7 Ways To Prepare For Your Baby That Have Nothing To Do With Your Nursery

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: April 08, 2024

If you’re pregnant, no matter which trimester– it’s likely that you’ve been thinking about your newborn baby nonstop. 


You’ve probably spent time thinking about what they’re going to look like, sound like, feel like, or considering how to baby-proof your home and feeling anxious about how your birth might go. There is so much mental, physical and emotional preparation prior to bringing a baby into your home, and from what I’ve experienced as a pregnant mom – the retail store spends a lot of time (and money) trying to convince pregnant moms to prepare for the wrong thing.


As we’ve said before, it doesn’t matter how cute your nursery is, it’s not going to help you learn to breastfeed, fold your laundry for you or help you get some extra sleep.


While most other registries will tell you which products you NEED to have (quite frankly the list is overwhelming), we want you to consider YOUR needs as you become a new parent– no matter if it’s for the first time or the fifth. With the BeHerVillage registry you can spend time preparing YOU for your new baby. We know that baby products have their time and place, but our goal is to help you consider your needs and desires for pregnancy, birth and postpartum.


Here are some ways you can prepare for your new baby that will take care of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs 

(and you can find them all on our registry guide)


#1. Childbirth Education


Do you really need someone to teach you how to birth your baby? I mean that could be a whole other rabbit hole in itself, because most of the time our bodies know exactly what to do. But for many moms-to-be in 21st century America, they’ve never seen a baby be born and aren’t exactly sure of all of the possible nuances of labor and birth. Add in the variables of hospitals, home births, personal readiness or fear– it leaves expectant moms and their partners with a lot of questions.


Taking a private childbirth education class can help you and your partner prepare YOUR birth. 


This is important because your class can be tailored to fit your desired birth experience and your feelings toward it. For example, if you are planning a hospital birth, are open to interventions and medications, but feel extremely nervous, your childbirth educator can address the birth process in a way that alleviates some of your fears and anxieties. Similarly, if you’re planning a home birth, your private class can help you feel ready for each step of labor in an empowered way. 


Things to consider when finding a childbirth educator or class:

Values & desires: ensure the class you take or the person you work with has aligned goals and values, for instance, if you’re planning on an unmedicated home birth, it might not be worthwhile to take a class that only offers information regarding hospital births. Similarly, if you’re of a certain religion or belief system, it may be helpful to work with someone within your scope of beliefs.
Timing: depending on whether the class is in-person, scheduled virtually, or a course to take on your own, you’ll want to make sure that whatever class style you choose works well with your (and your partner’s) schedule. 
Cost: the price for a private childbirth education class varies based on type of class and by educator. Shop around to make sure you’re paying a price that feels right for you. (And don’t forget you can put your childbirth ed classes right onto your BeHerVillage registry).


#2. Prenatal Yoga & Fitness

It’s no secret that birth is a highly physical event. And really so is the duration of pregnancy. While pregnancy isn’t the time to try and get into the best shape of your life, it is a time where maintaining a healthy movement routine can have lasting benefits for you and your baby. A movement professional who is trained in working with pregnant folks can offer you tools, workouts, stretches and more that will help you have a healthy pregnancy, birth and beyond. 
Taking classes that are pregnancy specific will help you move safe and effectively throughout your pregnancy, and will take into consideration your changing body and needs.
Along with the physical benefits of doing prenatal yoga or fitness, it can be really helpful to connect with other moms who are at the same stage of pregnancy. This kind of connection can be emotionally validating and offers a whole new level of support and understanding that can be hard to find elsewhere. 


Considerations for prenatal movement & fitness classes

Credentials: if you’re seeking out pregnancy-specific movement classes, it’s important that the people you work with are credentialed in some way, not just “well my wife was pregnant once so I know how to teach pregnant folks”. Whether it’s yoga or fitness classes, pregnancy-specific credentials will ensure the movements that you’re being taught are safe for you, your baby and for the longevity of your body. 
Class preferences: take into consideration whether you want a class that will make you sweaty and get a little bit out of breath or if you’re looking for a more gentle, softer sort of stretching focused class. Talk to the instructor or see if you can take a trial class to understand what you’re getting into before you commit.
Timing & location: some prenatal movement classes are hosted virtually, are pre-recorded, or require you to meet at a facility. It’s important to only choose a class if you feel comfortable with the timing and location of the class, for your mental and physical well being.


