Preparing for a new baby can be exciting and overwhelming for expecting parents. Here are 5 ways you can prepare for your new bundle of joy.
Stressed out and not quite where to start with planning for the arrival of your new baby?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!!
Check out some of my favorite resources each category! I've included some OC/LA local resources and a few virtual/online course options as well.
1. Attend a childbirth education course.
Attending a childbirth education class helps you prepare for what to expect during labor and delivery.
Classes offered by the hospital can be a great offering. However, nothing beats a class tailored to help you reach your specific goals and educates you on childbirth.
You'll also discover pain management, positions and your birth options vs. standard hospital practices, etc.
2. Get breastfeeding education to help you plan and prepare.
If your goal is to breastfeed your new baby, get prenatal education from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Many IBCLC's offer classes before baby's arrival, others do 1:1 consultations to help you prepare.
Some insurance plans even cover the cost of this education. Check out Lactation Network to see if you qualify, what your benefits are and what IBCLC's are in your network.
The Breastfeeding Center of Orange County teaches Breastfeeding 101 which is a group prenatal breastfeeding education class. They also host Mama's Milk Club, which is a weekly lactation support group.
Ashley Shapiro Lactation offers 1:1 prenatal breastfeeding education in-office, in-home and virtually.
Milky Mama LLC has an online breastfeeding course hosted on Teachable where you can learn at your own pace.
"There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful, but that women are strong." - Laura Stavoe Harm
3. Create a plan for food.
Preparing freezer meals and ordering meal deliveries can be very helpful, especially the first few weeks after baby is born.
My favorite option for this is Mama Meals (promo code: TOPNOTCH for $20 off your first order of $200+). Their food is all gluten-free, organic and made from high quality ingredients in order to promote healing and breastmilk production. Meals are shipped frozen nation-wide, and ready for you to pop into the freezer or warm up and enjoy right away.
Home Chef (promo code: CASSIEW77 for $35 off your first order) Meal delivery systems for your spouse and older children in the home can be another helpful idea. My family loves and their recipes are delicious and easy to make.
MealTrain You can also have someone set up a MealTrain on your behalf. Just leave a cooler out on your doorstep if you're not feeling like opening the door and visiting.
4. Begin prenatal workouts and research postpartum exercise.
Finding ways to move your body can be a challenge during pregnancy. Finding workouts and exercises specifically for the prenatal and postpartum stages can be really helpful.
BloomwellPT offers Move with Mama pregnancy exercise classes for the second and third trimester with physical therapist, Dr. Nikki Amaro. They also have a Fourth Trimester and Return to Exercise class after baby is born.
Fit4Moms (many locations -I'm a Community Sponsor for the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley chapter) has great exercise classes for pregnant and postpartum mamas to workout and build a network of moms to support every stage of motherhood.
Babywearing Workout is another great way to incorporate your baby into your postpartum workout routine.
5. Install your car seat and practice using it before the baby arrives.
Getting prepared also includes getting your gear ready. Install your car seats/bases and start getting familiarized with how they work. If you are having trouble choosing a car seat, Safe in the Seat has a great course specifically for helping new parents choose the right car seat for their vehicle and unique preferences.
If you need guidance, a Child Passenger Seat Technician (CPST) can work with you to help ensure proper installation and use.
Take a Newborn Parenting Prep and Pediatric CPR Class with Cassie of Top Notch Newborn Care.
These classes are offered in-person monthly in a group setting in my office space in Orange, Ca. You can book these classes directly on my website.
In-home private classes are also an option for learning in the comfort of your own home. I have limited availability for these classes, so book as soon as you know you're ready. Virtual classes are offered on an "as requested" basis.
*It's recommended to take these classes in your 3rd trimester.
Email me a firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs and get a date on the calendar!
What's something you did to prepare for your baby? Let me know in the comments below!