Whether you are at the beginning or at the end of your first pregnancy, there are some things you can do to make it easier for the birth, and for the time when you will be a new mom.
- Prepare your body for the delivery
Women have always given birth, and the woman's body is made for it. However, it may make things easier, and reassure you to do a few things to prepare your body for the birth. It is therefore a good idea to attend childbirth education classes, which will give you the information, and the breathing and massage techniques you will need to relax.
Make sure you exercise as long as you can during the pregnancy, as it will help you stay strong and tonic. Choose gentle exercise like walking, swimming, soft gym or yoga, and above all, listen to your body!
- Think about a name for your newborn
If you already know the baby's gender, you can start thinking of a name. And just in case, keep a name for both genders in mind...
Nowadays, you can find many tools, like a book, website or iphone app, to give you information about names, and help you to discover original names, or to get information about the meaning of different names. The free “Pregnancy Dashboard” iphone app, for example, can help you to discover new names and choose the one you prefer.
- Choose how you will feed your newborn
As a new mom, you are encouraged to breastfeed because it is the best thing you can do for your child. However, you also have the choice to bottle-feed. If you hesitate because you are scared that breastfeeding might be painful or for other reasons, ask your midwife about it, or get information from a breastfeeding support group.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or to bottle-feed will affect the number of things you need, and how you can get organized. Therefore, it is a good idea to have made that choice before the birth, if possible.
- Prepare the family to welcome the newborn
If you already have children, help them to experience the arrival of a newborn into the family in the best possible way. Keep them involved in the preparation, ask them to help you to choose the baby's room colours and furniture, the baby's clothes, etc...
If you are expecting your first child with your partner, who already has children of his/her own, you and your partner will need to spend more time and effort supporting them to welcome the baby. The more the children feel like they are a part of the adventure, rather than being excluded from it, the more likely they will feel positive about that transition.
If you are expecting your very first addition to the family, you will need to spend time with your partner to prepare for the change a new baby will bring. Talk about your fears, and think about the way you can get organized, by sharing the workload for example, so that all goes well.
- Prepare the maternity suitcase
As the time to give birth comes closer, it becomes more and more crucial to have the suitcase you will bring with you to the maternity ward ready, and easily accessible in case you need to leave in a hurry!
Depending on where you decide to give birth, you might get a list or guideline of the elements you should bring with you for the birth. You will need comfortable clothes for you, a toiletry case, slippers, and the necessary baby equipment: diapers, bodysuits, socks, bonnet, comforter... You can also choose to have a soft garment with the mother's smell on it, in order to comfort the child when he is not in direct contact with you.