Bringing Your Newborn HomeWritten by on April 4th, 2009
How to Prepare Yourself Physically, Mentally, Financially
All mothers experience excitement, anticipation and fear in the nine months before bringing home their baby. Moms can prepare for the new arrival in the following ways.
Excitement, anticipation and fear are a few feelings that mothers experience in the nine months before bringing home their baby. Moms can prepare for the new arrival in four different areas. Each women experiences pregnancy differently, and with each subsequent pregnancy it is different.
Physically (always consult your physician before starting an exercise plan)
Never has your body faced a challenge equal to that of labor and delivery! Pregnancy changes your hormones and your body composition! One miracle from all theses changes is the increased flexibility we are given, which allows us the ability to carry a child and to release it on D-day! Regardless if the birthing process is natural or managed your body will use EVERYTHING it has to complete the task of delivery. So prepare!
* Walking is the best exercise to help elevate the uncomfortable changes during pregnancy, such as constipation, and to tone your muscles. The great thing about walking is you can do it anywhere, anytime, and it is virtually free! You will need to invest in comfortable, stable shoes! While pregnant it is especially important to listen to your body if you need to rest, REST! Walk what you feel you can, and know that a little is better than none at all.
* Prenatal yoga is also a great way to prepare for labor and delivery. Yoga promotes: stamina, relaxation, stress reduction, muscle strengths and flexibility. Practicing kegel exercises and squats can promote an easier delivery and recovery. Yoga is also a great way to begin bonding with your baby! You can find pre-natal yoga DVD’s online or in book stores; also check your local YMCA for classes.
It is also important to realize that when most of us leave the hospital we still need maternity clothes. Very few people that I have known have worn their pre-pregnancy clothes home from the hospital. When packing your bag include a few outfits that are comfortable, and that make you feel attractive.
I can remember anticipating the arrival of my first child, what she would wear home and the blissfulness of motherhood. I never thought about what would actually happen once we arrived home.
* Family and friends can feel like paparazzi with the new arrival. Just as important as your delivery plan, is your plan to bring the baby home. Begin talking to you partner about what you envision, keeping in mind that you may be exhausted and a little anxious about how to take care of the new baby. It is okay to set boundaries until you are ready for visitors.
* Becoming a parent changes many aspects of your life, including your marriage. Until this point there had been a balance of two, and bam a VERY needy third party enters. It is very normal to experience stress when starting a family, your whole life changes. The key is to talk to your partner about your feelings before and after the arrival. Ask for help!!!! Begin learning all you can about what to expect. Once the baby comes form a relationship with your pediatrician so that you feel comfortable asking questions.
* Before the baby arrives try to map out a plan for rest and relief. As a new mom you may think you have to be superwomen, you don’t! Begin splitting household chores, talk to friends and family about helping you with other children or other major responsibilities.
* Take time to learn about postpartum depression. If you feel like you are experiencing any symptoms talk to your doctor as soon as possible!
For most parents once they find out the gender of their baby, it is full throttle to prepare a special environment for the baby. This can be exciting and stressful. What color to paint the room, what theme to do and what furniture is needed are often the questions that arise. Babies need very little to be happy!
* A few things you will need to get started: a crib or bassinet, sheets(a least two pairs), a waterproof mattress pad, a soft blanket, diapers, wipes, Vaseline, a baby bath tub, soft wash clothes, burp rags and a lot of easy to remove and put on outfits. Usually when you leave the hospital you will have a goody bag with a few of these items, but these will not last long.
* The most important piece of environmental preparation is purchasing a car seat. Research and price car seats before the baby arrives, the hospital will not let you take the baby home without one. In most areas hospitals and organizations offer classes on installing car seats. The first time you try to install a car seat should be well before the trip home from the hospital.
It is also important for mothers and their partners to begin preparing for the financial changes once the baby arrives. Most parents expect the cost of feeding, diapering and clothing your new baby.
* Before the baby arrives you can begin to put money aside for supplies and unexpected cost. We all have different financial situations, so any amount is better than none.
* When shopping look for great deals on diapers. Diapers are the easiest item to pre-buy because all babies use them. Look for sizes other than newborn; your baby will be in diapers for some time and will not wear the newborn size for long.
* Begin thinking about the cost of childcare, maternity leave, possibly the loss of two incomes and medical bills.
All the planning in the world can not prepare you for the greatest event you are about to experience! Planning can ease your anxiety, stress and make the journey more rewarding