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For many moms-to-be, the thought of welcoming your baby can be daunting. But it does not have to be! Preparing for your baby’s birth as much as possible beforehand can be a great idea, making the whirlwind of excitement as easy as possible.
From knowing the signs of going into labor to choosing a delivery method, whether it be a vaginal, cesarean, or even home birth. It is necessary to plan for your baby’s birth as much as possible.
There are many activities helpful for labor and a positive birth experience. From taking a childbirth class to reading empowering birth stories, plenty of resources are available to help you feel more confident and excited about giving birth.
Also, remember to talk with your doctor if you have any concerns or notice anything that is not right with your body.
Having a baby is a life-changing experience that requires a lot of preparation. Sit back, relax and read below the 12 tips to prepare for a positive birth.
RELATED READ: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BABY PREPARATION
Prepare your body for birth
Giving birth to a baby requires strength, and you should prepare your body for it. Moderate daily exercise can help you feel your best throughout your pregnancy and when labor starts.
Walking is a good form of exercise, and you can do it up until D-day.
You could also find out about antenatal exercise classes near you. A pregnancy yoga class, for example can help you get your baby in a good position for birth. Plus, it provides some relaxation and breathing techniques to help you stay calm.
Any type of exercise is adequate. Just move!
Learn about childbirth and how to recognize labor
Welcoming your baby into the world can be overwhelming, exciting, and even scary. But you need not worry too much. Learning about labor positions and everything surrounding childbirth can help ease your fears and make you a more active participant in your own birth process.
Consider taking birthing classes to answer your questions about the different stages of labor, pain management options, and medical equipment that may be used during your delivery. You will learn breathing techniques and practice how to work through contractions that are helpful when the time comes for delivery.
You can also learn about the different ways of giving birth by watching videos of actual deliveries. A few of the most common births include:
- A vaginal birth
- A water birth
- Childbirth with an epidural
- A C-Section (cesarean section) birth
Classes are usually available at your local hospital or birthing center- or you can take one online. Start taking them a few months before your due date, as they can fill up quickly.
There are books you can read and learn from other women who have given birth.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I read Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.
I enjoyed reading these two books and found them helpful. The information I gathered allayed my fears and answered many questions about pregnancy, childbirth, babies, and being a parent.
RELATED READ: MY POSITIVE BIRTH STORY: BABY #2
Make a birth plan
A birth plan will highlight what you want for your delivery. It will help your doctor or midwife, nurses, and support people understand your personal wishes. How you want you and your baby to spend the first few hours after birth. And also if what you have in mind is feasible and safe for you and your baby.
But remember that being well-informed and armed with a birth plan does not mean your labor and delivery will always go as planned.
RELATED READ: WHAT IS A BIRTH PLAN? AND WHY YOU NEED ONE
Take breastfeeding classes
Breastfeeding classes are an essential part of preparing for a positive birth. Even though breastfeeding is a natural process, it requires you and your baby to learn how to do it right. These classes teach you about proper latch, the correct way to hold your baby while feeding, and recognizing when your baby is getting enough.
You might find the classes through your hospital or local support programs. Taking a breastfeeding class will also allow you to meet a lactation consultant who can help you after you give birth.
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Find a pediatrician for your baby
Start looking for a doctor or pediatrician for your baby early. This will give you plenty of time to choose the right doctor for your family and find out if they are accepting new patients.
Visit the hospital
Knowing where you will deliver is essential. Most hospitals offer tours, which are great if you have a choice of where to give birth. A nurse or other hospital staff can take you through where you will have your baby and what you can expect while you are there.
Make sure you both know the quickest route to the hospital and keep the car filled with fuel to avoid surprises.
Work with your partner
A new baby will definitely change your family dynamics. So it is necessary to talk to your significant other about how he can support you during labor, breastfeeding, parenthood, and household responsibilities. Feeling supported can help you feel much les anxious about the arrival of your baby.
You can also decide on picking baby names, whether to circumcise, how you will feed your baby, and whether to have a religious ceremony (such as a baptism or baby naming).
Pack your hospital bag
Some hospitals may have pre-packed items for new moms, but you should still pack supplies for you and your baby.
Consider packing your bag at about 32 weeks while preparing for birth. So you are ready if you need to go to the hospital unexpectedly.
Some essentials to pack in your hospital bag include:
- Your pregnancy health record
- Easy-open tops for breastfeeding
- Extra undies
- Warm socks
- Lip balm
- Day clothes
- Slippers and comfortable shoes
- Maternity bra and breast pads
- Basic toiletries – toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, conditioner
- Maternity sanitary pads
- Tops and bottoms
- One-piece suits
- Large cotton or muslin wraps
RELATED READ: WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG FOR LABOR
Stock up on household essentials
Before your baby arrives, stockpile things like toilet paper, paper towels, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. The last thing you need when caring for your new baby is to run out of toilet paper.
Make and freeze meals
Consider cooking and freezing some meals weeks ahead of your due date. As the days approach till your baby’s arrival, your energy levels may be low, and cooking might be the last thing on your mind. A few weeks of meals in the freezer can be a lifesaver.
It is easy to get wrapped up in caring for a newborn, but parents need to take care of themselves, and eating a balanced, healthy diet is a big part of that.
Some of your friends can bring food when they visit too, and you can freeze them until you need them.
RELATED READ: FREEZER MEALS FOR NEW MOMS
Set up all the baby gear
Before your baby is born, you should have purchased your baby gear. Have them assembled and tested to make sure they work as they should.
With baby gear, less is more. Stick to important essentials like a rear-facing car seat and a safe place for your baby to sleep, such as a bassinet or crib. If you plan to use other items like an infant swing or changing tables, you should assemble those as well.
RELATED READ: Newborn Baby Shopping List with Pictures
Decorate your baby’s nursery
Setting up a nursery is a beautiful part of preparing for your newborn’s birth. Start well in advance before things become difficult for you to handle with your growing baby bump.
Set the tone using calming colors. Soft grays, creams, and neutral colors work best in a nursery, with most baby furniture and clothes blending in seamlessly.
Decorating your baby’s nursery is a fun and exciting time for you and your partner.
RELATED READ: ADORABLE BABY NURSERY IDEAS
Preparing for a newborn’s birth is an exciting and joyful time for parents. Though the journey can be long and tiring, the outcome is worth it all.
A lot goes into planning ahead for your newborn’s arrival. You will probably forget a few things, but that will still be ok.
Mama, remember that your body is capable of bringing a new life into the world and you need not be afraid. Other women have been through this before, and you can do it too!
Also, if you have questions and concerns about your pregnancy journey, talk with your doctor or midwife.
You can have a beautiful and positive birth experience with the correct preparation and mindset.