Yes, I’m a first time mom. So I literally have no idea what I’m getting myself into. I’m also an over-researcher by nature…so I like to be informed and prepared. Which is creating quite the perfect storm for finding interesting tips and trying them out.
Whether or not any of these pan out to be truly helpful is still to be seen (in 6 weeks or so!)…but here are a few things I’m doing to prepare myself, the house, and our lives for after baby.
Drinking raspberry leaf tea. I bought Earth Mama Angel Baby Third Trimester Tea after hearing about it on The Birth Hour (more on that later). I did some research and it seems that this tea helps with uterus health (something I didn’t think I would ever type on my blog!) and allows for more effective contractions during labor. It can also help with postpartum as well.
Eating dates. Studies have shown that eating dates can increase your risk of spontaneous labor, lower pitocin use, and shorter first phase of labor. They can reduce the need for induction and augmentation of labor. So I’m eating dates! The study had participants eating 6 dates…but I can only do 4 dates at a time because of my diet restrictions with gestational diabetes. Here’s hoping 4 dates is better than none!
Listening to birth stories. I’ve been listening to The Birth Hour podcast for months (I think before I was pregnant my friend Paige was on the podcast and I started listening)….but it has totally normalized the process for me and removed a lot of fears. While I still am anxious about experiencing it for myself, I am way more familiar with the process. The podcast does a great job of mixing hospital births, c-sections, home births, and other types of birth stories so you hear all your options.
Having postpartum supplies ready. I’m not sure how I’m delivering or what I’ll need, but I spent about $50 and ordered a bunch of supplies online. I can’t find the list, but I found a list recommending Amazon products that were great postpartum like ice packs, bottom spray, a Fridet, a belly binder….all ready to go in case I need them.
Education classes and postpartum support from Doulas of Northwest Arkansas. Bethany, one of the doulas, came down for a couple of education classes and really answered questions, explained options, and walked us through what the process may look like for us. It was invaluable. She is also doing some postpartum support services for us.
For the house:
Cleaning carpets. I borrowed mom’s Bissel ProHeat 2x Revolution to clean the carpets in the whole house. We have dark carpet, so they didn’t look dirty, but we’ve lived here for 5 years and never had them cleaned professionally. I had spot cleaned rooms before with a home machine, but I’ve conquered the whole house in the last month or so.
For our lives:
Frozen crockpot meals. I mostly followed the plan from Passion for Savings for Aldi crockpot freezer meals (which was great because most were g-free so mom can eat with us if she’s over) and I added a couple of meals from her easy freezer meals post as well. I think I made 14 bags total. They are ready to thaw and cook, making dinners easy in the coming months. I love her meal plans- they include a grocery list and a video to help you.
Freezer ready to eat meals. Along with the crockpot meals, we stocked up on ready to eat freezer stuff. I was going to make some casseroles, but to be honest, it was cheaper to just buy them from Sam’s. We bought some pasta dishes, some precooked chicken, and some frozen lasagnas. These can be cooked right from freezer in less than an hour- where the crockpot meals take a day of forethought.
Essentials stockpiling. Along with stockpiling diapers and wipes (thanks to our baby showers!), I stocked up on paper products, hand soap, laundry detergent (free and clear so I can use it for baby stuff too), dish detergent, and hand sanitizer. I also made sure we have deordants, toothpaste, and toothbrushes on hand. This will just save us from last minute runs to the store when we run out of things.
Amazon delivery snacks. Bethany, the doula, suggested thinking and planning for some easy snacks to have on hand after baby. Things to grab middle of the night, when nursing (so things I can eat with one hand), things that aren’t totally junk food. I went ahead and set up an Amazon Subscribe and Save for October for some healthy snacks- granola bars, jerky, protein bars and fruit snacks. This way we don’t even have to think about it or go the store. They will come right to our door. I can cancel them if we don’t need them in November, or we can continue getting the deliveries.
We’ve finished putting away all of the things from our baby showers. We have a few duplicates to return and gift cards to use to buy the rest of the essentials. After that, we have to pack hospital bags and diaper bag and install car seats. Then we will be ready and waiting! (If remember, I can come back in 6 months and talk about whether or not these things were helpful!)