I’m 38 weeks pregnant with baby girl #2, and we’re FINALLY making real progress on our pre-baby checklist. Part of that progress is due to actually getting things done, but another part is feeling like a grounded hot air balloon and not giving a crap that everything’s not perfect.
Most of my list came from those mainstream pre-baby checklists that include all the little things you might forget, like find a pediatrician and pick a childcare provider. But as I wrote my own list, I realized those other checklists were missing a few important reminders.
Here are 7 must-dos that might surprise you.
Disclaimer: If you’re already stressing about your long list to get done before baby comes, don’t you dare let this list of extras stress you out more! Just focus on baking that sweet little bun.
1. Stay Full
Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. All you need to worry about during early labor is relaxing and waiting until you have to leave for the hospital. You shouldn’t have to factor in a stop at the gas station too.
2. Find a Chiropractor
At some point in your pregnancy, you’ll get a present. Shooting pains from your hips down your legs (thank you, sciatica), some wicked carpal tunnel, or nearly debilitating lower back pain. Or all three!
Find a reputable chiropractor with good reviews before you find out what surprise your body has in store, and you’ll be ready to make an appointment as soon as the pain hits.
3. Pay a Stranger to Touch You
Treat yourself to at least one prenatal massage.
Yes, it’s expensive. But your body is working hard all day splitting cells.
You deserve it.
My doctor actually recommended it to help with swelling during pregnancy.
Plus, it might be a while after your babe is born before you can afford to splurge that kind of money (or time) on yourself.
4. Stock up on Books
You’re going to be nursing A LOT in the early weeks (or holding a bottle, as the case may be). Feeding a newborn can get kind of boring after the initial blush wears off.
Sure, you can watch TV while you nurse, but won’t you feel so much more accomplished if you finish a book in one day instead of watching back-to-back reruns of Friends for 10 hours straight?
Bonus tip: Get books you can hold with one hand, or use a lightweight e-reader. First on my list? Re-read The Hunger Games trilogy.
5. Get Waxed
Yes, there. This isn’t about looking decent for the nurses and doctors – they’ve seen it all. But with all the various bodily fluids gushing out of you before, during, and after, you might appreciate a different look. Just don’t do it too close to your due date – you certainly don’t need any extra tenderness in that region. (And if you’ve never done this before and you’re thinking “but…ow,” consider it a chance to practice your pain-coping techniques.)
6. Play Hooky
Your world will be upside down after baby’s here, and it might take a while to right itself. So pick a day with your partner that you can both take off work, and enjoy each other.
A few ideas:
- Go to a movie in the middle of the day
- Sleep in til noon
- Play a board game
- Mix up a Preggatini
7. Bake Something Yummy
During early labor, you’ll need something to keep you distracted anyway. So bake something, then pack it up and bring it with you to the hospital for the nurses.
Is it a bribe? Sort of. But the nurses will appreciate it, and it can’t hurt to engender a little extra goodwill from the people who will help you bring your baby into the world.
If you don’t have any ideas, these puppies are very likely the BEST DESSERT I’VE EVER MADE: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars.
For more tips on getting ready for baby, follow my Pinterest board Bundle of Joy.
Also, here are a couple more non-standard pre-baby checklists:
What musts would you add to every mama’s pre-baby checklist? Share your tips in a comment below.