Having a baby is a dream come true and it is probably one of the most life-changing events you will ever experience. After the excitement of that positive pregnancy test, you might notice that your head is spinning. From scheduling medical tests to buying baby clothes or looking for childbirth classes, you have to think of all the things you must prepare. However, getting ready doesn’t need to be over-preparing. With just a little bit of planning and organizing, I’m sure you will be ready for that. Here’s our guide for how to prepare for a baby.
The First Month
Providing crucial nutrients for your body
Choose foods that are suitable for pregnant women and start to put it on your menu. Besides, you also need to learn about what foods to avoid. There are six nutrients that play a key role in your baby’s development:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
Find a healthcare provider
Consider factors like distance, insurance coverage, and which practice will work best for your ideal birth experience. Once you’ve chosen, set up an appointment. Moreover, you should ask them to know if you need to take a prenatal supplement or not.
The second month
Scheduling obstetrical examinations
You will need to have ultrasounds to detect the baby’s heartbeat and verify the due date. After that, you should have a check-in every month until week 28 and then every 3 weeks. After week 36, you should do it weekly.
The third month
Start taking tests
During your first trimester, you will receive your screening, which is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. The results from the screenings will determine if you need further diagnostic tests. Especially women 35 and over should talk to their doctor about having CVS or amniocentesis tests.
Having a second-trimester screening
This is also known as multiple marker screening, which is used for women who are between 15 and 20 weeks pregnant. The test will show you the level of hormone and protein during pregnancy. It is used to detect the risk of defection, such as Down syndrome.
Joining a childbirth education class
Some classes take 6-12 weeks to finish so you might want to do it early. Therefore, you will have more time to rest if you go into labor early. You should cover the labor and birth process and comforting measures. Plus, you can ask your healthcare provider to find a class or register online.
Have a look at your little one
You will have an ultrasound around week 20, so the doctor can assess your baby’s development and make sure of everything. Moreover, this is likely the time when you can find out your baby gender.
Thinking about a birth plan
You might want to discuss your ideal birth plan with your partner. Plus, you can ask your mother what her birth experience was like and her ideas about yours. Moreover, you should start preparing gears for the coming baby. Some furniture can take around 12 weeks to deliver, so you might want to do it before week 20. You will need some essentials like diapers, clothes or a crib.
Most doctors will recommend a glucose challenge screening around Week 26. But, if you are overweight or have a history of diabetes then you should have one earlier. During this time, you can also check the hospital’s labor and delivery rooms. Knowing where you will be during labor can help ease anxieties on the big day.
Having a support team
Caring for a newborn sometimes can be overwhelming. Therefore, you may need some help when your partner is not there. From running errands or simply just taking care of your baby so you can rest, people are willing to give you a hand whenever you need. So, you should ask your mom, friends or relatives to join the baby and mommy team.
Month 7 and 8
This is closer to your special day than ever so you need to make sure that you have prepared enough for you and the baby. You should also look for a pediatrician and learn about changing diapers or bathing a baby. Keep tracking your health and symptoms, your doctor will tell you if you need to do some tests during this time.
Sit back and relax
This is an important one. By now, you have already done most of your preparations and got ready for when you go into labor. The doctor can calculate your baby’s due date but there is a chance it will be a little bit earlier or later. Always have people around so they can help you react immediately. As you notice the signs, find a comfy chair, try not to panic, you’ve got this!
We’ve arranged this guide by months but you are welcome to change it around. We’d also love to hear from you about whether this guide was a help or not. Please let us know in the comments and feel free to tell us about the things that you planned for your pregnancy.