There is no bigger blessing than getting a child into the world. Most people dream of this life-changing day, the day they realize their lives have completely changed for the better. There are many people who have to plan and get pregnant. Once the indicator on the test is positive, there is no going back.
There are a lot of things you have to prepare for and change in order to make this moment easy. You might just find yourself to be overwhelmed after that initial excitement, but that’s okay. Almost every new parent goes through that phase. There are a ton of things you need to start doing even before your baby is born. You need to sign up for childbirth classes, pick up a car seat, and so much more.
All of this does not have to be hectic and frantic, you can make this journey an unforgettable one with just a little bit of organization. Some advance planning would do you well. We have curated a checklist of almost everything you need before your baby arrives so that you are able to enjoy this special time instead of worrying constantly.
Start taking your vitamins
You should start taking your vitamins as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. These are essential for making sure that your baby has all the nutrition that it will need. If you aren’t already, start taking 400mcg of folic acid, preferably something that is already a part of prenatal vitamins. There are quite some risks to your unborn baby such as spina bifida, a neural tube defect. These can be prevented by these supplements. Make sure that they contain at least 1000mg of calcium and 27 mg of iron. Most ob-gyn recommended prenatal vitamins that cover all of these aspects.
Choose your doctor
Since you will now be going to the doctor quite a lot, it is important that you choose one. It is better for one doctor to handle you as a patient so that they are familiar with your medical history and specific needs and requirements. You can either choose a midwife or an ob-gyn, whichever path you would like to take during your pregnancy. You should consider a few factors before choosing your healthcare provider.
See if you feel comfortable and at ease with your doctor. See how far they are from your place, how much they charge, whether your insurance covers it or not, and what kind of practice they follow. Research a few doctors and set up an appointment. Around the tenth week. You will have an ultrasound to detect the baby’s due date and heartbeat. You will be going for checkups once every four weeks, and as the due date comes closer, once every three weeks.
Start taking your tests
Somewhere between week 11 and week 14, you will be given first trimester screenings such as a pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A along with a human chorionic gonadotropin test. You will also be given some tests to determine whether your child is at risk of trisomy 18 and down syndrome. There is also an ultrasound that measures your fetus’s neck for finding out the risk of chromosomal problems called nuchal translucency screening. These preliminary screenings will determine whether you need further diagnostic tests or not. Even if you are not above the age of 35, you should talk to your doctor about genetic tests that can be performed around the 11th week of your pregnancy.
Get a second-trimester screening
There is a screening called multiple marker screening that looks for inhibin-A, alpha-fetoprotein, and hCG. This is conducted around the 15th week of your pregnancy and can check for an increased risk of certain defects such as anencephaly. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of additional testing, and the path you would take if the results are abnormal.
Join a childbirth class
There is nothing better than the support of those who know exactly what you are going through. You do not need to join these classes, but they will be of great help when you are in labor. They help teach everything such as how to change your baby, how to feed and burp them, and what to do when you are in labor. These Lamaze classes are extremely effective and help you feel like you are ready to take this challenge on.
Set up your nursery
If you are looking for some serious custom furniture, it might just take more than 12 weeks to arrive. This is why you should start planning your nursery by week 20 of your pregnancy. If you want to go all out, you can think of hiring someone for your nursery interior design to set up the perfect baby environment. Also think of buying bibs, diapers, clothes, shoes, and even a baby bathtub. This will help you organize a ton of things before you lose track of time.
Talk to your boss about maternity leave
Before you go ahead and announce to your coworkers that you are pregnant, set up a meeting with your boss in order to discuss maternity leave. You can make up several proposals about how your work can be handled while you are not available, making sure that it is a good deal for you as well as the company.
Search for a pediatrician
Before you know it, you will be needing a pediatrician. It is important that you line one up at least two months before your baby is born. Remember to check their recommendations and see how comfortable you feel with them. It will only be an added bonus if they are based near your house.
Buy a car seat
Did you know that the law dictates you need to prove that you have a car seat before you drive off from the hospital with your baby? It is important to meet the current safety standards and buy a car seat before you have to rush out for one.
Preparing for your baby to be born is no joke. It can be quite hectic and worrisome. Follow these steps to help you stay organized and on top of everything.