Yay! You’ve made it to your third trimester! Things are starting to get pretty real right about now and it’s time to prepare for your birth!
Do you think you’re ready? Check out this list of seven things you have to do to prepare for your birth before it’s go-time!
Don’t worry if you haven’t gotten started on any of these things yet, you have a whole trimester to go. That’s just about 3 months and a bit! And if you’re just at the end of this final trimester, there’s lots you can still do! Keep on reading 🙂
Even if you only get some of these things done, you’re rocking it, mama!
Take a Birth Class with Your Partner
The best way to prepare for your birth is to educate yourself! Birth can be a very intimidating event in your life and it’s important to be educated. The more you know about the event ahead, the less scary it will be.
I get it that you’re afraid. Unfortunately, our culture teaches us to be terrified of birth. We rarely see what a normal, natural, physiological birth looks like. Instead, we see movies and TV shows depicting birth as an emergent event where mom and baby are in danger.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!
A birth class will go over everything you can expect during the birthing process, and I bet, it will significantly lessen the fears you have of birth.
Tour Your Birth Facility
This is super important. Your birth facility might want you to sign up for a tour, or you might be able to go tour it whenever you’d like. Find out from your provider or facility. It can be very helpful for you to see where you are giving birth beforehand, I would say that it is essential!
Once you’ve toured your birth facility you will:
- Know where to go to triage if you have any urgent concerns about your pregnancy
- Know where to go once you are in labour. This is so helpful because you don’t want to be reading signs and getting lost in rip-roaring active labour!
- Feel more comfortable during your labour because the place you’ll be labouring isn’t a strange unknown location. You can now picture it in your mind!
- Meet some of the staff. This will definitely ease your fears, us L&D nurses are super nice 🙂
Hire a Birth Doula
This is not the first time that I have praised birth doulas. If you are in your 3rd trimester and haven’t yet hired a doula, what are you waiting for mama?!
Doulas are like your best friend that knows how to navigate the system and will be there to support and advocate for you during your labour, birth and immediate postpartum. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Not only that, once you have a doula, she will help you prepare for your birth beforehand!
One of the big obstacles when hiring a doula can be the cost. I’d recommend you to find some doulas in your area and ask how much she charges. A lot of them have sliding scales dependant on what you can afford.
Doulas can help with:
- Comfort measures during birth.
- Decrease the need for interventions.
- Decrease the need for epidural and pain meds.
- Breastfeeding initiation after delivery.
- Being present for you during a chaotic time in your life.
- Help you in the postpartum period.
Many women ask whether their partner can’t just do all these things. The short answer is no. Although some partners are great during labour, they won’t replace the knowledge and support of a good doula. And a good doula will definitely include your partner in the plan of care!
I always think of it this way, it’s better to have MORE people supporting you during birth than less!
Read up on how to find the perfect doula for you right here on Babytalk! Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Doula
Write out Your Birth Plan
If you’ve read my blog before you know how adamant I am about my mamas having a great birth plan. It will not only help you during your birth, but writing one out will help you prepare for your birth as well!
Once you are in labour and you’re “in the zone” it will be much harder for you to remember all your preferences and things you want to happen during and after the birth.
If you have all these preferences written down, you won’t have to worry at all! And it’ll take a load off your partner as well because the doctors or nurses might ask them what you want and then they can just refer back to your plan!
It is a win-win for all.
Start writing your birth plan as soon as you can. Make a draft with bullet points on things you want and don’t forget to do your research! For example, if you know you want to do skin-to-skin right after the birth read up on why it’s beneficial. Arm yourself with knowledge and you will empower yourself and have a better experience!
Read up on some great articles about making birth plans:
Prepare For Your Birth with Meditation
This is really something you should be doing throughout your pregnancy, but it’s never too late to start.
I’m a huge proponent of meditation. If you start practicing meditation, even just a little bit every day, you will feel such a shift in your mind and body! Also, it will help you during your labour and delivery by helping you be more in tune with your body and to have tools to decrease your fear of birth.
Meditation can help you (this is all backed up by science!):
- Reduce your pregnancy risks.
- Minimize pain during delivery.
- Carry the pregnancy to full term.
- Enhance immunity, you’ll get sick less!
- Get better sleep.
Pack Your Hospital Bag
Eeek, it feels so real once you are actually packing to prepare for your birth! There are TONS of blogs out there that will list everything you need for the hospital. My friend Liesel over on “Mommy Labor Nurse” has a great one, she even includes what NOT to take to the hospital which is a bonus for you first-time moms out there!
The things I really needed in the hospital were:
- A pillow from home.
- Comfy clothes for me and hubby.
- One outfit to take the baby home in.
- A toothbrush and other toiletries.
- A water bottle.
Everything else is kinda negotiable and it depends how crazy you want to get 😉
Also, don’t forget, you can always ask people to bring things, they will be waiting and wanting to help you out! Plus you get a lot of stuff at the hospital, so really, don’t stress over your hospital bag at all, just have your necessary items ready.
Have All the Baby Gear Ready
Again I’m not going to list EVERYTHING in this blog post. Everyone is different! Some people have the nursery all set up with anything your baby will need until he or she is one year old. Other people (think me, haha) will have the bare necessities like a few outfits, a stroller and a crib.
Really all that your baby needs in the first few days and months is YOU. And a few diapers 🙂
You could just lay in bed all day with your baby, skin-to-skin and both of you will most likely be perfectly content. Then just send your friends and family out for things you need.
I realize this isn’t super helpful information because a lot of mamas out there want a list they can check off, but I’m being super serious. Your baby really doesn’t need much in the beginning! I did write a list of a few things that I found to be pretty good to have right from the start in another blog post, check it out here.
You’re done preparing for your birth and are ready for your baby! What a wondrous and exciting time.
I’m rooting for you and I know this will be one of the most memorable times in your life. Enjoy every minute.
Oh and if you have time after you’ve checked everything off on this list, shoot me a message or leave a comment down below on what was helpful in your preparation and what wasn’t! GOOD LUCK MAMA! 🙂