#3. Bodywork


Not only is your body growing a whole entire human from scratch, it is also growing and stretching itself to accommodate your pregnancy. It’s amazing and fascinating and deserves a lot of TLC. Bodywork can be anything from massage, myofascial release, chiropractic care, or acupuncture. While everyone’s experience is different, pregnancy can come with discomfort, ailments and even pain. Using bodywork for relief, comfort and alignment can help enhance your overall wellbeing during pregnancy. It’s a great way to take time to focus just on yourself and your body, to take time away from work, planning or the rest of your busy schedule, and it’s also a great way to prepare your body for the continuation of your pregnancy, birth and postpartum.


Your body deserves to be well taken care of, especially during pregnancy

Just as you are doing everything in your power to make sure your baby is growing healthily, it’s important to extend that type of care to yourself. It takes so much energy every day for your body to do what it’s doing, treating yourself to bodywork is a great way to thank yourself.


Finding bodywork that works for you

Credentials & experience: pregnant bodies have different needs and considerations than a non-pregnant body. From positioning to actual practice, it’s important that whatever professional you work with is able to make accommodations for whatever stage of pregnancy you’re currently in.
Your comfort: not all bodywork is created equal. Some techniques feel really relaxing, while others can be more intense, but provide great relief. It’s important that you speak with the provider to understand what the experience will be like for you. Make sure that in whatever type of bodywork you’re choosing, they can set you up comfortably with pillows and bolsters and blankets for your support.
Location & the perfect practitioner: it’s up to you how far you’re willing to travel for your bodywork, you might want the most convenient, around the corner location, or you might be willing to travel over an hour. To find the perfect practitioner, you can look for great reviews, get a consensus from a local Facebook Moms group, or – my favorite way– ask your doula who she recommends (doulas are always well connected).


#4 Maternity Photography


Maternity photography is such a great way to capture this small moment in time (even though pregnancy can sometimes feel like FOREVER). Your lovely big belly, the pregnancy glow, a perfect outfit and a professional photographer can be the ideal combination to help you feel beautiful and cherished. One of my own personal regrets is not having some professional maternity photographs taken with either of my pregnancies. I took tons of bathroom mirror photos, but nothing more. Maternity photography can feel a little bit indulgent– but you know we live for that here at BeHerVillage! We love celebrating moms and their growing bodies and what better way to celebrate the life you’ve been creating within you than to have someone photograph you?


A maternity photoshoot can be the perfect time capsule for you and your family


For some, pregnancy can feel like a blur, so taking the time to plan a photoshoot can help preserve the moment. You’ll have wonderful photos of you and your beautiful belly, your loving family, and maybe even your pup to commemorate a time of growth and strength– and it’ll be something fun to show the new baby once they’re old enough to understand. Choosing a professional maternity photographer means working with someone who has practice finding the best lighting and the most flattering angles, they know how to encourage your toddler to participate, and they know how to make you feel truly gorgeous (even if you’re feeling less so right now). 


Not all photographers are built the same, here’s what to look for

Cost: depending on their experience, their equipment, and other details like travel– the cost between photographers can vary greatly. Ask around and compare prices, but understand that especially when it comes to photography– you get what you pay for.
Experience: make sure you’re aware of your photographer's experience level before booking your photoshoot. There will definitely be a difference between someone who takes photos a couple weekends a year vs someone who spends most of their time in photography. There is no right or wrong decision, as it is yours to make, just be aware of your photographer’s experience level.
Samples & references: it’s totally normal to ask your photographer for references and samples of their work so you can see if it aligns with your vision and desires. 
Style & vibe: different photographers work differently! Some photographers only do photos in certain locations at certain times of the day. Some have a studio that you visit. Some are down to do a totally funky photoshoot. Make sure you have some ideas for your style and the feeling you’re going for, and shop for photographers accordingly.


#5 Mother Blessing


A mother blessing is different from a baby shower in that it is more focused on the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of the expectant mom. Rather than bringing the mom a bunch of pre-wrapped gifts for her baby, having brunch, and playing baby games, a mother blessing is a space dedicated to “bless” the mom as she gets ready to meet her baby. A mother blessing can be very ritualistic and include traditions passed down from generations to honor the journey into motherhood. For a deeper dive into a mother blessing ceremony, check here.


