As you head into your third trimester and you’re eager for baby to arrive, there are a few things you’ll want to tackle in order to be fully prepared when baby arrives! From installing the car seat to interviewing pediatricians, there’s a full list of things to do before you head to the hospital, birthing center, or even start to labor at home!
Take a Childbirth Class
This is especially important if you are a first-time mom. Attending a child birthing class will allow you to brush up on labor basics. Some first-time moms haven’t even thought of what happens during labor since their middle school sex ed class! A childbirth class will review the stages of labor, how to determine if you’re in pre-labor, early labor, active labor or transitioning. They also review breathing and relaxation techniques which is a great way to keep mama calm during labor. Plus, we’re sure there are a few questions you have in mind that you’d like to get answers to from an expert! A few classes to consider are the Lamaze and Bradley classes, or Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies are two other great options as well!
Know the Breastfeeding Basics
There is so much emphasis put into labor and delivery of the baby that sometimes breastfeeding is entirely overlooked. Knowing your breastfeeding basics – how to get the baby to latch, knowing hunger cues and how often a baby should nurse are all important things to know before baby arrives! Breastfeeding is a learning process, for mama and baby and not every baby latches perfectly. By knowing the basics of positioning and latching will be beneficial for you and the baby. Be sure your significant other is also informed of best practices for breastfeeding so he or she can help if you’re having a mama meltdown moment. KellyMom.com is one of our favorite breastfeeding resources to share with new moms!
Talk to Your Doctor About Delivery Options
You’re going to see a lot of your OB or midwife over the course of your pregnancy and sometimes the appointments are taken over by your current physical shape or discussing the baby, but be sure you don’t overlook what you want for your delivery. Find out which hospital you’ll be delivering at and what options you have – can you labor in the water or will you be confined to a bed? Will your doctor or midwife allow you to eat or drink during labor? Also be sure to go over your birth plan and make sure that you’re both on the same page as far as medication, induction, and interventions so there are no surprises on the delivery day.
Pack Your Hospital Bag
We recommend packing your hospital bag a few weeks early, around 35 weeks, just in case the baby decides to come early! When you’re in labor the last thing you’ll want to do is to be scrambling and trying to put together your must-haves for your stay at the hospital or birthing center, so be sure to get that together early. A few items we recommend are a robe, nursing bras, comfortable clothes, adult diapers, nipple cream, toiletries for mama. For the baby be sure to bring at least 1 newborn outfit and one 0-3 month outfit in case the baby is more than 7 pounds, a swaddle, socks, and a beanie. The hospital will have tons of diapers for you to use and also some to take home. These are only the basics, but be sure to check out our other blog post on hospital bag necessities!
Install the Car Seat
Installing the car seat before you go into labor is so important! You’ll want to make sure that you’ve read the user manual for the car seat (we highly recommend this!). Having your car seat installed correctly and also understanding how to buckle in your baby correctly is probably the most important thing on our list! Get it done early so you can have a peace of mind once you’re ready to take the baby home.
Choose a Pediatrician
You’ll want to do your research and possibly meet with your pediatrician before the baby arrives to make sure that they’re a good fit – both personality wise and for medical decisions. Be sure that your pediatrician is a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and prepare a list of questions to ask each doctor. Also, know that you can always go to a new pediatrician if the one you picked isn’t quite working out. You should always feel 100% comfortable with whoever is caring and looking out for the health of your newborn.
Keep Your Body Moving
This is so important! While you’ll feel like you want to just relax and watch Netflix during the last few weeks of pregnancy, none of that is good for your pelvis! Be sure to take at least a 30-minute walk a day. Be sure to do your stretches to open up your hip flexors and pelvis to open everything up and prepare for delivery. Squatting is also very important to keep those leg muscles and pelvic floor strong for when it comes time to push the baby out! Don’t become a couch potato or else you’ll have a more difficult labor, trust us!