Birth Preparation Checklist for Expecting Parents
So, you’ve entered your third trimester and you’re starting to think about what to do once the baby arrives. But before you do, let’s think about preparation for the actual birth. Preparing for the birth of your child can make the ‘big day’ seem a lot less stressful.
Please note the following blog contains general advice for preparing for birth and explores how to prepare for feeding your newborn, and as such it is important to share the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. Please consult your healthcare professional if you require further information.
- The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
- Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Baby formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
- A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding will reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
- If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.
Simply enter your details below and download our free “Birth Preparation Checklist”
Preparing for birthing
Giving birth is one of the most significant and special events you will experience in a lifetime. For those yet to experience giving birth it is natural to experience some angst or have many questions about how to prepare and what to expect.
Five smart ways to prepare for birthing include:
- Learn about the birthing process
Consider taking a birthing class that will teach you of the stages of labour, options for pain management, breathing techniques, and medical equipment that may be used during your delivery.
- Talk with your partner
Talk to your partner about what you expect, and how they can best help during labour and the months/years after. Discussing with your partner and sharing any uncertainty, concerns and thoughts you may have will make sure you are a team in planning and preparing for an exciting new shared life experience.
- Seek advice, not horror stories
Ask your friends with kids questions, and seek out their best pieces of advice. But be judicious – if your friend starts sharing stories of complications or distressing scenarios , stop them and seek constructive advice and experiences instead.
- Find strength and focus
Yoga is a great way to find focus and strengthen the entire body. It increases flexibility, gives you stamina, and helps you build a plethora of relaxation techniques. However, it’s important to always notify your instructor that you are pregnant before commencing a class, as there are some exercises they will recommend that you do not perform.
There can be many misconceptions and thoughts addressing exercise in respect to duration and intensity during the different stages of pregnancy. Importantly your situation and pregnancy is unique and it is best practice to seek professional advice in respect to exercising when pregnant for your individual circumstance.
Preparing for the arrival
Okay, so now you’re a bit better prepared for the actual birth, you can start work on your soon-to-be-parent checklist.
- Prepare your essentials
For such tiny little creatures, babies sure do need a lot of stuff. The more you get before baby arrives, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your little one once they are here. Common baby items include:
- Clothing – you will need onesies, mittens, socks, caps/beanies, bibs etc.
- A pram that lies flat – your newborn will need to lie flat in a pram until they are old enough to hold their head up on their own.
- Car capsule – always check the safety ratings on car capsules before making a purchase.
- Nipple cream – this is an essential for every new mother.
- Baby wipes.
- Burp cloths.
- Breast pump and BPA-free baby bottles.
- Camera – you won’t want to miss any of those first special moments!
- Swaddle blankets/ muslin wraps.
- Nappies – you can never have too many nappies, so stock up on as many as possible.
- Baby carrier.
- Nursing bra and nursing pads.
- Cook in quantity
If you and your partner prepare home cooked meals for your family (besides your newborn), you can create meals which can be frozen, such as soups, muffins, stews and curries. You can portion them up in clearly marked containers for easy preparation. This can ease some of the pressure in respect to providing good meal options in the immediate period when you arrive home with the baby.
- Load up the pantry
Stock up on staples so that once your baby arrives, a quick trip to the fruit and veg shop or butchers is all that’s needed. Don’t forget some healthy snacks for all those hours sitting down feeding.
- Prepare older siblings
Setting the stage for a new brother or sister can reduce the jealousy and acting out so often seen in older siblings. Discuss the baby in terms that make sense to kids, and make arrangements for some help. Look for ways to include older children in the birth and days after, but be realistic – a new baby is a big adjustment.
Also be sure to make arrangements for older siblings if you and your partner are birthing in a hospital.
- Prepare your laundry
Well before your due date, stock up on some natural laundry detergent and set up a system for washing onesies, clothing, bibs and blankets. Systems are particularly important should you choose to use cloth nappies. While you’re at it, wash towels, doonas, pillows and guest sheets so that everything is freshly clean when you arrive home with your new little one.
- Prepare your birth announcement
Birth announcements can be created in stationary stores or online, and be ready to go as soon as your baby’s details are in. Address and stamp the envelopes now so they are ready to be stuffed, and you don’t have to worry about it once you’re home with the baby. Alternatively you could go digital and simply announce your baby’s details via social media or email.
- Spring clean
As ‘nesting’ kicks in the chances are you’re already onto this one, but if not then it’s time to get cleaning. Dust can be harmful to a newborn, so wipe down windowsills, skirting boards and blinds, wash the floor and vacuum the sofa. Get help from family, a bunch of friends, or consider calling in the professionals. Also aim to use chemical-free cleaning solutions.
- Make a who-to-call phone list
Consider setting up a call chain or at the very least make a note of the most important people to call to notify them of your new arrival. In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget someone.
- Preparing for feeding
It’s important to explore feeding advice with your healthcare provider including why breastfeeding is considered best for your baby. For more general advice talk to other feeding mums and read articles. For breastfeeding mothers, consider what tops and bras will be best when clothes shopping.
- Secure a safe sleeping environment
Whether you plan to have your baby sleeping in a bassinet, cot or cradle, it’s important to follow basic guidelines to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Mattresses should be firm and flat, and free from pillows, toys, blankets or cot bumpers.
- Install the car seat
If you will be giving birth in a hospital, it is important to know that most hospitals won’t let a baby leave without a properly fitted car seat. So make sure you leave plenty of time to have it installed correctly and if you will be taking a taxi, familiarise yourself with installation and removal before you leave home.
- Organise help
In the first few days at home you will begin the bonding process with your newborn, as well as try to achieve some rest following the birth. Don’t be afraid to call in the reinforcements by arranging temporary cleaning help, a baby sitter to look after older siblings, someone to walk the dog, or have meals prepared if necessary.
- Pack your bag
Preparation of an overnight bag is the key to a successful stay in hospital or wherever you are planning to give birth, so make sure it’s stocked with everything you need. Things to pack may include:
- Sanitary pads.
- Button up nightie.
- Magazines or a good book.
- Hairbrush/hair care items.
- Homecoming outfit.
Once you’ve ticked all this off, take the time to sit back, relax, and get ready for a truly special event and a new addition to your family!
The following two tabs change content below.
At Bellamy's Organic, we believe a pure start to life means providing your little one with uncomplicated nutrition – good food that is straightforward, wholesome & nutritious. Our pursuit will always be to provide pure food that nourishes the gentle tummies of the little ones in our lives.