Oh what to do before the baby arrives?! One of the worst parts of pregnancy is playing the waiting game. When you are on baby watch and can perform a countdown on one hand, everyday can seem like a stretch paired with uncomfortable, restless nights.

Being on maternity leave allots you all this wonderful free time, however, it can be overwhelming.  “What do I need to get done?” is the question that floats in my head on a daily basis. Since most soon to be mom’s like myself might be antsy to greet their little one, I wanted to create a list of how to effectively utilize and enjoy the free time when waiting to give birth.
1. Paperwork: Is your hospital registration complete? How about your State Disability paperwork? Make sure that your insurance information is correct so that you don’t run into any problems once the bills roll through.
2. How to Use Your Breast Pump: You don’t want to try and figure out how to use this machine at 2 AM with a crying baby. To avoid getting flustered, familiarize yourself on how to use your breast pump so you don’t end up throwing it against the wall when you are in need of it.
3. Meal Preparation: Start cooking in bulk and freeze the leftovers. You may also want to stock up in the grocery store to avoid running out of any favorite foods or snacks. Also, print out easy to make recipes such as smoothies and stews from Pinterest if you want to switch up your meal prep.
4. Postpartum Kit: I am creating a postpartum kit that includes: Healing Postpartum Pads, Tea that promotes milk production and natural perineum spray that will help with child birth recovery. I know I will thank myself later for this.
5. Hospital Bag: I plan to do a detailed post on what’s in my hospital bag after my baby boy is here. This is to let you know what you really need and what is unnecessary. In the meantime, I used this list as a guide to pack my hospital bag.
6. Take Photos: Take as many photos as you can with you belly. Although some pregnancy experiences aren’t always the best and you might feel like a beached whale, this life changing experience will end soon! Enjoy the moment and document it!
7. Complete any chores: Finish the last minute touches to the nursery and complete any last minute chores around the house because you probably won’t have the time or energy once the baby arrives. Also, talk to a friend or family member who offers you extra help and see if they can assist you with any errands that you typically complete during the week.
8. Sleep: Need I say more?
9. Splurge: Get your nails done, go shopping and eat out as much as you can! My favorite way to splurge is to dress up and eat at high end restaurants that typically aren’t baby friendly.

10. Enjoy solitude: Turn off your phone, step away from social media and take a bath, read, color whatever you must do. Just soak up alone time.

Olivia Irene

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