Find a Birthing Class
Of course you will hear everyone and their Mother telling you what to expect when you're about to meet your sweet little bundle but let's be real, a lot of that information goes right out the window when those labor pains begin. Instead, I always like go back to what my midwife told me about creating a peaceful environment for my newborn to come into rather than trying to he he hoo hoo my way through labor. Many childbirth experts recommend tuning in to your own natural breathing rhythms. That might be slow, deep breaths that come all the way from your diaphragm, or faster, shallow breathing — whatever feels right to you is most likely, well, right for you. For me I enjoyed humming. It's no secret that the last day of labor for me was well... let's just say rough. It felt like days that it took me to push her out, but during that 4 and a half hours humming brought my mind back to calmness and was my saving grace when I felt like I was losing control. During the last hours before Vaeh came into the world, I had extremely bad back labor, to the point that I could no longer walk. During those hours of pushing with the pain in my back, it took every fiber of my being to keep myself mentally ok and make sure I did what I had to do to get that present just waiting to come! How do you do that? I had to truly tune into my body and find out how I reacted to pain, and discomfort. I had to notice when my body was about to tell me I couldn't do it and combat that with a rhythmic movement of either my hips, or my breathing much like a swimmer would do during a race. You want to find someone that offers a child birth class and has the same outlook on birth that you do. For me, I went to my birthing center where I planned on giving birth because I felt comfortable with their outlook on birth.
Learn about breastfeeding if you plan on doing it.
Don’t expect baby to just latch on and start feeding. It will be a learning process for both of you—and some new moms have trouble. Be ahead of problems as much as you can by learning the basics before you give birth.
I can tell you, I was very adamant on breastfeeding my baby when she was born and I thought I didn't need any of the information because "I knew everything" (insert eye roll emoji here) but that information would have been wonderful and probably would have made my breast feeding experience better that first week or so, because I struggled a bit. Definitely do your research on skin to skin contact, and starting breast feeding right away as that will help you in the long run.
Set up the room/ sleeping area
Every baby needs to have a comforting place to sleep. Purchase and set up the crib or bassinet completely and follow all safe and practical nursery guidelines before baby moves in.
I have read a lot about the owlet, and while it's a little pricy at $249.99, to me peace of mind is worth a million bucks. You can find the link to it here in case you want to check it out! https://www.owletcare.com
Have a well known Birth Plan
I cannot tell you how important it is to have a birth plan. Print copies and place them in your hospital bag, fold them and put one in the car, whatever you have to do to make sure you remember to take it with you when the big moment happens. There are tons of free birth plan templates out there for you to start thinking of things. Here is a link to one that I found helpful. http://www.bubhub.com.au/hubbub-blog/downloads-printables/birth-plan-template/
Get your hospital bag ready!
Make sure you have all the essentials before you head to the hospital. Check out our packing list and these extras moms couldn’t live without.
Here is a link to a checklist of everything you may need!
Have a plan for when you come home!
You're probably going to be tired and want to spend all of your time with you little bundle of joy, instead of worrying about meals and such the keep the rest of the family alive while you recuperate.
Have your friends start a meal train for you ahead of time. If everyone you know cooks a meal, you could definitely have enough to keep you fed during the first couple days that you're not going to feel like cooking.
Choose a pediatrician
Definitely do your research ahead of time and find someone who has the same beliefs and goals for your new baby as you do. There is nothing worse than going for your two day checkup and realize you and your doctor that you have chosen do not see eye to eye on major concerns such as breastfeeding, vaccinations, circumcision, and many other things you will have to make a decision on. Make sure you choose someone who supports your beliefs!
All in all, just remember to relax and embrace the new life that you are brining into the world! If you know any other great tips or have links to something that helped you during your birth, please leave them or your ideas in the comment box below! If you know someone who is expecting, tag them or share this with them to help them out!