Becoming a mother can be overwhelming! There a million things you have to learn and even though you try to prepare as much as you can, you will never really feel “ready”. But there are things you can do to help prepare yourself and your family for your beautiful new addition, such as asking yourself questions and having a plan for when your baby is here. There are important choices to make before birth that can help you relieve the stress of having a baby.
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Asking yourself questions and making important choices before birth and your baby arrives will help ease the stress and pressure of trying to figure everything out after your baby is here. You will be consumed with a whole other life and it’s important to get as many things in order as you can before your baby arrives. This will also give you peace of mind and stability when the new journey of motherhood begins, which can be overwhelming and unpredictable.
I always find it best to be prepared and have everything in order that I can beforehand!
These 5 questions by no means covers everything that you need to think about or decide before birth and before your baby arrives. Be sure to download my ultimate checklist of important questions you need to ask before your baby arrives. Making choices based off of those questions will make your life so much easier and get you ready for the roller coaster of parenting! You can access my checklist below!
Asking yourself these questions and making your important choices before birth will help you easily transition into this new season of your life and your family’s life! Once you make these important choices, you will be able to easily and effectively plan what is best for your newly grown family.
6 Important Choices to Make Before Your Baby Arrives
Please know that I am not a doctor, physician, or professional of any kind. All opinions are my own and formed my own experiences. You can read my full disclosure, disclaimer, and terms policies here.
Having these questions already answered will help you so much because when your baby is actually here there will be another million choices and decisions you have to make! I always find it better to get done what you can now so you save yourself stress when things get really hectic.
1- Will I breastfeed or formula feed?
One of the important choices you will have to make before birth is whether you will breastfeed or formula feed. You probably will hear the question (if you haven’t heard it already), “are you planning to breastfeed?”. Some may even be as bold to ask “you’re planning to breastfeed, right?”. This is because one of the most assumed choices people think that you have already made is whether you are breastfeeding or not.
If you haven’t decided yet, don’t worry! There are a couple of different options that you have even though it feels like your choices are just black or white. Here are a couple options you have:
- Option 1- plan to fully breastfeed.
- Option 2- plan to breastfeed along with pump.
- Option 3- plan to breastfeed and are open to formula feeding for supplementing.
- Option 4- just formula feed.
(These are not your only options because you can create your own customized option by combining different aspects of these options but for the sake of this post I’m just naming a couple.)
In my opinion, you don’t have to have it ALL figured out. Don’t stress yourself over having a perfect plan. My advice is to prepare as much as you can while being open to change and circumstances to arise. For example, if you are planning to breastfeed then make sure you educate yourself, maybe go to a class, and surround yourself with support. And if you feel comfortable enough, maybe purchase a couple of bottles just in case you have to pump or supplement. This doesn’t mean that you will have to use it, but having a backup plan just in case if you run into issues is always wise.
If you are planning to pump then make sure you research different breast pumps and find one that works best for you. If you are planning to formula feed then make sure you research different formulas and differences between brands.
Also, be sure to decide how you feel about supplementing. If everything goes well and you can breastfeed, that’s awesome! But sometimes health concerns, delivery issues, and other situations can occur that can prevent you from fully breastfeeding and the doctors may encourage you to supplement. Be sure to have a backup plan just in case things don’t run smoothly- hopefully, you need your back up plan!
While I’m totally all for breastfeeding and I understand the incredible benefits of breastfeeding I’m also totally fine with mothers who plan to bottle feed/formula feed. Why? Because I trust that each expectant mother is planning to do what’s best for her baby and for her. I trust that every mother is doing her research and making an informed decision. Who am I to judge or mom shame someone because they didn’t do what I chose??
To make your choice, talk to your husband, talk to your family or those who you trust and choose an option and make a decision that works best for you!
2- Will baby sleep in a crib or bassinet? In your room or another room?
Another important choice to make before birth is figuring out where you want your baby to sleep. These days you have soo many options! Such as, you can have your baby sleep in a bassinet in your room, or you can have a mini crib in your room, or you can have your baby sleep in a bassinet in their own room or a different space such as the living room, or you can have your baby sleep in the crib in his own room right away.
The options are endless because it depends on your living style, your home, and your personal preference.
Many parents chose to have a combination of spaces. For example, the baby will sleep in a bassinet in their room for the first 6 weeks because it’s easier for mom to breastfeed the baby and go back to sleep. Then when the baby is older, the parents transition him to his own room or crib. Some parents choose to not purchase a crib right away and just have their baby sleep in a bassinet until she outgrows it. No choice is right or wrong! It’s all about what you choose and what’s best for your family.
Be sure to stay within the safe sleeping arrangements and beware of SIDS. Talk to your doctor about places where your baby is absolutely not supposed to be sleeping. Make sure all sleeping mechanisms are certified as a baby sleep station.
Some parents even just buy a bassinet and a crib and don’t decide on where their baby is going to sleep until they actually bring baby home. That’s totally fine too! Like I said, make a choice based on what works best for you and your family.
