Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What I Think About: Preparing for Baby {Guest Post}

Things to Plan Before Baby Arrives

While the birth of a child is an exciting time for an expecting mother, it can also be a time that comes with a lot of nerves, even if it is not the first child in the family.  There are many decisions and preparations that can be made to help a nervous expecting mother feel more confident and ready for childbirth.  Here are a few easy tips that a mother can do before the baby arrives to ease their worries in the days before and after delivery.

Healthy and Fitness
When a mother first finds that she is expecting, it is important to meet with an ob-gyn to begin tracking the pregnancy progression as well as to discuss how a woman should manage her diet and fitness routine. Exercise used to be thought of as a cause for miscarriages. However, through research exercise has actually been shown to be beneficial to expecting mothers as well as the baby. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help a mother avoid excess weight gain; when eating for two, some women begin to consume unhealthy choices and unnecessary portions.

Stock the Home and Hospital Bag
Stock up on baby essentials ahead of time, such as diapers, wipes, toiletries and paper products.  Make sure the pantry is filled with easy to eat foods, such as nuts, pasta, canned soup and tuna.  Take advantage of the feelings of nesting and cook and freeze casseroles for quick meals in the weeks following the baby's arrival.  Pack an overnight bag well in advance as well, so when a mother goes into labor, she can grab it and head to the hospital when she needs to.  The bag should contain all of the important medical information, like health insurance cards and identification. Pack a few changes of clothes for mother and baby for their stay and for when it’s time to go home. Pack any other items to help during labor like a favorite movie or music.

Car Seat
Along the same lines, don't procrastinate on installing an infant car seat. Make sure it is installed properly or visit a local police or fire station for assistance in installing it properly. Most hospitals will not discharge a newborn without verification that a proper car seat is safely installed to transport the little one home. 

Post-Delivery Decisions
When the baby is born, a mother will need to have already picked out a pediatrician to come and take the baby’s measurements and administer the tests and screenings necessary before the baby goes home. Speak to both OB/GYN and pediatrician before delivery day about options such as circumcision and cord blood banking. These are important question regarding the future health of a child. Cord blood banking is where cord blood is collected after birth and stored as a potential medical resource in the treatment of a future medical disease. Parents who wish to participate should make arrangements with the cord blood bank of their choice ahead of time and notify the delivering doctor that the cord blood will be collected, since he/she will be doing the collection.

A bit of advance decision making and organization will help make the last stretch of pregnancy more relaxing.  An expecting mother will have less on their mind and more time to enjoy the baby and celebrate their birth.

This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22

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