As I am writing this I will soon be welcoming a new child into our family. While I am over the moon excited to meet my son, I also know that life is about to change dramatically in a matter of moments upon his arrival. The planner that I am, I am always looking for ways that I can invest time today in order to make tomorrow better and in this case, to really have the time to enjoy these fleeting moments with my newborn. The strategies I put in place have been very helpful to my peace of mind so I thought that I would also share them with the other soon to be parents out there.
Top 5 Preparation Secrets for Soon to Be Mom's
1. Create a birth plan.
As this is my second child I know from experience that during labor is not the right time to be making decisions and from my lessons learned having a birth plan as a guideline to how you would like to delivery to unfold is crucial. You want to create the best environment possible to welcome your child into the world and you want to be the one making the decisions instead of someone else. Your plan would include such things as:
I just wanted to provide you with a few examples but the list goes on. These are decisions that you don't want to make during labor and that you should think and talk about with your partner ahead of time. Then you put this information together in a one-pager and provide it to the hospital either ahead of time or at the time of your arrival depending on the hospital policies. The hospital will then have a guideline to follow to honor your wishes. I have used a template where you answer some pre-defined questions (as sometimes you don't even know your options especially when its your first) and uses your answers to produce a full birth plan in PDF that you can easily print and bring with you. You can find the template is the Baby Center App under tools HERE. The app is also a super great tool throughout the pregnancy that sends you useful updates.
2. Get Ahead on the Paperwork
There is a lot of paperwork involved with having a baby. Trust me, it is more than you think! What I suggest is that you find out all of the necessary paperwork you will need to complete and do as much as possible ahead of the birth. You can find out all the different paperwork usually via a google search as it will be dependent on where you live or there are usually paperwork classes that you can take that will walk you through all that is needed. There is a lot of back-up information, and papers to request and fill in and usually there is also deadlines associated with the submittals. You really won't want to be trying to tackle this with a newborn, it will only create unneeded stress. So, do as much as you can to prepare it and have it all ready in a file folder for submittal after the birth so you don’t need to give it any further thought and you can focus on what really matters, your family!
3. Get Your Mindset Right
Labor and delivery is a physically and mentally draining process. You need to train yourself like you would for an ultra endurance marathon! How the experience will unfold for you will have a lot to do with your overall mindset - mind over matter really is key here! I have had tons of recommendations now from other mothers, my midwife, qyno and so on that a meditation practice ahead of the arrival is the best way to prepare your mind and to stay calm and centered as much as possible during labor so that you can stay in control. A useful tool that I have been using is a free app called Insight Timer. Check it out HERE. It has thousands of different meditations that you can try plus ones made especially for pregnant women. I really like the guided meditations with the body scans to re-focus your mind. Also, the practice has had the added benefit of really calming my mind and creating good energy throughout my pregnancy so that in itself is a good enough reason to give it a try!
4. Gift Registry
We all have well-wishing friends and family that want to support us as we welcome our new baby. With this said, you will get a lot of gifts which will be appreciated as having a baby is expensive so every little bit helps. However, if your loved ones are left guessing what to get you, you may end up with duplicate gifts or things you don't need and then you have to spend energy returning and replacing the gifts and explaining to the gifter where they went. This is a headache you don’t need so be sure to create a gift registry ahead of time that you can share. This has the initial benefit of you getting organized with everything that you need onto one list and also allows you to track what has been purchased and what remains to get so you can budget and plan for the rest. The most convenient registry I have found is through Amazon as it can be managed easily online and it is great for friends and family that may not live locally.
5. Prep Ahead Freezer Meals
I use food prepping as a productivity tool all the time, but it is even more important for bringing home your new baby. The first few weeks after birth are a transition for your full household as you tend to your new child, create your new rhythm, and let's face it, deal with your sleep deprivation. You want to ensure that you and your family are eating healthy so that you can re-gain your strength but you also won't be able to invest much time into food preparation. This is where your freezer becomes your new best friend. Ahead of the birth take the time to prep ahead a few weeks worth of meals to freeze so that when you arrive home with baby you can just unthaw, reheat and enjoy. I have a post up already that has 40 freezer meal recipes that you can use that are easy and healthy - check it out HERE. I have also found some great video recipes below made especially for mom's after giving birth.
Those are my top five preparation tips that you can do when getting ready to have a baby. I hope that you find these as helpful as I did and please share with anyone that might find this useful. I want to send you all love and congratulations as you grow your family and welcome your new child! Please share with me in the comments your feedback on the above tips and other recommendations that busy mom's to-be can use to make their lives easier.
Design YOUR Life ~ Be Authentic. Be You. Be Sharp.