Expecting the birth of your first child is an exciting and magical experience. But it can be stressful and overwhelming too. There’s going to be an extra little person in your home, and everything that comes with that. It’s new and scary, and that’s perfectly natural.
Your friends and family will be only too happy to impart their advice and experience, and you’ll read a plethora of books and blog posts on the subject. But few will explain how to get into the mindset of a parent who is about to bring their newborn home.
The first step is to be as informed as possible about the process. Find out everything that you need to know. Sometimes expectant parents avoid hearing certain details out of fear or feeling too overwhelmed. However, this avoidance can help to propagate the fear. Find out everything that you need to know. Ask questions and explain your fears to your doctor who will set your mind at rest.
Getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper can be a cathartic experience. Once you have made a note of items you need to buy or changes you need to make, and you have scheduled them in, you can forget about them. No more waking up in the middle of the night remembering the things you forgot to order. This list covers the basics. It will provide you with a starting point and help to set your mind at ease.
Though it’s good to be informed, there’s such a thing as too much information. You will receive advice from health workers and anyone else who has ever given birth. The problem is that the information is endless, and you run the risk of getting into a place where you’re worrying about things that may never happen. So, it’s important to be able to filter out the noise. If you feel bombarded, explain that you’re overloaded with information and that you need a break. Change the subject and talk about something else.
This is one of the biggest milestones in your life and, as such, it is something to celebrate. Find ways to mark the occasion with the people closest to you. Take photos of the bump to remember this time of your life. Allow your friends to throw you a baby shower. Take some time to fully appreciate the miracle of conception.
The thing about being pregnant is that the world doesn’t stop and wait. Real life continues, and you now have to navigate this with pregnancy hormones and a changing body. It can be stressful. If you’re feeling the burden, plan a little self-care:
- Have some early nights; you’ll need the extra sleep
- Relax more and put your feet up
- Identify any stress triggers and take steps to tackle them
- Go on a date with your partner; you’re still a couple as well as expectant parents and should honor this
- Get a massage or take a bubble bath
Having your first child is a joyous occasion. Few things in life will ever beat that experience. Make the most of this precious time by preparing yourself mentally for what is to come.