Seven things you should do NOW before giving birth - from booking a babymoon (2022)

IT'S one of the most exciting times in life.But it can also be one of the most daunting.

You've found out you're pregnant, and now you've got just a few months to adjust to welcoming a tiny human into the world.

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So, where to start?

From telling your employer to prepping the nursery and packing the all-important hospital bag, there's plenty to think about.

Here's seven key things to do before you give birth and embark on your new life as a mum...

GET SOME SLEEP (WHILE YOU CAN!)

You'll no doubt be feeling tired, particularly if you're in the first or third trimester, and may be battling nausea or morning sickness. So getting rest is vital.

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One of the key items you'll want to buy is a pregnancy pillow for when your hips start aching in the night.

The NHS warns: "During pregnancy, the support for your pelvic joints and spine in particular will beaffected due to the hormonal changes in your ligaments and muscles which surroundyour pelvis, lower spine and weight bearing joints such as your hips and knees.

"Pregnant women can safely sleep or rest in any position in the early weeks of pregnancybut after 19 weeks should limit lying on your back for only short periods of time.

"Use pillows between your legs, underneath the lower knee, behind your back or throughthe gap in your waist to keep you well supported and straight."

Bbhugme pregnancy pillowis expensive but is well worth the investment. Buy it early so you can get the maximum amount of use out of it.

For a cheaper alternative, theHippychick Pillow can double up as a breastfeeding support after you've given birth.

Tight on budget? Prop a normal pillow between your knees and lay on your side. It will elevate your hips and help ease any aches. While it's not quite as comfy as a specially-designedpregnancy pillow, it will still do the trick.

Another thing to buy early is comfier clothes to help with the expanding waistline. While you may not want to throw money at a new maternity wardrobe - there are some pieces you'll want to invest in.

Loungewear is a must.

Make likeLucy Mecklenburgh, who has been spotted on her Instagram sporting chic sets from affordable brandChelsea Peers. From bright zebra prints to cool co-ords, there's something to suit all tastes - and the button-up pj sets are perfect for nursing and breastfeeding once your little one arrives.

You'll also want a decent pair of stretchy leggings. Mums rave aboutNatal Active Maternity Leggings which have a built-inbump panel, to provide support to your bump, back and hips as your baby grows.

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TELL YOUR EMPLOYER

Telling your employer you are pregnant may leave you feeling nervous and anxious, but it's important to remember there are systems in place to support you.

The latest you must tell your employer you are pregnant is 15 weeks before the beginning of the week of the due date.

You are entitled to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave - but you do not have to take it all if you do not wish.Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks.

To work out when to tell your employer, you can use the Government's handy calculator:https://www.gov.uk/maternity-paternity-pay-leave

You are also entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments. We've compiled a handy guide to hospital tests and scans so you know what to expect.

VISIT THE DENTIST

One of the more little known aspects of pregnancy is how it affects your teeth.

Some women can suffer from Pregnancy Gingivitisas hormonal changes make your gums more vulnerable to plaque. You may find you suffer withmore inflammation and bleeding and over time this can lead to receding gums.

To try and minimise this,Dr Mervyn Druian, of theLondon Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, suggests regular visits to your dentist and hygienist (try for every 3 to 6 months).

You should also try to avoid sugar cravings anduse a mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste.Dr Druian also recommends using an electric toothbrush with a sensitivitywarning, like the Oral B Pro3 (from Boots or Amazon) which boasts 5 smart modes including 'sensitive' and 'gum care' and uses a smart pressure sensor which flashes red if you brush too hard.

If you are suffering from morning sickness, the NHS advises you don’t brush your teeth until an hour after vomiting. Instead, rinse your mouth with plain water after you are sick to help prevent the acid damaging your teeth.

Teeth whitening and treatments involving X-Rays are not advised while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The good news is that dental care is free during pregnancy and for one year after your due date.

You can speak to your midwife about this and will receive a Maternity Exemption form.

PAMPER YOURSELF

Now is the time for some serious 'me time'.

Book that beauty treatment, buy the luxury toiletries - you should be looking out for you and your precious cargo.

Love Island star Olivia Bowen treated herself to a'Mum On The Glow' Pregnancy Facial while pregnant with her little boy Abel.

