10. Visit the dentist. Probably not what you were expecting! There are plenty of reasons to get your teeth ready for pregnancy, and believe it or not, pregnancy can be hard on your teeth! There are also some indications that plaque and dental problems can cause problems in early pregnancy. Get any little problems taken care of before you get pregnant so they don’t become bigger problems during that special time.
9. Start good habits. It’s a great time to start all those things you keep meaning to start – healthy eating, regular exercise, good night’s sleep – those not only will set you up for a healthy pregnancy, they might even make it more likely you’ll get pregnant!
7. Enjoy being childless. It’s hard to do, when you’re desperate to start a family, but be sure to enjoy the freedom that comes along with not having to find a sitter or pack the diaper bag. Once you have kids, you’ll have them a long time, so savor these days while you can.
6. Talk to your mom, aunts, and sisters. Did your mom have some problems conceiving? Might be worth knowing. Your sister hated the hospital she gave birth at? Find out why. Get some tips from been-there-done-that moms, and maybe start to plan the hand-me-down train! But do ask them to refrain from labor horror stories! R
5. Save a little extra, if you can. Besides being off work for a little while at least, you will also find that kids come with all sort of unexpected expenses. If you can start a little extra saving now, you might find you really need it later!
4. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. One future mommy told us she went bungee jumping before trying to get pregnant, because she didn’t want to risk her life once she was someone’s mom! One of our doulas and her husband went to Vegas for a movie premiere – in costume, with the international fan club. Big or small, knock something off your bucket list; you might not have the time, money or energy to do it later.
3. Start taking your folic acid. This important B vitamin taken before and during early pregnancy has been shown to reduce birth defects. It’s actually a good idea for all women of childbearing age to ensure they are getting sufficient folic acid in their diet – just in case!
2. Have a few good conversations. You and your partner may think you’re on the same page, but have you really talked out issues like if one of you will be staying home, working from home, working part time, or both going back to work full time? Are you thinking about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, sleep training, etc.? How much time will you and your partner be able to take off after the birth? In an adoption homestudy, parents talk about these things with a social worker long before the baby comes home, but if you’re pregnant, there’s no box to check off for “talked about…” Things change and plans don’t always work out, but it’s good to at least be starting out on the right foot.
1. Know that no matter what, you’ll never be ready. There will always be one more thing you want to do, something you forgot or didn’t think about, and surprises along the way. Parenthood isn’t a destination, it’s a journey and never one that goes according to plan, so buckle in and get ready for a ride!
Check out our entire Doula's Top 10 Series here!