Are you getting your ‘things to do before giving birth‘ list ready?
If you’re pregnant and anything like me, you’re probably running around like a chicken with its head cut off wondering if there’s anything left on your list of things to get done before you give birth.
I absolutely love the feeling of making a to-do list and checking off each item once they’ve been completed. You can imagine how I was the few weeks leading up to the big day. I had no idea what was to come, being that I am a first-time mom. I’d heard about the sleepless nights and the fact that I wouldn’t want to leave the house for weeks; but, I didn’t actually think I would experience that. Call me crazy, but I had it in the back of my mind that I would seamlessly transition to being a mother.
Well, let’s just say there were a few things I wish I would have done before giving birth. For this reason, I want to share a few things I did that you may be forgetting to do, and a few things I wish I’d done.
1.) MAKE TIME FOR YOU PARTNER
I am making this my number one thing to do before giving birth. I can’t tell you how bad I wish I had made more time for my husband. There were so many times where I was on my phone researching who knows what while I could have been enjoying our time alone. Whether you have more date nights than usual, or even if it means having more dance parties at home and cooking dinner together- ENJOY YOUR PARTNER. I remember balling my eyes out two days postpartum thinking of how life wasn’t ever going to be the same. I know my hormones were going crazy at the time, but even now, I miss the time we had alone. I wouldn’t give up my baby for the world, but I would go back in time if I could and make a few more memories alone. My husband and I love fishing and it’s been months since we’ve gone together! As my mom used to say: “Having a baby shouldn’t change what you do, it’ll just change how you do it.” I have been reciting that since day one postpartum!
2.) MAKE TIME FOR YOU
My number one suggestion is to make time for your partner, but number two goes hand in hand. Focus on making time to keep up with your self-care; spend some time alone reading a good book, or fixing your hair. In the last few weeks before giving birth, I focused on making myself feel pretty. I got a shellac mani and pedi, started a good book and made time to fix my hair every morning. I also found time to go walking while listening to a motivational podcast/audiobook. I listened to the Supernatural Childbirth audiobook, written by Jackie Mize, which I HIGHLY recommend. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this book! Trust me when I say, just having your nails and toenails done helps you feel put together the day after giving birth no matter how bad you think you look. Get it, Girl!
3.) PRE-REGISTER AT YOUR HOSPITAL
This may seem like a no-brainer, but let me tell you- IT’S NOT. I had two bump buddies who had a due date close to mine and were not pre-registered the day they went into labor. They told me how they were having to fill out all this paperwork while experiencing those lovely contractions. No, thank you! Make some time to go get pre-registered!
4.) RESEARCH PEDIATRICIANS
For some reason, my mind was so caught up on preparing for my birth and how I was dead set on having a natural delivery that I somehow forgot life would go on once I had the baby! I remember filling out paperwork when the nurse asks me what the name of her pediatrician is. Of course, I looked like a deer in the headlights. How could I forget to research a good pediatrician for my baby? So this is me reminding you to get this done before giving birth!
5.) STOCK UP ON ITEMS FOR YOU
The one thing I made sure to do was stock on up items I knew I would need after giving birth. I didn’t want us to have to go to the store to buy something we could have bought before coming home with our baby. Do you know those lovely pads from the hospital that are a mile long? Yup, they’re not that comfortable, are they? Instead, I stocked up on Depends. SO glad I did! They felt like underwear, and not like I was sitting on a brick. I also made sure to purchase hygiene products and pantry items we use often. Whatever it may be, stock up so you don’t need to leave the house!
6.) WASH BABY CLOTHES
I remember getting home the night of my baby shower and wondering how I was going to wash all of her clothes without feeling overwhelmed when it was time to put them away. She got so many clothes, it was unbelievable! I decided it was best that I just wash the size she would be wearing first- Newborn. I picked up some plastic bins with a lid and folded every size except newborn. This helped me so much to not feel like I needed to wash everything! Plus, I had so many other tasks to complete on my nesting list! 🙂
7.) PACK YOUR DIAPER BAG EARLY
I am guilty of waiting until the very last minute to get my diaper bag ready for the hospital. It was almost too late! I had it in my head that I would wait to do this since I felt it would take me the longest to get this done. Really and truly, you don’t need to take a lot for your newborn. I took my baby’s take-home outfit, a sleeper/ onesie, and her boppy. Actually, I had taken her diapers, as well, and didn’t end up using them. They provide almost everything you need to survive the first couple of days with your baby; it’s really just preference!
8.) PACK A LITTLE EXTRA FOR YOU AND YOUR HUBBY
When it came to my hospital bag, I only packed an extra gown and one going home outfit thinking I would be out of there the following day. Plans changed when I was told that my baby had elevated bilirubin levels, and we ended up staying two more days! Needless to say, I was left having to ask my mom to bring us more clothes. Pack a couple of extra outfits!
9.) TAKE MATERNITY PHOTOS
I’m not saying you need to go and spend a fortune on maternity photos right before you’re about to have a baby; those cute bundles of joys aren’t cheap! 🙂 I knew my cousin owned a camera and asked her to help with taking maternity photos. I was so happy with how they turned out! This is not necessary, but more than anything, I wanted to remember my bump. As much as you may not think this now, you will somewhat miss that bump once it’s gone!
10.) SIGN-UP FOR A BREASTFEEDING CLASS BEFORE BIRTH
I can’t even begin to tell you how I wish I had done this! I watched a few videos here and there on breastfeeding, and thought “I got this.” Little did I know I needed so much more than just to watch a few videos! I have PCOS which drastically affected my milk supply and I definitely was not prepared for that. Had I known that there were natural supplements I could have been taking or foods I could have been eating to help with my supply, I would have done it! Go ahead and do your research on this, but get to a lactation consultant before giving birth!
11.) TRAVEl MORE BEFORE BABY ARRIVES
Since having a baby, it has become a little difficult packing up all three girls and getting out of the house. I enjoy taking them all to the museum and the park, but traveling long distance hasn’t been that easy! There are a few places I’ve been wanting to visit and I really wish my husband and I had traveled more before having the baby!
12. FOCUS MORE ON YOUR BUDGET
You’re probably thinking- ‘what does this have to do with preparing for a baby?’ Trust me, it has everything to do with it! Before having the baby, my husband and I spent SO much money on eating out and buying things we didn’t need.
We didn’t really focus on saving money because we thought we had it covered. Boy, were we wrong! After having the baby, I soon realized just how much we would be spending on formula and diapers. That’s when I knew we HAD to do something about it.
Read: Take Control Of Your Finances Now And Get out of Debt! to see how we did it!
There you have it! Twelve things I did/should have done before giving birth. If you’re currently pregnant and it’s time to start preparing for your birth, I wish you the best of luck! If you don’t complete something off your list, don’t stress! Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy- it’ll have all been worth it once you look into your baby’s eyes. You got this, Mama!
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