9 ways you can prepare for your baby
The last trimester is about looking after yourself and growing a baby – but there are a few things you can do to make your post-baby life a little less frantic.
Love it up
Enjoy some partner time now while it’s still just the two of you, even if you’re not feeling romantic. Take in a movie, go out to dinner or even have an impromptu “babymoon”. Talk about your hopes for your baby and even touch on some early parenting ideas you might have – e.g. baby sleeping arrangements, your breastfeeding plans and involvement of extended family.
Double up meals
When you prepare a meal, cook twice the amount and freeze half. This could be the single most important task you do in the lead-up to becoming a mum. Once bub is born, and particularly if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll be ravenous but possibly too busy or too exhausted to cook a decent meal. Soups, stews, casseroles, baked pastas and pies freeze well. Check out Kidspot Kitchen for some great recipe ideas.
Getting your hospital bags ready is fun. It’s probably advisable to pack three – a labour/birth bag, one for the hospital stay and another for bub. A great tip is to collect promotional or travel-sized toiletries – and don’t forget to pack some snacks and goodies for your birth support team (i.e. your partner). For a definitive packing guide see our hospital checklist.
So many day spas and beauty therapists cater for pregnant women now, offering massages, facials. pedicures and general pampering packages for mums-to-be. In those last few weeks is also the time to freshen up the hair style as it will be harder – but not impossible – once bub is born.
Get the books in order
You can save yourself so many headaches by getting your finances and paperwork in order before your baby comes along. Where possible, set up direct debits; if you can, pay the mortgage in advance; start filling in any hospital and health fund paperwork; pay any outstanding bills, and; if you summon the focus, set up a post-baby budget. Babies do cost a bit of money, and if you’re taking maternity leave, it’s advisable to set up a budget to make your money last until you return to work.
You may be hefting around an extra 10kg-plus, but now is not the time to become too inactive. Studies have found that women who exercise during pregnancies can have shorter labours and lower weight babies. Plus, being fit will help you better deal with the rigours of being a new mum. So, as the due date looms, keep moving and stay active.
Preparing for a new baby can be likened to stocking the pantry for a natural disaster. Get some help, and hit the supermarket to buy up big on non-perishables like clothes washing powder, toilet paper, nappies, canned goods and cleaning stuff. There are some good websites which deliver goods like toiletries and baby goods in bulk – and you can just order online.
Start reading bits and pieces on what to expect, not just about the birth but also when you bring baby home. Kidspot NZ and Kidspot AU are filled with easy-to-read articles on pregnancy, birth and being a parent.
Baby on board
Is your car ready to safely transport a little being? It is a legal requirement to have an approved rear-facing baby seat or capsule correctly fitted before you can go driving with your bub. With recent figures suggesting a vast majority of baby car restraints are fitted incorrectly, it may be a good idea to have your seat installed professionally. Your local Plunket will be able to provide help with fitting your child car restraint.
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- This article was written by Fiona Baker for Kidspot, New Zealands best pregnancy, labour and birth resource.