There’s no way to know for sure exactly when your little one will arrive, but you’re armed with a due date, and that guess is a pretty handy tool for getting ready – especially since having a new baby on the way means that there’s a lot to get ready for. Whether you’ve had your hospital bag packed for the last month or you’re feeling a little more laid-back about your preparations, there are probably a few different things you have left to do in the last few weeks before you can bring your little bundle of joy home with you.
Make a birth announcement list
Whether you’re planning on sending out a formal card or an email blast, there’s a good chance that, once your baby arrives, you won’t be feeling quite as focused on preparations for the birth announcement. You’ll have a lot of other things to think about! Now is a great time to pick out a template if you’re planning on a formal card and to track down the current contact information for all of the family and friends who should be told about the newest arrival to your family. It’s also a good time to make a list of everyone you or your partner feel it’s important to more informally tell when labor begins, or when your baby is born. Putting together that mass text in the delivery room means there’s a good chance that you, or your partner, will be distracted enough that you might not make as complete a list as you might like.
Review your workplace’s maternity benefits or leave policy
If you’re planning on working after you give birth, now is a great time to take another look at your workplace’s maternity benefits policy. Even if you already have a plan for leave that you feel secure about, it can be helpful to remind yourself of what all of your options are. This includes any flexibility that may be available through that policy, including the option of short-term disability.
Solidify feeding plans
Whether you’re planning to breast- or bottle-feed your little one, you can help set yourself up for a smooth feeding experience by doing a little homework ahead of time. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, check your health plan benefits. You might be able to make use of a lactation counselor or classes through a covered provider. health plan. If you’re planning on pumping, or think having a breast pump around might be useful, follow these steps to get your pump.
- To rent, or buy?: Consider whether you should rent or buy a pump. Contact your health plan to learn more about your options and coverage.
- Start looking for a pump: Find out which providers are covered within the network, and decide which type works best for you and your family.
- Order your pump: When you find one that your plan covers and that works for you, you can take the (well-informed) leap and order a pump by phone or online from a durable medical equipment provider.
Set up the car seat
Even the most confident driver can feel a little nervous the first time they drive a car that has their newborn in the back seat. Making sure the car seat is fully installed ahead of time can help to ease some of those nerves. If you’re parenting with a partner, setting up the car seat now means you’ll get the benefit of two heads being better than one. This can be helpful if this is your first car seat installation. And if you run into trouble in the installation process, installing now means you have plenty of time to look up extra instructions online. Some fire departments or police departments also offer programs where they install car seats for parents, to make sure the installation is done perfectly.
Learn how to add your baby to your insurance plan
To ensure continuous coverage, it is best to add your baby to your health plan right away. Infants might see their healthcare providers seven or more times throughout the first year of life, and receive doses of a number of important immunizations, so it’s essential that you add your little one to your health plan.
Finally, don’t hesitate to make your own list, and stick to it! These last weeks before you get to meet your baby in person are a great time to spend time with friends, reconnect with family, or take some time for yourself. It is also a good time to establish your support system and identify those individuals you can outreach when you need assistance. It may be a great time to run errands and make sure you feel as prepared as you can be, but they’re also a great time to kick back a little and try to relax before your little one comes along and brings all that newborn excitement and chaos.
To review the specifics of your health plan, find a doctor or pharmacy, download a digital ID card, and much more, log in to your secure account. You can also call Member Services at the number on the back of your health plan ID card (TTY: 711).