It’s funny the things that end up front and centre when forecasting the day of your baby’s birth.
​For many mums-to-be, the highest priority is to name your new little human, for others, paint colours for the nursery. By all means, go for it, I wouldn’t dare block the ambitions of a soon-to-be-lioness!

However, there are a bunch of things that you’ll want to remember in advance that will otherwise be a pain in the neck if you don’t! So jot these down and you won’t miss a bit…
1. Pad up!
The bulk of your drawers are about to be engrossed by pads. It seems every orifice requires them. Nappies, breast pads, super-size sanitary pads, super-super size overnight pads. Get set and pad up!

Quick tip: go easy on the bulk nappies for newborns. Your bub will be growing every day and you’ll be amazed at how quickly he outgrows each nappy size. Buy two bulk boxes of the newborn variety, and watch him grow...
2. Pre-prepared meals
If you’re in full-on nesting mode, you may have already nailed this one.

Make four different recipes and double the quantities. Casserole-ish types work the best, or sauces for pasta are great too. Buy disposable containers and fill according to the peeps you’ll serve. You’ll forget what you’ve cooked so date and tag them, or don’t, and enjoy the surprise.

Better yet… Mr McCain has already done it for you – do a stock pile and freeze.

3. Have a baby shower
You don’t need to wait for the third trimester before you have one of these. Have one early so you still feel energetic and get to enjoy the fun. Wait ’til too late and your littlest companion will be earth-side, stealing your thunder.

Enjoy the fun and giggles that this celebration brings. Have a baby shower and you might be so well-prepped and looted-up, you’ll need shop for nothing.

4. Purchase the nursing essentials
You’ll need some well-fitted feeding bras and some super comfy, large nanna undies. Don’t get sucked in by cheap, ill-fitting synthetic bras – buy well and consider them an investment. And don’t forget your feeding pillow!
5. Get your files sorted
Your nesting instincts will serve you well with this one. This is a great time to get those loose papers in order, ladies… once that little bundle arrives, you might never have the opportunity (or inclination) again.

6. Make your essential baby purchases & set up nursery
Think essentials only. You can purchase the add-ons later, if necessary. There are so many seemingly cool gadgets and cute outfits that it’s easy to chew through your savings and get lost in the clutter.

Think: singlets, socks, mittens, onesies, wraps, spew cloths, linen and a great cot. If your living room is a reasonable distance from bub’s room, you might want to consider a baby monitor too. Work out how to use it before he arrives.
7. Get that capsule in the car
Don’t forget about this one! This is one of the most important tasks to check off that list.
This is where your partner comes in… it can be their first and most practical gift to you. This tells her you’re planning for the arrival of your baby too and that you take your family’s safety seriously.

Do it without her asking and she’ll love that you’re ahead-of-the-game. Plus, it’s kinda fun too, looking back at your expectant-capsule – nawww.

8. Know the breastfeeding basics
Don’t expect a blissful first experience if you haven’t got the basics. I was surprised at how little ‘instinct’ played a part in it at all. I’m not quite sure you can master this activity in advance, but you can certainly be equipped with a little know-how.

9. Get some sleep
That fabulous bod continues to do extraordinary things. Give it all the rest it needs. Turn in early and enjoy those lovely long sleep-ins that will help replenish it for the big event that lies ahead.

10. Get your hair cut and your nails done
You will have noticed that your hair has become thicker. It’s probably more glossy and gorgeous than it’s ever been. Perhaps you’ve had mildly wavy hair previously but are rocking a ‘fro right now that would make Bob Marley and the Wailers jealous.

That hair might have been fun for a season, but you’ll want a lot less of it when you’ve got a load more important things on your plate. Invest in a little pre-natal pep-up and trim that mane.
Your nails are hard and long, like you’ve never known. Your partner is likely loving those wild talons, begging for your finest back scratch.

11. Have a wax!
Ever had a wax job when you’re on your period? It’s nasty. However, the itch that follows the shave from your midwife in preparation for a C-Section, is worse!

It’s all good if you’re happy to birth naturally, amazonian-style, in fact, I’m kind of for it! However, for the mums anticipating a C-Section, that hair down there will need to get sparse, quick.

A wax is the best way to go. You don’t need it all off, but most of it. Get it done a week before your baby’s birth date.
Quick tip – cut the pubic hair down a little before you head to the beautician. You’ll thank me. You’re welcome.

12. Attend pre-natal classes
You may have had your head in-the-sand for the past few months, but it’s time to get up to speed and find your ‘inner birth’! If you’re birthing in a hospital, register for their pre-natal classes, or if you’re birthing at home, find a midwife and an accredited childbirth educator to help pull you through. You’ve got this!

13. Create a ‘who to contact when’ list
In the moments following your birth, you may well have a desire to let the whole world know of your joy. But stop for a minute!

You will want to have a cascading list of contacts. The last thing you want is for your mother-in-law to find out from the Facebook post of Jo, the president of the soccer club.

Get yourself out ahead of this, starting with your nearest and dearest, and then broadcasting to your Insta world from there.

Consider in advance the members of your core group and their preferred technology for communication ie. great grandma might not be on Snapchat, but may well be sitting next to her landline (remember those things?), counting the minutes… Don’t leave her out!

Take these steps to give yourself peace of mind so that when your big day comes, you don’t waste it by wracking your brain, or making silly mistakes because you were under prepared and under pressure.
Enjoy these precious weeks.
Mum of six fabulous kids and foster-mum to numerous others. Event manager, doula, childbirth educator, lactation counsellor, owner of Sydney Birth Support, Mamaway Advocate and an encourager of all mums out there giving it their best crack!

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