You’ve decided to start trying or have just found out you’re pregnant, congratulations! Pregnancy is such an exciting time in a mother’s life, but it can also feel overwhelming. If this is your first time having a baby, here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re prepared and ready!

How to Prepare for Your New Baby

Choose Your Healthcare Provider

One of the most important ways to prepare for your new baby is by choosing your doctor, midwife, or other healthcare provider. You’ll need to begin seeing someone shortly after your positive pregnancy test and continue to see them throughout pregnancy and even after birth.

It’s important to choose a provider that fits your family and your needs – think about whether you’d prefer seeing a midwife or OB-GYN. They provide you and your family very different experiences:

  • OB-GYNs are medical specialists that focus on women’s health, pregnancy, and childbirth. With an OB-GYN, you are likely to be scheduled for a hospital delivery, and visit their office for your monthly check-ups.
  • Midwives are often part of a group practice and specialize in low-risk pregnancies. Some deliver at hospitals and some at their own practice. They work for more of a partnership with you and guide you through your journey to motherhood.

Purchase and Prep Your Baby Items

Get ready for your new arrival, make sure you have everything you and your baby will need!  Give yourself plenty of time to gather it, register for items, and then organize it all. We have some trusted baby items listed here! Some things you will want to make sure you have:

  • Nursery Furniture: Certain things are necessary to make your life and your little one’s easier! Make sure to have a crib and bedding, a rocking chair for feedings, and a dresser or changing table, and of course diapers.  Have everything set up before the baby comes home so you can ensure pieces are there and that it’s safe!
  • Strollers and Carriers: A good stroller, car seat, and portable carrier are musts for new moms! You’ll want to make sure you understand all the instructions so that you’re a pro when it’s time to put your newborn inside.
  • Feeding Supplies: Consider your options when it comes to breastfeeding and bottle feeding, and plan your purchases accordingly! These will need to be sterilized at home to ensure baby’s safety when using.

By grabbing all of these items ahead of time, there will be way less scrambling the day you come home from delivering your brand new baby! Ask a friend who is a mother her favorite and most used items when her child was a newborn.

Start Making Your Birth Plan

This step is necessary and deeply personal. Similar to choosing your healthcare provider, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with every aspect of your labor and delivery. By outlining your preferences into a birth plan, you can avoid missteps along the way. Some things you’ll want to consider:

  • Where you want to give birth – would you prefer a hospital, birthing center, or your home?
  • Do you want a doula? Doulas are trained professionals who offer support to mothers before, during, and immediately after the birth. Whether you’ve chosen a hospital birth or something different, a doula can be an amazing way to feel more comfortable during the experience.
  • Pain management – whether you’d prefer an epidural or all natural birth, make sure you let your healthcare provider and loved ones know.
  • Invite list – be clear about who is and isn’t allowed in the room when you give birth. Some moms want a party, while others prefer to be very private.

Once complete, make sure to give a copy to those who need it – your healthcare provider, partner, and necessary family members. Now you can pack your hospital bag, with this checklist!

Make Time for You

This might be the most important step for a mama-to-be. When preparing for your new baby, remember to take care of yourself! Down time and sleep will be hard to come by after their arrival, so take time for extra rest, hobbies you enjoy, and last minute dates with friends and your partner.

This is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, so make sure you savor every second of it amidst the craziness. A little self-care will go a long way in making you feel ready for this next step.

You will be prepared for not only your newborn’s arrival, but also the childbirth process. Doing the planning ahead of time allows you to be in control of each situation and feel more comfortable and confident in beginning your journey into motherhood. Then all that’s left to do is just enjoy those newborn snuggles.

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