So this is it, you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, not too long to go now. On the one hand you can't wait but on the other, there are so many things left to do! Well have no fear, here's my list of 10 things to do before baby arrives!
1. Pack your Hospital bag!
Don’t live life on the edge! Pack early while you can still add to your case and leave it somewhere easy to find. I had my last 2 children at home but still had my bag packed just in case and it also made it easy for the midwives and my hubby to find everything!
I put together a list of everything I needed when I had my babies, you can find the link here.
2. Book Your Maternity Session!
I know I may be bias but every client who visits my studio always says how thrilled they are that they have a lasting memory of such a special time. Pregnancy may give you heartburn and swollen ankles but you also get something amazing out of it. A maternity session in my beautiful studio in East Yorkshire is the perfect way to celebrate your growing bump. My studio is filled with stunning gowns and dresses, perfectly styled for mums to be. But book early, Maternity sessions are best at around 32-36 weeks of pregnancy, when you have a nice round bump but you aren’t too uncomfortable. Pop over to my Maternity Page for more details.
3. Mile stone cards
Get some milestone cards are a lovely way to document every little event from a baby’s first year. From the 1st week to the 1st tooth these colourful cards help you to remember when your little one achieved these milestones!
4. Buy and fit baby’s car seat.
It may seem mad to fit a car seat for a baby who isn’t here yet but as I once travelled a 500 mile roundtrip in a weekend 1 week before my first baby was due, it didn’t seem like a bad idea to take my bag and the car seat with us, just in case!
You will not be allowed out of the hospital unless you have an appropriate car seat so don’t leave it until last minute to buy one. You don’t have to fit it before baby arrives but make sure whoever is driving you home knows how to fit it safely. Car seats can be fiddly and awkward and not to be fitted for the first time by a person who is sleep deprived and over excited. You can find expert, impartial advice here
5. Have a date night or weekend away
This can be as expensive or cost saving as you like. A quick trip to Nandos and the cinema or a weekend away at a spa. It doesn’t matter, just spend some time relaxing together before things change and it's an excellent way to pass the time and stop from going crazy if you’re overdue.
6. Book in for your Newborn Session!
Again yes, shameless plug here but I adore my job so much. As a new mum your brain has so much to deal with. Sleep deprivation, keeping track of feeds, learning so many new things not to mention your body trying to recover, it’s not surprising that the little details flutter out of your mind like butterflies in the wind.
A newborn photography session with me will capture all those little details in stunning, timeless photographs you will want to display on your walls forever. My full newborn sessions include parent and siblings too so they are the perfect opportunity to update your family photographs, and don’t worry about not feeling your best, I know just the right poses to capture you looking stunning!
7. Pregnancy Massage
A relaxing massage to ease those aching muscles can be just the thing to while away the time before your little one arrives. Make sure that the spa or salon you use are aware of your pregnancy and are trained in treating pregnant women. More info can be found here
There are many different places baby can sleep. From baskets to next to me cribs. No matter what you decide, make sure that it is safe. If you are using a crib or Moses basket from a previous child, just make sure you buy a new mattress as the old one could be saggy which can be dangerous. Set up your baby’s crib before they arrive. Make sure that you can move safely around it in the dark and that you have somewhere safe for your baby to sleep in all rooms they will be in. And never, ever carry a baby down the stairs in anything other than your arms, Moses baskets can be flimsy and are definitely not a safe way to transport your baby anywhere. Some helpful advice on safe sleeping can be found here.
9.Have a baby shower
I remember how fussy my family and friends were when I was pregnant. People love to share in your excitement and why not! A Baby Shower lets your nearest and dearest focus their energies into something other than asking “are you still here!” or “are you sure it’s not twins!” and you get a lovely afternoon out being centre of attention. Why not ask for Gift vouchers for a newborn photography session instead of 101 baby grows in newborn size!
10. Child/Pet Care Arrangements
Lastly, don’t forget the other members of the household. Older children, and pets need caring for while you are in hospital too. The last thing you need to be doing is sending your partner home to feed the cat when you are in labour or waiting on someone coming for your little boy or girl before you leave to give birth. Believe me I have discreetly timed contractions on my son’s toy watch while calmly (on the outside) listening to him read, gritting my teeth against the pain while waiting for a respectable time for my hubby could drop them off at school so I could ring the midwife for our homebirth. It’s not fun to try not to scare your children when all you really want to do is scream!
Arrange who will come, at the drop of a hat, have others on standby if need be. Give keys to neighbours you can trust to feed the cat, arrange some where close to drop the dog off. Ask the neighbours children to feed the rabbit. Get sorted early, you’ll thank me later!