Nisha looked tired as she walked into my office for her routine check-up. Nishant, her husband was vigilantly taking care of her. He pulled the chair swiftly to make her seated. Nisha was heavily pregnant and was in the last month of pregnancy.
She was tired, little exhausted with her own weight. Her own pregnancy hormones were making it difficult to tolerate the heat outside. Her body’s shifted center of gravity made it difficult to walk quickly. She was excited as well as anxious. The anxiety of facing the childbirth, seeing the baby, feeding the baby… It almost was like an exam…Obstetrician like me sees this happening to almost every girl in the last month of pregnancy. I always tell these moms “ Yes, it is like an exam. So prepare well for it.
Prepare yourself physically as well as mentally.” So here is the checklist that will help you, girls, to prepare themselves in the last month of the pregnancy:
Check whether your doctor is available in the weeks leading up to your due date. Usually, most doctors have a solid back up plan to care for their patients in their absence. Just be aware of it so that you are taken up by surprise.
Learn how to identify the labor and when to reach the hospital.
Learn more about pain relief techniques during labor.
Learn more about vacuum, forceps and C section.
Communicate with your partner on what you expect him to do during childbirth. You may want him to be next to you as you give birth.
Make sure to consume a lot of fluids, fruits, and wholesome food
Join a Lamaze class if required. It might help a lot to learn some techniques that you need to use during childbirth
Learn about Cord-blood banking and how it works as you might want to save or donate your umbilical cord
You could do a hospital trial run if required
Get a crib or a bedding for your baby
Pre-wash baby’s clothes and bedding and set up the nursery
Stock up on nursing pads, bras and maternity clothes
If you have other children, ensure that they are prepared for the arrival of their baby brother or sister
Get your hospital bag in order. Carry all the essentials for your baby.
Start thinking of baby names
Get yourself coached on what to do in case of emergencies
Take a lot of rest in the last month and stock up on sleep as there will be sleepless nights
Binge watch some TV shows as you’re sure to be stressed out in this month
Do a pre-birth photo session to preserve your memories
Reading the above list might make you feel overwhelmed. So, carve out some time for yourself and just be in the moment. Take deep breaths and try simple yoga and meditation to calm your nerves. It is said that it takes a village to raise a baby, so get all the help you can from family and friends. Is there anything I missed in the above checklist? Talk about it in the comment section below.
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