My first pregnancy I had all my ducks in a row pretty early on. By the third trimester I was pretty much just waiting for baby to come. And of course she made us wait past my due date. The following two pregnancies haven’t quite been the same. It’s funny – despite having my kids relatively close together, after 1-2 years I had completely forgotten what a newborn was like and what I needed to have on hand in preparation of their arrival.
My third pregnancy I’ve by far been the worst about this. I kept thinking I had plenty of time and next thing I knew I was 38 weeks pregnant with a crazy long to do list and not a lot of time to do it in (or a lot of energy to do it with)! Because of that I wanted to compile some things that would help other moms in the same boat. You know – the pregnant moms who are preoccupied with other kids but still have a new baby to prepare for, but also the moms who this may be their first baby and are just not totally sure of what to have done.
(1) Decide on cord blood banking and have it set up. We didn’t bank cord blood or cord tissue with our first two babies, and each time said we would do it with the next baby. This time, knowing this may very well be our last baby, we wanted to make sure we did preserve newborn stem cells. But this was something that sat lingering on my to-do list for a while. I would have been so upset if baby had come early and we hadn’t enrolled! We decided to go with Cord Blood Registry (CBR) and despite me calling them late on a Friday night (in slight panic knowing our baby could come anytime) they were able to quickly get us set up and overnight a kit to us. They also reassured me by telling me the hospital we were delivering at had their kits on hand so even if the kit didn’t get to us on time there would be one we could use and we would be able to complete the process. If you aren’t familiar with preserving newborn stem cells, it involves collecting the leftover blood from your baby’s umbilical cord (cord blood) and a piece of the cord itself, which are both rich sources of powerful stem cells. Doing this may give your child or another immediate family member the opportunity to use this resource for current cord blood therapies. In the future, there may be other potential applications like regenerative medicine. What makes CBR stand out in the cord blood banking industry is their commitment to helping families and furthering the research involved in using cord blood stem cells. They provide payment plans, gift registry options, and even have the Newborn Possibilities Program which assists families with a qualifying medical need. They have also partnered with reputable research institutions on FDA-regulated clinical trials and are helping to fund clinical trials to investigate other potential uses for newborn stem cells. If you’re interested preserving your newborn’s stem cells with CBR, follow these 5 simple steps:
- Enroll online at cordblood.com/enroll or call 1-888-240-1996
- CBR ships the kit directly to you to bring with you to the hospital on the big day
- You hand the kit off to your healthcare provider to perform the collection once baby is born
- Then you call the medical courier, RELAX, and let CBR handle the rest (they will let you know once it has been received)
If you know you’re interested, you can click here to get a promo code for $200 off the initial fees after filling out your info.
I also recommend watching this helpful video that breaks down how it all works.
(2) Order a breast pump. Typically during the third trimester is when your doctor will write you a prescription for a breast pump, if needed. Don’t be like me and let this just sit until you realize you have a week left in this pregnancy. This is something most moms will want and need. I also always tell first time moms how helpful it was for me to take my breast pump to the hospital when I had Maddie Grace and have the nurses show me how it worked – and they sent me home with lots of extra parts and pieces for it! These days insurance will usually pay for a breast pump and you may have to order it through a certain provider which takes some time so go ahead and get it done!
(3) Have baby sleep arrangements set up. I would say have the whole nursery set up but by this point I know that really a newborn just needs a safe place to sleep and the finishing touches on the nursery can come later. We had the bassinet with clean sheets ready to go before baby came!
(4) Order newborn essentials. This is something I put off and ended up having to rush ship just in case. There are sooo many things newborns need and I had forgotten about. Footed sleepers, pacifiers, breastfeeding accessories (nipple cream, cooling pads, nursing bras and tanks, etc), swaddle blankets, diapers, and wipes are all must haves!
(5) Wash newborn clothes. At least some of them. I always tell people not to wash them all because babies grow so fast you may end up not wearing all of them! But you will want to go ahead and have some that are clean on hand for your baby to wear and not have to worry about when you get home from the hospital.
(6) Pack your hospital bag. I know this one seems like such a drain if you are a repeat mom. Just throw some stuff in a bag right? Well when you go into labor you may not be thinking clearly or may be in a complete rush. It’s great to go ahead and have your bag at least mostly packed beforehand and go ahead and set aside things like your CBR collection kit and nursing pillow that you will want to have on hand as well. Check out this helpful check-list from CBR, too.
(7) Pre-register and tour the hospital. Another thing I kept thinking wasn’t all that important this time around but it was! For our third pregnancy we were using a completely new hospital. Being pre-registered help the admissions process be a breeze and touring the hospital beforehand made the day go easier!
(8) Install the car seat. And if you have other children configure where their car seats are going in your car. You have to take baby home in a car seat that is correctly installed so this is something that has to be done and not something you want to be fidgeting with when in labor. For us this time it was also good to go ahead and get MG used to sitting in the third row of my car and Tripp in his new seat so that I had an idea of what loading up the car in the morning would be like in advance!
(9) Get nails and hair done. And try to get them done as close to baby’s arrival as possible! With Tripp I had a hair appointment the day I went into labor that I had to cancel. And I’m still upset about how bad my roots looked in pictures! Schedule a touch up for both as close to your due date as you can get in there – but if you forget or baby comes early it’s not the end of the world!
(10) Take maternity pictures. If you’re going to have maternity pictures done, this is the time to do it. Obviously after baby comes this is one thing you can’t go back and do! Most photographers will tell you 34-36 weeks is the best time to have them done! I wasn’t able to squeeze them in this time until after 37 weeks and that’s okay too – I just wanted to have them done! Other women choose to do them a little earlier before they get too swollen. Talk to your photographer about when the best time is and when you can both fit it in your schedules before you forget!
What did you find important to have done before baby’s big arrival? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!