Practical Preparation

Encourage people to treat you instead of baby

If people ask you what gifts you would like, perhaps suggest vouchers which will give you the chance to get what you really need and desire when the time comes.

Start making a list of little jobs you can delegate to those around you when they ask ‘what can I do to help?’.

More information about your options in labour when you give birth:

LINK: Breech Birth
LINK: Vaginal Sweep
LINK: Epidural
LINK: Caesarean Section
LINK: Ican caesarean section information
LINK: Induction of Labour
LINK: NICE Guidelines

Stock up your freezer with good wholesome meals.  Spend a day with a friend or family member cooking batches – chat and cook!

Choose your thank you cards and invest in a pad to write down who has given you what.

If you think you might breastfeed, why not suss out local support groups now?

Check out where you would find baby massage classes now for the early days as this can really help calm your baby and yourself!  Check out our section on breastfeeding.

Nice things to do while you are waiting for your little one:  Pregnancy massage, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, osteopathy ands so on. Whatever ticks your box all can all help with minor pregnancy ailments and birth preparation. Always consult your midwife or GP if you have any concerns regarding your or your baby’s health or well being.

Getting fit for birth and practising your pelvic floor exercises helps birth progress more smoothly and aids return the pelvic floor tone faster once your baby is born.

How about exploring some aromatherapy oils and using them before the baby comes? When used during labour they will take away the clinical smell.

Get on your birth ball and help get your baby into the best position for birth!

LINK: Birth Ball

A little day in the life with a new baby video clip:

Car seat practicalities

Ensure your baby car seat fits your car correctly.


Home birth kit

There should not be much mess but be prepared.  You may not give birth in your home in exactly the room or setting where you originally planned.

LINK: Homebirth
LINK: Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services


Homebirth Essentials

  • A waterproof sheet. A cheap shower curtain or camping ground sheet will do the trick (for the floor and or the bed)
  • Have a pile of newspapers nearby.  They provide good absorbency (the Financial Times is the most absorbent!)
  • Know where your emersion or hot water supply is in order to ensure enough hot water if you are having a pool birth
  • Know how to boost your central heating
  • Spare torch and batteries
  • Candles, massage and/or aromatherapy oils (check these are safe for a labouring woman)
  • Laptop, iPod, or CD player for any music you wish. Do what you like, you’re at home!
  • Ice cubes to suck on
  • Food in the fridge and plenty of tea bags and snacks for the labouring mum and all attendants
  • Straws
  • Old towels (or new if you don’t mind them getting a bit mucky)
  • Old basin/bowl (for the placenta)

Nesting, not stressing!

A little biology:  the mothering hormone ‘prolactin’ helps mum adapt to her new role.  So ladies, give into the urge to clean without overdoing it.  Remembr : nest not stress!

LINK: Prolactin

Breastfeeding must be easy, it’s natural???

It may be what nature intends, but truth is breastfeeding can be tricky. The secret is to ask for HELP! Find out all the sources of support around you whilst you are pregnant, so you feel more confident about asking for support when your little bundle arrives.

LINK: Breastfeeding myths

Baby first aid

How about taking a basic first aid course and learning resuscitation techniques?  Check out St John’s Ambulance ( ) or the Red Cross ( ) for further information. Alternatively your local NCT branch may run courses.

Can a doula make a difference?

Research shows that the presence of a doula can

  • Shorten first time labour by an average of 2 hours
  • Decrease the chance of caeserean section by 50%
  • Decrease the need for pain medication
  • Help partners participate with confidence
  • Increase success in breastfeeding

(Source: ‘Mothering the Mother’ Klaus, Kennell & Klaus 1993)

LINK: Doula UK
LINK: British Doulas
LINK: Nurturing Birth

If family and friends are far away you may feel you need some added support after your baby is born. A postnatal doula may be just the help and support you need to provide you with practical as well as emotional support.

Parent and baby groups

It’s good to explore where these groups are and if it is a group you might like to think abourt attending. Take along a friend or your mum for added support.

Ask your midwife about groups in the area or seek out your local Children’s Centre.

If you are not a group person, how about checking out our Baby Wisdom UK Facebook page with tips everyday that chat about the topics we most commonly come across.

Over due date

  • Plan to do nice things after your due date – spoil yourself a trip to the pictures
  • Have a pedicure
  • Organise your Internet shopping
  • Familiarise your partner with your birth bag – what’s in it, what needs to go and what needs to stay
  • Stock up on sanitary towels and nappies

Whilst you are waiting, how to change a baby’s nappy:

Bored and waiting for baby to arrive? Fancy surfing some mum and baby sites? Here are a few we’ve found.  We aren’t recommending them, just sharing a taster to help you seek and find something you like. Take a look!

LINK: AIMS Association for the improvement of maternity services
LINK: Birth Choice
LINK: Breastfeeding
LINK: Dads
LINK: Doula UK
LINK: NCT National Childbirth Trust, parenting charity
LINK: NCT Parenting
LINK: NHS National Health Service birth to 5 years information
LINK: Postnatal Depression