5 Simple Ways to Prepare for Motherhood
Becoming a mother is one of the biggest overhauls that will ever happen in your life. There can be no doubt that it is a big, scary step, and many things are going to change in huge ways. However, some of the changes you’ll encounter are not going to be so big. Some adjustments are simple and minor, and it can be useful to focus on these when you feel yourself get overwhelmed. Whether you are expecting your first child or have just had them, here are a few easy and non-scary ways to prepare for the road ahead.
Getting your home ready for the new arrival is probably every expecting mother’s favorite form of preparation. There’s even a term for the “instinct” women feel to do this: nesting. It usually kicks in during the third trimester of your pregnancy as the baby approaches, and this drive can be a great chance to prepare practical matters.
It’s not all about decorating the nursery, either. Practical things to do during your nesting phase (or in your late pregnancy in general) include ensuring your fridge and pantry are full, accumulating some pre-prepped meals, and doing a deep clean of the house. For the latter, get help, stay safe, and make sure you don’t over-exert yourself.
Exercising with a Baby
Many mom new moms will tell you that yoga is a great post-natal exercise. It’s gentle on your post-labor body while building up strength, flexibility, and endurance. It is also very easily done at home — and you can even incorporate the baby itself! Try some baby-friendly yoga poses to work out and bond with your baby at the same time.
If yoga is not your thing, there are plenty of workouts you can do at home. All you need is some clear space in your house to turn into your at-home gym. You may need to invest in some new workout clothes, specifically a nursing sports bra; look for deals online, as some companies offer promotions when you bundle the bra with other items.
Babies won’t start eating solid foods until they are 6 months old, so for the first few months, the main thing you will need to watch out for is keeping yourself well-fed.
This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. Eat a balanced diet, don’t skip any meals, and keep a stock of snacks handy. It is recommended you keep high levels of folic acid, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Multivitamin supplements can also be useful to make up for those inevitable unhealthier days. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
Once your baby is ready for grown-up food, there will still be a transition period as they make their way through several stages of baby food. You won’t have to worry about introducing them to table food until they are at least a year old.
You have probably accumulated a pregnancy wardrobe, but you may not have started thinking about your motherhood wardrobe. This will have to be easy to clean and maintain, and adaptable to the needs of nursing. While some nursing items are useful, remember that “regular” clothes can also do the trick. Nursing-friendly features to look out for include zippers and buttons down the front, wrap designs, and wide crop tops.
Your days of leaving the house with only your wallet, keys, and phone are over. However, going outside with a baby doesn’t have to be a hassle. Start preparing your diaper bag now and you’ll be prepared when the time comes to use it; a checklist like this one is a useful tool.
Make sure you invest in a comfortable, spill-proof bag. This review guide by Wirecutter has some excellent diaper bag recommendations for all budgets and styles.
Tackling practical matters like these during your pregnancy achieves two things. For one, it makes the first few weeks much easier, because you have already done so much of the groundwork. However, perhaps more importantly, it gives you something concrete to do, which can alleviate a lot of the bigger stresses of first-time motherhood. Focus on getting prepared, and everything will work out just fine.
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