How To Prepare For Baby When You're A Working Woman

Photo: Pixabay

When you’re expecting a baby, you may choose to work up until it’s time to take the time off for maternity leave. If you’ve always been career driven then you may find it difficult to plan ahead, but this shouldn’t take it away from your desire to celebrate your baby with friends and family. It is going to be best to plan ahead as well as start making itineraries and lists as early as possible. Here is a quick starter list of things you will need:

  • Crib, cradle, or bassinet.
  • Crib mattress.
  • Crib bedding.
  • Waterproof mattress pad.
  • Diaper changing table.
  • Dresser or bins for clothing storage.
  • Glider or rocking chair.
  • Diaper pail.
  • Stroller
  • Towels 
  • Bag for supplies 
  • Breast pump 
  • Clothing
  • Baby toys

These are going to be the first things, but of course once you have made your list and separated them into categories you can start asking friends and family to help you. This can be given out at your pregnancy announcement party, gender reveal party or your baby shower. If you’re struggling for ideas, here's some inspiration on fun and unique pregnancy announcement ideas

How Do I Prepare For The Birth?
You may prepare in many ways and feel as if you have everything sorted. But, if are called in for an emergency c-section, or some other emergency, then your plans will be destroyed. So, expect the unexpected. Pregnancies can be unpredictable, so keep names and numbers nearby, as well as, prepare your hospital bag early on.  If you are a woman who has no time to prepare due to your work then you may find it tricky to get your mind in a good headspace. But it is vital to keep connected to the process and ensure that you are on top of your health at all times. Try not to lose focus of the end goal, but always listen to your body. Here are some quick tips to help you: 

  1. Join a class - prenatal classes, swimming, yoga or gentle dance
  2. Find strength and focus - look at what keeps you motivated and what keeps you grounded, you could look at journaling to help you. 
  3. Remove any negativity - you must be on top of your mental health at all times, because hormones can make you feel very lethargic and anxious.
  4. Be prepared - be prepared for things changing or for any hospital trips, as well as preparing your body with the best food and nourishment as possible. 
  5. Seek support - whether that’s from friends, or therapists, or your GP. Perhaps you want to join a Facebook group or online chat that will put your fears at ease by talking to other mothers. No matter what you’re going through or how remote your symptoms are, someone somewhere will be experiencing the same.
  6. Get up and out - if you’re working, that’s great but if you’re not working, you must ensure that you take time to get up and out and exercise gently where possible.
  7. Set rules with your partner - you need to be sure that your partner is on your wavelength and is aware of your feelings and hormones. Communicate well and be sure that you’re on the same page with every step of the pregnancy. 

How Long To Take For Maternity Leave? 
If you have a job that allows for maternity leave, take this time with your growing family as a blessing. However, what should you do if you feel that you’re not ready to go back to work? If this is because of some type of health reason then there may be some rights that you are entitled to. Some pregnancy-related conditions, such as severe postnatal depression, can amount to a disability, and you would be entitled to disability allowance as well as job protection if you feel it is disability discrimination. If your boss is flexible, they may work something out for you to work-from-home, but doesn't always work out that way. You can seek legal advice if you are concerned about how to strategize. 

Photo: Pixabay

How To Prepare A Baby’s Nursery 
It doesn’t have to be a really expensive project. Just decide on a budget and decorate accordingly.
Here's a list of basics:

  • Crib or Bassinet. One of the most important baby nursery essentials is a baby's bed. 
  • Bedding. Baby bedding is not just a necessity for your child's comfort; it can also be a fun part of the decorating process. 
  • Changing Table.
  • Storage Baskets. 
  • Dresser. 
  • Mobile. 
  • Rocking Chair. 
  • Clothes Hamper.

You can look at thrift stores or buy second hand on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. You can solicit your friends to make things for you or add your needs to a registry for your baby shower. It may seem expensive to decorate a nursery, but it doesn’t have to be. A lot of baby decorations can be made by things you already have and you can also DIY! The truth is, your baby will be just fine with the barest of baby essentials, they don’t need a full set of items when they’re newborns.

Is It Safe To Paint A Nursery?
Yes, if you decorate in good time then the fumes will be long gone and won’t affect the baby. But as a pregnant woman, you are going to be best avoiding any toxic fumes. Finish all painting and wallpapering at least eight weeks before baby's arrival, so you can leave windows open for ventilation. The furniture that you put inside the nursery will be the most important. You need things that are going to make everything easily accessible. You don't really need a changing table unless you just like the way it looks in the nursery. You can easily use mats and change your baby on the floor. These mats can be bought relatively inexpensively and can be rolled away. A moses basket will be just fine for the baby’s crib for the first few weeks of your baby’s life. As they grow, then you can buy a more suitable baby bed or crib. If you want to add a rug to the room then look at the best materials for babies that will be less harmful when they start moving around, like:  

  • Cotton.
  • Sisal.  
  • Wool.
  • Olefin. 
  • Shag.
These materials are best for babies and will not pose any threat to their health. If you want to add a new carpet then you should make sure this is done prior to the baby's arrival also. Scientists have found that chemicals used in the laying of new carpet or laminate can make it difficult for newborns to breathe. It may even affect babies while they are still in the womb. Avoid these risks and get as much done as possible whilst the baby is still safe inside you.

It is an exciting journey but the preparations for motherhood, especially when you're working can take time and effort that you just don’t have. Don’t stress out. You are capable of it. Just make your lists and solicit the help of your friends and loved ones.  

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