Meanwhile, there's a host of seriously decent mum-to-be products on the market which will help take away some of the stress.

Mama Mio tummy butter is super thick and absorbent for that expanding tum, whileKit & Kin stretch mark oil smells divineand uses a blend of 15 oils to keep skin supple.

restorative bust cream will help keep your boobs bouncy before and after birth, while Science of Skin Stretch Mark Defence is an easy aerosol application to keep lines at bay.

If you're having a baby shower, you might want to pop an Oh Mumma subscription to your wishlist - the 'Mumma-to-be Box' contains little luxuries to pep you up including rosehip facial oil and a self-heating eye mask.

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Want to seriously luxe out? Book a babymoon for you and your partner to have some quality time before bubba arrives.

You could even combine it with a spa package, like Down Hall Spa in Essex where you can stay overnight and indulge in a relaxing pregnancy massage delivered by professionally-trained therapists to ease your specific aches and pains.

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PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG

It's all feeling quite real now isn't it?

Packing the hospital bag can seem overwhelming to begin with - but experts say it's all about breaking it down into sections.

A bag for you and a bag for baby.

A big, roomy holdall like theJem and Bea Eco Edie holdallis a decent size and has a multitude of pockets - perfect for stashing all the bits and bobs you'll want to hand. Or if you prefer a rucksack-style, theBabymel George Bagis big enough for essentials - and can be used as an on-the-go changing bag once baby is here.

Finnson make some gorgeous and sustainable pouch bags - pop your hair ties, jewellery and valuables in one and to keep them safe inside your hospital bag.

For essential toiletries, My Expert Midwife's pre-packed Hospital Bag Setis a handy starting point - the Spritz for Bits was shortlisted in the Mother & Baby Awards 2022 and provides instant relief after birth.

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Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, Nipple Cream and the Cold & Warm Post-Birth Relief Pad will also provide relief in the hours after labour.

You'll also want some comfy pjs,a nursing nightie, dressing gown and slippers.

TheHappiest Baby loungeset is made from super soft, stretchy fabric so is comfortable and can be worn while pregnant, during birth and afterwards too.

Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, says: “Have your hospital bag packed and ready from 36 weeks.

"Knowing what to pack may seem overwhelming but breaking it down into different sections might help ensure you’ve thought of everything.

"Most women pack what they will need for a 24-hour stay in hospital but it can be useful and reassuring to keep a separate bag with extra clothing, underwear and items like pads and nappies ready in case you have an extended hospital stay.

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"In baby's bag, you'll need to pack their first outfit - a sleepsuit plus a hat and cardigan. Plus bring extra bodysuits and babygrowsfor the coming hours."

Also be sure to take newborn nappies and water wipes -Pampers,Hello Bello andRascal + Friends are among many of the leading brands - as well as a couple ofmuslins (Mama Shack make some gorgeous ones) and a baby blanket to wrap your little bundle in.

And MsGilchrist adds: "Don’t forget your baby’s car seat as you’ll need it when you all go home!”

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FEEDING YOUR LITTLE ONE

Feeling prepared will help take the stress out of some of the bleary-eyed early newborn days.

Depending on whether you plan to breast or bottle feed - or combine the two - there's plenty you can do in advance to make life easier for those first few weeks.

If you want to breastfeed, invest in a decent pump like the Elvie 'smart' breast pump which is ultra-quiet and can slip in your bra. If you prefer a handheld pump, Nuby and Tommee Tippee both offer a good range with plenty of accessories to make your life easier.

You'll also want to invest in an electric steriliser and, if you can stretch the budget, a Perfect Prep Machine will pay dividends during those night feeds.

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PREP FOR NEWBORN LIFE

You've packed your hospital bag, you've decorated the nursery, now you are in full 'nesting' mode and are counting down the days until your new arrival.But what other last minute preparations can you do to make life that little bit easier when your new bundle of joy arrives?

One top tip is to prepare some 'baskets' full of nappies and essentials to leave them dotted in key rooms around the house.

The Ickle Bubba organisation bundleis nifty and full of storage compartments - allowing you to fill it with muslins, creams, bottles and feeding essentials so you don't have to leave the sofa when little one needs you.

