Dr Richard C. Woolfson
Right now, you’re pregnant with your first baby. She’s due to make an appearance very soon and you are wondering what to expect and how to prepare for her arrival. Don’t worry. Every first-time parent-to-be gets anxious at this stage, when they finally realise they will soon be caring 24/7 for her newborn!
WHAT TO EXPECT You’ll experience a higher level of tiredness than you have ever known. Your baby will have her own schedule, which won’t tie in with yours (at least not in the early stages). Chances are, she’ll wake up when you want to sleep, and she’ll need to be fed and changed at regular intervals.
How you can prepare Get as much rest and relaxation as you can before your baby is born. Think about your current routine and consider how you can cut down on it. For instance, maybe you don’t need to do grocery shopping every day. Talk to your hubby about sharing the baby care load, particularly at the start. There’s no reason why he can’t play his part in looking after the new arrival.
WHAT TO EXPECT Your social life will change drastically because you will be so preoccupied with your newborn that you won’t have as much time – and certainly not as much energy or enthusiasm – for going out with your friends or to the movies. You may begin to feel socially isolated.
How you can prepare Accept that, for this period of your life, you will be unable to socialise as much as you did before – although, in time, you will. Before your due date, ask your closest pals over to your house for coffee.
Related: 10 things every new parent should do
WHAT TO EXPECT If you decide to become a stay-at-home mum, your family income will drop significantly. You probably won’t have as much disposable cash each month as you did previously. You will also have the additional costs of your new arrival’s essentials.
How you can prepare If possible, ask friends and relatives to buy specific presents for your baby (or to give you cash or vouchers). The gift of a stroller or cot, for example, reduces the financial strain. During your pregnancy, try to save as much as you can – every little bit helps. Keep a close watch on your weekly budget, and avoid unnecessary purchases, until you have a good idea of running costs.