Guide: Essentials 101 – What to do when you are expecting?

So you’re expecting a baby. What next?

For many who are first time parents-to-be, the initial phase of excitement gives way to a lost feeling of what to do next. This post is to shed some light on it because we too, felt lost.

First Trimester:
1. Get a Gynae by Week 7!
Some of us prefer female gynaes but having gone to both a female and male gynae, I actually prefer the male gynae because he was gentler. Similar to the concept of going to a hairstylist, I find that male hairstylists tend to be gentler to your hair than a female. Maybe it’s just me.

2. Have little snacks handy if you are affected by morning sickness. It helps to take small, little meals and not get too hungry.

3. Start doing some research on baby care, and plan how to reorganise your house to make way for a baby.

4. Do up a checklist of what the baby will need.

5. Reduce your time commitments because as you get bigger and when the baby is born, you are going to be busy.

Tip: Try not to be too anxious about the child. During my pregnancy, I was constantly checking for the child’s heartbeat and worried about her. Being parents is a lifetime of worrying so try to take it easy!

Second Trimester
This is the most comfortable trimester for most because the morning sickness should have subsided and you are not too big yet.

1. Sign up for a package at your gynae’s if he/she offers it. You will need to visit him/her more often towards the end and it might be more cost efficient to sign up for one.

2. You should be taking supplements such as folic acid. My gynae gave me folic acid and calcium because I hated milk.

3. Start shopping for the essentials on your checklist. Don’t go overboard because babies really don’t need so much stuff.

4. Sign up for trips to visit the hospitals that you are considering giving birth at. Bear in mind that your gynae may only go to a select number of hospitals so check with him/her first.

5. Sign up for baby care classes if you prefer. For us we went for the one at Mount Alvernia. We thought we learnt a lot but those were just theory. We were just as lost when the kid came along. The baby doll in class didn’t squirm or poop when we were bathing it!

6. Chope your preferred confinement lady! We didn’t have a confinement lady and really regretted it. If you should choose to go my route, then at least make arrangements for food and perhaps a part time helper for chores during confinement.

7. Go for a babymoon if you prefer! It’ll be awhile before you travel again.

Third Trimester:
This was when I got really big and had terrible backaches and couldn’t walk properly.

1. Essentials such as the cot should have been purchased. In the 8th month, buy diapers. Babies grow really fast, so go easy on the bulk purchase of newborn size.

2. Research and procure for a breast milk pump. If you should decide to use a second hand one, make sure it’s one with a closed system (Like Ameda or Spectra). Some of the Medela ones are open system so milk can get into the tubings and cause health risk to your little one.

3. Learn how to use the pump and bottle steriliser! (I did not do this and waited till Baby E was born and really regretted it because being engorged and trying to read instructions really was no fun)

4. Wash the baby clothes, bottles, milk pump parts and ensure that you are ready. (This step seemed very common sense but for some reason we only washed the baby clothes and didn’t wash any bottles and pump parts and it was chaotic after the child was born.)

5. Take a moment and visualise how your workflow will be caring for the baby. Where will the baby be diapered and dressed? Where will he/she sleep and bathe?

6. Pack your hospital bag in the 9th month and do pre-admission to the hospital.

That’s pretty much what I recall. It’s been 2 years though so the memory’s getting fuzzy. Did I miss anything? Let me know and i’ll add it in!

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