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Ten tips for expectant parents

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2015 | 12:02 AM

Finding out you're going to be a parent can be both exciting and stressful. But preparation makes for a smoother transition. Ensuring the health of both yourself and your child is critical, so never neglect one over the other.

Today, Lindsay Pinchuk, mother of two, and founder and chief executive officer of Bump Club

and Beyond, a 'mommy hub', is offering 10 helpful preparation tips to aid expectant parents prepare for that joyous occasion.

1. Get a bouncer. Decide who's invited into the delivery room, and let the nurses and your loved ones or partner enforce your policy.

2. Be the CEO of your family. When it comes to parenting decisions, listen to advice, but don't be pressured into not doing what's best for your family. Everyone always has advice or is the 'expert' in such matters, but you alone know what's best for your family. So, while listening to advice, use your instincts and common sense to implement what's best.

3. Bump up your social circle. Friends with children can be a valuable asset for parenting advice and get-togethers. Socialise with them and get to see how children and parents relate, how children behave and so on. This will help to give you valuable insight into parenting dos and don'ts and what to expect when your time comes.

4. Shower yourself. When creating a registry, don't overlook useful items you'll need the most. Include diapers that provide outstanding skin care for your newborn's delicate skin. Wipes are also essential. Look for ones with triple-clean layers that are tough on messes and gentle on skin. Never underestimate the importance of the right kind of diapers. Cheaper isn't always better.

5. Get informed. Take classes or read material on infant CPR, birthing, parenting, schooling, playtime, proper diet, special needs - you name it. Draft your significant other and anyone who will be caring for the baby in your knowledge gathering. You can never have too much information. The more you know, the better your chances of being good parents.

6. Learn the basics. Find a class, watch videos or read up on basics such as how to diaper, swaddle and bathe your baby; proper breastfeeding practices; caring for a newborn/infant; when to change their diet, and so on. Don't take anything for granted. Knowing and understanding the simple things will matter a great deal when the time comes.

7. Read the manual. Babies don't come with a manual, but their gear does. Be sure to read life-saving information like your car seat manual. Take nothing for granted. It is important to understand proper operating procedure for all your child's equipment.

8. Hug it out. Skin-to-skin contact with the baby right after birth helps regulate the baby's breathing and heartbeat, and keeps him or her warm and prepared to nurse.

9. Pack early. Pack your hospital bag a few weeks beforehand. The hospital is no hotel, so don't forget essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, toiletries, an extra pillow, flip flops for the shower, a robe, and an extra bag.

10. Hoard. Some hospitals will send you home with ice packs, disposable underwear and other supplies to help aid recovery. Take what you can!

Still stressed? Take a deep breath and relax in the knowledge that no matter what happens, the love you'll feel for your baby is indescribable. Bringing a baby into the world is hard work, so accept all the help you can from friends and family.