Becoming a parent can be daunting, but there are many resources available for you to take advantage of. Here are five things you should do to prepare for a baby.
- Get Educated
There are many classes at your disposal when you’re preparing to have a baby. You should take courses on pregnancy education, so you can learn about topics such as child birthing, advice for staying healthy during and after your pregnancy and information about what to expect when you go into labor. You should also be able to find classes on financial planning, being a new parent, breastfeeding, nutrition and handling newborns. Some people will benefit from relationship counseling before, during and following pregnancy.
- Take Care of Your Health
One of the most important things you can do when preparing for a new baby is to take care of your health. When you start planning to conceive, begin avoiding alcohol, smoking and the intake of any other substances that may harm the baby, because people often don’t realize they’re pregnant for the first several weeks of the first trimester. Get regular, gentle exercise and eat a healthy diet. Get regular health and prenatal exams and manage any chronic conditions in a way that is safe for you and your baby.
- Choose a Pediatrician
Generally, it’s suggested that you should settle on a pediatrician before the end of your second trimester. You should research various pediatric practices in your area and determine which ones might work best for you. Then, you can call the office and ask if you can schedule a get-to-know-you visit where you can ask more specific questions.
- Gather Supplies
Because you’ll likely be very busy when the baby arrives, it’s a good idea to gather as many supplies and do as much physical preparation as you can before childbirth. Childproof your home and gather all the supplies you may need to care for your baby. Supplies may include diapers, clothes, bedding, toys, formula, bottles, pacifiers, bathing supplies, furniture, and baby monitors. You can also make certain decisions in advance, such as who will accompany you for the birth and whether you want your baby circumcised if you have a boy.
- Ask for a Preconception Exam
One part of preparing for pregnancy and a new baby that you may not immediately think of is scheduling a preconception exam. You can get this done by your gynecologist or your primary care physician. The purpose of this type of exam is to assess your current health and look for any risk factors that may cause issues conceiving, staying pregnant or staying healthy while you’re pregnant. If you have chronic conditions or are taking prescription medications that may impact your pregnancy, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Reading, taking various classes and discussing your preparations and expectations with your doctor are all important ways to prepare for your baby’s arrival. Make sure you gather a variety of supplies and do many types of prep work.