You’re expecting!! Many congratulations. Whether this is your first pregnancy or you are already a parent there are a number of things to do before your baby arrives. Make sure you get these ticked off your to-do list before the big day (and baby) is here.
1. Me Time
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but self care is worth it’s weight in gold. Try to make sure you book some me time before your baby arrives. Spend the day with friends or do it solo. Watch movies at home with popcorn and a face pack, or read a book uninterrupted with a cup of tea that’s still hot. Believe me, that’ll be a thing of the past for a while. Maybe have a day out at the salon having a massage or getting your hair done. Get someone to paint your toenails because it might be a little tricky to reach them yourself at the moment! You might not be able to bank sleep, unfortunately, but you can make sure you get some rest. Your body is doing a quite a lot right now growing a new human, so be kind to yourself and take it easy.
2. Food, Glorious Food!
Either go out to your special restaurant, or cosy up at home. Eat your favourite foods while you can enjoy the meal in one sitting. Eating together with your partner may not happen for a while if you tag team attending to baby. Just make sure you know which foods to avoid whilst pregnant. Up to 90% of pregnant women experience food cravings. Are you one of them?
3. Talking of Meals…
Get some meals prepped and in the freezer, ready for the first few weeks. You will not have the free time to cook up your favourite meals once baby is here, so it’s a great idea to have a good supply to hand. Get grandparents-to-be and friends to do some too so it’s not all on your shoulders. It’s also a great idea to stock up on store cupboard essentials. Head out to the supermarket while you can still do it alone. Even easier, make an online order for a home delivery.
4. Be Ready For Departure
Pack your hospital bag. Don’t leave this until the last minute. Try to pack your hospital bag by week 36, just in case baby decides to arrive early. Keep it in a handy place where it’s easy to spot on your way out the house.
Write your birth plan, make sure your birth partner knows your birth plan, but realise baby has not read the birth plan. So be prepared to for it to deviate from the plan.
Know your route to hospital or birthing centre. It’s also a good idea to know where the next nearest one is as sometimes, just sometimes, delivery suites can be full. Have childcare arranged, if required, for siblings & pets. Make sure the car is topped up with fuel.
5. Home Sweet Home
You will possibly have spent time getting the nursery all perfect for it’s new occupant. Many an hour spent pouring over Pinterest and paint charts. However, do not stress if it’s not ready. All you really need is a Moses basket or cot, somewhere safe for baby to sleep. Your newborn will not notice the decor when they arrive home so it can be decorated at a later date. Instead spend the time washing the muslins and babygros and nappies and sheets and blankets.
When you’re doing the supermarket stock up, grab your nursery essentials. You will need more nappies than you think. I promise you.
6. Capture that Bump
Whether you are a first time mum, or a seasoned pro, pregnancy is a truly special time in a woman’s life. Maternity portraits are the perfect way to celebrate your amazing body, gorgeous baby bump and magical journey into motherhood. I encourage every pregnant woman to consider maternity photography. Remembering this special time through portraiture will create lasting keepsakes that you will cherish forever.
7. Car Seat Capers
If you are planning to bring your baby home from hospital in a car, you must have a baby car seat. It is illegal, not to mention incredibly dangerous, to carry your baby in your arms in a vehicle. So before your baby arrives practise using it, taking it in and out of the car so it becomes second nature. It’s much easier to do it now when it’s empty than when there’s a disgruntled baby in it. Same goes for your pram/pushchair. Familiarise yourself with how it assembles and folds away so you will be confident taking it out and about. Although if you’re superstitious don’t have the pram in your house before your baby arrives, as some say it brings bad luck. However, please note there is no evidence that this is the case!
8. Contraction Timer
You probably already have a pregnancy app on your phone, but if you don’t then download a contraction timer app. Put it on your phone and your birthing partner’s too. Super handy to help you keep track of things once it seems that baby might be ready to start making it’s way in to the world. There are plenty of great pregnancy apps for parents-to-be to choose from, some simply contraction timers, others that have a lot more features. Spend a little time thinking about what might suit you best.
9. Get Some Support
You may have noticed a few changes to your body during pregnancy! Yes, you will have a beautiful bump but also your bra size will have increased. You may well have had a buy a few different sizes of maternity bra to accommodate your changing shape, but if you’re intending to breastfeed then you will also need think about a nursing bra. It’s super important to make sure you have a well fitting and supportive bra without it being restrictive. So make sure you invest in a nursing bra or two or three. Wait to buy them until you reach your eighth month, as your breasts may change yet again, and use a professional measuring and fitting service.
You will need more nappies than you think!
10. Charge it Up
Make sure cameras and phones are charged. You might not get a lot of notice once labour starts and you don’t want to be out of battery at a crucial time. So keep your mobile charged. And pop a charging cable in your hospital bag too.
11. Do it While You Can
Life as you know it will, quite rightly, not be the same once your newborn is here. You will simply not have the time or freedom to carry on as a non-parent. So before your baby arrives, try to have one last time of doing whatever it is you love. A trip to the cinema, a live band or theatre, or maybe a last girls’ night out. Feel as though you’ve given your lack of responsibilities a decent send-off.
12. Book your Newborn Photographer
Newborn sessions generally take place in the first two weeks after your baby is born. I only book a limited number of newborn photoshoots each week, so it’s never too early to book in. Just let me know your due date and we’ll work out a provisional session date from there. As we know, babies rarely decide to arrive on schedule but we can easily move the session if need be. Whether your baby is early or late, once you have booked in for a session we always have space to fit you in.
SAMPHIRE PHOTOGRAPHY | HORSHAM PHOTOGRAPHER | SPECIALISING IN NEWBORN, BABY AND MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY
12 Things To Do Before Your Baby Arrives