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Having a baby can probably be rated as one of the most exciting and life-changing events ever. But it can also feel quite scary and daunting at times. Especially when the mental checklist seems never ending and all you can think about is the big day.

Preparations for the impending birth can become quite confusing with all the suggestions and advice you receive from well-meaning friends and family. It’s important for you to trust your instincts as you are about to embark on this remarkable journey. As a parent you will naturally know what to do.

To help you through the planning we have provided some sensible advice to prepare you for the arrival of your new baby.

10 tips to prepare for baby

  1. Me time - When you become a parent most of your time is dedicated to your children and especially when they are babies. You will often feel tired and like you have no time for yourself. Before baby arrives schedule in loads of me time. Take regular naps. Treat yourself to spa treatments and date nights with your partner. Read books or magazines from cover to cover. Watch grown up movies in the middle of the day. These are all things you may have to give up for a while when your precious bundle takes over.

  2. Birth plan - Discuss your birth plan with your partner. This is everything that you require to make you comfortable from the moment you go into labour. Do you want natural childbirth or a caesarean section? If the pain becomes too much, when is it good to have an epidural or do you want one at all? Do you want more than your partner present at the birth? Is this possible? If you are about to become a single parent who would you like present at the birth? What support do you want? If you have questions, speak to your doctor and then provide him with your birth plan.  

  3. Prep your partner - Communicate your needs and expectations with your partner at all times. It is vital you are on the same page. Discuss his role in the birthing process and what he needs to do when you go into labour. Your partner should be responsible for making sure you get to the hospital as smoothly as possible. He should be by your side as much as he possibly can be and provide you with the support you need.

  4. Pack your bags - New parents often wonder when is a good time to make sure the bags are packed and ready for the impending birth. It’s easier to plan if you have booked to have a caesarean section. But how do you know when to pack if you are unclear when you will go into labour for a natural birth? A good guideline would be 1 month before your due date. The hospital may supply you with a list of what you need to pack for yourself and your baby. But sometimes they don’t. You can make your life easy and order a pre-packed maternity bag from DMC Medical Suppliers containing all that you require for your baby at the hospital. Find out more about our maternity packs

  5. Time with your first-born - If this is your second pregnancy, your first-born will be in need of some quality time from you. They will be excited to meet their new sibling but they will also be feeling worried about not being mom’s favourite any more. Give them hugs and affection. Talk to them about how things will change but how you love them all the same. Ensure your first-born that they will get to meet their baby brother or sister before anyone else. Take them to your last few doctor’s appointments. Especially if you are having a sonar because this allows them to “meet” their sibling in your womb. Let your child feel your tummy and talk to the baby.

  6. Time with your mom - Whether your mom lives closeby or far away it is important for you to reach out and connect with her now more than ever. And by “mom”, we mean a loving mother-figure in your life. Ask her questions about parenting and listen to her advice. You may not use all of it but by incorporating your mom’s best tips with your own it will form the backbone of how you parent. Your mom will also become your biggest support next to your partner.  

  7. Bond with the bump - Play music, sing and talk to your baby. She can hear you and recognise your voice. Gently massage her as you feel her move in your womb. Connecting in this way establishes a strong bond between you and your unborn child which will continue after the birth and through life. Suggest to your partner that he also bond with the baby by talking to your tummy and rubbing it often. As soon as you begin to feel baby’s first movements in your womb, share this with your partner and get him to try feel them, too.

  8. Organise the nest - This is something you will feel the urge to do and so when the urge comes don’t resist it. Get your baby’s room organised before your last trimester if you can because during your last 2 or 3 months you will feel too heavy and tired to manage the task. Leave the heavy jobs for your partner to handle or if you are a single parent, ask friends and family members to help. Leave the frills for last because these are the tasks you will enjoy and can easily manage. Once the bedroom has been prepared you should also baby-proof the house.

  9. Do the admin - Get in touch with your medical aid and ask for pre-authorisation numbers. Ask your doctor what is required from you to allow the hospital to prepare for the birth. Find out about all the admin around having a baby and be prepared. For example, how to register the birth and how much the hospital will charge. What will your medical aid or hospital plan cover, etc?

  10. Visit the maternity ward - Most hospitals offer a tour of the maternity ward and will advise you on what you need to do in preparation for the birth. Doing this tour before the birth really does provide you and your partner with a sense of security and peace of mind.

Have you organised your maternity pack? Contact us for your maternity needs

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