This checklist for 2nd time parents aims to raise awareness of a few issues to be aware of during pregnancy, for birth and with your new baby. It is about helping you to be better prepared for birth and your new baby
Even if you are planning a caesarean, you can adapt this checklist to meet your needs – also being mindful that it is possible to go into labour before labour starts so being organised and ready is still useful.
Worries or fears
How are you doing? This can be a time to talk through your previous birth as well as any struggles you may have experienced in the early days to feel prepared for doing it all again.
This is an important factor because you need to make sure your children are being looked after before you can focus on labour again. If this isn’t straight-forward, make a list of options with numbers for daytime, evening, through the night and weekends.
Packing for birth
Just in case labour and birth are quick and you need to move fast – have everything packed and ready to go. If you are getting a taxi or a lift – make sure that number is saved and easy to find.
Preparing your house
Think about what you might need when your baby is here and where you might want to nest for a few days. Do you have cushions to sit up comfortably? Have you stocked up with food? Do you need to batch cook and put some meals in the freezer? Do you have snacks and easy food? Have you got the baby and post-birth essentials? Do you need childcare help?
This can be brief or it is possible for this stage to rumble on for a few days with Braxton Hicks contractions, mild contractions, cramping, back-ache and maybe some fidgety nesting. Go with it if it is taking a while – get your birth bag and house ready for when baby is here, rest, eat, use your birth ball.
Quick labour – being ready
No-one knows how long labour and birth will be but second labours can be speedy once they get going, especially compared to the first time. It can be useful to prepare for a fast labour so you are ready to head to hospital or to call out a midwife for a home-birth as soon as your contractions feel like they are established.
Listen to your instincts
Try to be guided by what feels right – to be comfortable, to be calm, to work with your contractions, as well as thinking about going to hospital or calling out your midwife for a home birth.
The pace and intensity of your contractions can change quickly – labour can go from plodding to intense and labour can go from steady to pushing and giving birth in minutes. It can be powerful so go with it, listen to instincts and be guided by your body.
Many women talk about how recovery can feel different, possibly because birth may have been more straight-forward and possibly because you have done it before and you know a bit more of what to expect. Even if you feel great – you still need to take it easy, to let your body rest and heal.
Cuddles & pottering
As you recover, rest, get to know your new baby and spend time with your older child, take it easy, curl up in bed or on the sofa, potter and be looked after.
If you are pregnant and preparing for birth and a new baby again, it can be helpful to talk it through and to think about what you might need. Read through this checklist for 2nd time parents and you can book a session with me to ask questions and be better prepared.
Checklist for 2nd time parents: you can download this checklist so you can use it to give you and your partner prompts.
Copyright: Janine Smith
For pregnancy support and birth preparation, I have digital courses and you can book sessions with me to answer your questions and for more reassurance. I am also on hand for baby preparation and support during the 4th trimester.
antenatal & postnatal specialist | working with parents since 2002
Always seek medical support if you are concerned about yourself or your baby. Even if it is just a feeling that something isn’t right.