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Stop Packing! 7 Plans for Pregnant Moms to Make instead of Packing the Hospital Bag

Stop Packing! 7 Plans for Pregnant Moms to Make instead of Packing the Hospital Bag

Preparing for childbirth involves more than just designing the nursery and packing a hospital bag. While it's essential to have the necessities ready, busy pregnant moms must prioritize other crucial plans to ensure an optimal birthing experience and a healthful postpartum. Here are seven essential plans tailored for the expectant mom who is juggling a busy schedule and how to overcome the looming task of packing their hospital bag.

  1. Discover Your Birthing Style: If you don't already know your birth style, you need to take this first step! Understanding your birthing preferences is vital for an as-close-to-ideal hospital birth experience. Please, don't just show up without considering your preferences! Yes, you heard that right. Whether you're considering or are curious about an un-medicated birth, a water birth, or other pain management options, taking the time to explore and decide on your birthing style empowers you to communicate effectively with your healthcare team. This free birth styles resource covering all the options is the best place to start!

  2. Take the Birth Class: Once you've identified your birth style, you should find a birth class that compliments that approach. For example, if you identify most with the value of an unmedicated birth, you should find a birth class available to you (cost and time prohibitive), such as The Bradley Method or Lamaze. The more knowledge you have about your body's capacity to fully birth your baby the better your experience in labor will be. You'll learn that (and more) in a reputable birth class. (BTDT-tip: we recommend birth classes outside of your hospital) It's just one of the many keys you should acquire while prepping for birth. These classes provide skills and insights that will fuel your confidence and be far better prepared for the big day, than if you skipped this step.

  3. Hire the Doula: You should consider hiring a doula. They are available for continuous emotional and physical support during labor and delivery. Doulas offer personalized care and advocacy, which is proven to enhance a mom's birthing experience. As if that wasn't enough great news, hiring a doula has also shown time and again to ultimately improve outcomes for both you and your baby. We like to think of doulas as a supplemental insurance policy specifically for your birth and postpartum. A lot less goes wrong with a doula by your side. 

  4. Write Your Birth Plan: Please, don't skip this step! This is your chance to have a say - as you should! Articulating your birth plan ensures that your preferences are communicated clearly to your healthcare team. Outline your preferences regarding pain management, interventions and even facets of your postpartum care. empowering you to navigate childbirth with confidence and control. BTDT-tip: This important task will be easier accomplished once you've completed your birth class and with this free birth plan guide. Don't underestimate the power of having a birth plan. 

  5. Understand Your OB's Policies: This one's often overlooked. If you aren't already (don't worry, most moms aren't, but if you are - go you!), familiarize yourself with your obstetrician's practices and the intended hospital's policies. You're looking for any mis-alignments with your birth plan. Knowing how their protocols intersect with your preferences will help you make informed decisions and advocate for your birthing choices more effectively. The goal is limit your surprises on birth-day. Unexpected surprises are what derail birth experiences and outcomes every day. 

  6. Create Your Postpartum Plan: When we neglect to make a proactive plan for the postpartum period, moms are at much higher risk of morbidity. And, sadly, this is increasingly more common in America than it should be. So before daydreaming about the nursery, consider what factors you can influence before your life begins with a newborn. Factors such as lactation support, mental health therapist, supplies for your returned period, postpartum meal plan, visitation boundaries, etc. This is a helpful free postpartum plan to get started! Having your comprehensive postpartum plan in place eases the transition into motherhood and prioritizes your total well-being.

  7. Prepare to Meet Someone New...You! Yes, you'll be meeting your baby, but really you're meeting a new you. That in itself requires some prep because it can come as a surprise as you navigate the newborn-mom life. Amidst all the excitement of becoming a mom, one of the best ways to spend your energy is to recognize that any distraction from prioritizing yourself can put your well-being at risk. There are obviously countless biological reasons it takes around 40 weeks to develop a baby, but there's also social and cultural reasons, as well. In America, there are a lot of distractions (nursery decorators, onesie designers, toy manufacturers, tech brands, etc.), and there's birth-workers, therapists, lactation counselors and innovators who are advocating for you to have the best possible entry to motherhood. You're on a journey to self-discovery and that starts in pregnancy and reaches a new level in postpartum. Nurturing your emotional and spiritual growth to foster a deeper connection with yourself will be rewarding.

So while packing your hospital bag may seem life the most important task (and it is important!), it's just one aspect of birth preparation. Placing priority on these seven plans, allows the busy pregnant mom to feel empowered and ready for the journey ahead. So, before you focus solely on packing, invest your time and energy into these invaluable preparations—it could actually save your life. They are keys to a positive birthing experience and a smoother transition into motherhood.

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