Relax, breathe and work through the smart mum’s guide to getting baby-ready
1 Practise labour breathing
‘Once you get used to being pregnant, everything can tick along quite nicely, then it’s time for another significant life change with the birth, hence why lots of women have mood changes!’ says Dr Bijlani. ‘Use anxiety-management techniques from your antenatal classes, if you’re feeling worried about giving birth.’
2 See your GP
'Simple things like someone cooking a meal for you after you have your baby can make a big difference'
If, at any point, you feel you can’t cope, book an appointment with your GP. Ease worries about being a mum by lining up happy-to-help-ers. ‘Simple things like someone cooking a meal for you after you have your baby can make a big difference,’ says Dr Bijlani.
3 Discuss your birth plan
You may feel angry with your partner at this point, as you feel they get the easy part. Do your birth plan together and talk about the role he might play during labour. ‘This will calm you and bring a sense of control, says Emma.
4 Pack your hospital bag
Now your home is ready, it’s time to pack your hospital bag. ‘You’ll need comfy clothes, knickers, slippers, dressing gown, toiletries, snacks and drinks, nursing bra, breast pads and maternity pads. And for baby: sleep suits, vests, nappies, muslins, socks, hat and blanket,’ says Tessa. Pack a phone charger, too.
'Offering to receive work updates shows dedication'
5 Stay in touch with your work
‘Plan to stay in touch during your leave,’ advises Caroline. ‘Offering to receive updates shows dedication.’ Do a proper handover. ‘And get a written commitment from your employer,’ she adds. You can also discuss your Staying In Touch days.