During the next 9 months, there will be some things that need to be decided on before your baby is born. By the seventh month, you should be feeling well enough and excited about the birth so you can complete the list before your ninth month. Save your last month for pampering and taking care of yourself before the big day!
- Plan on attending a class. Check your birth center or other birthing facility for dates, times and topics. A childbirth class will prepare you for labor and birth. A breastfeeding class will teach you the benefits of breastfeeding and important tips for breastfeeding. An infant CPR class will focus on basic infant CPR and choking. A parenting class will teach you how to care for your baby. Some classes may be free or scholarships may be available.
- Have your baby equipment ready to go. Set up your sleep area, wash baby clothes, decide on diapers, and wipes. Read instructions and practice using the car seat, stroller and carrier (pouch/sling).
- Purchase and install the car seat in your car. Installation should be complete before the baby arrives. To ensure that the car seat is secured properly, have it inspected by a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). Check with your birth center, fire departments, and police stations for this free service. Call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK or visit http://www.seatcheck.orgfor more information.
- Tour your birth center or hospital. Ask about rules and regulations. Pre-register if needed.
- Breastfeeding is the best feeding option in most cases. If you are concerned that you may not be able to breastfeed, talk to your midwife about your questions and other feeding options.
- Find and contact a nurse practitioner or physician who provides pediatric care.
- If needed, plan childcare or arrange for someone to watch your other children at the birth center.
- Pack a bag. Include the following: your birth plan, phone, charger, important phone numbers, comfortable clothes and socks, comfortable walking shoes, toiletries (including maxi pads), snacks, sports drinks, books, a deck of cards, music, lip balm, and a camera. For the baby, be sure to include clothes, a blanket, and a car seat.
- Choose two or three names for the baby. Once you meet your baby, you will be able to easily name her/him.