How lovely. What great news. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
If this is your first child, you’ll be keen to get yourself organised in good time and stay organised throughout the pregnancy, so when the big day arrives you’re ready to welcome your new baby. Here are some handy tips to help you get a grip, get your act together, and get properly prepared for the biggest, most exciting experience of your life!
How do I prepare for my unborn baby?
There’s a lot to do to prepare for your new baby. This involves buying equipment and supplies, preparing your home, ensuring dad is on board and happy, and taking good care of your own mind, body and spirit.
It’s a good idea to get busy early, giving yourself the time you need to prepare before you’re too big and clumsy to do it comfortably. Get it right and the last couple of months of your pregnancy will be nice and relaxing rather than one big rush.
Lists are a life-saver! A checklist really helps. Here are some of the essentials around preparing for a new baby.
- Find out about maternity leave paternity leave and any maternity-related benefits you might be able to claim, both at work and from the government
- Stock up on bubble bath and fragrant oils to soothe your sore bits and help you relax during the pregnancy and after giving birth
- Create a pregnancy exercise plan and get going early so you’re in the swing of it
- Take the right supplements and eat the right foods – maybe collect together a list of recipes that give you all the nutrition you and the baby need
- Stop smoking and drinking
- Make the appointments you need to make with your doctor, midwife, dentist, and maternity unit – and visit the unit so you know where to go on the big day
- Find a great antenatal class
- Ask your friends and family for their best tips for coping with a new baby
- Read baby development books and websites
- Have the right screens and tests done, including one where you hear the baby’s heart beating
- Create your birth plan
- Understand the signs of labour and false labour
- Pack your hospital bag, keep it somewhere convenient
- Talk everything through with your birth partner so they know what their responsibilities will be and how to support you
- Buy baby equipment – a carrycot or pram, bed, toys, clothing, medicines and more
- Create a cosy, attractive nursery decorated ready for the baby
- Prepare and brief your parents, cousins, nephews, nieces and everyone else on your babysitting team 😉
- Make sure you have at least a week’s worth of meals in the freezer so you don’t have to think about cooking for a while
- Know that your sleep will be disrupted, know you’ll be utterly exhausted, but prepare for the biggest, most fundamental, most powerful rush of love you’re ever likely to feel!
Where can I find good pregnancy information?
The internet is your best friend, providing a massive choice of websites created especially to support new parents every step of the way. It can be helpful to read about other parents’ experiences, issues and problems, to get an idea of the sheer variety of different things to expect. Sites like Mumsnet, with their own talk forums, are hugely popular with new parents, and the NHS website contains a wealth of useful and inspiring information about every aspect of pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing.
Is there pregnancy support from the NHS?
The NHS website contains advice about domestic abuse in pregnancy, feelings and relationships in pregnancy, and what you can expect when you give birth to a child who has a medical condition. They offer supporting information around teen pregnancy and termination for foetal anomaly, knowledge about what to do when pregnancy goes wrong, and more.
When should I start preparing baby stuff?
‘The earlier the better’ is the answer to this common question! The bigger your lump gets, the heavier and more cumbersome you’ll feel, and the harder it is to nimbly achieve the many things you need to get sorted before the birth.
Your first step? To write the mother of all lists. Your second step – to work your way steadily, logically through the list until you’ve covered everything.
Think about umbilical cord blood collection and storage
One last thing. Have you thought about saving your baby’s umbilical cord blood? Collect it, keep it in our vaults and you’ll enjoy an increasingly powerful way to ensure your child and wider family’s health in the future.
Stem cells from cord blood can treat immune system disorders, genetic disorders, neurological disorders, and some kinds of cancer. They can treat some metabolic diseases, sickle-cell anaemia, diseases of the blood, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and there’s great potential for easing spinal cord injuries. Particularly potent stem cells, they regenerate the blood and immune system in people whose genetics match, making umbilical stem cells a potential gold mine for healthcare. Cord blood includes 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow and rarely contains infectious diseases, so they’re 50% or so less likely to be rejected compared with stem cells taken from grown-ups.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.