Pregnant? How To Prepare For Your New Baby's Homecoming
38 to 40 weeks of pregnancy is almost a whole year! However, the reality is that time will fly so fast that your baby would be in your arms before you know it.
Meanwhile, you need to prepare for his/her coming, after all, you got enough notice don't you? Planning would help to ease your anxiety as the day draws near.
Here are ways you can prepare for your baby's homecoming
Know the birth process:
Understanding what you would go through while birthing is important to prepare your mind. Reading books on pregnancy, surfing the net for baby information and childcare, attending an antenatal clinic and asking questions from your doctor will go a long way in equipping you for the task ahead. From these, you can learn the labour processes, pain management and other aspects of delivery.
Register at a hospital:
As soon as you confirm your pregnancy, register at a hospital, clinic or maternity home. There you receive regular health checks and teachings on pregnancy and childbirth. If you have health insurance you can also find out from your provider if it covers you during pregnancy and how it can be extended to your baby.
Draft a birth plan:
Having a personal plan that contains your preference is important to the outcome of delivery. You can discuss this with your doctor, gynaecologist or obstetrician. You need to know that child delivery can be unpredictable so you need to prepare your mind for a change in your plan. For example, If you planned for a vaginal delivery and due to a complication during labour, you have to do a caesarean section which was not in your birth plan. Accepting this change and rolling with it is key to have a live baby and mother. Your birth plan should be flexible to accommodate alterations.
Carry your partner along:
Talking about pregnancy and delivery with your partner is natural and normal. However, you also need to talk about childcare after the baby is born. Express your expectation, hear his perception and reach an agreement about it to avoid conflict when your baby comes home. For example, talk about baby duties like changing the diaper, cleaning poop, holding the baby at night, other house chores, baby naming ceremony, roles of in-laws in childcare etc.
Learn from other mums:
There are things you may not learn from books, doctors or nurses; it is not because they do not know it but they may not count it as important as it would be to you. When you talk to experienced mums, they tend to give you insightful counsel from experience that would help you a lot on your journey to motherhood. For example, pooing during delivery, postpartum depression, and reduced sex drive the different feeling you get pre and post pregnancy pooing etc. Pregnancy and delivery experience differ from person to person, learn all you can from their stories and expect the best in yours.
Prepare the mind of your older kids:
If you are not a first-time mum then you have to prepare the mind of the big brother or sister in accepting their new sibling. Usually, many young kids are jealous of the new-born but you can minimize it by role-playing with a doll. Also, plan to get someone to take care of your child while you are at the hospital.
If your relatives and friends live close by, you can enlist their help in the first few weeks of childbirth. You need the extra help no need to claim to be a super mum else, you will wear yourself out. Getting help will give you valuable time to rest and regain your strength. You can also hire help or get a babysitter for your older kid.
Plan what you will do when labour starts:
Your game plan should include whom to call when labour starts, apart from your partner, you can agree on who else to call in case you cannot reach him immediately. If you do not have a car, you can schedule a cab to pick you up.
Decide who attends to your baby birth:
As a couple, you need to decide who would be with you while you are birthing your baby. Also, check with the hospital what their requirement is for such support. Some women do not mind having in-laws with them and a room full of people while others may prefer to have alone time just their mother and husband attending to their needs while at the hospital. You can also assign someone to handle your call and messages, restrict visitation at this time to reduce the stress on you.
Get your bags ready:
By the time, you are hitting the 36-38 weeks mark you need to get your bags ready because your baby can pop out at any time. Ensure you check it against the hospital list to be certain all is set for the D-day. You can also bring other personal items that help you feel more comfortable during your stay at the hospital.
Stock up on home essentials:
Prepare the room, clothing and other baby items that your baby would need at home. You do not have to buy all the baby products on the market. Also, stock your home with food items, stew, and soups for your homecoming will not involve you heading for the market early. All you have to do is to heat up or cook the stored food.