Thursday, May 30, 2013

Preparing for Baby v.2

  1. Sign up for childbirth classes and get started on your labor and infant care preparations.  If this is your first time around or you just want to brush up on your skills, it’s a good idea to pop into a breast feeding class as well.  Most hospitals and birthing centers even offer sibling classes for your little ones.  Isabelle went to a big sister class while I was pregnant for Brees and learned about infant safety, how to properly hold the baby, and what to expect when the baby came home.  She even got a tour of the maternity floor!  It was such a great way to make her feel involved and informed.
  2. Prepare for a few diagnostic studies this trimester.  Most women get an ultrasound during the second trimester to check on the baby’s growth and development and to find out the sex of the baby.  You will also get a glucose screening to rule out gestational diabetes.  Your doctor may discuss further studies depending on your obstetrical history and age such as an amniocentesis and a multiple marker test to rule out chromosomal abnormalities.  Talk to your partner and decide whether these tests are right for you and your family.
  3. Begin developing a birth plan.  There are tons of examples and how to guides available online to assist you in the process and to help you consider all of the decisions that will soon come your way.  Talk to your doctor and find out your hospital’s policies and procedures regarding childbirth to ensure that your wishes can be met.
  4. Discuss maternity leave in further detail with your employer.  Decide when you will leave for maternity leave and for how long you plan to be out.  These are all tentative dates, of course, as pregnancy and childbirth do not always follow a schedule but it’s good to have a plan in mind and give your employer time to prepare for your absence.  I plan to work all the way to the end of my pregnancy so that I can save all of my paid time off to spend with the baby. 
  5. Take a tour of the hospital or birthing center where you will deliver.  Discuss game day strategies with your partner like where to park, who to call, where to bring your older children, etc.
  6. If you don’t already have a pediatrician, start meeting with different doctors and choose one.  A great place to start is asking other mothers who they use and what their experience has been.  Make sure that the doctor you choose is within your insurance preferred provider network.  Most pediatricians require you to fill out a small packet of paperwork before your delivery so that they have all of your information, insurance included.  Your pediatrician will want to know your wishes regarding circumcision, breast or bottle, and post delivery procedures such as vaccines and blood work.  Discuss these things with your partner beforehand so that everyone is on the same page.
  7. Go on a babymoon.  Seriously, with all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s important to put in some one on one time with your significant other, even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway.
  8. Research child care in your area.  Again, asking other mothers who they use is a great resource.  Ask lots of questions, take a tour of the facility, and observe the childcare workers in action.  Discuss when your baby will begin attending daycare so that a spot can be reserved for you.
  9. Begin making a list of baby items you want/need/have.  Separate them into categories like sleep, feeding, clothing, etc. to make it a little less overwhelming.  Friends and family will want to help, regardless of what number pregnancy this is for you, so share your lists and start crossing things off slowly.
  10. Remember to rest, eat healthy, take your vitamins, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly.

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