You’re in the homestretch now! There’s probably no mistaking that baby bump now. It seems like there’s so much to do and so little time; will you be ready for baby? Here’s our perspective on some of the more important things you might want to get done in these last few months before you meet your little one.
10. Think about your calling/texting/social plan. You might not have even thought about this, but who are you going to call and when? Are you going to call all your family as soon as labor starts? Post on social media when you’re at the hospital? Who should know before they read it online? How/when will you contact your employers? You don’t need to have it written out, but be sure you have an idea and that you and your birth partner are on the same page!
9. Get pictures! You might feel like you don’t want to remember being this big and awkward feeling, but you will. You can’t ever go back and take pictures of yourself pregnant with this baby again, so be sure you capture the moment. You don’t have to Instagram every single one, but later you’ll be glad you have them. Professional portraits are often lovely and can be a real ego boost, too, if you can afford them and you aren’t feeling gorgeous in your current state.
7. Take the hospital tour. Unless you gave birth in the same hospital in the last two years, it’s not a bad idea to take the tour – and bring your birth partner along. Find out where to park (both during and after normal business hours), where to check in, where the ice machine, vending machines, and cafeteria are. Ask what they recommend you bring, look for things like if there are extra linens in the room (towels, washcloths, etc.) and even check the toilet paper! We’ve had clients bring their own TP from home after seeing how thin it is in some hospitals.
6. Pack your bag. You don’t really need to do this at the beginning of the third trimester, but it’s a good idea to have it done about 37 weeks, just in case! Not sure what to pack? At the very least, take clothes to wear after the baby’s born, your toiletries (remember you’ll be there 2 nights at least), snacks, change of clothes for dad, an outfit for the baby to wear home, your camera/laptop/tablet and all the chargers you’ll need, and anything that will bring you comfort. You won’t want to pack them now, but don’t forget to take your pillow (or 2 or 3) with you to the hospital!
5. Make sure you have the basics, but don’t sweat the small stuff. You’re going to need to have a place for the baby to sleep, some diapers, a swaddling blanket or swaddler, a couple of outfits and a car seat. If you’re formula feeding, have some formula and bottles on hand. Everything else is extra. You don’t need to babyproof now – your newborn won’t be trying to turn on the stove or crawling down the stairs! Highchairs are for babies who can sit up. If you have something for them to sleep in, poop in and wear, you’re probably doing great! Also….
4. Try Your Stuff! Have your car seat installed/checked by a professional, practice using your wrap or sling with a doll, set up the pack and play (and take it down) a few times, open and fold the stroller one-handed. Learning while holding a screaming newborn isn’t easy!
3. Finalize your birth vision. By this point you’ve probably at least started your birth classes, maybe done some reading, and have had some conversations with your healthcare provider and doula. You’ve probably heard of birth plans, but we believe in birth visions! One thing we know is that you can’t plan a birth, but you can envision your best case scenario. Once you have something in place, your doula will go with you to a healthcare provider visit to go over it and be sure your birth team is ready to work together to get you the birth you want.
2. Practice for birth! Don’t just go to childbirth classes, do your “homework” – practice the positions and techniques that you learned and review your notes. While you certainly won’t remember everything during birth, the more you practice, the easier it will be use them during labor. Active labor is a difficult time to learn or try new things! If you have a doula, she will probably be glad to come out and do some practice with you; it’s one of the most common prenatal visits we do!
1. Breathe. Take a moment and enjoy this brief season of your life. Yes, you’re tired and awkward and ready to be done, but you’ll never be pregnant with this baby again. Don’t let the hustle and bustle steal your chance to sit and feel the baby move and really appreciate this pregnancy, this baby, this moment. Look at how far you’ve come in such a short time and know that soon your precious babe will be in your arms, not your belly