Motherhood can be as fulfilling as it is challenging, so it makes sense that as a mother-to-be, you’d have a number of questions about how you can prepare for your baby, especially if you’re doing it by yourself. Here are some tips you can use to put your mind at ease.
Plan for the Essentials
As you may have already suspected, there are a lot of things involved in getting ready for a baby. Parents.com provides a detailed guide for what you should plan to do each month before the baby arrives. For example, set up the baby’s nursery by the fifth month of pregnancy and take a tour of your chosen hospital in the sixth month. While things may not always go according to plan, it’s good to have a checklist of the major activities that need to be taken care of. You’re a mom-to-be, so don’t expect to know everything, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You should understand that the changes in your body will be both emotional as well as physical, so consider doing things to relieve some of the anxiety such as keeping a journal or having a maternity photoshoot.
Assess Your Financial Situation
Financial planning for a mom-to-be is usually a combination of short-term and long-term plans. According to Merrill, a few key financial areas you need to address are saving for your child’s college education and getting life insurance if you don’t already have it. In terms of long-term planning, you should also research your retirement planning options. While you’re looking at ways to save money, you can also think about how you can spend less money on some of your existing bills. For example, if you have a car, are you getting the best rates for your auto insurance? There might not be any discounts for moms-to-be or single moms, but there are other discounts you may be eligible for such as those for a group, low yearly mileage or being a safe driver. Shop around to compare rates and coverage to see if you can get a better deal that will not only protect you but that also saves you money.
Prepare for Labor and Delivery
When it comes to giving birth, preparation is key. According to Tommy’s, some of the best ways to prepare for labor include researching your delivery options so you know what to expect and getting yourself mentally prepared for the delivery. It has also been found that doing antenatal exercises can help get your body ready for childbirth and has made delivery progress more quickly for some women. If you’re a single mom, consider having a friend or loved there with you for support as they can communicate your birth plan (if you have one) when you can’t. If you can afford it, you should definitely look into childbirth classes in your area. Those classes will give you an insightful look into what to expect before, during and after childbirth.
Make Allowances for Your Mental Health
Postpartum depression is a post-delivery behavioral change that 1 in 10 women deal with, and it’s likely to occur if you already struggle with depression. The good news is you can effectively manage postpartum depression with a combined treatment plan of psychotherapy and antidepressants. If you’re going through postpartum depression, it’s important that you’re open about your feelings so you can get the help you need. You shouldn’t get too down on yourself about a messy house or chores you haven’t done. What’s important is taking care of yourself and your child. Of course, it’s always best to find a therapist to help you through your depression and guide you on the best way forward.
The fact that you’re seeking out advice on preparing for motherhood is a positive sign that you’re already ahead of the game. Make and follow through with your plans, then enjoy your newborn. You’ve got this!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
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“Successful Mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.” – Sharon Jaynes