This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
Well, one thing you should do is research childbirth methods so that
you know what you are looking for in a class...
Do this early, because many classes fill up way in advance, and Bradley
classes last 8-12 weeks depending on the instructor! Typical Lamaze
classes are 6 weeks.
Some other classes you may want to take are: First Aid/CPR for infants,
I guess one of my pet peeves is that the typical american (most of the
net doesn't fit this category!) spends less time comparing childbirth
classes than they do buying a car! Which means you have an experience
and child to last a lifetime that you perhaps devoted less research to
than a piece of metal you probably won't have more than 10 years...
Not a personal comment, just rambling! :-)
I'd add a category for pre-baby and would include:
o Get your immunities to common child-hood diseases (mumps and measles)
tested. If you received the shots during certain years and lot #s they
might not have worked. This is to avoid birth defects. Wait a while
(at least 3 months) after getting the shot, before you get pregnant.
o Take that great romantic vacation with hubby.:)
o Take a multi-vitamin with folic acid (cuts down the chance of neural
o Research and decide on what, if any, prenatal testing you want. Its
a fairly complex topic and for those of us over 35, or even over 30,
its a big consideration. By the time you find out you're pregnant,
you might not have enough time to decide what to do.
o I would select the ob ahead of time too. I mean, you have to see
one anyway for the annual pap-test. Really press for stats on their
c-section rate and episiotomy rate, and be aware that many bullshit
or fluff off these questions. Not fun switching at 25 weeks because
you finally find out the truth, and meet the doctor's partner. If
your doctor practices with others, what are your chances of getting one
of them? And what are their stats?
o Investigate health insurance options. Many plans have enrollment
periods only at certain times of the year. Find the plan that gives
you the best coverage and choice of doctors, at the best price. Pay
attention to pediatric care too.
>- buy major baby items (crib, carseat, stroller, etc.)
>- buy baby clothes and minor items
If you see good stuff on sale, sure, pick it up. But keep it unopened
in the box and tape the receipt onto it. You might get the same thing
at a shower, or someone might give it to you as a gift. You might find
things via the newspaper or used babythings store.
Don't buy a lot of baby clothes. You'll receive a lot as gifts. Also,
you just don't know what size the baby will be and might end up with
things you can't use. Get a few things, and wash them ahead of time.
But keep in mind that hubby can run down to kmart and pick up some
onesies and nighties, and one-piece sleep/playsuits once you know the
size of the baby. Also, they grow so fast there is no point in buying
a lot (unless your baby spits up all the time).
You definitely want one of those infant carseat/carrier things. We
had purchased 2 carseats that said on the box they were for infancy
to toddlerhood (30 pds?). Forget it. They didn't tilt back enough
for a newborn.
>- select a hospital
The choice of hospital has a lot to do with which doctor you choose. My
doctor was credentialed to deliver at a couple local hospitals so I had a
choice. I suggest touring a couple different ones so you can compare them.
I don't have any specific recommendations - your list looked good. I
like to be prepared ahead of time and I found it tough to wait until
the last minute but my family planned a baby shower for two weeks
before my due date and I didn't want to go shopping before the
shower... Also, you could be a month or even two earlier than you
think. And the last month I _really_ didn't feel like any major stuff,
especially if it involved standing or being away from a washroom :-(
The one thing I can tell you is that you don't select the hospital; the
hospital of the OB you selected is the one you go to. Find out which
hospital your OB is affiliated with. If it is not the one you want,
change OBs now.
(You should really have selected the hospital first.)
Quite a list there! Don't buy too much stuff for yourself until AFTER
your shower, assuming someone will surprise you with one. It's real
frustrating for the shoppers if you've left them nothing to buy! Your
work friends will buy you something too.
Ask your OB when you should take the classes. Or, call the place where
you are going to take classes and ask them.
You cannot update your will until after the baby is born, because you
need to explicitly name the child in the will.
The rest of your list of "when's" are mostly personal preference. You
could probably pack your hospital bag when you're in labor, but you'll
probably tend to do it a couple of days before your due date. You can
set the nursery up today, or your family can do it after the baby is
born. Some people are superstitious and don't want to do that until
the baby is born. Birthing plans aren't necessary but of course you
will be researching all along to figure out what you want. YOu might
also want one pediatrician for in the hospital and another to be your
regular one if the ped you pick doesn't practice at the hospital at
which you are delivering. My OB gave me the name of a ped to use at the
hospital because my regular one didn't practice there. But you could
start looking for pediatricians any time now. I think once you know
what's important to you. For example, if you are not planning to nurse,
you want to be sure to go to a non-judgemental pediatrician. Or if you
are, that your pediatrician is very supportive in this regard.
If you select a daycare center, you're going to want to get a space
ASAP. They can book up a year in advance, especially if they are good.
I think home day care probably would not be that hard to find, even
very late in the pregancy. I don't know about nannies. You might want a
separate post on How to find a nanny to get some more specific advice
if you go that way.