This post was sponsored by Americord. Information provided on stem cell banking was provided by Americord. All opinions are 100% my own.
If you are anything like I was in the weeks leading up to the birth of my first child you are probably reading everything you can get your hands on. When I had my son almost six years ago Pinterest was barely even a thing. I remember saving pictures of nurseries from retail websites on my computers hard drive. It was sort of like old school Pinterest. By the time my daughter was born a little over two years ago there was already so much more access to information and advice for new moms. Knowing what I know now, there are a few things I think all new moms should consider before their baby arrives.
Five Things to Think About Before Your New Baby Arrives
- Will you breastfeed or formula feed? or both? I wanted to breastfeed with my first, but I wasn’t super informed about how to get started. I relied a lot on the nurses at the hospital to show me the way. Most of my friends didn’t have kids yet, and there weren’t a million articles online on how to succeed. We ended up supplementing at the hospital, and that started our slippery slope to formula. With my second child I knew I wanted to try again, but I was so much more informed this time. I combed through information on websites, read books, and solicited advice from mom friends. The second time around we successfully breastfed for a year. Both of my kids are perfect and amazing even though the were nourished very differently in that first year. Whatever you decide make sure to take advantage of all the great information available. Here are a couple of resources to help you in your decision.
- LLLI | Breastfeeding Answers from La Leche League
- Kelly Mom
- The Fed is Best Foundation
- Do you know your leave options? I am fortunate enough to work for a company that provides great leave benefits, but I often find when speaking with new moms that many are not aware of their options. Some companies will offer company-paid leave as a benefit. More and more companies are offering this, but if you work for a company that isn’t quite there yet you may still have other options. Even if your company doesn’t offer company-paid leave they may offer access to short-term disability (STD) insurance. You can usually sign up during open enrollment. The key is making sure to sign up before you start trying to have a baby. Many policies require you to have the insurance for a certain amount of time before accessing the funds. You probably won’t be able to access funds if you sign up when you are 8 months pregnant. You might also consider reaching out to a third party insurance company to discuss options. In addition to paid options there are also laws in place to protect workers (and companies) in the event an employee needs to take time off to care for a new baby or their self after the birth of a child. The Family Medical Leave Act provides protection for many employees. In addition, your state may have their own laws. Make sure to have Dad check with his employer on his leave options too!
- United States Department of Labor | FMLA
- Maternity Leave, The Basics from Baby Center
- Have you thought about meal planning? After the baby arrives one of the last things you will want to do is prepare a meal. If you are the primary cook in your household you are going to want to have a plan. Otherwise, you are going to end up eating pizza and cereal every day. That’s exactly what we did after our first was born. Our friends and family was network is very small, and most of my single girlfriends weren’t doing a ton of cooking. With baby #2 our network was a bit larger and we were a bit smarter. I made sure the pantry was stocked before she arrived, and some amazing people from our church brought meals by for the first week after we were home. This was such an amazing blessing! You can also plan ahead by making freezer meals or prepping the ingredients for easy crockpot meals. Check out some of these easy meals you can plan for ahead of time.
- 21 Cheap and Easy Freezer Meals for a Frugal Budget– Smart Money, Simple Life
- 10 Crock-Pot Meals in Under an Hour– Eating on a Dime
- 30+ Kid Friendly Freezer Meals– Thriving Home
- Who will care for your baby when you return to work? This will most likely be one of the most difficult decisions you will make, but it is one you definitely need to plan ahead for. If you don’t plan on staying home or having a family member care for your child you will need to think about your options? Do you want a nanny? a licensed in-home care provider? a daycare center/ preschool? We were fortunate enough to send our first to daycare at my husbands work. My job was flexible enough that I was able to stop in regularly, so we were both constantly checking on him. Over time, we became comfortable that he was in good hands and he really enjoyed the social environment. After a few years we moved to a different area of town, and the 45 minute commute with a two year old was a bit much for my husband. We ended up moving our son to a preschool near home, and we absolutely love it! It’s more of a classroom environment as the kids get older, and I really like the structure of it. They offer multi-child discounts, so when our next child came along we were able to save some money on her care. Daycare is expensive, so you definitely need to make sure to budget for it. If your employer offers a Dependent Care FSA make sure to look into how you can create a tax free savings account for childcare. Also, make sure to understand how to claim child care expenses on your taxes.
- Child and Dependent Care Expenses– IRS.gov
- Child Care Reviews– Care.com
- Choosing a Child Care Provider– Florida Department of Children and Families (I bet your state has something similar)
- Should you bank your baby’s stem cells (cord blood, cord tissue, placenta tissue)? With both of my kids the only time this was discussed was during my intake appointment with the hospital. Our hospital has you go a few weeks early to make sure all of your information is in the system. Along with the 20 page packet of forms on medical information, billing and insurance, and care preferences there was a small pamphlet tucked into the packet provided. No one at the hospital could even explain what it was. If you aren’t sure what it means to bank stem cells you should definitely do some research.
What I have learned…
Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta collected immediately after birth. You only get one chance to save your baby’s cord blood, but it can be preserved for decades. You can also preserve the tissue of the umbilical cord and the placenta.
If you aren’t familiar with it you are probably wondering why you might want to preserve stem cells.The stem cells can be used to treat various medical problems in your child, their siblings and even family members. Stem cells from cord blood have been used to treat over 80 different diseases, including cancers, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies. Among these are leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
There are a lot of options out there, but Americord’s commitment to quality, innovation, and value make them a smart choice if you decide that stem cell banking is right for your family. Americord is FDA approved with the industry’s highest quality guarantee. Once you sign up you will receive a collection bag to put in your hospital bag. When you get to the hospital you just provide it to the doctor and they will collect the samples. Once you have them collected you just call for pick up. Send them with your completed paperwork to be stored a the cord blood bank.
There is so much great education over on www.americordblood.com if you want to learn more about your options.
There are so many things for new moms to consider, so I hope this helps you keep some important things on your list as you prepare for you new baby. For all the pro moms out there… I’d love to hear what else you think belongs on this list or about any must read resources!