|Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash|
Do you remember all those months ago when you looked at the little window on your pregnancy test? The blue line slowly appeared at around the same pace as the smile on your face. You’d done it. You’d found out you were pregnant. Fast forward seven months or so and your ankles are sore, your back is aching, and you need to pee every thirty seconds. No one mentioned this. You’re becoming so bogged down in how your pregnancy is making you feel that you’re forgetting to plan for the imminent arrival of your first born.
It’s important to try and keep a clear head and not to focus on every minute detail. Any mum will tell you that it is nigh on impossible to account for every eventuality and be fully prepared. To some extent you have to go with the flow. Babies don’t run to a schedule. Take a look at what you can do to prepare for your newborn’s arrival into the world.
It sounds like something that shouldn’t be high on your agenda as it has little bearing on the arrival of your newborn. However, securing the length of time you stay at home with your baby as well as ensuring financial security for this period is vital to ease the stress on your household. It doesn’t matter whether you work part-time, you’re self-employed, or you have a high powered city job, you should investigate your maternity rights well in advance.
The Hospital Bag
Many a British sitcom has made a joke of the hospital bag. Images of clueless fathers trying to pack last minute items into a holdall as their partners endure the pain of contractions should not be replicating the position you find yourself in. Pack well in advance and treat yourself to some new pyjamas, a dressing gown, underwear (I’d suggest full, black pants), a toothbrush and the all important breast pumps. Don’t forget your favourite tea bags, plenty of snacks, wet wipes and some calming music. Adding a little familiarity to your birthing experience will help you relax and feel more comfortable in the maternity ward of a hospital.
If you and your baby will be taken home by car make sure the car seat and blankets are ready too for when it’s time for your partner or family to come and collect you.
The Route To The Hospital
You need to know how you are going to get to the hospital when you go into labour. You should do a recce of the journey from all the different places you might be, such as your home or your parents house. Work out how long it takes at different times of the day and make sure you have four or five people’s phone numbers should you find yourself on your own or somewhere random when your waters decide to break.
Ensure that you research the quality of the hospital you choose to give birth at. Do they have enough suitably qualified doctors? Are they suffering a midwife shortage? You don’t want to be relying on a birth injury lawyer because the maternity department was overstretched and didn’t give your birthing plan the attention it required. Choose somewhere local that your friends recommend after their positive birthing experiences.
It’s important not to fight your nesting instinct when it kicks in. You’ll want to create the most pleasant, secure and safe environment for your little one. Purchase the cot early and think about the colour scheme of your baby’s room. You might want to opt for the typical baby blue or pink hues, or you might want to go for a more neutral palette and select creams and off-white tones. You can then wait for your little bundle of joy’s arrival before personalising the room further.
You can read every article, piece of research and manual ever made about being a first-time mum, yet nothing will ever truly prepare you for what’s in store. Babies aren’t like pets; they don’t have a set routine, they don’t grow at the same rate or share the same personalities. You can’t learn how to nurture or love them; this will all come naturally. The moment your little one arrives, everything you have read will go out of the window as you become overwhelmed with unconditional love for this new little human being. Remember to accept any help offered to you and seek help and advice if needed.
There are steps you can take to be more prepared for the birth of your little bundle of joy. However, you also need to have a relaxed attitude and not become too precious about planning every moment of the birth because babies aren’t that simple to plan for.
Enjoy these last couple of months before your baby arrives because soon life will never be the same again…
What tips do you have for preparing to bring your newborn baby home?