A full-term pregnancy is about 9 months long. That sounds like plenty of time to get ready for the baby’s arrival, right? Well, it’s amazing how quickly the to-do list accumulates tasks and before you know it, your little one is here and you realize you forgot some pretty important items! I know I’m guilty of that.
Check out this post to read which tasks I DID actually think of and accomplish before my little girl was born:
Anyway, here are the 5 things I REALLY wish I had thought to do during my pregnancy, so that I could have been better prepared for life with a newborn baby.
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1. Taken a Breastfeeding Course
I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I knew there were some health benefits to it and such. And really, I wanted to save some money honestly by not having to buy formula. I thought, “oh, this will be easy!”
Then reality set in. There’s a lot more to breastfeeding than I had even imagined! Sure, I had done my best during pregnancy to watch some Youtube videos about breastfeeding here and there. But I had neglected to take an actual comprehensive breastfeeding course, a catch-all that could give me a solid foundation on which to start my breastfeeding journey.
When my baby was about 7 weeks old, I discovered an amazing breastfeeding course from MILKOLOGY! It’s an all-in-one online course that tells you all the basics you need to know to get started with breastfeeding. The course is appropriately named The Ultimate Breastfeeding Course.
I learned some new info by taking this class 7 weeks into my breastfeeding journey, but boy do I wish I had discovered it while I was still pregnant! It’s so worth the $19 this course costs to prepare yourself to nourish your baby with the perfect substance made just for them - breastmilk!
2. Arranged a Meal Train
While I was pregnant, I thought it would be a good idea to find some easy crockpot recipes, by all the necessary ingredients for those things before my baby's arrival, and then just make easy meals as needed.
Well, as it turns out, it’s insanely difficult to do any type of cooking with a brand new baby, even if that “cooking” just involves dumping things in a crockpot and letting it cook all day. I think we tried once or twice to use my carefully planned crockpot recipes, and then just resorted to frozen pizzas and canned soups.
Thankfully, we also had 2 families bring us an actual meal. But it would have been nice to have one of those meals each day for at least the first 2 weeks. Frozen pizza and canned soup gets old after a while!
If I could go back to my pregnancy and do it all over again, I would contact friends and family members who live close by to ask if they would be willing to drop off a meal on a certain day once the baby arrives. (If you don’t have a planned birth, you could ask your husband or a close friend to quickly arrange a meal train for you once the baby has been born.)
I know it can be hard to ask for help. That’s probably what held me back from getting a meal train together in the first place. But after having a newborn to care for, and going through postpartum recovery myself, I can see that it would have been worth it to ask for some help with meals.
Plus, most people would be more than happy to help out! Family and friends are probably wondering what they can do to help out, so asking them to bring a meal on a certain day would give them the direction they need to help you in a way that YOU actually want.
3. Considered a Variety of Birth Scenarios
During my pregnancy, I put a lot of thought into what kind of birth I wanted to have. I decided that I would let my baby come on her own and have a completely unmedicated hospital birth. Well, things didn’t go to plan at all. You can read all about it here:
Since my birth ended up being different than I had imagined, I wish that I had spent more of my pregnancy considering a variety of possible birth scenarios rather than being so stuck on just one. Not that it’s bad to have a birth plan, but it’s good to be open to making changes as they become necessary. That way, when you’re in the moment and something doesn’t go to plan, you can just roll with it rather than feeling any guilt or wrestling with the sadness of not getting that perfect birth you had imagined.
4. Prepared Mentally For The First Month
The first month of caring for a newborn is tough. In hindsight, I wish that I had spent more time during my pregnancy mentally preparing for essentially giving up my whole being to care for a helpless baby.
This mental preparation will look different for everyone. It may include meditation, journaling, or creative expression. For me, I wish I had spent more time reading Scriptures, praying, and seeking wisdom from other moms who had been through the newborn stage before.
Being better mentally prepared for taking care of my newborn might have helped to lessen the anxiety I felt. I’m not saying it would’ve completely eliminated it, because being a new parent is a big responsibility and it makes everyone at least a little nervous. But investing some more time into my mental health probably would’ve gone a long way towards giving me the best start at motherhood.
5. Rested More
Last but not least, I wish that I had rested more during my pregnancy, especially at the end. I was trying to get everything ready for my baby, so it was hard to find time to rest. I wanted to rest a lot, but it just wasn’t at the tops of my list of to-dos. But I realize now that rest should have been a PRIORITY.
Because once you become a new mom, rest is hard to come by. I barely slept at all during my daughter’s first week of life, and that was after over 30 hours of labor.
You can’t really bank up your sleep and save it for when you need it, but being as well-rested as possible going into labor, birth, and then caring for your newborn would certainly be ideal.
Sleeping gets tough at the end of pregnancy due to the discomfort, heartburn, and frequent peeing, but if you can sneak some naps in, I would highly recommend doing so while you can!
9 months of pregnancy may seem like a long time to an outsider, but with so much to do, it really is challenging to get everything done that you’d lie to. So just do your best! Hopefully you’ve found this list helpful as you are likely preparing to have your baby soon. Regardless of what you get done or don’t get done, baby will come when it’s time and you’ll find that you make it all work.
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