Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Post: How Moms Can Prepare For Baby's First Day

At 37 weeks, the baby is just about finished growing inside your body. The lungs are now developed and filled with amniotic fluid. The eyelids rehearse their open and shut movement to prepare for the big reveal. You, on the other hand, are a jumble of nerves and excitement waiting for the big delivery day. A good way to handle any remaining nerves is to be organized and prepared for your delivery day.
Preparing a nursery for your new bundle is a great step to help an expectant mother feel that their home is ready to welcome the new baby, as well as to satisfy the ‘nesting’ feeling many mothers say they feel. Stocking up your nursery with practical needs like clothing and diapers is a great way to feel better prepared to transition naturally into motherhood at home.
Having a hospital bag packed and ready for you is another preparation step that will help an expectant mother feel ready to go at any time. Some ideas for what to pack include extra clothes and toiletries for the new mother and a change of clothes to bring your baby home in. Anything else to help with the comfort of the mother and baby during or after labor should be included in the bag. Remember the hospital will provide many essentials, like diapers, so there is no need to worry about forgetting anything important to the first few days of your baby’s new life. 
If an expectant mother has any questions about what to expect during labor in terms of medication available and other procedures to expect, attending a childbirth class ahead of time is also helpful. You can attend one through your hospital and learn about the specific options available there. You can also learn about optional procedures such as circumcision and cord blood banking. Cord blood banking is the collection and storage of the blood left over in the umbilical cord after it is clamped and cut. Cord blood is rich in stem cells that may be used to potentially treat medical diseases.
Understandably, every new mom will be concerned about providing the best for her baby. Those who opt to breastfeed may fret about their body’s ability to cope with the demand. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding newborns and babies up to six months old. The decision to breastfeed or formula feed generally rests on your preference.
With so much excitement in an expectant mother’s life, preparing herself for labor by being informed of her options and following some conventional tips, will enable her to walk into the hospital feeling ready to take on the next stage of becoming a mother. 

This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22