Getting closer and closer to your estimated due date can mean feeling an intense urge to nest and prepare for your upcoming labor and childbirth experience. Week 3 of Preparing for a newborn is all about having the supplies you need handy (regardless of if you are having a hospital birth or homebirth) and setting yourself up for comfort and success after the baby is born.
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How to Prepare for Childbirth – Week 3 of the 28 Day Checklist
Pack bags/organize baskets for the day of birth
Get everything ready! You don’t want to be caught off guard if your baby comes earlier than expected. So whether it’s a home birth or a hospital birth, have everything lined up and ready to go. (Also, have a bag ready to throw things into if you’re having a home birth just in case you have to make an unexpected hospital trip).
We have towels, wipes, clothes, breastfeeding supplies, diapers, blankets, and more organized into laundry baskets in our home. We are prepped and ready to go! Last time, I took things like my Boppy Pillow to the Hospital with me and I am so glad I did! Even though we had like 4 bags to bring home, I used most of what I brought and it meant my husband could stay by my side the whole time and not have to worry about getting something I needed. I think the one thing I didn’t have was a headband. But I got that covered and have some extra this time.
Get free printable for homebirth and hospital packing checklist by clicking the image.
Assemble afterbirth items
Make sure that you go through my list of 20 must-haves for new moms. Like I say in that post, it’s a very unglamorous list. However, having things like stool softener on hand so that you don’t have to go out and buy any is such a game changer. Just having basic supplies all together is going to be invaluable when you need to rest and recover.
Make sure that you take into account things like having stitches (whether perineal or cesarean) and other discomforts you may have. Even though having a typical ice pack/hot pad on hand is great, the perineal cold packs that have the adhesive strip on them are wonderful to go inside of panties. Even for my cesarean, I placed the adhesive on the elastic band so that it held on my scar.
Prepare bedside area for after birth recovery
Make sure that, again, you set yourself up for success when you are recovering. There will probably be times when you don’t want to get out of bed, but you’re hungry, thirty, or hot. This means, make sure that you have a small stock of high-protein snacks at your bedside, a big jug of water, and a small clip fan.
The fan is something I would highly recommend. Ask for it in the hospital so it’s a medical expenditure or have a cheap one on hand if having a home birth. It’s likely no one around you will be as hot as you are considering you’ll be a mess of hormones, have a hot baby, and maybe it’s even winter time!
Prep a Diaper area
This is pretty self-explanatory, but let me take a moment to mention why it’s important. I don’t know who you will have in your home helping you or if it’s just going to be you and your husband. Regardless, you are probably not going to be the only one changing diapers, especially while you are still recovering. Making sure that everything is laid out and easy to access is important so that you’re not frustrated and neither is anyone trying to help!
Regardless of how you choose to feed, make sure that you have everything on hand. Maybe you need breastfeeding supplies, a pump, a boppy, breast pads, and nipple cream or maybe you need bottles, formula, and filtered water. It doesn’t matter, just make sure that you are ready! Get everything washed, set out, and prepped so that again, it’s all a no-brainer for you and anyone helping.
Breastfeeding is no joke. So read through my “Real Truths” and Adventures in Breastfeeding to get a healthy perspective, some encouragement, and product recommendations. Also, please make sure that you have a support system ready to go. Find one in your area, try to go to a meeting or two before birth, and have a consultation set up with a certified breastfeeding educator, Lactation Consultant, or someone similar. I had someone come to my house (because the “help” I got in the hospital was useless to me and formula was always a topic at hand when nurses spoke to me). This was the best thing that I could have ever had. She talked me through everything, encouraged me, and helped me through engorgement and those early and frustrating days.
Line up how you’ll capture memories
Clear out your memory card, charge your batteries, and do what you have to in order to make sure the memories you want are captured. For this birth, we even hired a birth photographer. Even so, my SD card will be clear and I will have the camera set ou on the counter for anyone to take pictures at any opportune time.
Pre-plan holidays, birthdays, etc. in a 6 week window of birth (both directions)
Get your holidays and birthdays in line. Maybe that’s just sending a card a few weeks early or making expectations clear with family that you will or will not be attending. Just try to make sure that whatever you do, you’re planning for success and the least stressful situation possible.
Remember too, that after baby is born, you may decide you don’t want to travel or that you would prefer to not bring the baby around a bunch of family. Keep those options in mind so that you give yourself a time frame of when is suitable to make big events as a family again.
And remember, holidays like Christmas do not have to be Celebrated on the day-of. So just plan accordingly and plan something out that works for your personal and extended family.
More Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Newborn Resources:
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!