The nursery is draped in pink complete with a crib, rocker, stuffed animals, diapers, a diaper pale and a closet full of adorable, tiny clothes. Your baby’s name has been chosen and has been monogrammed onto blankets, pillows and dresses. Your hospital bag is packed, ready-to-go and sitting by the door. You have filled out all the appropriate paperwork for your maternity leave from work as well as all of the health insurance paperwork needed for your delivery and hospital stay. You even had a pedicure this week, just to make sure your feet look nice for the delivery!
Preparing for a new addition to your family can be overwhelming, but it can also be a lot of fun. Many women experience an overwhelming urge to “nest” or prepare for the baby’s arrival a few months before their due date. This phase is often referred to as the “nesting phase” and is a normal and natural part of pregnancy. It is nature’s way of getting us ready for the exciting event and resulting life changes that are about to take place.
There are some other important things you can do to prepare for the birth of your child. If you have not already, you and your partner need to discuss your birthing plan. Decisions such as whether or not you want to receive an epidural or other pain medications during the delivery need to be made. You and your partner should also consider attending a birthing class so you will know what to expect during the labor and delivery. Most hospitals offer birthing classes for expecting mothers and their partners. Just keep in mind that deliveries do not always go as planned. You may change your mind when the time comes or your doctor may need to perform a Cesarean section to protect your health and the health of your unborn child.
You also need to decide whether you want to breastfeed your newborn baby. If you decide that you want to breastfeed, it is a good idea to attend a breastfeeding class. Most birthing centers offers these classes as a service to their patients. You can ask your Obstetrician about which classes are available to you.
Planning ahead can make the process of welcoming a new baby into your home go more smoothly and give you more confidence about your ability to care for a newborn child. Reaching out to others in your life who have already been through this experience is also a good idea. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends can be invaluable sources of information and can help you navigate through this very exciting time in your life.