Every woman will experience pregnancy in a different way. It is unique to each person, so being 100% prepared is an almost impossible task the first time around. The first pregnancy is a steep learning curve, and many feel they are not suitably prepared until they have already gone through the experience and are in the midst of their second pregnancy. By this time, a mother will know how her body reacts during pregnancy, and more importantly what she and your baby need to remain both comfortable and safe.
Even if it is impossible to be fully prepared for both pre and post pregnancy, there are numerous products available as birth essentials, along with thousands of books and articles available over various media. During my pregnancy, I bought various items to try and prepare as best as I could, but some things were needed more than others. What I will try to do is to talk about some of the general things that I found to be most important, before during and after the birth.
Never underestimate how many nappies your new-born will get through each day. On average, your baby will need around 10-12 changes per day and if your baby has sensitive skin you can add several further changes. It is important to check regularly to see if a change is needed because left in contact with urine of feces for too long, then there will be more chances of nappy rash. This will leave your baby feeling uncomfortable
You will also need to decide whether you are going to use disposable or cloth nappies. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I personally used disposables as they were a lot more convenient. I didn’t spend the majority of the little free time I had trying to master the art of stain removal!
Image by Etolane via flickr
As well as planning for what your baby needs when he or she arrives, you should also take some time to think about yourself and your own comfort. You will soon find that your clothes will no longer fit you, so you need to think about purchasing some maternity clothing. Try to buy proper maternity clothing. Avoid buying general larger size clothing as no matter what size you buy they will not be suited to the shape your body will develop during your pregnancy. As you will only be pregnant for around nine months, many expecting mothers choose to buy cheap maternity clothing because after giving birth there will be no need to wear it again unless planning a pregnancy in the future. The two most important items of clothing I felt were needed were loose fitting pants where the waist could expand and new bras because my breasts grew quite significantly during my pregnancy.
One product that I could not live without during pregnancy was moisturizer. Despite my large size during the pregnancy, I managed to minimize stretch marks around my stomach and thighs. If you don’t want to spend a lot on moisturizer, then baby oil can make a great alternative. I moisturized 3 times daily on all my stretched areas during pregnancy and continued this for several months after to allow time for my skin to shrink back to normal.
A cot is a very important purchase, so you should really do your research. Make sure you have a cot that is as safe as possible. To get an idea of how safe the potential cot is, here are a few things you can check for before you buy:
- Make sure it is made of strong materials and does not have any sharp or rough surfaces.
- Bars should be as close together as possible to stop a child from getting their head or limbs trapped.
- There should be no features on the cot that look like they can be pulled or twisted off.
- Any locking devices present on the cot should be child proof.
Cots are likely to be one of the most expensive purchases. If you only have a limited budget, you should try looking for a bed that can be converted into a toddler bed, that way it will save you buying another bed as your child gets older.
Unless you plan to walk or get public transport from the hospital, then you will, by law be required to use a car seat to take your baby home (something which I had found out the day before I went into labor). By far the safest seats are those that are rear facing, that way any impact will draw the child back into the seat supporting its head, neck and spine. It’s important to keep your baby in here as long as possible to maximize their safety whilst being driven.
Obviously there were far more purchases that I needed to make, such as milk bottles, breast pumps and baby clothing, but I feel what I have mentioned above were the products that I needed most help with before buying, so I hope you find this information useful.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Deane Schwarz went through her first pregnancy 4 years ago and had since given birth to 2 beautiful girls whom she loves dearly. She is now training to become a qualified midwife and is keen to share her skills and knowledge to expecting mums and recommends Bump Baby and Beyond for all their needs.