Mums also suggest batch booking meals and popping them in the freezer so you have some ready-made dinners on hand for those busy first few weeks when cooking will be the last thing on your mind.

And don't forget to stock up on some essentials for yourself for post-birth. The Rock Me Momma Signature Birth Recovery Box has everything you'll need to help you recover from labour - from ice packs and cooling mist to maternity pads and reusable breast pads.

Meanwhile the Mama Hug Arrival Survival hamper is a real-life hug in a box - from luxury bath soak to 'Bottoms Up Spray' and flapjack snacks, it will bring a little bit of pure joy when you're sore and tired.

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FAQs

What should I prepare before giving birth? ›

Items for Mom
  1. Nightgown and bathrobe.
  2. Slippers.
  3. Bra and nursing bra.
  4. Breast pads.
  5. Socks (several pair)
  6. Underwear (several pair)
  7. Hair ties (scrunchies)
  8. Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, lip balm, lotion, and deodorant.
31 Mar 2020

How late is too late for a babymoon? ›

There are no hard and fast rules regarding when to take a babymoon. Truthfully, you can plan this trip or time whenever you want, even in your third trimester.

What should I do the day before my baby comes? ›

  • Tour the hospital/birthing center. Don't wait until you're in labor to figure out where to go. ...
  • Take a birthing class. ...
  • Meet all the other physicians on staff. ...
  • Test drive the quickest route to the hospital. ...
  • Pack your bags. ...
  • Hire a doula. ...
  • Secure a birth photographer. ...
  • Write out your birth plan.
16 Jun 2021

Should I shave before giving birth? ›

But medical advice advances with research. “Randomized control trials have shown no decrease in infections with hair removal and, in fact, have shown a slight increase with shaving compared to clipping or waxing before procedures. Hospital infection control doesn't recommend [shaving] at this time.”

What should I wash before baby comes? ›

What Should be Pre-Washed Before Your Baby Arrives?
  • Baby clothes.
  • Any baby accessories made of fabric.
  • Blankets and swaddle blankets.
  • Stuffed animals and other cloth toys.

Should you shower before giving birth? ›

A bath or shower can help you relax and feel less pain during labor. Some women choose to give birth in water.

How can I avoid having a big baby? ›

Can you avoid having a large baby?
  1. giving up smoking (if you currently smoke)
  2. eating a balanced, healthy diet.
  3. maintaining your weight or, if overweight, losing weight before conception if possible.
  4. if you have diabetes, trying to manage it properly.
  5. avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs.

Which month is best for babymoon? ›

It's best to plan your trip in your second trimester, between 14 and 28 weeks into your pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

What should you do on a babymoon? ›

10 Fun Activities to Do on Your Babymoon
  • Relax on the Beach. ...
  • Couples Massage. ...
  • Fine Dining. ...
  • Visit a Museum. ...
  • Take a Road Trip. ...
  • Wander and Wonder. ...
  • Sleep In. ...
  • Order Room Service.
22 Apr 2019

When should I do my baby shower? ›

When should you plan a baby shower? Baby showers are typically held four to six weeks before the baby's due date—late enough that the pregnancy is well along, but likely early enough to avoid the baby arriving beforehand and disrupting the party plans. However, some people prefer to have a shower after the delivery.

How can I give birth without pain? ›

Some natural pain management methods include:
  1. Breathing techniques, such as those taught in Lamaze.
  2. Massage.
  3. Essential oils or aromatherapy.
  4. Meditation.
  5. Hypnosis.
  6. Music therapy.
  7. Taking a warm bath or shower.
  8. Walking around.
30 Jun 2020

How do I prepare my body for a baby? ›

Planning for Pregnancy
  1. Make a Plan and Take Action. ...
  2. See Your Doctor. ...
  3. Take 400 Micrograms of Folic Acid Every Day. ...
  4. Stop Drinking Alcohol, Smoking, and Using Certain Drugs. ...
  5. Avoid Toxic Substances and Environmental Contaminants. ...
  6. Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight. ...
  7. Learn Your Family History. ...
  8. Get Mentally Healthy.

When should I prepare my hospital bag for delivery? ›

Ideally, your hospital bag for delivery should be packed before your 36th week ends because once you're at full-term (37 weeks), labour could begin at any time.

