It is nearly time to meet your new bundle of joy! Here are our 10 top tips to prepare for your baby’s arrival.
WRITING A BIRTH PLAN
Like most of us, you probably started thinking about your birth plan soon after your first appointment with your midwife. Now that your due date is approaching, this is a good time to revisit the original and see if you still feel
the same way as you did all those months ago.
NHS UK advise you can change your mind about your wishes for labour and birth at any time if you cannot have the birth you originally planned for. Be assured that this happens to many expectant mums and you will be in excellent hands on the day. The maternity team that cares for you during labour will discuss your birth plan with you, so they know what you want.
Talk to your partner about your birth plan, what you hope for, and the part they will play. By doing this, you can help them know what they can do best to help support you. Most partners are glad of this chat, as they have no idea what they are supposed to do once labour starts!
WHAT TO TAKE INTO HOSPITAL FOR LABOUR AND BIRTH
As your due date gets closer you might want to double check your hospital bag. Some women find it easier to have two separate bags, one for the actual labour and birth and another one with all baby’s essentials in including their coming home outfit.
A good example of a well-packed labour and birth bag would most likely include:
- Nightshirt or Long T-Shirt.
- Slippers or other comfortable favourites.
- Wash bag with overnight essentials.
- Water spray bottle and washcloths to help cool you.
- Music and headphones, a favourite playlist and maybe a good calm/meditation app.
- Snacks. You may not want to eat at all during labour, but you may find yourself suddenly ravenous after the birth and must wait until the meals are served, so it is a good idea to pack something you know you normally enjoy when you are hungry!
- Remember to pack your phone charger. It can be easy to forget in the excitement of going into labour.
Our Amy Changing Bag makes an ideal hospital bag – take a look at the Amy here.
THE PREGNANCY NESTING INSTINCT
There is a window of time when all you will be able to think about is cleaning! You may even become obsessed – this is perfectly normal your maternal instincts have kicked in and you are feathering your nest in preparation for
your precious little one to arrive. This is the perfect time to gather baby’s clothes and freshly launder everything. Remember to use a gentle detergent suitable for sensitive baby skin and remove any tickets that may cause irritation.
Once you have everything neatly folded or hanging in the nursery this is a wonderful opportunity to select baby’s coming home outfit. Think about the what the weather may be like and if there is likely to be a long walk to the car from the maternity wing. Remember to include separate items like scratch mittens and a hat.
MEAL PREPPING AHEAD OF GOING INTO HOSPITAL
Your first few days at home are likely to be very peaceful as you and baby will sleep lots and you may not even feel like eating much during this time, but if you have a partner and other children to think about, you will really thank yourself for cooking and freezing favourite meals ahead of time. According to Mother & Baby in their article ’20 healthy meal ideas for mums who are breastfeeding’ breastfeeding can burn as many as 500 calories a day, so you need to keep your energy up.
Ask your partner to stock up on healthy and easy to eat snacks such as hummus or avocado, fresh fruit, yoghurt, nuts and seeds, and other fibre-rich foods that may help if you are suffering with constipation. Drink lots of water and herbal tea to stay hydrated whilst you rest. You can read the full article on healthy meal ideas when breastfeeding from Mother & Baby here.
AVOIDING JEALOUSY WHEN THE NEW BABY COMES HOME
If you already have a child, now is the perfect time to give them your undivided attention because the new baby will demand much more of your time! Most parents worry about how their existing child or children will react when Mummy comes home with their new brother or sister so this extra special time can also be used to gently explain everything that is about to happen, reaffirm how much you love them and how important their part as big brother or big sister is to you and the family.
Once home, you can maybe find ways to include your older child. If you are feeding why not say “I’m going to feed your baby sister in a minute, would you like me to read your favourite book to you or would you like a snack as well?”
GET YOUR PET READY FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW BABY
Pets can react the same way as older siblings when it comes to the arrival of a new baby and it can throw their behaviour out. According to Hanne Grice, UK dog trainer and behaviour specialist aka The Dog Whisperer, preparation is the key. She says in her article Baby Proofing Your Dog “You can help get your dog ready for change before the baby arrives, and then foster the relationship once baby is home”. You can read the full article from Hanne here.
WHO TO CONTACT FIRST WHEN YOU GO INTO LABOUR
Once you have telephoned your partner and your midwife you will want to contact your family and friends and let them know it is happening! Make a list of contacts you can keep in your phone or even create a what’s app
group so you can keep family and special friends updated as you progress. Your partner can take over later when you need to rest, and once baby has arrived you can post the first photos to the whole group!
WHEN SHOULD I PHONE THE MATERNITY WARD?
NHS UK advice is: Call your midwife for guidance when your contractions are in a regular pattern and
- Last at least 60 seconds
- Come every 5 minutes
If you are planning to have your baby in a maternity ward, phone the hospital. For more information on signs that labour has begun, you can visit the NHS UK website article here.
HOW MANY NAPPIES PER DAY FOR A NEWBORN?
No matter how many nappies you have bought, you will go through them a lot quicker than you think. Plan for at least 10-12 nappies per day to keep your supply plentiful. If you have bought reusable nappies, make sure you have enough so you do not need to have the washing machine on day and night!
WHAT SHOULD I PACK IN MY HOSPITAL BAG FOR AFTER THE BIRTH?
Compared to twenty years ago, most women can leave hospital relatively quickly after a normal birth, but it is always best to be prepared just in case.
- Nightdress with easy open for breastfeeding
- Dressing Gown
- Loose fitting loungewear
- Nursing Bra
- Maternity pads and Breast pads
- Unscented toiletries
- Cotton wool pads
You can always have a back-up bag at home that your partner can bring in for you if you must stay longer than anticipated.
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Best wishes from everyone at JUNIORJONES and congratulations on your precious bundle of joy when he or she arrives!