I remember what it was like preparing for the first baby, so many things to consider and complete. Below are my 4 simple hacks for preparing for the first baby, hopefully you’ll learn something new. Please be sure that you and your spouse consult with your health care provider about what is best for your situation.
Our health care provider offered free parenting classes, so we took advantage of the classes. We learned about the birthing process, infant care basics and overall preparing for the first baby. The classes were very educational and dispelled many common myths we had.
I remember the biggest myth was that the pain of childbirth would always require an epidural. An epidural is a regional anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body. We learned using an epidural was not always needed and learned more about risks of using an epidural.
Also, we learned about what a birthing doula does and how doulas help moms prepare for and go through the child birth process. A doula is a trained non-medical companion who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience such as childbirth.
We hired a doula for all of our child births. I believe our health care provider offered free doulas, but we interviewed and hired our own. We booked the doula at the beginning of our pregnancy because they understandably get booked far in advance. We felt having someone for me and my wife to talk with about the process and to help make us aware of our options would be very helpful, especially for our first birth.
Our doula met with us upfront to answer questions and provided us with resources. She was available for questions via phone, text and email through out the pregnancy and was present for the entire childbirth process at the hospital. I believe that our doula was very helpful with helping my wife avoid using an epidural. My wife was fortunate that for her situation, she did not need to use an epidural for any of our kids’ births.
After the first birth, my wife commented that it was helpful to have someone at the hospital to help explain the typical process, time frames and options. Our doula never made decisions for my wife, she helped my wife evaluate her options and provided my wife with support for her decisions.
In addition to evaluating the general experience of doulas when interviewing, we also evaluated experience with helping clients in the hospital we were planning on using. We felt this was important because we heard that hospitals all have different nuances in their childbirth protocols and policies.
We used one hospital for our first birth, but decided to use a different hospital for our other births. Probably the most important factor when we were interviewing doulas was how comfortable my wife felt with the doula’s personality. I would recommending interviewing at least 2 or 3 doulas before making your decision.
We purchased equipment, clothing and other supplies before our baby arrived. It was a good thing we did these things before hand because our first baby needed to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital for an extra week because of jaundice. Our baby’s jaundice meant that my wife and I slept on a couch in the NICU for a week after the birth, then brought the baby home. We were exhausted. But, everything worked out in the end.
If you’re interested in saving money, check out my article: 4 tips to find cheap baby stuff for new parents.