healthier environment for your child. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or any other harmful habits that may negatively affect your health and the development of your unborn baby. Remember that self-care is an essential part of parenting, and taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby as well.
Prepare For the Arrival with Necessary Essentials
As the due date approaches, it’s crucial to make sure you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival. This includes essentials such as diapers, clothes, bottles or breastfeeding equipment, a car seat, and a crib or bassinet. You may also want to consider purchasing items that will make your life easier during the first few months of parenthood, such as a nursing pillow or a baby carrier. Creating a checklist can help ensure that you don’t forget any important items before your baby arrives. It’s also a good idea to have some meals pre-prepared in the freezer so you have food on hand in case things get hectic. By being well-prepared with everything you need, you’ll be able to enjoy those early days with your newborn even more.
Create a Birth Plan with Your Partner and Health Care Provider
One of the most important things every parent-to-be should do before the arrival of their baby is to create a birth plan. A birth plan is a document that outlines the choices and preferences you have for your labor and delivery process. Discussing this with your partner and healthcare provider well in advance is important, as it allows you to make informed decisions about your care during childbirth. Your birth plan should include information on pain management options, who you want present during delivery, any medical conditions or concerns that may affect your delivery, and your preference for postpartum care. Be sure to review and update your birth plan regularly as your pregnancy progresses so both you and your healthcare provider are on the same page when it comes to delivering your baby.
Designate a Support Team for After the Birth
As a parent-to-be, it’s also important to plan for the time after your baby is born. This includes arranging for a support team that can help you with tasks like cooking, cleaning, and caring for your newborn. Speak with close friends or family members willing and able to assist during the early weeks or months of your baby’s life. This may also include hiring a postpartum doula or joining local parenting support groups to connect with other new parents who may be going through similar experiences. Having a supportive network around you can help reduce stress and anxiety and allow you to focus on bonding with your new arrival.
Baby-Proof The House
Baby-proofing the house is a crucial element of being prepared as a parent. It might not seem as though it’s something you really need to focus on right at the start because the baby won’t even be crawling around, let alone walking and getting into mischief, for a while. However, time will go a lot quicker than you might expect, and since children all develop at different times, it’s hard to pinpoint the right time to do your baby-proofing, so you might as well start immediately.
It’s not just babies who are on the move that need a baby-proofed house. Even newborns can have problems in a home that isn’t baby-proofed. You’ll need to check that there are no drafts around windows and doors, for example, and that you know how to heat up a bottle without scalding them.
Be Aware Of Your Expectations
Part of the fun of being pregnant, and something that can while away the long months of discomfort, is imagining what your baby will be like and all the fun things you will do together. This is an enjoyable way to spend your time, but don’t let it make you have too high of expectations.
Being a parent is hard, and you need to be prepared for that just as much as you need to be prepared for the good parts. Read parenting magazines and forums, speak to other parents, and generally be aware that there’ll be good days and bad (but that the good makes up for the bad).