There are no words to adequately describe the miracle of becoming a new mom. With the joy of everything that is happening, it’s an awe-inspiring journey, and most women feel ill-prepared at times. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to set yourself up for success so you can look forward to the birth with confidence and savor every moment that follows.
Are you considering breastfeeding? Parents.com notes that there are a number of benefits in doing so. Breastfeeding appears to bolster your and your baby’s health in key ways, such as enhancing your little one’s immunity and digestion, as well as lowering your risk for ovarian and breast cancer. It’s also a pleasant bonding experience and is an economical choice. If you do elect to breastfeed, make sure you are fully outfitted so you can do so in comfort.
For example, a quality breast pump is important in many circumstances, especially if you’re trading feeding times with a partner, or if you need to return to work soon. Similarly, a well-chosen breastfeeding bra can be an absolute godsend. It should provide sufficient support day and night without pulling on your shoulders, and offer enough stretch and softness to be comfortable. Also, consider adding a nursing pillow to your list of essentials, as it will keep you better supported and ease back strain.
Feather Your Nest
Preparing your home for your little one’s arrival is a must, and there are many details that are easy to overlook. You’ll want to do some baby proofing, eliminating risks such as furniture that could topple, outlets that are not covered, and cabinets that could be explored. Do some decluttering as well, such as organizing the nursery for your comfort and convenience. Also, go room to room throughout your home, removing things like floor lamps that your baby could pull over, ottomans you might trip on during late-night feedings, and so forth.
Review Your Finances
It’s no secret that baby’s first year is going to be expensive. Hospital bills, diapers, clothing and other miscellaneous items quickly add up. Take the time now to pad your savings account and trim expenses where you can. For example, can you cut back on entertainment and switch from cable to streaming? What about eating out less? If you set up a budget you can get a good idea of where your money’s going so you have a big-picture view of where you can cut costs. Now is the time to look over your auto insurance. Whether you need to bump your policy up to full coverage for more protection (like adding personal injury protection or comprehensive collision) or find cheaper premiums, compare rates to see where you can get the best coverage for the best price.
Many people think that motherhood is something we’ll all understand by nature, and while that can be true in certain respects, there are many things we can learn from those with more experience on the subject. Taking parenting classes is one way that moms-to-be can glean information and tips from others. Similarly, the American Pregnancy Association notes that a doula can provide a tremendous amount of guidance and support, mentoring you throughout the entire birthing experience — before, during, and after.
Lastly, one of the big dilemmas for new moms is finding trustworthy childcare. Check references and visit any facilities you’re considering. If you decide to go with someone offering an in-their-home service, ensure the home has been properly licensed and inspected. A nanny or babysitter is another viable option, and if you go find a sitter through an agency they will vet candidates on your behalf. Whoever you hire, check credentials, ensure you feel comfortable with the situation, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything you’re unsure about.
You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. With some preparation and support, you’ll be able to enter motherhood confidently. Those overwhelming sensations will pass into warmth, joy, and love, and you’ll be ready to savor every moment.