By Guest Blogger Emily Knight, Co-Owner of Doulas of Charlotte

Five Tips for Preparing for Parenthood

5. Prepare your home.

Make a list of things you know you will need once you bring home your bundle of joy. For instance, have diapers and wipes easily accessible in the main rooms you will be occupying. Have a changing area upstairs and downstairs.
Also, have several sleeping area options available. If you have a spouse that needs to return to work, you may want to consider having a separate room for you and baby to sleep in, so your partner can get the sleep they need to work. Stock up on delivery and take-out menus, as well as freezing pre-prepared meals. Having meals on hand can help reduce stress.

4. Always accept help.

When friends and family ask “Can I bring you something?” say YES!! It may be your favorite meal, more diapers or anything else you may realize you need. If nothing else, have them bring baby wipes! Trust me, you can never have too many baby wipes! They will continue to be a necessity throughout parenthood!

3. Find a pediatrician before your baby’s arrival.

As parents, you will have a set of standards and values you wish to abide by for your baby, and finding a pediatrician who supports your parenting wishes is of utmost importance. If you are wondering how to start, ask a doula! Doulas will be able to suggest supportive pediatricians based on your parenting preferences and styles. Schedule an interview with the pediatrician before your baby arrives. Then, determine if you are comfortable in their office with their policies and bedside manner.

2. Attend a Childbirth Education Class.

It is important to find a class that covers what to expect during your postpartum/newborn period, as well as during labor. Your Aunt Sally’s advice on child rearing may be well intentioned, but having a class that teaches options that you can weigh out and decide on your own what is best for your family will help you feel more confident as a parent. A well-taught class will discuss a variety of options such as co-sleeping, cloth vs. disposable diapers, bottle vs. breastfeeding (or both!) and loads of practice including what to expect in newborn behavior and how to soothe a newborn.

1. Hire a postpartum doula!

Oh how I wish I would have known this existed when I was a new parent. Most postpartum doulas provide unconditional support of parents’ wishes. One of the main reason parents contact me for postpartum support is to have help with getting sleep! Newborns require feeding every 2 to 3 hours at minimum for several weeks. In addition to lack of sleep, household maintenance and meals tend to fall to the wayside. A doula is not a babysitter or a nanny. A doula is a professionally trained support system. They should be trained in CPR and First Aid, as well as assisting in breast/bottle feeding. They can assist you with baby baths, light household duties and meal prep. Feeling rested and confident in parenting is something a doula can help provide. Not to mention, knowing your infant is cared for by a trained professional and having peace of mind is PRICELESS!

 


About Guest Blogger Emily Knight:

Emily KnightEmily Knight is a parent, writer, labor and postpartum doula and Co-Owner of Doulas of Charlotte. She teaches Lamaze Based Childbirth Education (trained at Duke) and was an
L&D RN in Charlotte for eight years. She is currently taking clients and can be reached at: www.doulasofcharlotte.com and www.facebook.com/doulasofcharlotte .