Q is for Questions to ask before having a baby
Motherhood happened to me before I cottoned on to it; it pretty much caught me unawares. I was not interested in learning much about the new journey I’d embarked on when I got pregnant. The physical changes I went through astounded me, but work and housework kept me occupied enough to not really think much about what was happening to me.
And then the baby arrived … and I had to woman up and deal with it. Boy, was I unprepared or what? I had bought some pregnancy related books from a children’s charity shop, but I never made time to read them.
In hindsight, there are so many questions I wished I had asked and found out the answers to. These would have made the motherhood road in the early days, weeks, and months a bit easier.
Indeed, considering the humongous resulting life changes, you would think that ALL parents would invest time in getting prepared for the parenting road as much as possible.
Below are a few questions that I considered, and many that I wish I had investigated before having my baby; knowing their answers would have definitely made a difference to my experience of mothering after giving birth. I would have felt informed and somewhat empowered. I would have had a lot more idea about some of what to expect.
Having a baby is one situation where knowledge is definitely power. The knowledge of key facts most definitely reduces the shock to one’s system, and takes some edge of the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness.
Knowing about the pain, tiredness, confusion, sleepless nights etc that awaits doesn’t reduce them, but it can help to be more mentally prepared to deal with them.
About my changes in my body
- What should I know about the physical changes my body will go through?
- When and where should I go for a bra fitting?
- What kind of bras could I use pre and postnatal?
- What kind of clothes should I wear as my bump grows?
- Should I wear bras if I’m breastfeeding every few hours?
- How does breastfeeding actually work?
- What is ‘normal’ in breastfeeding and what isn’t?
- What breastfeeding support is available in my area?
- What breastfeeding resources are helpful to be aware of?
- What are some common breastfeeding problems and their solutions?
About giving birth
- What are my birth options?
- What is a birth plan about and should I write one?
- What happens if I go past my due date?
- What’s the labour process like?
- How does my midwife support me when I’m in labour?
About Postnatal Care
- What happens after I have my baby at the hospital?
- What NHS support is available to me when I return home?
- What happens with my midwife appointments after I give birth?
- Who are health visitors?
- What interaction and support should I expect from my local health visiting team?
About bathing my baby
- How do I bath my baby?
- Where should I bath my baby?
- How often should I bath my baby?
- What bath products should I use or avoid?
- How long should I wait before my baby’s first bath?
About changing my baby
- What should I know about baby poo?
- What should I consider when choosing wipes?
- What should I consider when choosing nappies?
- What should I know about changing my baby when I’m out and about?
- What other products are worth getting to make the changing process as smooth as possible?
About my baby’s nappy?
- How do I put it on a nappy?
- How do I know if the nappy is too tight?
- Would the nappy always contain everything?
- How do I know when to move up a nappy size?
- How long should I leave each nappy on my baby?
About my baby’s sleep
- What is sleep training about?
- What can I do to support my baby’s sleep?
- How does sleep work for babies after they are born?
- What basic things are helpful to know about baby sleep?
- What impact might the sleep pattern of my baby have on my sleep?
About my baby’s crying
- Why might my baby cry?
- How do I deal with my baby crying?
- What if my baby’s crying gets too much, what do I do?
- Can I recognise my baby’s different cries for different things?
- What do I do if my baby cries when I’m around other people?
About my baby’s clothes
- What baby clothes should I buy?
- How many baby clothes should I buy?
- Is it okay to buy preloved clothes for my baby?
- How do I know when to move up a clothe size?
- Is it okay to buy baby clothes made from coloured fabric?
- How do I navigate stairs with a buggy?
- What are the main kinds of buggies available?
- What should I know about travelling with a buggy?
- What should I mainly consider when choosing a buggy?
- Where I’m I going to store my buggy when I’m not using it?
About key items to buy
- Where should I buy from?
- What should I avoid buying?
- What should I definitely buy?
- What is handy to buy that isn’t essential?
- What should I keep in mind when buying?
Over the next few months, I plan to share what I have since learnt about these questions; and I’ll definitely review them next time round.
This list is of course not exhaustive.
Which questions would you add to this list? Which questions are you glad you knew the answers to before having your baby?
My April 2015 #AtoZChallenge: Considering my Motherhood journey from A – Z
K is for Keeping up with Motherhood: Top 5
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