What do babies wear right after birth? ›

Clothes should be comfortable, soft and easy to take care of. Stretchy jumpsuits that fasten at the front are best, as well as tops with envelope necks, which are easier to get over your baby's head. Jumpsuits with zips can make dressing your baby quick and easy too. Clothes made from cotton are a good choice.

How many diapers does a newborn use a day? ›

A daily average of 10 to 12 diapers over the first month of a baby's life means that your baby may go through around 300 or so diapers in his first month of life! Once your baby is older than 1 month, you may notice fewer soiled diapers. Babies between 1 and 5 months old typically go through 8 to 10 diapers per day.

Can you have pubic hair while giving birth? ›

Though some moms-to-be may be concerned about pubic hair grooming as a way to keep an infection at bay, a But a Cochrane review of medical studies on pubic shaving and birth found no evidence that removing pubic hair ahead of delivery reduces risk of infection during birth.

Do you get the poops before labor? ›

First of all, you should expect to be pooping even before labour starts. In fact, diarrhea or loose bowel movements may be one of the early signs of labour in the couple days leading up to it, caused by the release of hormones called prostaglandins.

What should you not buy for a newborn? ›

Here are the baby products you should avoid spending money on, and what to get instead.
...
Getty Images.
  • A Changing Table. ...
  • Wipe Warmer. ...
  • Diaper Disposal System. ...
  • Special "Baby" Detergent. ...
  • Bassinet. ...
  • Expensive Crib Bedding. ...
  • High Chair. ...
  • Baby Food Processor.
23 Sept 2021

Who cleans the baby after birth? ›

A neonatal nurse cares for newborn babies. They help new parents hold, bathe, and feed their baby, and often act as a bridge between the parent and the specialists working with the infant.

How many bottles should I buy before baby is born? ›

How Many Baby Bottles Should I Buy Before My Baby is Born? The general rule for the number of baby bottles you will need ranges from 4 to 12, depending on whether you will use formula, or you will breast feed. It will be best to have at least 8-10 bottles on hand before your baby is born.

Why can you not drink water during labor? ›

For many decades, the prevailing practice in childbirth has been to restrict food and fluids during labor to little more than ice chips. This was largely due to concerns about aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs of women given general anesthesia during delivery.

What should you not do after giving birth? ›

Avoid stairs and lifting until your doctor says these activities are OK. Don't take a bath or go swimming until the doctor says it's OK. Don't drive until your doctor says it's OK. Also wait until you can make sudden movements and wear a safety belt properly without discomfort.

What should I be doing 2 weeks before giving birth? ›

After doing some reading online and asking around I've compiled a master list of six must-dos before D-day.
...
6 important to-dos for the last two weeks of pregnancy
  • Book a cleaning service. ...
  • Buy wool breast pads. ...
  • Clean out the freezer and restock with easy meals. ...
  • Stock up on big, comfy knickers.
18 Aug 2015

What are the signs of a big baby? ›

A larger than expected fundal height could be a sign of fetal macrosomia. Excessive amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios). Having too much amniotic fluid — the fluid that surrounds and protects a baby during pregnancy — might be a sign that your baby is larger than average.

What causes a big baby bump? ›

Being overweight, or gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy, may also make your bump look bigger. Whatever your height, if you have a short torso your bump is also likely to be more out front and larger than someone with a long torso. Sometimes a big bump may mean you will have a big baby.

Does a big belly mean big baby? ›

Does my huge pregnant belly mean I'll have a bigger baby? Not necessarily. While some babies are macrosomic and truly are just measuring larger than average, showing early or feeling like you have a huge pregnant belly doesn't mean you're destined to deliver a bigger baby.

How can I prepare my body for normal delivery? ›

  1. Know why you want an unmedicated birth. ...
  2. Enroll in childbirth classes. ...
  3. Create a "natural birth" plan. ...
  4. Pick a health care provider who's into "natural birth." ...
  5. Learn to face contractions. ...
  6. Know how to squat. ...
  7. Start an exercise routine. ...
  8. Spend early labor at home.
17 Aug 2020

How can I make my delivery less painful? ›

Medicine-free ways to handle pain during labor include:
  1. hypnosis.
  2. yoga.
  3. meditation.
  4. walking.
  5. massage or counterpressure.
  6. changing position.
  7. taking a bath or shower.
  8. listening to music.

