This is a guest post.
Childbirth is a momentous event for any parent. Not only will you welcome your baby into the world, but the ongoing experience of parenthood promises its own unique set of joys and challenges. Your life is likely to undergo dramatic changes. The more you can prepare for the road ahead, the better you'll be able to accommodate them.
This article will describe five things you can do today to make childbirth, and your life afterward, simpler and more enjoyable. The items below will help to minimize stress, and make the experience of parenthood as rewarding as you hope.
#1 – Choose A Pediatrician
Start your search early for your baby's doctor. Each physician has a different approach to providing care, and it's important to identify one that matches your preferences. For example, you might want access to a doctor who welcomes questions, enjoys working with infants, and is supported by a helpful staff. You may also prefer a pediatrician who maintains a clean, child-friendly, and professional office.
This process requires several calls and interviews. It may take months to find the right person. Start looking during your second trimester.
#2 (aff) – Build Your Support Network
Trying to handle every task on your own after your baby arrives is a recipe for fatigue and frustration. Ask others to help. If you have friends or family members who live nearby, ask whether they would be open to babysitting occasionally. This will give you an opportunity to take quick naps, run to the store, or simply enjoy a few moments to yourself. It can also free up time to enjoy dates with your partner.
Your support network can also help you with household chores. Laundry, dishes, and keeping your home (aff) clean will be important, even if these tasks are less appealing than babysitting your little one. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Start asking early.
#3 (aff) – Start Buying Baby Supplies
There are dozens of items you'll want to have ready when your infant is born. She'll need diapers, a crib and mattress, car seat, and various clothes. A diaper bag, wipes, and a changing table will also be necessary. Plan to buy a stroller, baby monitors, pacifiers, and a mobile. You'll also need nursing supplies, such as bibs, bottles, a breast pump, and nursing pillow.
Some items are clearly more important than others. The key is to purchase some of them in advance to avoid scrambling after your little one's arrival.
#4 – Discuss Mutual Expectations With Your Partner
If you are having your first child, there's a good chance you and your partner have different expectations regarding what life will be like after childbirth. Take the time to discuss them. Talk about household chores, and who will handle which tasks. Talk about ways in which you and your partner can divide time spent caring for your newborn.
Many new parents harbor unrealistic notions about the amount of time they'll have available to continue doing the things they enjoy. The more you can discuss these and other details in advance of your infant's birth, the less stress you'll encounter down the road.
#5 – Create A Labor Plan
When you experience the first signs of labor, it's important to know what actions to take. Create a plan ahead of time (your obstetrician can help). Write down the names and phone numbers of the people you'll need to call, in the order you (or your partner) should call them. Make a note of where you need to be taken, including the person who will take you there. Your doctor can also provide helpful details regarding when to call based on the contractions you're experiencing.
Childbirth is an exciting time for moms-to-be and their partners. You will have spent nearly forty weeks thinking of this moment. Plan ahead to help ensure the experience, as well as the first several weeks following it, are as stress-free as possible.