Maternity checklist: what needs to be done before the baby arrives

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So you’ve made it to your third trimester and you’re counting the days until you can meet your little boy or girl – congratulations! Although this is an immensely exciting time, the months leading up to your due date can often prove to be quite chaotic! With so much to organise before the little one arrives it’s easy to become overwhelmed, so take a deep breath and use this checklist to make these next few months a little easier.

Give yourself a break

Have one last date night – despite the fact that you probably can’t see your feet right now and you may not be feeling particularly sexy, plan one last romantic evening with your partner. Once your baby arrives it will be hard for the two of you to be intimate, so it’s important for you to spend some quality time with each other before then.

Grab some ‘me time’ – don’t forget to spend some quality time with yourself too! Have a candlelit bath, curl up with a book, dance around the house in your underwear or go out and get pampered with a mani-pedi. Whatever you do, allow yourself to relax and truly enjoy the moment.

Hang with the girls – have one last lunch, dinner or movie night with your best friends; sometimes you just need some girl talk and that doesn’t change when you’re pregnant!

Make way for the big day

Maternity pic 1
Research and prepare – make use of friends, family, doctors, books, classes and the Internet to familiarise yourself with the experience of giving birth. Talk with your partner about it and prepare a birth plan together that you’re both happy with.

Preregister – many hospitals provide the option to preregister your details with them including your insurance information, medical history and birth plan. You can usually complete the process online, saving time now and when you’re in labour!

Familiarise yourself – make sure you’re aware of check-in procedures at your hospital and feel free to ask for a tour of the maternity ward. It’s also important for you and your partner to do a few practice runs to the hospital together, including deciding on a backup route in case of traffic or road works. Don’t forget to check out the parking situation at the hospital and always have enough petrol in the car!

Pack your bag – a few weeks before you’re due, pack a bag with all the essentials you’ll need for the time you’re in the hospital and put it in a handy spot so that it’s ready to grab in a hurry! Tape a note to the top of the bag if you want to list any items you might want to throw in at the last minute, like your favourite book or your iPod.

Install the car seat – make sure the car seat is properly installed before your due date and be sure to check the safety regulations. You want your baby to have a safe and comfy ride home after all!

Prepare for afterwards

Spring clean – no matter how clean you keep your home, it will need a good once-over before you’re cleaning for three! It seems daunting but that nesting instinct will be sure to kick in and you’ll be done in no time. Just make sure to rest when you need to and use as many natural cleaning products as possible. Remember to babyproof the house while you’re at it!

Wash wash wash – make sure you’ve washed all your clothes so that you’ve always got something to wear when you’re exhausted and can’t be bothered doing the laundry. You’ll also want to wash some linens and a week’s worth of clothing for the baby – there’s no need to wash everything because you never know if you’ll need to exchange some items.

Grab some maternity bras – you’ll want to have a few good quality nursing bras to get you through the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding. Online stores like Maternity Sale Australia stock a great range, but don’t get too many to begin with because you never know how your breast size might change.

Stock up on everything – from the freezer to the first aid kit, you won’t have the time or the energy to go shopping right after the baby is born so buy everything ahead of time. Healthy snacks that can be kept in the pantry are a good idea and you’ll love yourself if you cook a variety of meals and freeze them for later!

Sarah Pinkerton

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