While a new mum and dad-to-be is trying to wrap their brain around the idea of becoming a new parent, the female body is already long on its way in preparing for the new resident taking up boarding in the womb for the next nine months.
Anxiety and fear of the unknown are common emotions new parents cycle through while awaiting the arrival of the new member of the family. The key is to not let the fear consume you. Here are some tips on ways to emotionally prepare for the change in your life that is about to occur.
Enjoy couple time as often as you can. When baby arrives, all attention will be on the new little human, leaving little time for anything else.
Couple time can be as simple as catching an afternoon movie or taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood. Spending time alone with your spouse as often as you can, will certainly help curb anxiety.
Take the time to talk about your fears and ask your husband what he’s most fearful of with the arrival of the new baby.
Dads often get overlooked, so be sure to take his emotional needs into consideration, too. Communication with one another, no matter how rational or irrational the fear may seem, is crucial.
Sleeping in on Saturday morning is also a great, highly overlooked option, too. When the baby arrives, you are no longer on your schedule.
You’re on baby’s schedule and that schedule generally means you’ll be up at all hours of the night and early morning to feed the baby, change the baby’s diaper and comfort the baby. This will go on for months. Relish in the chance to sleep in on as many mornings as you can before the nine months are up!
With all the changes happening to mum’s body, you’ll probably be a little or even a lot more tired than what you are used to. This is normal and all part of the changes happening within your body. Don’t feel guilty about taking naps during the day if you feel like it and your schedule allows. There’s a lot of change happening to your body in a relatively short period of time, even if you don’t ‘look’ pregnant yet.
Don’t be afraid to ask your OB/GYN questions, no matter how silly or embarrassing you think they are. Doctors love to share their knowledge and it’s a good bet they’ve already been asked the same questions by other first-time parents-to-be countless times, so ask away.
The two most crucial pieces of advice in preparing for the arrival of your first newborn is to expect the unexpected and live in the moment. There are many wonderful little experiences awaiting you in this next journey of life. Those last few minutes before your new baby is born will be surreal. No matter how many books you read, websites you visit or videos you watch, those final moments are in a monumental class all their own. Relish every second.
Shannon Duffy, mum of two boys, is the co-author of three books including The Couples Guide to Pregnancy & Beyond (Blue Leaf Publications). She has been quoted by CNN on multiple occasions, as well as iVillage, GalTime and Parenting Magazine, offering up advice and tips on parenting. www.ShannonMarieDuffy.com
Got a question about your pregnancy? Ask Shannon in the comments section below.