Having a baby is a truly special time of your life, a time to be enjoyed. But it comes with lots of worries and concerns. Good planning and preparation will make everything much easier for you so here are some things we’ve learnt from other mothers and experts, you might find useful:
- Look after yourself. Make sure you are getting a good balanced diet, adequate nutrients (including a balance of iron and folate) and plenty of sleep. Speak with your health care professional for any information relating diet and excercise
- Caffeine, smoking and alcohol are not recommended. Try as hard as you can to cut them out of your life or as much as you can
- Know the date of your last period and inform your Health official or Doctor. They will help you plan the next 9 months
- Where is the hospital where you will have your baby? It is good to know where to go, how long it takes to get there and also, once you are there whom you need to see. You will need to make a reservation at your birthing facility for the delivery of your baby
- Regular check-ups with your doctor, mid-wife or birth care provider are very important during your pregnancy
- Are there any prenatal classes in your area? These classes will teach you all about the process of having a baby and also all the things you will need to know for that early period, once you bring the baby home
- From around the 8th week of your pregnancy it is ideal to be fitted for a maternity bra
- During pregnancy, moderate exercise is good. Check to see if there may be yoga, breathing (tai chi) or aqua-natal classes available in your area
- Seek some reference books on pregnancy/birth. Reading gives great understanding and helps give confidence
- At around week 34 have a hospital bag and birth-plan packed in readiness
- You will need many things for your hospital stay like pyjamas, nursing bras, breast pads, disposable briefs, maternity pads, toiletries, tissues and more. Your place of birth will assist you with what is needed. For baby you may need sleepsuits, wrapover vest, scratch mitts, cotton wool, cotton hat, baby blanket, clothes and a correctly fitted baby capsule for your car when going home.
Remember good planning takes much of the stress away from the birth and your knowledge gained from reading and also talking with friends & health official’s places you in much a better position to have a good pregnancy/birth. Don’t forget that the baby’s grandparents can also be a very useful source of information and help for you at all times. For them too, it is a joyous occasion.