How do I prepare my body for a baby? ›

Planning for Pregnancy
  1. Make a Plan and Take Action. ...
  2. See Your Doctor. ...
  3. Take 400 Micrograms of Folic Acid Every Day. ...
  4. Stop Drinking Alcohol, Smoking, and Using Certain Drugs. ...
  5. Avoid Toxic Substances and Environmental Contaminants. ...
  6. Reach and Maintain a Healthy Weight. ...
  7. Learn Your Family History. ...
  8. Get Mentally Healthy.

How can I give birth without pain? ›

Some natural pain management methods include:
  1. Breathing techniques, such as those taught in Lamaze.
  2. Massage.
  3. Essential oils or aromatherapy.
  4. Meditation.
  5. Hypnosis.
  6. Music therapy.
  7. Taking a warm bath or shower.
  8. Walking around.
30 Jun 2020

How can I make my cervix open faster? ›

Getting up and moving around may help speed dilation by increasing blood flow. Walking around the room, doing simple movements in bed or chair, or even changing positions may encourage dilation. This is because the weight of the baby applies pressure to the cervix.

What should I eat for easy normal delivery? ›

Eat Healthy

Giving birth requires that you be at your best. Eating healthy during pregnancy should be a priority. Choose to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats and dairy. You want foods that are high in antioxidants and vitamins.

What should be avoided during last month of pregnancy? ›

What to avoid:
  • strenuous exercise or strength training that could cause an injury to your stomach.
  • alcohol.
  • caffeine (no more than one cup of coffee or tea per day)
  • smoking.
  • illegal drugs.
  • raw fish or smoked seafood.
  • shark, swordfish, mackerel, or white snapper fish (they have high levels of mercury)
  • raw sprouts.

How much pain does a woman feel during childbirth? ›

The most common description of the level of pain experienced was extreme menstrual cramps (45 percent), while 16 percent said it was like bad back pain and 15 percent compared it to a broken bone.

What makes giving birth easier? ›

Standing up and moving helps the baby's head to press on the cervix, increasing dilation. Plus, moving around, whether kneeling, squatting or standing, helps to widen the pelvis for when baby's head is ready to pass through. Massage: For some distraction, have the support person can give a little massage during labor.

What are the signs of a very fertile woman? ›

7 Signs It May Be Easy For You To Get Pregnant
  • You Have A Very Regular Cycle. ...
  • You Feel Well In General. ...
  • You've Never Had A Pelvic Infection. ...
  • You Have Other Signs Of Regular Ovulation. ...
  • You Don't Smoke Cigarettes. ...
  • Your Periods Aren't Extremely Heavy. ...
  • Your Periods Aren't Extremely Painful.
4 Jan 2019

What is the right age to get pregnant? ›

Experts say the best time to get pregnant is between your late 20s and early 30s. This age range is associated with the best outcomes for both you and your baby. One study pinpointed the ideal age to give birth to a first child as 30.5. Your age is just one factor that should go into your decision to get pregnant.

Is sperm good for the baby during pregnancy? ›

Not only is sperm safe, but there may be some benefits to having sex and contact with sperm before and during pregnancy: Sperm and vaginal sex can help induce labor when the time comes. Oxytocin, one of the key hormones involved in progressing labor, is released during sex, and orgasms mimic contractions.

Do bananas help you go into labor? ›

False. Evidence suggesting some foods, like spicy foods, pineapple and bananas may induce labor, is purely anecdotal. These foods may increase acid reflux – which is a common problem in the later stages of pregnancy – so you may want to avoid them.

Is giving birth the most painful thing? ›

Labor pain is one of the most severe pains which has ever evaluated and its fear is one of the reasons women wouldn't go for natural delivery. Considering different factors which affect experiencing pain, this study aimed to explain women's experiences of pain during childbirth.

How can I push my baby out fast? ›

Here are some more pushing tips to try:
  1. Push as if you're having a bowel movement. ...
  2. Tuck your chin to your chest. ...
  3. Give it all you've got. ...
  4. Stay focused. ...
  5. Change positions. ...
  6. Trust your instinct. ...
  7. Rest between contractions. ...
  8. Stop pushing as instructed.

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