How To Prepare For Birth Part 1
Everything you need to know for little one's arrival.
Pregnancy is nine months of excitement and anticipation, just waiting to welcome baby. Birth is an unforgettable moment, so you’ll want to know what to expect. In two parts we’re looking at what to prepare months ahead, and also in the weeks leading up to your due date.
Understand the Birth Process
It’s completely rational to feel overwhelmed at the thought of giving birth, you are about to bring a new life into the world. Sometimes you might feel like closing your ears and eyes to anything birth related, but it’s actually a good idea to be prepared for what your body is about to go through.
There’s no way to escape the pain of childbirth, so it’s better to have established coping, breathing and calming techniques, all which can be learnt at a birth class. To find the right class for you it’s best to start looking for some around month three. With so many different types of birth available, you should research by reading online articles and watching videos of actual deliveries. This might sound slightly scary, but be assured it often looks worse than it is and will show you what a magical moment it’ll be. There’s natural birth, water birth, birth with epidural, delivery by c-section & many more. Prepare yourself for them all as sometimes your chosen method isn’t always possible.
Midwives and Doctors
You’ll be visiting your general GP very often, and they’ll put any health concerns you have at ease by letting you know you and baby are healthy. They’ll also start putting you in contact with a midwife who will be able to give you more information about pregnancy, your birth & parenthood. Depending on whether you’re with the NHS or a private clinic, will determine if you can choose a midwife, but they’re all professionally trained so you shouldn’t be worried.
It might seem slightly early to find a doctor who will take care of little one’s regular checks after they’ve arrived, but if you’re not already happy with your GP, then it’s a good idea to confirm sooner rather than later. Leaving things until later on in your pregnancy will add unneeded stress, when you should be putting your feet up and looking after yourself.
Speak To Mums
Who is the best person to speak to about childbirth? Other mothers. They’ve been there, done that and got the baby to prove it. They have the most extensive knowledge out of everyone, and will be able to give you some reassuring advice about what to expect. Although you can rely on books, videos & articles nothing will compare to the first-hand experience from mum veterans.
Everything experience related to birth and the first stages of parenthood will vary vastly, but you’ll be able to gather a clearer picture about what you’re going to endure. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly, like with anything, but try to ask mums to only detail what’s really necessary. Ask them for tips on what to take to the hospital, how to keep calm and what nappies are the best.
The key to keeping everything simple and minimal is to be organised, right down to what socks you’ll wear when going to the hospital. You have months to think about everything you need to have ready, so you can create spreadsheets, whiteboards, planners, whatever makes this straightforward for you.
Some like to just go with the flow, which could work, but for the majority it causes more stress nearer to the due date, something you need to avoid at all costs. It doesn’t have to be regimented army style, but by planning you’ll put your mind at ease and give yourself more time to focus on keeping happy and healthy.
Organised Before and After
We’ve specifically spoken about how to prepare for the actual birth itself, but you’ll also need to think ahead to those first few weeks & months after baby is born. You’re going to need clothes, nappies, breastfeeding aids, formula milk, car seats, push chairs, toys and many other things. It might seem like your list of essentials is never-ending, but if you buy beforehand, you’ll have everything you need.
Your friends and family are going to want to give you gifts at your baby shower, so make a list of essentials that you really need. This way you can already cross off items from your checklist whilst making sure you’re not given things that you’re never going to use. Although you need a fair amount, you still only need the necessities.
Image credits: sallyfazeli / christinajwarren / Alice and Lois
We always want to make birth straightforward for you, that’s why we designed the essentials hospital bag: