Top 10 things to prepare for life with the new baby


When you are pregnant it seems like everyone has a comment or story – especially about labour – and it’s generally not a story that offers you the reassurance you are most looking for.

Always be reassured you are in safe hands with your doctor, obstetrician and midwife, so trust the professionals who are looking after you and try not to get anxious during your final trimester.

My best advice is to steer away from google and information as it will not necessarily give you the answer to your specific condition and may in fact arouse concerns you didn’t have! And well meaning friends…they can come up with the most horrendous stories!!  When you have any questions about yourself or the baby ask a professional. Every state in Australia have major obstetric hospitals and websites that can answer your questions.

It is very sad that the rate of stillborn babies has not changed in 30 years – 2000 families a year heartbroken. Research shows taking a few simple actions could help reduce the heartache.

  • Sleep on your side (any side) after 28 weeks of pregnancy
  • Be aware of your baby’s movements, and contact your maternity care professional immediately if movements change.
  • If you smoke, stop. And avoid being around other people’s cigarette smoke.

Stillbirth happens to 1 in every 137 pregnancies in Australia. By keeping these three things in mind, and doing your best to stick to them, you can greatly reduce the risk to your baby

Your obstetrician and midwife are there for you during your pregnancy so contact them whenever you need to. The hospital you are going to will have a midwife on duty so after hours or weekends ring the hospital

Here are some good information for your pregnancy:

  1. Listen to your obstetrician and midwife only. Whilst family and friends may be well meaning their advice may be out of date or conflicting, which may lead to you feeling confused and overwhelmed.
  2. Discuss your birth plan with your obstetrician and midwife only. Family and girlfriends are a wonderful support but always listen to your medical team. Make your birth plan realistic. I’ve read many birth plans and women have been very disappointed as they did not achieve what the planned for! If you can make a time to talk to your midwife and ask her if your plan is achievable. If not talk about what is achievable.
  3. Read medical information given to you by your health professional (obstetrician and midwife). Look at websites from big city hospitals as they will have the up to date information.
  4. Don’t watch birth stories or watch birth videos, they only make you anxious. Watching someone else give birth can make women and men very anxious. I remember helping a lady in labour and her husband went pale, very pale and fainted. We were talking about why he was so anxious. He said when they did the hospital classes the midwife sent the epidurals. When he had a cup of tea and started to feel better he was telling me why he felt faint. He said in the hospital classes, a midwife passed around quite graphic photos…and he felt so anxious looking at them, the talk of an epidural did the same!!
  5. The baby sometimes moves positions and doesn’t seem to move as much. It’s important to be reassured that all is ok and see the doctor or midwife don’t stay home and worry.
  6. Have some time to yourself daily, having a walk, or even a rest in bed for an hour. Continuing with yoga, pilates, meditation is beneficial for you. If you enjoy swimming continue to do i
  7. Keep healthy. You need to be healthy not fit to have a baby. Being healthy is not only by eating good food, it also is important to keep your mind and body healthy too.
  8. Have a daily sleep in the afternoon over the last two weeks of pregnancy
  9. Pack your hospital bag – my essential list contains: comfortable clothes, a well fitted bra and lots of muslin wraps, onesies and singlets for your baby.
  10. Enjoy the day your baby is born…the days and nights seem long, but the years go so quickly.

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