10 Important Tips for Preparing for Childbirth
We understand: Preparing for the birth of your baby is overwhelming.
Not only do you need to have regular doctor appointments, but you’re also selecting a theme for the nursery, deciding which products will be best, and trying to have everything organized for the arrival of your little one.
With all these changes—not to mention the transformations your body is undergoing—it’s easy to become emotionally and physically exhausted.
That’s why we wanted to break down some important tasks involved in preparing for your baby’s arrival.
“First and foremost, this is a time to concentrate on your health,” said Amy Dixon, CNM. “We will work closely with you throughout your entire pregnancy. You may want to consider our Centering Pregnancy ® classes, where you’ll find additional emotional support through other couples who are due around the same time you are.”
Our Useful Guidelines for Preparing for Baby’s Birth
1. Get Your Birth Plan Ready
We suggest preparing your birth plan when you’re around 34 weeks pregnant. Most importantly, we want you to talk to us about your preferences and concerns. We pledge to adhere to your birth plan as much as is safely possible.
We also ask you to remember to be flexible. Sometimes, mothers will develop a birth plan only to discover that the baby has plans of their own!
You can review our earlier blog post that goes into detail about five tips for creating a birth plan.
2. Get the Nursery Ready in Plenty of Time for the Arrival
While this is an exciting task, it can also become a bit overwhelming. That’s why we recommend making a checklist and enlisting the help of your partner or support network.
We suggest having everything in place before you’re 36 weeks pregnant—just in case the baby decides to arrive a bit early.
3. Take a Childbirth Class
Studies have shown that women who take a childbirth class have a better experience and often better outcomes than women who do not.
We offer extensive childbirth classes including Centering Pregnancy ®.
4. Get Your Support Network in Place
Let your friends, family and partner know what you’ll need when the baby arrives. Will you require assistance with errands? How about someone to watch the baby while you get some much-needed rest?
You may wish to be cautious about how many people you allow around your baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions about the best way to maintain safety, please let us know.
Also, never forget that we are a part of your support network! We’re always here to help you if you need us.
5. Keep All Your Prenatal Appointments
At these appointments, we’ll be able to track your progress and ensure that you and baby are healthy. We’ll let you know what to expect through each trimester.
In fact, we’ve compiled a useful guide to your OBGYN appointment schedule during pregnancy.
6. Prepare Your Child for the Birth of a Sibling
If you have other children, they’re going through a period of adjustment, too. It’s important to explain what is happening to them in terms they can understand. In addition, you should be sure you’re spending time with them to help ensure that they feel special.
7. Introducing Your Pet to a New Baby
Your pet is a part of your family, and you want to be sure it’s onboard with this new addition. Of course, the introduction will be different for every pet depending upon its personality. But in general, you might want to follow some of these tips from the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA:
- If your dog is crate-trained, make sure that this is still its own space and keep it off-limits to your child as they grow—sometimes a crate can be very tempting for your little one to explore.
- Reward your pet for behaving around the baby.
- Remember that your pet will need an adjustment period.
- If you don’t have good verbal control of your dog, then it’s important to be sure they have training before the baby arrives.
- While cats may take little interest in the new arrival, it’s important that your cat has a place to “hide” or retreat to if it desires.
- Remember that some cats don’t enjoy being touched in certain areas such as their tail. Make sure the baby doesn’t grab the kitty in a way that would startle or upset your pet.
8. Organize Your Home
You may have heard about the urge for nesting during pregnancy. Nesting refers to an intense desire to make sure the home environment is perfectly organized before the baby arrives. This is a common occurrence and most often occurs in the last few weeks before the baby is due.
Regardless of whether or not you are “nesting,” it is always a good idea to have things in order before the baby arrives. Just don’t tackle too many large projects without enlisting some assistance from your support network.
9. Have the Infant Car Seat Installed
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that having a properly selected and installed child safety seat is the best way to protect them from injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
A child safety seat is required by North Carolina law. Most fire departments in the state are certified to properly install your child’s safety seat if you are concerned about whether or not you have installed your child’s seat properly.
10. If Breastfeeding, Be Prepared
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, and a class or a visit with a lactation consultant can make a huge difference in helping you prepare. Be sure that you have all the items you’ll need for breastfeeding, including nursing bras and nursing pillows.
We Will Help Prepare You for the Birth of Your Child
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’re expecting to have an addition to a large family, we’ll help you prepare for the birth of your child by providing quality, compassionate care tailored to the individual needs of you and your baby.
See why we’ve been ranked as one of the top OBGYN practices in the Triangle area. Schedule an appointment with us today.