Pregnancy and childbirth is no doubt a unique experience for each couple, and there is only so much that anybody’s guidance can accomplish. However there are some aspects that are very much similar in almost everybody’s case – and it is here that your preparation will hold the key to effective management. I have diluted this list to the bare minimum so that I am not introducing anything that might not be useful.
As the due date approaches these are the things that you need to plan for in advance
- Home Delivery for Most Needs – Plan to get your daily needs delivered at home – Identify your websites of choice – Amazon.com, Jet.com, Diaper.com where you can get most of our daily needs delivered. Can you order your daily meals, fresh and homecooked. Could you opt for some service like Blue Apron, Home Chef that delivered ingredients that can be cooked in less than an hour. Maybe you could cook ahead and freeze your meals for the next couple of months.
- Get help – This is a time to ask for help shamelessly, especially if you or your partner have to get back to work quickly. The days can get long with just you and the baby, and having someone around just to talk would be a lifesaver. Your parents, or in laws or friends and relatives are all eager to help, and you need to take their help without burdening them too much. Any kinds of domestic help for cleaning or cooking or whatever can really make a big difference.
- Get your hair done – Critical as you will not get the time for a couple of months after the pregnancy. What is more you will have your best look ready for all the photos with your kid.
- Get yourselves fitted with a nursing bra – Ideally this should be done around 8 weeks before the due date as explained in the ealier guide here.
- Prepare for the birth announcement – I would use a website like Shutterfly or Tinyprints to send out announcements, even though I know FB is also an easy way to announce if all your friends are already in FB. These days sending mails may be passe but if you are doing that – make sure to collect all the addresses and details.
- Protect your mattress – Get a waterproof bed pad like the Priva High Quality Ultra Waterproof Sheet Protector 34″ x 52″ to protect your bed in case your water breaks while you are sleeping and you have to rush to the hospital. A simple precaution like this could save your mattress and thousands of dollars.
- Clean up – Please make sure you get your house cleaned a few weeks before the due date. Get all the carpets cleaned and make sure that the clutter is reduced to prevent visual overwhelm.
- Choose a paediatrician – Talk to your family and friends and decide on a paediatrician that they like and trust. Have a backup in case the first choice does not catch your fancy.
- Breast Pump – Check if your insurance covers your breast pump – With the affordable Care Act in place it is likely that the insurance covers your breast pump and so just make sure before you invest in the hospital grade pump that I have suggested.
- Attend a class at your hospital – I would not go overboard and attend every class available – just one or two are enough. Some are free but some are paid and you need to spend upto 100 dollars to attend them.
- Car Seats Installed and furniture assembled -You can get your car seats installed in advance or do it in the hospital – I would suggest you get it done at a fire station or a store in advance so that you have one less thing to worry about. Similarly, spending an hour assmbling the crib or other pieces of furniture might seem leasurely for your partner before child birth, but can take the whole day after the baby comes out.
- Photo ready – keep the battery charged and SD card empty for your camera. Also look up some baby photographers that you want to get photographing your baby – the hospital may have some arrangements with some photographers. Also finalize what you are going to do to store and share all the photographs that you are creating.
- Make sure you wash all the baby clothes. You never know what size the baby comes out in and so keep the receipts of the smallest sets of clothes.
- Do a trial run to the hospital – so that you know where you have to park and where you have to go. The feeling of safety that you get knowing exactly what to do is unmatched.
- Pack the bags – Finally make sure you pack your bags for the due date well in advance. There is no knowing how many weeks before the pregnancy you might have to rush and so I would advise that the bags be packed a month in advance. You should have one bag for you and your husband and one of the baby – with all the essentials that you might need to spend a few days in the hospital.