A mother blessing can be totally tailored to your preferences

There’s no one right way to have a mother blessing ceremony. The key components of a great ceremony include community, empowerment, support and love for the expectant mom. Your gathering should include people that you love, in a space that feels warm and inviting, and full of activities that make you feel really supported. While there doesn’t have to be an “official” ceremonial leader, it helps to have someone who can lead the group so you and your loved ones get to fully participate without worrying about the details. 

Choosing a mother blessing ceremony leader

Experience: if having a really experienced facilitator is important to you, make sure the person you work with has attended a number of different mother blessings. See that the person you choose will be able to offer you the experience and style you’re hoping for.

Involvement & space: you might find a facilitator who works out of a yoga practice or their own home, or they might come to you. No matter where your mother blessing ceremony is being held, it’s important that you know beforehand how involved you’ll need to be in the setup and arrangements.
Cost: like most service based products, the cost will vary depending on where you’re located, how far the facilitator needs to travel, and anything else that might cost money for the mother blessing ceremony to be a great experience. Ensure you know where your funds are going before committing.


#6 Gift Registry Consultation

Navigating the endless sea of baby products can feel incredibly daunting. Any standard baby registry will have you thinking you need a set of infant sneakers, tiny tiny towels, five different baby containers and a formula dispenser. But, the teams at these major retail stores don’t know the home you’re living in, the priorities you have, or the hand-me-downs your SIL has already given you. Working with a gift registry consultant can help you decide on the products and brands you want to include on your baby registry.

A gift registry expert is trained to help you find the products you need, and pass over the ones you don’t

You’ll be able to work with your consultant to know exactly what you want when it comes to your baby’s needs and your desires. You might really want a baby swing– your consultant will be able to help you figure out which one will work best for your home. You might be on the fence about pacifiers– your consultant will give you a lot of great tools to help you make the most informed decision. Spending money on a registry consultant is totally worth it because in the end, you’ll be saving money by NOT buying (or getting gifted) a bunch of stuff that you don’t actually need. Many of the doulas and other providers that you’ll find in the BeHerVillage registry guide have taken our own advocacy course and are well versed in all things baby gear.


Finding a consultant who works for you


Cost: the cost will vary person to person. You might find that the doula you’ve chosen offers this service as a low-cost add-on!
Your values: while the consultant you choose doesn’t necessarily have to completely align with your values, it’s important that they put your family’s needs and desires before their own opinions. You should never feel pushed into anything, only informed.
Expertise: if you have a unique circumstance or have very specific needs, it’s worthwhile finding a consultant who has worked with a family with similar needs before. For example if you live in a tiny one bedroom 5th floor apartment, working with a consultant who has only helped those in roomy ranch homes might not be a great fit. Similarly if you want to be eco-friendly, or budget conscious– it’s important to choose someone who can guide you with those important factors in mind.


#7. Car Seat Installation


Did you know that a staggering number of car seats are not installed correctly? While nobody ever intends to install their car seat incorrectly, there are nuances to every car seat and every vehicle that can make it tricky to get it right. Luckily, there are dedicated professionals to help you ensure your baby’s safety and your peace of mind.


Check your baby’s car seat BEFORE they arrive

Whether you’re giving birth at home or in a hospital, the first drive with a brand new baby can be a little nerve wracking. Are they buckled correctly? Is the seatbelt on the right way through the base? Is this angle correct? Do I need a mirror? SO MANY QUESTIONS. And all very reasonable. Car seats are not all created equally, and therefore have differences for installation, so asking for help with this is completely encouraged. They work with you 1-on-1 to help you feel as safe as possible.


Finding a car seat installation expert


Credentials: people can get certified to be a professional CPS (child passenger safety) technician. They have been certified and trained to understand the ins and outs of most vehicles and are knowledgeable and up to date with new car seats, protocols, and safety measures.
Experience: make sure whichever specialist you work with has experience with your vehicle and the style of car seat you’ve purchased.


Getting ready for your baby goes way beyond just setting up your nursery


Focusing on non-item aspects of pre-baby preparation will set you up for a smoother transition to parenthood. Make sure you’re getting your needs and desires met as well as anything else you need for peace of mind as you get ready to welcome your baby, and yourself as a new parent.
All of the services listed here can be found and registered for with the BeHerVillage registry. You deserve this kind of support and self-care.


BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Unique Gifts For Expectant Parents , Getting Ready For Your Baby
Tags: prenatal yoga , mother blessing , fit pregnancy , family photos , childbirth education , car seat installation , maternity photography


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