As your baby’s due date approaches, you will be wondering how best to prepare for the birth. To ease your transition to motherhood and your baby’s transition to the world these are the things you need to do as you prepare:

Antenatal classes – If you haven’t taken them already, now is the time for antenatal classes. Without question, a good antenatal class increases the chance of your birth turning out the way you expect. As the Girl Guide motto goes – “Be Prepared”

Birth plan – Although no midwife or gynae can or should be held to your birth plan, it is worth preparing a blueprint of your ideal birth. Give this to your caregiver at one of your third trimester appointments. It needs to cover:

  • Methods of pain relief
  • Having your baby with you after birth
  • Who you want with you for the birth
  • Positions for labour
  • Episiotomy versus natural tear
  • Use of water in labour or birth
  • How often you want your baby’s heart rate monitored

Pack your bag – Its time to pack your bag for the hospital. Include the following:

  • Medical aid card
  • Bottles of water
  • PJ’s
  • Tracksuit or comfy clothes for labour
  • Feeding bra’s
  • Breastpads
  • Maternity panties
  • Maternity pads
  • Lip Ice
  • Copy of your birth plan
  • Music
  • Camera or cell phone to take pics
  • Toiletries
  • Cell charger
  • Baby Sense book
  • Going home outfit

Pack your baby’s bag – Your baby will need very little in the early days. So pack light.

  • Swaddling blanket
  • Newborn nappies
  • Going home outfit

Prepare your body – Your hormones will have done a good job of preparing your body. You can help a little by massaging the perineum – the area your baby is going to exit your body through in normal vaginal delivery – we call this Antenatal Perineal Massage. It decreases your risk of an Episiotomy or tear.

And finally as you prepare for your last few weeks of pregnancy – try to rest, get some exercise and have a nice dinner out with your partner – these are likely to be the things you miss most in the months ahead.