RACHEL WADDILOVE'S ADVICE: PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH OF YOUR BABY
We couldn’t be happier to let all you wonderful mamas and papas know that we have teamed up with the utterly fabulous Rachel Waddilove, maternity nurse and author of The Baby Book, to bring you a whole series of blogs full of tips and advice for new parents, and those expecting.
Having begun her training as a maternity nurse in the 1960’s, Rachel has many years experience with caring for not only her own three children, but for the children of many families across the world, with some of these including the children of Zara Philips, Gwyneth Paltrow and Minnie Driver.
The first topic we spoke to Rachel about was one that we felt every expectant parent would benefit from; how to prepare for the birth of your baby and what you need to start thinking about when. We hope you enjoy, and if you would like anymore information about Rachel, or to get in touch with her then please visit http://www.rachelsbabies.com/.
The arrival of a new baby is exceptionally exciting, but can so often be filled with stress by the thought of how you are going to prepare for this new addition to your life. Shopping for baby items can be very overwhelming, and it can be hard to know when you should start to put things into place ready for the new addition. These are just a few things that Rachel recommends to prepare you for your new arrival.
- Think about how you would like your birth to be – being mentally prepared for birth is so important to ensure that you stay calm throughout. Rachel recommends undertaking parenting classes, as these are great for talking you through birth and providing you with techniques to combat any pain you experience. It is also a good idea to think about how you would like to give birth, and who you would like to be there, so that they can help you to stay relaxed for as long as possible. However, try not to panic if things do not go to plan as there will be midwives with you to guide and help you. A healthy mother and baby is all that really matters.
Timing: Establishing this all early on is key, and you can start parenting classes whenever feels right for you and your partner.
- Think about life after the birth – parenting classes are wonderful for pregnancy and birth, but then many parents can feel left on their own once they have had their baby. To help with this, do some research into how you would like things to be after your birth, for example how you plan to feed your baby, and work out what you think would be best for you both. If your birth is straightforward then it is likely you may be sent home from the hospital very quickly, so consider who may be around to help you when you first get home. Getting the hang of feeding with a newborn can take time, so having some assistance, whether it’s from friends or family, can help reduce any extra stress you may be feeling.
Timing: From around 6 months onwards, but learning to feed a newborn can take time!
- What equipment you need to buy – with the vast array of baby and nursery items available nowadays, this step can leave parents feeling exceptionally overwhelmed and worried. However, Rachel advises to keep things very minimal to start with, and only purchase the basics. This includes things like the following:
- Moses basket with sheet and blanket
- Shawl or large muslin for swaddling
- Changing Bag
- Little vests
- Baby bath
- Some form of moisturising cream
The full lists of what to purchase can be found in Rachels ‘The Baby Book’ however, Rachel really does stress to keep it minimal, as not only does it get expensive, but many things around these days are not essential.
Timing: Purchases can be made at any time, but from about 6 months onwards should give you plenty of time and prevent any pressure.
- Resting when you’re home – particularly for first time parents, it can be hard to come to terms with how exhausting new parent life can be. Resting when your home is fundamental to ensure that you recover well after birth. Things like, feeding your baby with your feet physically up, just gives your body that opportunity to rest and recover. Don’t plan, or stress, about getting your ‘pre baby body’ back. Your body has taken nine months to create a wonderful human and get you ready for the birth of your baby, so give it some credit and don’t worry about hitting the gym as soon as you’re home. Having visitors can be wonderful, and undoubtedly everyone will want to come and have newborn cuddles however, don’t overwhelm yourselves with huge amounts of people and give yourself more work. Let them make their own cups of tea, and help with meal preparation, to give you one less thing to think about in the day. It is also important to ensure that baby doesn’t get passed from person to person as this can be surprisingly tiring for a newborn, and leave you with an unhappy baby once everyone has left.
Many of these points are simply just things to help you mentally prepare, however this can be just as crucial to stop yourself from becoming unnecessarily worried both before and after the birth of your baby, and ensuring that you enjoy the entire process of becoming a parent.
For more of Rachel’s advice, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next blog with her, or if you simply can’t wait then Rachel’s The Baby Book: How to Enjoy Year One can be purchased online, along with her new The Baby Book: Journal – they make the perfect gift for new mums too!
Rachel's Babies Logo: http://www.rachelsbabies.com/