The following post was sent to us by Alexis Hall.  Alexis shares her thoughts on preparing for motherhood…

Top Five Ways to Prepare for Motherhood

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, you’re likely feeling a strange mixture of joy and fear. Having a baby is one of the most miraculous events in a woman’s life, but it’s also a daunting prospect — being in charge of a tiny human. Not to mention the worries of how much you’ll be spending before the baby comes and then for, at least, the next 18 years. Well, we’re here to help you put your fears aside. Remember, women have been having babies for thousands of years, and it hasn’t cost them a mint to do it.

Prepare the Baby’s Room

Don’t wait until the 11th hour to organize the nursery. Buy the crib, bed linens, dresser and other essential furniture before the baby arrives. It can make all the difference if you’re able to score hand-me-downs from friends and family. Cribs, strollers, high chairs and other necessary items are easily passed down. If you’re set on buying your babe a brand new crib, look to major retailers like Macy’s. Shopping online can help you unearth extra discounts, especially if you take on extra promotions and savings.

You’ll also want to stock up on diapers, wipes and burp cloths. When you have a newborn, you can never have enough diapers. Try to get the right size diaper for your new little one, but keep in mind most newborns start out with newborn and size one. Also be sure to add to your shopping list items such as bibs, bottles, Vaseline or Aquaphor, and a diaper bag. Stores like Amazon are great options for diapers and wipes, plus you can sign up for a subscription so you never run out.

If you plan to breastfeed, you’ll need to get a pump and a few nursing bras. And don’t balk at buying these bras; a nursing bra helps when you have to feed your baby on the go. Nowadays, they even make hands-free pumping bras to give new moms the option to multitask. Looks for sites that allow you to save when you buy in bundles.

 

Meals and Chores

If you have the freezer space, take the time to cook up several meals that you can freeze and then save for when the baby comes. Cooking is the last thing you’ll want to do when you have a newborn. Plus, it will save you money since you won’t need to order pricey takeout.

Now is also the time to organize your house and declutter. By getting stuff out of the way and finding homes for everything that’s taking up unnecessary space, you’ll give yourself room to breathe and won’t feel overwhelmed when you’ve got an infant desperate for attention. Consider also setting up a cleaning service. Even if it’s just for the duration of your maternity leave, having someone else come in to help with cleaning is an investment in your sanity and can help reduce stress. Certain national sites offer package discounts, while smaller operations might offer you a discount for regular cleanings.

Enlist Help

Before your tiny bundle of joy arrives, find people who can give you downtime; this is especially important if you’re a single mom. Being the primary caretaker to a demanding newborn is physically and emotionally exhausting. If you’re home alone with the baby eight or more hours a day, you need a friend, partner or family member to give you a chance to recharge. If you go it alone for too long, you could end up with postpartum depression, also known as PPD.
Remember the need for self-care during this roller coaster time. While it might sound silly, we’re not talking about sheet masks and bath bombs. Self-care for new moms can come in the form of time to yourself to read a book, exercise, or take a long shower. It’s also worth noting that taking time for yourself isn’t selfish or detrimental to your child’s development. If you’re running on fumes, you won’t be able to care for your baby the way you want.

Becoming a mother is a remarkable journey full of new experiences and challenges. When you bring one into the world, your entire life changes. Suddenly everything revolves around this beautiful little person who requires so much love and attention. If you’re a mom-to-be, it’s never too early to prepare for the new addition to your family.

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