An important aspect of pregnancy is preparing for life after delivery. Especially if it your first child, you may not fully realize all the work that needs to be done to transition seamlessly into life with a newborn at home. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself for baby’s arrival:

Get a lot done in the second trimester

For most women, the second trimester is the easiest of pregnancy. The morning sickness that haunts you in the first trimester subsides and you haven’t yet ballooned to a size that makes chores and tasks difficult. Utilize this period for preparing yourself for baby’s arrival so there’s not as much to do at the last second when even going out to get the mail is exhausting. Make a list of everything you’d like to accomplish and focus on completing just one small task each day. After a few months, you should have most everything finished in preparation for childbirth.

Separate the needs from the wants

There are literally hundreds of products on the market aimed at helping people transition into life with a newborn. It can be overwhelming. After a while, you may start to feel like you need all of these random products that you can probably live without. Have a firm idea of the things you need. Leave the optional items off of your shopping list or baby shower registry. Remember, for millenia women have given birth and raised children without the aid of high-dollar baby care products. Chances are you can too!

Purchase and assemble a crib early

You can wait until late in the third trimester to assemble baby’s crib if you’re going to have outside help, but if you’re planning to do it yourself, you might consider doing it well in advance of baby’s arrival. Assembling a crib is probably the last thing you’re going to want to do 30+ weeks into pregnancy.

Attend newborn care and breastfeeding classes

There is a wealth of information a first-time mother may not yet realize. You will benefit greatly from taking newborn care and breastfeeding classes. Not only will you learn a lot about newborn care, but spending time around other expectant mothers can bring about some much-needed reassurance as the due date gets closer.

Pack your bags

You should have a bag packed and ready to go to the hospital by the start of the ninth month of pregnancy. Some things to consider packing: chapstick, socks, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, camera, MP3 player, hair clips, slippers, robe, nightgowns, address book with phone numbers, cloth diapers and blankets for baby, and a car seat for baby’s ride home.

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