21 Things to do Before Giving Birth
Trust me. I've done this a few times.
1. Watch The Business of Being Born: It doesn’t matter what type of birth you are expecting; this documentary needs to be watched. It will open your eyes to the world of labor and birth. Realizing that you are not on a conveyor belt, not just another birthing woman, will help you create your personal birth plan.
2. Learn Why You Should Let Baby Come When He is Ready: Opting out of being induced increases the chances of a healthier birth for both mom and baby. Take the time to research and learn about medical interventions and how you can prevent them.
3. Write a Birth Plan: This tiny piece of paper may seem like nothing, but it truly is everything. The act of writing a birth plan means that you have to acknowledge your desires. This is a huge step in preparing to birth your baby!
4. Interview Pediatricians: All pediatricians are not created equal. Start by talking with mom friends to get information on who they use and why. Then start making phone calls and asking for a time to come meet the doctor(s). Make sure that who you choose practices in a way that treasures YOU as the parent. There are many pediatricians out there who believe that in their building, they are right – no questions asked. You are in charge of your child. Never doubt that.
5. Figure Out Your Post-Maternity Leave Plans (If you will be returning to work): Going back to work is going to be emotional, but having a solid plan in place will help. Spend a day touring daycares or sit down with the caregiver to learn more about her. Explain how you want to parent and make sure that your views align. Talk about pace feeding and how you would like your baby fed. Cover any and all topics so that nothing should come as a surprise once baby starts attending there.
6. Learn the Breastfeeding Basics: Suck up all the information you can – and then attend a La Leche League Meeting!
Now for the FUN TOPICS!
7. Have Sex: Pregnant sex may not be *that* wonderful, but you are about to have ZERO sex for at least 4 weeks (or longer). You may want to get a few more tumbles under the sheets in before baby arrives!
8. Have a Girls’ Night-In: Invite friends over for pedicures (there are services who will come to your home), movies, desserts, a champagne toast to motherhood, and do it all in pajamas.
9. Go to the Movies: It may be a good while before you get to see anything on the big screen!
10. Sleep In – Have an entire day of laziness. I’m talking eating in bed, binge watching Netflix, playing on Facebook, reading a book, taking a bubble bath, and fooling around with your partner.
11. Read a Full Book. Finishing a book cover to cover takes forever once a baby arrives. Pick up something you’ve been hearing great things about and enjoy staying up til 2am for a week trying to finish it!
12. Celebrate the Baby: A sprinkle, a shower, or a blessingway, celebrations are in order. You do not need to ask for gifts (unless baby items are needed – or guests want to give), but instead just take the time to gather with friends talk motherhood, pregnancy, and everything else exciting. There should definitely be cake involved.
13. Make Freezer Meals: This is a life saver postpartum. A freezer stocked full of meals makes everything easier. Babies tend to be fussiest in the evening -right around dinner time- and it can make cooking a bit challenging. Spending an entire afternoon prepping and labeling meals will make you happy. Promise.
14. Have Your House Cleaned: Once nesting sets in, you will want everything spotless. You can get on all fours and start scrubbing baseboards, or you can call in professionals.
15. Get a Massage: The baby weight causes muscles to tighten and pain to occur throughout your back, legs, and shoulders. Book a 60-90 minute prenatal rub down and take the entire day to spoil yourself.
16. Have Your Hair Done: You won’t be able to leave your baby for a while after birth, and you probably won’t even notice how bad your roots are until you are in desperate need of service. Planning a hair appointment around weeks 37-38 will help you feel fresh and pretty throughout the last days of pregnancy.
17. Take Maternity Pictures: Pricey? Probably. Worth it? Totally. Just make sure you spend your money on a GOOD photographer. There are plenty of people who will take your money and hand over pictures you could have taken yourself.
18. Fulfill Your Cravings: While breastfeeding will bring on a whole new level of cravings, what you desire to eat while pregnant will change immediately after birth. Continue to eat healthy and exercise, but give in to some of those crazy cravings – and ENJOY THEM.
19. Have a Shortlist of Baby Names: Even if your heart is set on a name already chosen, have a few back-ups. You never know; your baby may come out not fitting the name you wanted so desperately.
20. Pack Your Birth Bag and Install the Car Seat: So many people keep the car seat in the box until the baby arrives. WHY? Get that sucker installed and checked by a certified car seat technician. You do not want to take any chances on installing it wrong.
21. Go On A DATE: Take every chance you get to celebrate your relationship.