1. Schedule regular prenatal checkups.
Prenatal checkups are important to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby. Most healthcare providers recommend that pregnant women have a checkup at least once a month during the first trimester, every two weeks during the second trimester, and once a week during the third trimester.
2. Take childbirth and parenting classes.
Childbirth and parenting classes can help prepare mothers for the challenges of childbirth and parenting. Classes can cover topics such as labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and how to care for a newborn.
3. Prepare the nursery.
The nursery is where the baby will sleep, play, and spend most of his or her time in the early months after birth. To prepare the nursery, you will need to buy or borrow some basic items, such as a crib, a changing table, and a rocking chair.
4. Stock up on supplies for the baby.
You will need to buy or borrow a number of items for the baby before he or she is born, including diapers, wipes, clothing, bottles, and formula milk (if you are not breastfeeding).
5. Buy or borrow a birthing stool or chair.
A birthing stool or chair can be helpful during labor because it allows the mother to assume a more comfortable position. Birthing stools and chairs can be purchased or rented from most maternity stores.
6. Plan your delivery route and choose a doctor or midwife.
Choosing where you will deliver your baby is an important decision that should be made well in advance of labor. You will need to decide whether you want to give birth in a hospital or at home with the help of a midwife. You will also need to choose a doctor or midwife who will attend your delivery.
7. Learn about breastfeeding and decide whether you will breastfeed or use formula milk.
Breastfeeding is recommended by most healthcare providers because it provides benefits for both mother and child. However, if you are not comfortable breastfeeding, you can also opt to use formula milk instead.
8. Discuss pain relief options with your healthcare provider in advance of labor.
Labor pain can be intense, but there are many different pain relief options available to choose from. Talk to your healthcare provider about what options are available to you so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for you.
9. Pack your hospital bag with the essentials you will need while you are there.
You will need to pack a hospital bag with the essentials you will need during your stay, such as toiletries, comfortable clothes, and any medications you are taking.
10. Create a birth plan.
A birth plan is a document that outlines your preferences for labor and delivery. This can include things like pain relief options, who you want to be in the room with you during delivery, and whether or not you want to have skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after birth.