Baby's Coming! Help for First Time Mothers

by - 1:15 AM

Welcome to the wonderful journey of mommyhood. Each experience is unique and special but the desired outcome is always the same: to give birth to a healthy baby. Before you know it, you are on your way to the hospital ready to meet your bundle of joy. You might want to have things planned out way in advance to make sure you don't have to stress out about anything else on the big day but the big push. Having a baby is no easy feat. You are, after all, undertaking the biggest project of your life- Your little miracle. Planning and preparing for the big day is important because the days that come after you pop your baby out will demand your complete attention and time. Here's a list of things you can do to lessen the load and to enjoy pregnancy to the fullest.

1. Plan out your doctor's appointment
 If you are planning on bringing your partner or someone to give you that much needed moral support, you have to commit to the date set by your OB-Gyne. No question is ever silly. Be it about your diet, exercise or even the delicate matter of coitus. Feel free to ask your doctor about stuff on your mind about pregnancy. Better yet, write them all down because once you hear your baby's heartbeat or see him/her for the first time on your sonogram, you will probably forget. Key questions being, what to avoid, what things you can keep doing, hospital you plan to give birth in, quotations and insurance details. If the clinic doesn't offer a copy of the sonogram, you might want to bring along your camcorder or phone to record your child's first heartbeat and growth. It would be nice to have pictures and videos to see how much your baby has developed.

2.Beauty and the Bump
You might want to read up on beauty regimens to avoid during pregnancy. Some doctors will tell their patients to stop using products with retinoids (usually found in anti- aging creams or  oral acne medications), salicylic acid (usually in soaps, toners, whitening, refining products), certain cosmetics, whitening and anti-acne creams and medication.While it is said that topical products are not proven to be dangerous, some doctors still advice their patients to avoid them during pregnancy. Your salon appointments may also need to be reconsidered as some practitioners will tell moms-to-be to skip the hair color and nail sessions. This is to avoid possible allergic reactions to hair dye, infection from manicure and pedicure mishaps and inhalation of strong chemicals. It's usually not a problem if the salon you go to is well-ventilated and if they sterilize their tools before using them on their clients.

3. Bonnappetit
A woman's diet during pregnancy should be based on her level of fitness as well as existing health concerns. Usual things to avoid are soft cheeses, raw seafood and processed meats such as ham and hotdogs. There is no better time to make smart eating choices than when you have another human being to think about. While the popular belief is to eat more because you are eating for two, some doctors will tell you to eat sensibly with quality and nutrition in mind instead of doubling your intake. Gestational diabetes is the usual outcome from over indulging on cravings and meals. The baby will take what it needs from what you put into your body which is why you need to improve your diet if you aren't eating for health.

4. To Buy or Not to Buy
Doctors will usually tell you to buy baby stuff once they're sure of the sex or once they see the pregnancy progressing nicely. It may be tempting to buy lots of baby things but you may want to control that urge to make sure you get what you need and stuff you are sure to use. That ridiculously overpriced onesie may be cute for now but it won't look so cute once you realize that after two uses, it no longer fits your baby. You should hold off the baby shopping spree until after your baby shower or until you find out the baby's sex, if you prefer not to be surprised. If no one has volunteered to throw you a baby shower and you've finally done an inventory of stuff you've been given or loaned by family and friends and you're starting your third trimester, by all means, let the shopping begin! Start looking for cribs and playpens that aren't too expensive but are guaranteed safe. This is especially important if you are not planning to co-sleep with your baby. However, if you plan to have your baby with you in bed but have fears about his/her safety, you may opt for a lightweight bassinet you can place on the bed with you. A sturdy stroller with a carseat is also a good investment as it will be perfect and snug for your infant and will still be useful for when she becomes a toddler. The carseat also comes in handy when you need a place to put the baby in when you're out. When removed from the base, it can even serve as a rocker for the little one.You will also need at least 3-6 outfits that open at the front or the side for your neonate. Kimono tops are easy to put on a neonate and is preferred by seasoned moms because it allows easy access to the umbilical stump and makes cord dressing easier. You are also going to need washcloths, bibs, burping cloths and receiving blankets. Mittens and socks will help keep your baby warm. With receiving blankets, you're going to want two types. Thin and breezy for warm days, thick or double layered for cold days. Nursing covers, breast pumps and nipple cream are things you want ready of you plan to breastfeed.

5. The Outfit
Breastfeeding moms might want to have a simple front button up or kimono style dress ready for a less complicated wardrobe for breastfeeding and bathroom trips for recovering mamas. Some hospitals offer gowns but if you prefer wearing your own clothes you can start scouting for one. Don't forget the nursing bra and pads to keep your clothes free from lactation stains. Open toed sandals or slip ons are the preferable footwear after you give birth as your feet will most likely be swollen for a few days.

6. Prepare Your Bag and Checklist at the Start of Your 3rd Trimester.
You can pack your essentials way before your due date so that when the baby tells you it's ready to come out, or if there are any complications, you don 't have to worry about packing or forgetting stuff for your hospital stay. My husband and I prepared months before our due date and when the doctor told us we had to induce labor earlier than expected, we were ready. We had a leisurely lunch then had an unhurried trip to the hospital. Here are some things you might want to prepare for the big day.

    1.Change of clothes for at least 3 days (outfits for the husband/watcher and you)
    2. Extra undies and maternity pads
    3. Toiletries/freshen up kits (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, s hooks, clippers, comb, hair ties, lip balm, small towel, rubbing alcohol)
    4. A large envelop containing pens, birth certificate, id and insurance copies and other legal documents you might need.
    5. A book or something to do while waiting
    6. Diapers, receiving blankets, burping cloth and baby outfit
    7. Camera
    8. A shawl
    9. Flip flops for the bathroom
   10. Breast pump
   11. Nipple cream
   12. Milk storage containers
   13. Chargers, pocket wifi and gadgets
   14.Disposable cups, utensils and plates for visitors
   15. Baby book and foot stamp if you want the nurses to take down birth details for you
   16. Donut pillow or neck pillow (to sit on after you give birth)

7. The Baby's Nursery
You definitely want this set up before you give birth so when you come home, there is nothing left to do but enjoy your bundle of joy. You don't want to have to assemble your crib on the day the little one arrives.

8. Meals at Home
As you are nearing the big day, cook and freeze up delicious meals, especially favorite soups with clear broth to eat after you give birth. Unless you have people to cook for you, it's always nice to have something you like ready for heating in case you're too tired or busy to cook.

9. Lamaze and Other Birth Prep Classes
These classes can help prepare you and your partner for the big day.  If you don't have time to attend them, reading up or watching birthing classes and videos can help you tremendously and take away some of the anxiety especially if you are a first time mom.

10. Baby Journal/Apps
There are lots of apps out there that give you detailed information about your baby according to their gestational age. Some may even extend to a few months after the baby is born. It's a fun way to keep track of your baby's development while pregnant.


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