You’ve passed the half way mark and there’ s still so much to think about before the big Birth-day. I’ve written out 15 top tips to do before your baby arrives, so keep it to hand and you’ll be prepared with time to spare…
1. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR HUSBAND/PARTNER AND OTHER CHILDREN
It’s so important to set aside some time with your partner before your baby arrives. Planning and going out for dinner is a good way of just having some really good quality time. If you have other children, plan some more family outings before the new addition arrives.
2. MAKE SURE YOUR BIRTH WISHES ARE UP TO DATE
It’s important to have a birth plan so everyone involved will know how YOU will want to birth. Keep it down to bullet points or on one page only. Midwives, don’t really like to read essays so the shorter and to the point it is, the better.
3. GET THE NURSERY OR SLEEPING AREA PREPARED
Make sure you have everything unpacked and sorted out. Babies don’t need tons of gear, but get the essentials ready – changing unit, lots of nappies, cotton wool, water bowl, moses basket, bedding washed and cleaned.
4. FREEZE SOME FOOD FOR AFTER YOUR BABY IS BORN
The first few days and weeks are precious and you will want to cherish them. The last thing you will want to think about is what to cook. Stock up on your fridge. When you’re cooking meals, double the amount and freeze half and you’ll be happy to have meals at the ready when the time comes.
5. GET SOMEONE CLOSE TO ORGANISE A BLESSINGWAY CEREMONY
Instead of a Baby Shower, try having a Blessingway Ceremonies instead (I love them). The ceremony is a wonderful gathering celebrating a woman’s journey into motherhood. Originating from the Navajo Indians and expanding to all spiritual beliefs, women gather in support of the mother. The ceremony focuses on the mother rather than that of a traditional baby shower that has a focus on the baby’s needs. The intention of the celebration is to provide positive support and spiritual uplifting. For each mother, this may mean something different making it whatever she wants it to be. The aim is to help the new mother feel connected, well supported and empowered as she enters into the transition into motherhood.
Fun things things that normally happen during a blessingway ceremony is henna belly painting, making necklaces out of beads that each person has bought in, writing inspirational messages for mum, singing and dancing and honouring her.
6. WASH BABY’S CLOTHES
Wash anything that will go next to your babies skin to remove any irritants in the fabrics. It’s best to use organic or non bio products.
7. PACK YOUR BAG
Make sure you have all the essentials packed before you head to the birth centre or hospital.
8. LEARN HOW TO BREATHE DURING BIRTH THROUGH CLASSES
Deep breathing goes hand in hand with a meditative mind. Prepare and empower yourself by taking additional classes to help you during labour. Classes such as Breathe To A Better Birth really helps you relax and prepare for childbirth. I love this class as it’s short and sweet. It fuses the best of hypnobirthing, breathing techniques and meditation and it’s affordable. You also get to take home a cd to use at home so you can really get intothat space and just be present, really connecting and focusing on what matters most. For more information check out www.breathetoabetterbirth.com or contact Pammie on 07956 303571.
9. MAKE SURE YOUR MUSIC PLAYLIST IS UP TO DATE
It’s a fact that listening to calming or relaxing music alters your state of mind and during labour helps you relax and get into that lovely space. It’s worth making sure you have all your favourite songs on there. Most hospitals/birth centres also have CD players too, but check first.
10. ORGANISE AND ROUND UP YOUR TRIBE FOR AFTER THE BABY IS BORN
During the first few weeks it can be a bit hectic. Organise and gather your tribe during this time. You could write out a roster and spread it out on different days and times so it doesn’t get too overcrowded or it doesn’t overlap. You could also hire a postnatal doula. www.doula.org.uk
11. GET CHILDCARE AND PETS ORGANISED
If you have any other children or pets, make sure the person who is looking after them knows what to do. Write a list for them regarding feeding/bedtimes and routines.
12. CONNECT MORE DEEPLY
It’s a fact! Baby can sense everything that goes on. Connection is so, so important. Start by setting aside some undisturbed time with your baby – your body is a temple, a sacred space and is housing the most precious being in the world. Honour and respect that. Having a space that you can claim as your own is a constant reminder to slow down, even if its only for a few minutes a day. Try and set up a pregnancy alter, a sacred space where you can keep special items close to your heart. It could be something like pictures, photos, artwork, deity’s, candles, mantras, pregnant goddess figurine, something that means something to you. When you go into labour, take something from your alter to use as a focal point as a reminder of your strength as a mother.
Light a candle and put on some soft/relaxing music. Close your eyes, put hands on bump and take a few deep breaths. Then connect to your baby, saying how much you can’t wait to see him/her. Affirm your love and visualise yourselves giving birth beautifully. Positive affirmations works wonders too. Your baby might even react back by kicking you.
13. ENJOY, RELAX & TREAT YOURSELF
You’ve been carrying your little one for months now so try and enjoy the rest of the journey by relaxing. Indulge in pampering yourself. It could be by treating yourself to a pregnancy massage or going for a reflexology treatment. Your body has gone through so much change and there’s nothing better than treating yourself by easing those aches and pains. If you can’t afford it, try having a long bath with extra bubbles and sweet smelling oils. You could also just stay in bed for the whole day watching movies or read that book you’ve been meaning to read. You could also get really creative through some sort of artistic expression. You could try painting a picture, making a collage or sculpting something related to your baby. It doesn’t have to be perfect or a masterpiece but what’s important is that it’s your unique creativity.
14. GO FOR A PREGNANCY PHOTO SHOOT
There’s no better way to recall such beautiful moments through photography. Show off your beautiful curves and be proud! There are some amazing and very creative photographers out there – and you’ll be happy you did in years to come, with memories to cherish.
15. LOOK INTO GOING TO A PREGNANCY RETREAT
There are so many re-treats out there and this one is pretty special. Run by a Doula and beautiful earth mummy, Pregnancy Retreats offer a 3 day retreat, where the focus is on bringing back the sacredness, honouring and celebrating the woman. Included in the retreat is accommodation, food, blessingway ceremonies, classes and top speakers in the field. Check out www.pregnancyretreats.co.uk for more information. They also run 2 day Sacred Pregnancy Workshops, non residential.
Hope these tips help. Let me know what really helped you.