As if you haven’t got enough to think about when you are pregnant, right? It is an exciting time of life, whether it is your first baby or your 5th baby, every pregnancy is exciting. You will have a thousand thoughts swirling around in your head and it can be difficult to know where to even begin. As such, we are sharing 8 things to think about when you’re pregnant that should help you to focus in on the important and fun elements of your pregnancy and preparing for baby’s arrival.
There are plenty of books and online clubs out there that can keep you updated on your baby’s expected growth on a week by week basis. It helps you to bond with your baby as you imagine them growing and understand how they are developing each week. You will have growth scans to keep track of your baby’s progress and you will get to see your baby on the screen. Seeing your baby and hearing the heartbeat is reassuring and can be emotional. They make your pregnancy very real and focusing on your baby’s growth and development helps to keep you strong and motivated if you are struggling at any points with your health.
Where you will have your baby
This might be a straightforward decision if there are few options near to where you live, or you might want to tour a few hospitals and birthing units. Alternatively, you might be considering a home birth. You will want to be clear on this decision as early as you can so that you can begin planning and visualizing the birth.
The birth itself
You will need to put a birth plan in place. If you have done this before, you might have very clear ideas on what you want, or what you definitely do not want, this time around. If this is your first pregnancy, then do seek expert help to guide you through this process. Everybody who has been through this before will have a ready opinion to offer, so solicit these if you wish to but bear in mind that everyone has different priorities and experiences. You will want to ensure that you can recognize the signs of labor and master the art of timing contractions so that you know when to be heading to the hospital or preparing for your home birth.
You have several months to work on this one and it is a lovely one to work on. Chat through ideas with friends and family and of course your partner. Think about whether you want a traditional or modern name, whether you would like it to be really unusual or even create a name yourself. Will you want the baby to have a middle name or two? Browse through baby name books for inspiration and there are annual popular name lists published so search for those online for inspiration or for the names to avoid.
Baby proofing your home
Whilst it is true that your baby will not be going anywhere anytime soon, you will be amazed by how quickly they do grow and develop and you will also be surprised by how little time you actually have to get anything done once the baby is on the scene. Which makes pregnancy a great time to work on baby proofing your home, from covering those plug sockets to putting up the stair gates, it can be reassuring to bring baby home to an environment that is already a safe one for them to grow into.
Preparing the nursery
This is a fun one to do and you can get the family involved to decorate it all. Allocate space for the baby and then look around for nursery decorating ideas before making your plans. Think about the furniture that you will need to make everything as practical as possible, so a changing table at the right height for you is a must as you will spend a fair bit of time there in the first couple of years of baby’s life. You will want to be stocked up with diapers, wipes, blankets and if you are bottle feeding you will need to get bottles and a sterilizer in. Along with the necessities you will no doubt want to choose a few suitable toys and books to pop in there, though do bear in mind that people love buying gifts for babies and they are likely to fall into these categories. Then there are the clothes.
If you know the gender then this can help with this one, though a lot of clothes are gender neutral or you might not care at all about whether your son wears pink making it an even easier task. Whilst it can be easy to get carried away buying baby clothes, do remember that the sizes are often in just three months options as babies grow so quickly. Most babies are going to be happiest in simple sleepsuits for the majority of the time and these are really easy for you to change, so do stock up on these along with outerwear for outings, vests and socks and then some dressier fun outfits for other occasions.
Maternity leave and childcare
You will need to consider how much time you will be able to take from work as maternity leave. Chat this over with your employer so that you are clear on the benefits package to ensure that you can make an informed decision. You will then need to consider how you will manage a potential reduction in income whilst you are on maternity leave and make plans for what will happen if and when you choose to return to work. You might want to look around childcare establishments and register for a place, you might want to talk to grandparents about helping out or negotiate a change in hours at work. Every situation will require different levels of planning, but it’s important to think this through and organize childcare prior to birth wherever possible.