As soon as the news that you’re going to become a parent sinks in, and celebration mode has passed, you’re faced with all sorts of fears and thoughts. As overwhelming as it may seem, it’s important that you realise such worries don’t make you any less of a parent than others. In fact, they’re a normal part of the process of preparing for the arrival of your child.
While there’s nothing easy about it, you can take some of the weight off your shoulders by using your time during pregnancy to get informed about all the things that give you doubts when it comes to raising a healthy and happy baby. In addition, take the steps to prepare with all the baby supplies you’re going to need before and after birth.
The Hospital Bag
It’s never too early to start acquiring the bits and pieces you’d need for the hospital. Even if you haven’t decided yet whether you’d like to give birth at home or in a hospital, it’s going to give you peace of mind after you’ve prepared the bag because it’s one of those “just in case” options.
If you don’t know where to start and what to pack in a hospital bag, it’s always best to go with the basics. Besides the outfits for you and baby, the snacks and the entertainment essentials (e.g. phone, tablet), I would advise you to also think of your nursing and prepare in advance by piling up on items that help with the milk supply.
There are various snacks, shakes and teas you can pick from, and other than being useful with this important stage in your life, they’re very tasty too which comes as a bonus. Even if you have enough milk supply once the baby arrives, it wouldn’t have been in vain to have tried such delicacies!
When it comes to the sleep of the baby, another dilemma pops out: should you be bed-sharing or room sharing? Or maybe go for a nursery? You’re going to read many opinions for and against these options, so the advice is just to follow your heart and instinct and be open for changes since the baby is going to be the one who dictates what suits him or her best.
Even if you’re totally against co-sleeping, perhaps over time, you might see it suits you best with your lifestyle, more so if it helps you and your bub get the needed sleep during nursing time. Then again, maybe you’d most benefit by room sharing, having the crib next to your bed.
Still, if you like the idea of your little one having a room of his or her own, then pregnancy is the ideal time when you should be preparing a nursery. You’ve got several aspects to think of, from the walls, to the needed furniture and bedding, and creating a safe environment that lacks VOCs should be your priority.
Deciding what to pack in a hospital bag and making up your mind on the sleep can bring you the kind of comfort support can as well. No matter how many books you read, you’d still feel more at ease after talking it out with experienced parents. Even though every child is different, just the experience of counting on someone’s advice could prove to be beneficial in helping you face your fears.
Aside from seeking support from relatives and friends, you could also sign up for childbirth education classes and join up communities where parents share their tips. Not less important, be sure to talk it out with your partner too and be honest about how you expect to do the parenting so you’d be on the same page; it would save you from a great deal of stress once the baby arrives and you find yourself with all sorts of chores to do.
Speaking of chores, if you find you need more help with cleaning around the home, in case you or your partner don’t get the needed paid parental leave, you should consider the options: hire a professional or ask for a close one to come over often. You’d be surprised how crucial support turns out to be in your new role in life!
Sure, taking care of aspects like the hospital bag checklist, sleep dilemma and seeking support are all useful but don’t forget relaxation. It’s necessary to find time for yourself in this delicate period of your life, otherwise fears and anxiety can get the best of you.
Whether you already have a hobby or still haven’t found one that suits you most, pregnancy can be ideal to discover what it is that you enjoy doing in your spare time, what makes you feel happy about yourself.
Once you know what it is, make sure you do more of it. And oh, don’t forget to include your partner in it, having in mind sharing hobbies together and doing things anew can further strengthen your relationship. This would help you find more joy throughout pregnancy and let you cope better with what’s to come!