When I found out that I was pregnant, I immediately started researching all things childbirth! From birth plans to breathing techniques, I had learned it all! But, I spent so much time preparing for birth that I realized I hadn’t even given a thought about how to prepare to be a mom.
If you really think about it, labor and delivery is really just a blip on the timeline of motherhood. Of course while you are giving birth, it may feel like an eternity, but you’ll be experiencing postpartum for longer and you’ll be a mother for even longer after that!
So, when you find out that you’re expecting, it is important to learn about labor and delivery, but it’s also important to learn about postpartum and motherhood!
Because of this, I’m going to be sharing with you the seven things that I did to prepare to be a mom.
7 things to do to prepare to be a mom
1. Learn About Postpartum
Knowing what to expect in your postpartum journey will help things go much smoother. There are so many different factors to consider and prepare for including…
Natural vs. C-Section Recovery
Be sure to look into what recovery will be like if you give birth naturally versus a C-section. While very few women go into their birth experience expecting a C-section, it will be really beneficial if you’re not caught off guard and you know what to expect if it does happen to you.
Hormonal and Body Changes
Along with looking at the different types of recovery, you may also find it helpful to look into how your body will readjust. I had no idea that there were some side effects and changes, like rashes and hot flashes, that women experience as their hormones are trying to level out, and it would have been so helpful to know ahead of time!
Some of the most common changes women experience postpartum include:
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
Of course, I don’t share this to worry you! I just want you to be prepared and know what could potentially be coming your way!
Oftentimes referred to as “baby blues”, millions of women are affected by some form of postpartum depression or anxiety. It is something that both you and your partner alike should know about. Take some time before you baby gets here to prepare yourselves by learning the warning signs and learning about the best ways to help treat postpartum if you start experiencing some of the signs or symptoms.
If you want to learn more about postpartum, you should check out Karrie at Karing for Postpartum. She is a RN who talks about everything you’d need to know about postpartum. She even has some courses you could take to be even more prepared!
2. Learn About Breastfeeding + Explore Formula Options
Very few moms will give birth and then naturally start breastfeeding without any troubles or hiccups along the way. The truth is that breastfeeding is hard, and it takes some preparing to know what to expect. When you’re exploring how to prepare to be a mom, feeding your baby is a priority because it’ll be the majority of what you’ll be doing for the next few months.
Are there items you’ll need to successfully breastfeed your child like nipple creams and shields, cooling pads or a pump? There are lots of options and products out there that could really help you out if you take some time to learn about them!
On top of this, it would also be beneficial to explore formula options! Before my daughter was born, I hadn’t even entertained the thought that my daughter would ever have formula, much less need it in her first few days of life! But, when she was admitted to the NICU, I wasn’t prepared at all for them to give my daughter formula! I wish I had already researched and chosen a formula just in case!
For me, I found Bridget Teyler to be an amazing source for all things birth, but especially feeding. From a simple Breastfeeding Tips Youtube video to Birthing Courses on her website, this birth doula is a fountain of wisdom for moms-to-be!
3. Get Familiar with Ways to Soothe Your Baby
Despite what most people may say about babies, they actually sleep quite a lot! (It just may not be at times that you would prefer!) It’s important to prepare by learning about ways to soothe your baby and help guide him/her to better sleep.
While every baby is different, there is bound to be some successful techniques out there that will work perfectly for your precious baby! From books to class on sleep training, there’s something out there for every mama and every baby. Look around and know your options before your baby gets here and you’re too tired to learn something new!
Melissa from Sleep Shop Consulting is a great resource to prepare and understand soothing and helping your baby sleep!
4. Prioritize Date Nights
Your pregnancy is a literal countdown to the moment when you and your husband take on completely new titles. Of course, you will still be husband and wife, but once your precious little one arrives, you will both be sent straight into mom and dad mode.
Prepare to be a mom by prioritizing your relationship with your spouse! Ideally, make it a habit to go on a special date at least once a week. Enjoy each others’ company. Soak up the last bit of time before you become a family, and talk about things that matter.
Chances are, if you prioritize date nights in the months leading up to your baby’s arrival, then you will still try to make time once he/she gets here. It’s important to keep your relationship thriving throughout this big adjustment and change.
5. Talk with Your Husband
Whether you make the time to go on romantic date nights or not, it’s so crucial to talk with your husband about the changes that are coming! It’s important to discuss expectations for when the baby arrives so that you are both on the same page about the big things coming. Here are a few of the many things you could discuss…
What are your expectations for household chores? What adjustments do you anticipate happening once the baby arrives? Depending on your recovery time, maternity leave, or your job status, your abilities to both do chores and take care of your newborn can greatly vary, so it’s important to discuss this with your spouse ahead of time.
Babies are expensive! Babies are especially expensive if you are feeding your baby with formula, but nonetheless, your budget is about to take a major shift with items including: general baby items, hospital bills, daycare costs, and more.
As I said above, date nights are so important to your relationship! And your relationship can have a profound effect on your child’s wellbeing! Talk with your spouse about how you both plan to keep the spark alive and prioritize one another even when things get rough and life becomes hectic.
Lastly, talk with your husband about parenting in general. How do you want to discipline your children? What are your dreams for your children? What do you want your household to be like? These questions and more can lead to some really great conversations and understandings about what you want for the future.
Of course, there are more things to discuss, but these are some of the top items that will change and have to adjust once little one gets here!
6. Self Care
Self care in motherhood is so important! It feels like we live in a culture where moms are expected to do everything for everyone with a smile on their face. In reality, it’s perfection is simply unattainable, and you’re going to need times where you prioritize yourself and your health.
As you prepare to be a mom, you could even have a postpartum self care kit filled with little things that you love and bring you joy. As you venture into motherhood, a delicious smelling bath bomb, a relaxing face mask or your favorite candy can really lift your spirits! Have a little something special ready for you. You will only be the best mom when you’ve taken care of yourself too.
7. Pray for this Journey Ahead
Lastly, and most importantly, the best way to prepare to be a mom is to simply pray for this journey ahead. Pray for guidance. Pray for wisdom. Pray for a safe delivery and your child’s wellbeing. Pray for anything and everything that weighs on your heart as you navigate pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and motherhood. Knowing that God is with you and hears you can make all the difference.
Giving birth and becoming a mother is one of the most noble and rewarding experiences of your life! Knowing how to prepare to be a mom will make you feel more at ease with all of the changes that are about to happen, and I hope that you found this article helpful in your journey to motherhood!
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