Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tasks In the Last Month of Pregnancy

When most women get to the 36-week mark in pregnancy, they find that they are ready to have the baby. Summer babies cause Mom to be hot and tired. Winter babies make Mom feel bulky because of the added bundle under already heavy clothing. Whenever your baby is born, you will find that you get to a point when you cannot wait to have your own body back and for your baby to arrive. Still, you may look around and find that there is much to do. What should be done now so that you will be prepared for the arrival of your little one?

The first thing you should make sure that you have done is select a pediatrician. Most pediatricians set up times to talk to new parents. You can get a feel for how the doctor treats patients and also if your philosophies will mesh, particularly if you have any non-mainstream beliefs. Ask the pediatrician what you should do when the baby is born. In most cases, the staff at the hospital will send notification of the birth to the pediatrician, but you probably still will need to call to make an appointment.

Second, you should make arrangements for any children or pets you currently have at home. You should have at least two people who have agreed to watch your children, making sure that one person understands he or she is a back-up. You do not want to get into a situation where the person who is supposed to take your child is for some reason unavailable. Also check with a trusted friend or neighbor about your pets. Be sure that you pack a bag for your child and keep an extra stash of food for your pets beginning now so that you do not have any problems with having enough while you are in the hospital.

Next you should be sure that you have all important phone numbers handy. Your spouse or birthing partner should have clear instructions on who should be called and when. This person should know whether you want your mom to be called before the baby is born or whether you would prefer no one know. Include the friends and family members who should be notified and indicate who you know the person will need to call. Grandma Ethel may be on the list, but you know that your mom will call her first. That may not go for Aunt Sue, who you love but everyone else hates. Let the birthing coach know that the call needs to be made.

You also will need to get your bag packed at this point. Go through your non-maternity clothes. Pick out one outfit. You will want something to wear home from the hospital but likely will not have any need for any other clothing while you are in the hospital. Select something loose fitting (being prepared in case of a c-section) that will go over your tummy. Your belly may still be pretty big, so try to find the largest clothes you can.

Also include one or two nice gowns or long shirts so that you are not having visitors with just your hospital gown on. Invest in a good pair of slippers; you will want them on the cold hospital floor. Depending on your personal style, you may want to include travel-size toiletry items and a mirror so that you can feel good about yourself.

Next be sure that you have the nursery stocked with the basics. You will need at least four pair of socks, two onesies (layettes), wipes, and diapers. You do not want to run to the store immediately. Instead get the basic supplies now so that you can come home and rest.

The final task is the crib. While the entire nursery may not be done, you should be sure that the crib has a mattress and a sheet. The baby will not be able to use a pillow and blanket at first. Put the crib bumper set on now if you will be using one. These basics will help you to make sure you are prepared for the baby, and you should be able to complete most of them in one day if you are behind.

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