22 Things to do Before Giving Birthby Elizabeth MacDonald
As your countdown to holding your baby ticks by, don't let the days pass without completing these 22 things.
The Things Some Moms Skip
Take a Real Birthing Class
A 3-hour cover-all just doesn't cut it for educating yourself on giving birth. Sign up for a class that takes place throughout an entire trimester. Dig deep and research as you go. Learn what to expect so you can decide what you want.
Watch The Business of Being Born
It doesn’t matter what type of birth you are expecting; this documentary needs to be watched.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Suck up all the information you can – and attend a La Leche League Meeting before you give birth.
Now for the FUN List!
You may want to get a few more tumbles under the sheets in before baby arrives! Sex has amazing benefits for you mentally and physically during pregnancy.
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 your pajamas.
Go to the Movies
It may be a good while before you get to see anything on the big screen again....
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 the professionals.
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.
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.
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.
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. (Learn more about your cravings here.)
Have a Shortlist of Baby Names
Even if your heart is set on a name already, have a few back-ups. You never know; your baby may come out not fitting the name you wanted.
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. Same goes with your birth bag. Make sure you have everything you need ready to go.
Go On A Date
Take every chance you get to celebrate your relationship before your baby arrives.