Preparing for the arrival of your baby
Having a baby is a huge life-changing experience that no one can ever really prepare you for. Whether it's your first, second or even fifth, there definitely a number of things you should be doing before you have your baby. Some are practical and 100% required, but some things (from my experience) are necessary for a calm mind and body.
Preparing for your baby can be split into two ways. Mentally preparing by getting your mind and body into a state of calm, and physically preparing, such as decorating the nursery or purchasing a car seat.
Our list of 5 things to do before baby arrives looks at what you can do to look after yourself to make sure you're in the best possible place for when the day happens.
One: Take some time for yourself
Whether you're a first-time mum or running after a flock of children, makings sure you take time for yourself before the arrival of the new baby is essential. Those first few weeks can be a bit chaotic as you bond with your newborn, from frequent night feeds to learning all your baby's new cues. So making sure you're feeling as relaxed as possible before that time can help give you the energy for those first few weeks.
Write a list of all the things you like to do to keep you calm and choose at least one to do each day. Reading a book, long baths (but not too hot!), gentle yoga, or maybe crocheting. All of these things can be done in those final few weeks of pregnancy to help ease your mind.
Two: Get a pregnancy massage
It's no secret that pregnancy comes with a lot of aches and pains. Booking a massage with a trained professional who specialises in pregnancy massage can help relieve back ache, tension in your shoulders, or give those feet some much needed TLC. If you have the time and money to do so, there's no reason why you can't make a day or weekend of it with your partner and indulge in complete relaxation. Remember you should avoid heat treatments such as steam rooms and saunas, but a slow swim and gentle exercise such as walking around the spa grounds could do your mind and body wonders.
Three: Eat good food
After the birth of a newborn, regardless of who usually does the cooking, it might be difficult to squeeze in a hot meal between nappy changes, feeds, and general cuddling. Not only might you find eating on time difficult, eating together with your partner may seem impossible.
Before your baby arrives, use those last few weeks to spend quality mealtimes with your family or partner. Talk through your day, use it as a time to talk about baby and what you're excited about, but also talk through any worries you might have. Having these conversations over dinner can be a fantastic way to build your connection as a family unit so you go into those first few weeks of newborn parenthood armed with love and support.
Four: Create to-do lists
There are obviously lots of things that need to be done before having a baby. Choosing a pram, getting a car seat installed, preparing the nursery. So how can you make sure all these physical preparations don't overwhelm you? Create a list of everything you know needs doing and set yourself mini deadlines to have them done, so you're not rushing to do everything at once. For example, maybe aim to have the nursery decorated before the 6-month mark when you might start to get too uncomfortable for lifting a paint roller (or cheering your partner on from the sidelines)!
By creating to-do lists, you can relieve the anxiety that could come with trying to juggle everything at once and it always feels good to strike things off once they're done!
Five: Book a maternity photography session (and a newborn session)!
Obviously we're going to say this, but taking the time to celebrate your body as it grows new life is an absolute must. If pregnancy hasn't treated you well, a maternity photography session can be a great excuse to get dressed up and take an hour or two to really connect with your baby and your body in a relaxed environment. We all want to feel glamorous and should look back at pregnancy with complete awe for ourselves, and a maternity session can help you achieve both of these!
Additionally, getting your newborn session booked in will take away the stress of trying to find a photographer with space once the baby has already arrived. Newborn photography sessions are usually bookable from around 20 weeks, with photographers pencilling in due dates until the arrival, when a final date is agreed. Knowing you've reserved yourself a space means you don't need to worry about finding a great photographer at short notice.
Is there anything else you've done to prepare yourself for your new arrival? Message us over on Instagram or Facebook (@wellandstudios) and we'll add it to the list!