You’re pregnant…Now what?
You just found out you are expecting. You’re excited and scared about the months ahead. There’s so much to be done that your head is spinning… but it doesn’t necessarily have to. We put together a comprehensive list of resources for expectant parents. With this list in hand you’ll have a great starting off point to handle your pregnancy.
Doctor or midwife
Before you start really planning is best to visit a doctor to confirm everything is OK. Make sure you choose a doctor or midwife you are comfortable with. Pregnancy is a delicate time and they’re are many subjects you’ll want to discuss. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable discussing these as it could impact your mind and body.
Many gynecologists are also obstetricians. You may find you want a more holistic approach and to for a midwife. Whatever you decide you’ll want to make sure everything is progressing as it should now and over the next few months.
Read a good baby preparation book
If this is your first pregnancy you’ll want to read up about what to expect in pregnancy and what to expect in labor and delivery. One of the most popular books around is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. This book really goes over all the possible scenarios you may face and how to handle each one. There are many other books that can guide you through what’s occurring during your pregnancy.
You may also want to pick up a book about babies during their first year. There are so many developments and milestones that if can be helpful for first time parents.
Pregnancy must haves
There are a few pregnancy items that you will just need no matter if it’s your first or 5th pregnancy. You may be able to get these from friends or family or find discounts. Either way, these will make you feel more comfortable in the months ahead.
If this is your first child you’ll most likely be able to fit in your regular clothes for a few months. But as many find, as soon as you move to maternity clothes you’ll be much more comfortable.
There are specialty maternity stores but also larger chains like the Old Navy and Target have maternity lines. You can find good coupons from store so you’re not paying an arm and a leg on clothes you may wear for just one year. Remember that if you plan on getting pregnant again it may be in a few years, and those flare jeans may not necessarily be in style in 3-5 years. Keep this in mind before shelling out big bucks for certain items.
Your doctor may prescribe some prenatal vitamins. You’ll want to make sure you take these every day. Over the counter vitamins work as well. For my recent pregnancy I took chewables! They’re delicious and because of that I always remembered to take them.
This was INDISPENSABLE! I could not get a good rest without it. Propping up your back or belly is something you’ll want to do later in your pregnancy. If you have enough room in your bed, get a large maternity pillow.
You’ll learn with multiple pregnancies that every person is different and every pregnancy is different. Here are some of the common remedies you may need during your pregnancy.
- Stool softener
- Heating pads
- Foot stool
Maternity leave info
If you are a working mother you will want to research the ins and outs of maternity leave. Every company is different as well as every state when it comes to leave benefits. You may need to negotiate a longer leave or you may not. Doing your research now will keep you prepared for when you discuss with your employer.
Your baby registry will probably be the most fun part of your baby preparation. If you’re lucky enough to have a baby shower thrown for you, you’ll want to put a baby registry together. While babies don’t necessarily need much, you’ll find that there are some top baby necessities for new moms you’ll want on your list to make the transition for both of you as easy as possible.
Register at one of the big stores like Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby or at sites like Amazon. You’ll find many sites offer baby registries.
You’ll want to have a hospital bag ready for when you go into labor. The bag doesn’t need to have a ton of items, just the necessities. But if this is your first child you may not know exactly what those necessities are. Do your research, visit mommy forums, and talk to friends who have had kids. This will give you an idea of what you’ll need and not need.
Sign up for classes
If this is your first child, you’ll definitely want to see what type of childbirth preparation classes they have available. There are typically classes for anything child related like the below.
- Infant First Aid and CPR
- Lamaze and Childbirth Prep
- Basic Infant Care
- Preparing Siblings for Baby
- Preparing Pets for Sibling
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding plan
Going into this you may have an idea of how you plan on feeding your baby. You also may not know exactly what you want to do and that’s ok too. You’ll hear a lot of chatter with moms on what’s best but you alone know what’s best for your baby. Don’t stress mama. Whatever you decide you’ll do great.
If you plan on breastfeeding you’ll want to take a class and read up on some of the best breastfeeding tips to really help you succeed. Breastfeeding is a labor of love. And while it’s a lot of work it’s very rewarding for baby and mom. Reach out to you local La Leche League or hospital lactation consultant for post partum help.
Plans to Survival Immediately After Baby
You’re going to be tired and have less “free time” than ever before. So ensuring your house is in order is a great way to prepare for baby. Having your home in order will ease the stress of coming home. And no one wants to bring a baby home to a messy house.
But this includes preparing meals ahead of time. With less time, and less sleep, you don’t want to waste precious hours cooking. You can prepare so many meals ahead of time and freeze them – from lasagna to great soups (our favorite is this delicious pumpkin soup recipe)
Prepare by doing research on how long you can freeze certain foods. Then start planning out in advance. You and your partner will love these quick to prep meals once the baby arrives.
Extra help after having baby
If possible, sort out with family and friends the possibility of them helping you once the baby is born. If your significant other isn’t able to take time off and you experience a difficult delivery, you may want or need some additional hands.
There are many ways physically and emotionally family and friends can help out. Sometimes it’s just having someone to talk to during this new, exciting, and exhausting time. But remember, if you are not feeling well after a few days, be sure to reach out to a healthcare professional in case it is postpartum depression.
Here are a few things you can ask helpers to do.
- Grocery shopping
- Meal prep
- Dropping off and picking up older kids from school
- Cleaning the house
- Watching baby while you shower or nap
Congrats on starting this exciting journey! We wish you lots of luck!