For those that have already had a baby, this blog post title might be the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen. How does anyone prepare for having a baby? Who knows? They are completely unpredictable, but I guess that is all part of the fun. That being said, I am a serial planner, organiser and just general to-do list lover. I always have been and probably always will be. So, once we found out we were having a baby, I treated it no differently to other things in my life and started planning. Today I thought I would share with you how I am preparing to have a baby; it’s a general mix of all the little things that have helped me along the way and helped me feel a little more organised and stay sane. If you want to catch up on my pregnancy so far, you can find my first trimester update here and my second one here and here.
Baby Spreadsheets & To Do Lists
Ok so when I first did this, I thought I was probably the most ridiculous person ever and that no one else was like this but me. Then I read this post by Abi Richards and instantly felt so much better! As I said to do lists are my thing, so one of the first things I did was making lists. I soon realised there were a lot of different lists, so I decided to collate them all into one spreadsheet to make it a little bit easier. For example, some of my lists included things we needed to buy. This was accompanied with a column for budgets, products that had been recommended and notes to say whether we had bought it or not. This is the easiest way for me to keep track of what we have and what we still need to buy and a good idea of how much we are spending. Another list is for hospital bags and what needs to be packed in them, another was for things that needed doing beforehand like paperwork; such as getting a maternity certificate, arranging maternity leave etc. I also then have a list of things I would like to ideally get done before the baby arrives. This is more of a general list, such as sorting out our bedroom, getting a dental check-up or my hair done. I know when I say it out loud it might sound a little bit silly, but I am not sure when I will have the time to pop to the dentist or go and get my hair coloured in those first few weeks, so why not tick them off my to do list whilst I do have time.
Activity & Pregnancy Fitness
This is something that I focused on from around my second trimester, mainly because a lot of the pregnancy classes start when you are around 14 weeks. I sat down one evening and researched all the local pregnancy classes in my local area and then picked two that I wanted to try. I had no idea what to expect and felt a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I put my big girl pants on, got myself there and enjoyed every minute and I have not looked back. I chose an aquanatal class, which is a water-based fitness class held at our local gym. It is subsidised and only costs £3 a week. The other class I go to weekly is pregnancy yoga and this has also been brilliant. This is run by a yoga teacher in a local primary school. Both classes are a great way to get out and meet other pregnant women and hear about their experiences, get some gentle exercise and just do something a little bit different. I also come home feeling a lot more comfortable and sleep a lot better too. I also chose these classes specifically as the instructors also run other classes for new mums where you can take your baby along with you, which I thought would be ideal whilst I am on maternity leave.
Research & Reading
I have written a whole separate post about this, as there was so much information I wanted to share with you. It includes all of my recommendations for pregnancy books, websites and just general places to find information during pregnancy. I thoroughly enjoy researching information about pregnancy, labour and having a baby as I find it really helpful. Personally, for me I feel that educating myself and knowing that I can make informed decisions has helped me feel a lot more confident about my pregnancy and labour. It has reduced the fear of the unknown a lot!
Again, this is a topic that I will be writing a separate post on as I have so much to say about it, but in a nutshell, I cannot recommend it enough! I think hypnobirthing can be very misunderstood and when you say or hear the phrase hypnobirthing, it’s quite easy to assume that it’s a little bit woo woo, hippy or just a bit out there. First of all, let me assure you it is definitely not! It is not about being put in some kind of weird trance or anything like that at all. Hypnobirthing for me is all about finding relaxation techniques and ways to help me tackle the unpredictability of labour, whilst remaining calm, informed and in control of my decisions. It is completely founded on science and logic, which I absolutely love and makes everything about labour make so much more sense. I also want to point out that hypnobirthing is not just for women who want to have a natural delivery as I have heard some people say. The techniques and things you learn are invaluable and can be applied to any labour whether that’s a natural home birth, induced or assisted delivery, planned or emergency C-section or any other combination/form of labour.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am all round food lover. Whether it’s making my own recipes, being creative in the kitchen, eating out or just anything to do with food in general – I am obsessed. So, when people say to me that when you have a baby you don’t eat properly, there is no time to make meals or you eat whatever you can find, when you have two minutes; it literally gives me the fear (more so that labour itself)! This is not something I think I will cope well with; I like to eat, and I get very irritable when I don’t. So, to combat this I have decided that I am going to batch cook. This isn’t something I have started just yet, but I have made a list (lol) of ideas of things that I can make in large batches and freeze. That way I know there are home made things that can come out of the freezer and once defrosted be popped straight in the oven and be ready in minutes. Like ready meals, home-made. I have even heard you can make and freeze cake and I am very much willing to try that out. I am also going to have food shopping delivered nearer the time, so that I can fill the cupboards with lots of easy things to make and snack on.
If you have had a baby or you are pregnant, how did you prepare yourself? I would love to hear from you, so please share your tips and recommendations below.