Trying to figure out what you’re baby will sleep in? I have you covered! Be sure to check out my post “Ultimate List of Necessary Baby Furniture” to help you choose what will work best for you and your family!
3- Is mom returning to work?
Oh, the age old question- “Are you returning to work or staying at home with your baby?”. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this question I would be rich! It’s important to have a plan and make a choice about what you plan to do about work before birth because you don’t want to be caught off guard the number of things you have to worry about after your baby arrives. Having a plan or even a vague one about whether you will be returning to work and when you will be returning to work will help you with the transition process. Remember, no choice is right or wrong- it’s all about what works best for your family! Try not to compare yourself or your situation or family to another family or mother. Do what works best for your family. Whether that means you return to work or stay home with your baby- anything you choose is commendable!
4- Where are you delivering?
A very important choice to make before birth is to actually figure out where you are giving birth. I know, I know…this seems obvious that you will have to make this choice but it’s also worth bringing up because I found that some expectant mothers wait until their second trimester or even third trimester to actually decide about where they are delivering. You can choose the closest hospital near you or a favorite hospital that may be further away or even a birthing center. You might even want a home birth with a certified doula or registered nurse! Choose what is best for you and your family and within your means. I know some mothers who have no idea where they are giving birth simply because they cannot afford some options. Be sure to utilize all of your available help and research as much as you can! Some hospitals do require you to complete a hospital tour before you can actually deliver there so also double check your hospital’s policies and be sure to meet all requirements!
(If you need help finding a doctor or hospital to deliver in, maybe reading my post “How to Find an OBGYN in 5 Steps” will help!)
5- How do you feel about cord clamping and skin to skin?
Another important choice to make before birth is what you want to do after birth. You have a couple of options: immediate cord clamping, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin or immediate weighing. I’ll briefly go through each of these options so can have knowledge of each one.
But I highly recommend you talk to your OBGYN or doctor/nurse to find out the standard procedures/process of the hospital you are delivering at. Also, be sure to do research on each option so you can make an informed decision based on what you feel is best for you.
Delayed Cord Clamping
Immediately after birth, your baby will be still attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord. Some hospitals immediately cut the umbilical cord and then place the baby on mama while others automatically wait a couple minutes to cut the cord, which is called delayed cord clamping.
Delayed cord clamping is the prolongation of time between the baby is delivered and the umbilical cord is cut. Delayed cord clamping lets the blood (and iron) to be transferred from the placenta to the baby. Allowing more of the blood to be transferred to the baby has many benefits. Usually delayed cord clamping is when the umbilical cord is cut 3-4 minutes after your baby is delivered.
Skin to Skin
Another choice to make is whether you want your baby to be placed on you immediately after birth, which is called skin to skin. Some doctors automatically take the baby to be weighed and measured and they do several tests to make sure the baby is healthy. One of the great benefits of skin to skin is the immediate bond you get to make with your baby. If all goes well and your delivery is successful with little to complications then you can request immediate skin to skin and the doctors and nurses will immediately give you your baby. (I’m starting to see that is way more common is hospitals to now automatically give the newborn to their mother for immediate skin to skin!)
Be sure to make your decision and share your choices with your doctor so the doctors and nurses know your wishes before going into labor and delivery so they can oblige your requests. I personally chose to delay cord clamping and wanted immediate skin to skin. These 2 things went hand in hand because as soon as my daughter was born she was placed on me, while still attached to the placenta, and then after 4 or 5 minutes my husband cut the umbilical cord and it was then when they took her for 5 minutes to weight, measure and clean her.
Doctors and nurses are really accommodating and want you to have your best experience! So don’t feel bad letting them know what you want!
6- Which pediatrician are you using?
It’s often overlooked because it’s something that you don’t have to worry about right now, but choosing which pediatrician your coming baby will go to is an important decision to make before birth. Most hospitals need the name and information of the pediatrician before they can discharge you’re and your baby. Do some research, ask friends who have smaller children who their doctor is and take recommendations from people you trust.
You can even ask your doctor/OBGYN if they have any recommendations. Some hospitals have doctors in their program or staff that have affiliate practices. You can even visit some pediatrician’s offices and meet the doctors before your baby is born so you can get an accurate feel for the doctor and the office.
>> So there you have it! Those are the 6 important choices to make before birth. Of course, you’re going to have to make a TON of other choices before birth but these 6 questions sum up the importance of certain important decisions you will need to make. Remember, asking yourself questions and making important choices before your baby arrives will help ease the stress and pressure of trying to figure everything out after your baby is here.
Free Checklist of Important Questions to Answer before Birth
Because these are not the ONLY decisions you will have to make, I created an Ultimate Checklist of Important Questions to Ask Before Birth! That way, you can make sure to check off everything you need to have discussed and decided without feeling like you missed anything. I made this list when I was pregnant and it helped me so much with planning and the preparation of my new little addition. So, I wanted to share my ultimate checklist with you so it can help you too! Be sure to download your copy of the checklist below!
Get your free ultimate checklist of important questions to ask before birth Now!
I hope I was able to help you feel more prepared and less stressed with the coming of your new little one!