If you’ve been blessed with pregnancy it can be such an exciting time, chances are you’re already dreaming about what your baby’s face will look like, what you’ll name them and making beautiful family memories. But it’s also important to be practical, having a baby is a huge life change, so getting things sorted and prepared is a key part of the process. Here’s how you can go about it.
Get your home in order
Getting your home in order is a crucial step before you bring home your baby. You’ll need to make space for baby items which can be large and bulky. Things like moses baskets, a baby bouncers, toys, clothes, bathing and feeding equipment all require space. Even before you start to buy baby items you can work on getting your house ready. Clear out anything you no longer need, if you have space for a nursery/ baby’s bedroom you could work on getting this clean, cleared and redecorated. Even though they won’t be sleeping in there for some time, it’s useful to have a space in the home that’s just theirs. You can put their clothes away in drawers, set up a changing table and a comfortable chair with a night light where you can sit and feed them. While it will be some time before you’ll need to babyproof, it’s worth having a think about safety initially. If there’s anything that poses an obvious hazard then have that resolved and give yourself one less thing to do once your baby becomes more active. Keep an eye out for deals on things like stair gates and cupboard locks, and make sure things like loose carpets or other tripping hazards are taken care of. If you have problems in your home like black mould or signs of pest activity then prioritise these now, since even while you’re pregnant these could be harmful to the baby.
Look into your finances
Having a baby can be expensive, they require a lot of stuff especially at the start. But the main way your finances will be impacted is taking time off work- unless you have a particularly generous maternity package then chances are you’ll have less money than you’re used to. Going through your finances and tidying everything up before your new arrival is a smart move. Get rid of subscriptions that you don’t use enough, or that you likely wont use much once the baby comes. Shop around for the best deals on things like phone contracts and utilities. Work out if you’ll need to reduce your savings for a while, or even dip into any savings that you might have. Going through your finances can be useful for letting you work out how you’ll afford all of your baby’s items as well. Things like nursery furniture, a pram and baby gadgets can all be expensive so might need to be budgeted for. If you write an extensive list of everything you need, you can work on buying things over the course of the months. When friends and family ask what gifts you’d like, you can show them the list and know you’ll be bought things you actually need and use.
Take care of your physical health
Even if you were in the best of health pre-pregnancy, growing a baby is tough on the body. The extra weight slows you down and the surges in hormones affect everything from your mood to your appetite to your energy. Taking care of your physical health is important for both you and the baby, so is a huge priority. It can be difficult at times eating right and exercising when you don’t have much energy and suffer with nausea, but do what you can. Not only will the right vitamins nourish the baby, but it will prevent some side effects for you too. For example, leg cramps or ‘charley horses’ can be particularly bothersome in pregnancy and can affect your sleep- find out how to get rid of a charley horse here. Low levels of iron will cause digestive problems as cause dizziness and weakness so this is another mineral to ensure you’re getting enough of. Attend all of your screenings and pregnancy midwife appointments and as long as you follow the general guidelines and advice when it comes to looking after yourself, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Keep tabs on your mental health
As with physical health, having a baby can have a huge impact on your mental health as well. Along with hormones making your mood much less stable (and therefore meaning some women are more prone to developing conditions like postnatal depression and/ or anxiety), it’s a huge change. Your life changes, your body changes, your relationship with your partner changes. Even though having a baby for most people is one of the most incredible exciting events in their entire lives, it’s still natural and normal to struggle with adjusting on some level or even grieve your old life. You should be offered mental health support during your pregnancy if you need it, as well as after the baby is born. During pregnancy, try to take steps to protect your mental health as much as possible. Take time to relax and rest if you can. Aim to get enough sleep, and find enjoyable activities to keep you busy. Journaling, meditation and spending time with friends and family can all help.
If you go about things in a logical way, plan, prepare and aim to spread the cost over the months you’ll make things much easier for yourself. So get your organiser out and work out the best plan of action!