Preparing for a baby can seem overwhelming, especially if you have to shop for baby items for the very first time. In addition to shopping for the baby, you need to take care of yourself, make arrangements for the baby's medical care after they are born and prepare your home for the new arrival. Where should you begin?
Looking Good Will Help You Feel Good
It may seem irresponsible to spend money on clothes you will only wear for a few months, but what you wear has a big impact on how you feel. Purchasing fashionable maternity clothes will keep you looking great and feeling comfortable throughout your pregnancy. Be sure to choose clothes that stretch, as your body shape may change substantially throughout your pregnancy and stretchy clothes will feel more comfortable than tight ones. Here is a great resource with info and ideas on all maternity clothing basics you’ll need. Make sure you have clothes that are appropriate for work, as well as any holidays or events you will be attending before the birth of your baby.
It's Best to Choose Your Baby's Doctor Before Birth
You and your baby will spend a reasonable amount of time at the doctor's office during your baby's first year, even if they are perfectly healthy. It's essential that you choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with. It's best to write down a list of questions to ask each doctor that you interview. Having a doctor that agrees with your stance on important issues like vaccines and breastfeeding will make it much easier for you to feel confident in your role as a mother.
If you are unsure where to start when looking for a doctor, ask friends and family for recommendations. You may also want to ask your obstetrician for recommendations. They likely work with a group of doctors that includes one or more paediatricians. Make sure that any doctor you are considering is covered under your insurance plan, and be sure to let the doctor at the hospital know which doctor you are choosing for your baby so that they can start being seen by that doctor as soon as possible after birth.
Prepare Food and Clean in Advance
There is no way to predict how you will feel when you bring your baby home from the hospital, so it's best to prepare your home well in advance. Putting meals into the freezer is one of the best things you can do. Casseroles and pasta sauces freeze well and are simple to heat when you don't have time or energy to prepare a full meal. It is also smart to have muesli, fruit and other healthy snacks around your home so you can eat something quickly whenever you're hungry.
Having food prepared in advance is also a great way to prepare for the visitors who are likely to arrive at your home to meet your new little one. Coming home to a clean home will also help you feel prepared to welcome visitors. It's best to avoid major cleaning projects during the last trimester of your pregnancy to limit injury, but simple cleaning tasks are a good way to get exercise and pass the time during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
The wait for your baby can be a tough one, especially toward the end of pregnancy when many women feel that the weeks pass extremely slowly. Taking care of yourself and doing as much as possible to prepare your home for the birth will help you pass the time during these final weeks. It will also help you prepare mentally for the life-changing experience of becoming a mother.
About the Author:
Andrea Smith is a mother of 2 little rascals. She has written for numerous websites and blogs, sharing the knowledge she picked up either through personal experience, or through research. She enjoys writing about pregnancy, motherhood, parenting and life in general.
Since early 2011, Australia has had a Paid Parental Leave scheme. This allows eligible working parents to get paid for up to 18 weeks when they take time off work to care for a new baby or recently adopted child.
Driving during pregnancy can present a unique set of risks - it pays to be as informed as possible about the facts.
Currently in Australia, there is no recommendation for pregnant women to stop driving. And it’s not illegal in any Australian State or Territory to drive during pregnancy. The same road rules apply to all drivers, pregnant or otherwise. But pregnancy itself is not a reason to stop driving.
Our understanding of exercise in pregnancy + postpartum has come a long way in the recent years, and we are much more likely to treat the “normal” pregnancy as a normal physiological process – not a disability.
Exercise in the postpartum period is helpful to regain your shape, increase your energy levels, lift your mood and give you the strength required for your new job of mothering.
Your new role will involve a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing, getting up from chairs and the floor, and holding for feeding.
After the birth of your baby there is a period of healing and physical adjustment from the effects of pregnancy as well as from your labour or delivery.
During pregnancy, there is increased pressure on the pelvic floor from your growing baby, placenta and extra fluid.