Pregnant woman packing a hospital bag

The last few days before the baby comes is one of the most exciting times in life; for mummy, daddy, grandparents, neighbours – everyone who knows! However, preparing before the due date is crucial. Resting up and being prepared is essential because the busiest days are soon to come.

In this article, we look at some of the things you should take care of before childbirth. It’s a list of baby and non-baby related chores that need to be done so that your house is in order by the time your little one comes home.

What to do before giving birth

It might seem like being pregnant means sitting around and waiting for the baby to come. But that's just not true. You need to make sure things are ready for you when you get back home. Aside from keeping everything organised for when you get back from the hospital, there are some other things to do before giving birth to be prepared in the long-term. Let's take a look.

1. Pack your hospital bag essentials

The most important thing to do before getting to the hospital or birthing centre is to pack a baby essentials hospital bag. Make a list of items required for a newborn baby in the hospital. There are obvious things like clothes, towels, and nappies, but it’s always a good idea to ask family and friends what you should pack.

It's easy to leave some things out – like a waterproof changing mat for the baby. Print out a list and pin it to the fridge. Check items off the list and have your bag ready at least for week 35. It’s a good idea to create a list of hospital bag essentials for your partner. They will need fresh clothes, deodorant, and other over-night essentials.

2. Take a childbirth course

Many people will forgo taking a class to learn more about childbirth and how it works, but that’s not advisable. Being aware of what to expect is one of the best things you can do for your child and yourself. Childbirth classes prepare you for your new life as a parent. And even if you are not a first-time parent, a refresher course is always a good idea.

When should you start taking birthing classes? The best time to get started on your childbirth education is during the last trimester. You will be gearing up for your bundle of joy, and you need to know what to expect. You can find a childbirth course through your hospital. There are also some great online childbirth courses.

3. Organise your postpartum kit

You will need to organise a bag of postpartum essentials. Pregnancy is pretty overwhelming – but so is the time after childbirth. Your body needs time to adjust to giving birth.

Your postpartum care will include maternity pads, disposable underwear, pain killers, and post-natal vitamins. You’ll also need comfortable clothes while you recover. You can find a comprehensive list of postpartum care essentials here: Your Postpartum Recovery Kit.

4. Wash your new baby clothes and blankets

Make sure to wash all the things that your baby is going to be interacting with. Wearing clothes fresh from the store is not a good idea because babies have very sensitive skin. Even sheets and blankets must be washed and dried thoroughly before your little one rests on them.

A quick tip: Choose comfortable cotton clothes for your baby. Avoid clothes with buckles and straps because they might irritate a newborn.

5. Buy maternity clothes

Maternity clothes let you look presentable and stylish while your body recovers from giving birth. You won’t have much time or energy to go shopping immediately after giving birth, so it’s a good idea to buy all the clothes you need before you go to the hospital.

Do you buy maternity clothes in your normal size? This is one of the most common questions when it comes to maternity clothes. Yes, you need to buy maternity clothes in your normal size. Maternity clothes will usually give you more room in the places you need. That means if you wear a size medium, your maternity clothes will be a size medium as well.

6. Meal Prep

Meal prepping is an important thing to do before your baby arrives. Having meals prepared is ideal for the first few days when you return home. You might not have the luxury to adhere to your usual routine for sleep and showers, but if you have food prepared, you can eat precisely when you need to.

Meal prep involves cooking up batches of food and storing them in containers that go into the freezer. It also includes peeling and chopping vegetables; this will make assembling meals easy and fast. Consider cooking rice or quinoa, beans, and meat, like chicken or fish. Meal prepping gives you a nice, home-cooked meal to look forward to when your too time-poor to cook.

Pregnant woman writing a packing list next to a suitcase full of baby clothes

7. Stock up on groceries and toiletries

What do I need to buy before my baby is born?

The postpartum grocery list is something that needs to be tackled before the baby is born. Hopefully, your fridge and freeze have enough space because you will have to stock up on lots of fresh and frozen foods.

Make sure that your toiletries are stocked up. Toilet paper, toothpaste, and soap are just some things you will regret not buying before your due date. A complete grocery haul is needed at 35 weeks because you never know when the baby will decide to arrive!

8. Learn how to use baby technology

Are you thinking about what to do before labour? Let’s start with understanding baby technology. If you have already been using our BabyHeart fetal doppler, then you know how much fun it is to interact with your baby using technological gadgets.

For all the tech-loving parents, baby gear can be super exciting. But it's a hassle to figure out how to use it when bub is already kicking and punching the air. Figure out how to use your video monitor, non-contact baby thermometer, and whatever baby gadgets you have. This will save you time and help you prepare for your child before labour.

9. Install your baby’s car seat

Fumbling to install your baby seat while in the hospital car park whilst holding your baby is not a good idea. Ask your partner to fix the car seat before your due date. You should also take it to an inspection station near you so they can check to see if it’s correctly installed.

What week should you install your baby car seat?

Considering that due dates are not set in stone, you can begin preparing a car seat at 35 weeks. Getting the infant car seat in place clears up your schedule, so you won't have to rush to it after the baby is born.

10. Treat yourself!

Be generous with the relaxation because you will have to adjust your sleep schedule dramatically when the baby comes. Be sure to plan dates with your partner and girlfriends so you can squeeze in a bit of fun before your little bundle of joy arrives.

Take the time to get a manicure or pedicure session at the salon and enjoy some me-time in preparation for a newborn baby. Do some journaling, reading, or knitting. Pack in as many hobbies that you can because life is about to get a little crazy.

Now that we have looked at what to do before your baby arrives let's find out some of the things you shouldn't do while pregnant.

What not to do before you give birth

Many women ask the question, “what should I stay away from while pregnant?” Aside from the obvious things like drinking or smoking, what are the things to avoid while pregnant? Let’s find out.

1. Avoid takeaway foods and deli meats

You might have already googled what foods to stay away from when pregnant. In this case, it’s a really good idea to stay away from deli meat. Outside meat can cause stomach upsets because pregnancy makes you sensitive to bacteria.

2. Skip the coffee

On the same note, try to avoid coffee as much as you can. More than one or two cups can affect pregnant women.

Why is caffeine bad during pregnancy? The body transmits caffeine easily to the placenta, which may increase the heart rate of the foetus. Coffee is a big one in the list of what foods to stay away from while pregnant.

3. Don’t go to the sauna

Can you sit in a sauna while pregnant? The problem with saunas is that they increase body temperature. They may also cause dehydration and fainting, so you might need to pass up your sauna time while pregnant.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have taken a look at the dos and don’ts in pregnancy. Hopefully, you’ll fit some rest and relaxation in the time before your baby arrives. Be sure to meal prep, and install your car baby seat. A childbirth course is also essential for new parents. Finally, take a deep breath and enjoy pregnancy and motherhood!

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