Are you expecting a little one soon? First and foremost, you got this! However, I do not want to minimize how this time can be overwhelming. There is so much noise and input from the internet, friends and family. Whelp, I am here to help. As a Pediatric Nurse and mom of two, this is my best advice for prepping for baby.
SUPPORT IS EVERYTHING.
As I am sure you already know, there are 1,001 baby toys, gadgets, bassinets, cribs, bottles and just “stuff” in general. Often, the actual thing that is needed, support, is overlooked.
The number one thing I recommend to new or expecting mamas is to “stack the bench.” Or, if not into sports terminology, create a “village of support.”
Start by preparing yourself and your body for what is to come, both with birth and the postpartum period. Preparation can change your experience and overall outlook on parenthood. Take a birthing course, educate yourself about feeding your baby with a prenatal feeding class, make a birth plan, reach out and establish a plan for your support postpartum. Seek pelvic floor support and consult the folks at Mendwell. Take part in Mendwell's Birth Well program to learn what positions are best for you, specifically, to birth in, and so much more. Get total care and support for your pelvic floor from them. Have a plan to work with a lactation support person as you may need more support than what is offered while in the hospital, and that is okay! Plan ahead for meals or ask friends to set up a meal train instead of buying baby clothes. All these things are to help establish a plan to empower and support you during this time.
Don't get me wrong, all the baby gear you are told to register for is great, and some of that is super helpful, but none of those things will truly offer you the support you may need in the postpartum period. Seeking from experience, it is a lot easier to transition home with baby when you know that if any issues or concerns arise, you already have a plan in place with those who can help. This means you are spending less time worrying about finding the support you need in the moment and more time with baby. Have your “village of support” waiting or standing by to help you. This is huge. Some companies actually have a place or way that you can “Register for Support” on your baby registry. This can allow people to donate to that fund and know it will be put to good use. Becoming a parent is a journey. There are a lot of transitions and “new” things that are going on. Having your “village of support” prepared and in your corner is the best thing to do.
As a birthing person, your hormones are going to change and your emotions will be raw and maybe even new. This is all normal and there is no shame in getting any help that you may need for yourself and your mental health.
If and when the time comes and you are trying everything in your power to offer your baby what they may need and it just isn’t working, shift gears. There is no shame in knowing your limits. A happy, supported mama, means a happy baby. So please, don’t not feel like you need to spend all the money on all the “stuff” that is geared to mothers and parents. Instead, focus your time on empowering and preparing yourself and that ”village of support” people who are going to to support, encourage, and help you win!!!
If are wondering where to begin, I am happy to help in any way possible to get you ready to rock this! And as we always like to say at Mama Coach, don’t forget… YOU GOT THIS MAMA!