If you’re expecting a baby, huge congratulations! Having a baby is life-changing, wonderful and a thrilling adventure! I’m really excited for you! So now, with the news of your pregnancy having been announced to friends and family, you may be wondering…what’s next? What should you do first?

Well, here’s a list of five things to do before baby arrives.

Hands up, I didn’t do all of these when I was pregnant, but with the benefit of hindsight, I should have done! I highly suggest that you do at least some of these while you have the chance.

As a mum of two myself, I know how quickly those nine months do go.  Even if at several points in your pregnancy you’ll probably feel like you’ve been pregnant FOREVER, it really isn’t long. And you’ll have lots to organise before your baby is born.

I’d highly recommend that try to avoid getting so lost in the excitement that you forget to take some time out for yourself during your pregnancy! Decide now what would you like to do before baby arrives and be sure to get it scheduled in your diary.

Things to do before having a baby

  1. Plan a Baby Moon

Without doubt your life will never be the same again once your baby has been born. Of course, I mean that in the best possible way. But it does mean that there won’t be much time for you and your partner initially.

Travelling across the country or to other corners of the world is unlikely to be at the top of your priority list with a baby in the family. So, plan a holiday or mini break.

Travel to a far-flung location or go on that city break that you’ve always wanted to. With a baby in tow, travel will be more complicated in the future. So, use the time you have now to tick off those travel destinations that have forever been on your wish list.

I recommend planning these ‘baby-moon’ trips for the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy rather than the third as you’ll probably be more comfortable and have a smaller baby bump to lug around.

You may also find that some airlines don’t let you travel close to your due date – always check their policies before you book flights.

2. Treat yourself to a pampering session or spa break

Of course, you should ensure to eat well, drink plenty of water and rest regularly during your pregnancy. But you also could indulge in a spot of relaxation and pampering time too! After all, you’re growing a little person in there and need to look after yourself.

A home pampering session could involve a relaxing soak in a hot bath, listening to your favourite music. Why not invest in some soft fluffy towels and luxury toiletries to enhance the experience, hey? Or you could enjoy a regular night in alone watching your favourite TV show or reading your favourite book or magazine.

Or, take it up a notch and enjoy a spa day with your partner or girlfriends. Spa days are a popular way to rejuvenate as you get to spend quality time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and come out with glowing skin and feeling like a chilled-out goddess!

A pregnancy massage could also really help with aches and pains in your back, ease sore muscles and reduce tension.  Luckily, here in Dorset and neighbouring Hampshire, we have some amazing hotels with fantastic spa facilities such as Chewton Glen and Rhinefield House. Both highly recommended!

3. Book a maternity photoshoot

If maternity photography was popular around the time I was pregnant with my own children, I would have loved to have had some photos taken. And this is something that I hear from a lot of mums who come into my photography studio with their babies.

The thing is, unless you have another child, you may not ever get the chance again to capture your pregnancy in photographs. What a shame to potentially miss out on this opportunity!

Both you and your child will love to look back on photographs of your beautiful body in those final stages of your pregnancy, in years to come!

I recommend that if you would like me to capture your growing baby bump in photos, to book in as soon as possible after your 20-week scan when you know your expected due date. Do also book in for a newborn photoshoot at that time as well.

That way, we can confirm the slot in my diary, and you won’t run the risk of being too late to book. As your due day approaches, you’ll be glad you sorted it early as it’ll be one less thing to think about.

The beautiful maternity pictures I will create will make you look and feel fabulous. Did you know that I’m an award-winning maternity photographer?

I have a stunning collection of designer maternity gowns for you to choose from, or we can opt for simple photos – the session is completely bespoke to you.

Your maternity photoshoot can also be done in my studio here in Poole, near Bournemouth, Dorset. Or, we can venture outdoors to your favourite local location, whatever the season.

4. Host a Baby Shower

Baby showers are really popular these days as a way of celebrating your unborn baby, so I couldn’t leave this off my list of things to do before baby arrives, could I?

Friends and family of the mum-to-be get together to share gifts and well-wishes, and it’s a great excuse to have some quality time with your besties before your baby arrives.

Usually, a friend will organise a baby shower for you, sometimes as a surprise. But if you definitely would like one, be sure to let them know. A baby shower is a fun occasion which usually includes baby-themed games and party food, so will take some organising. Ideally, don’t hold it too close to your due date – babies can sometimes arrive weeks early!

5. Get lots of sleep if you can

A final suggestion in my list of things to do before baby arrives is to sleep! I know it’s easier said than done as having a big baby bump towards the end of your pregnancy can make sleep more difficult. But, once you are on your maternity leave especially, try to resist the urge to keep busy or clean the house!

The urge to ‘nest’ can become overwhelming in the final stages of your pregnancy but leave the housework if you can. Rest your body and take the chance now to get as much shut-eye as possible. Sleep in the daytime if you can and get early nights.

I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be getting much sleep in the initial days and weeks after your baby is born. Believe me, a tired, burnt-out new mum will find it so much harder when the little one arrives than a mum who’s rested, relaxed and in tip-top shape on the big day.

Newborn baby photographer Poole

Which of these will you find time for?

I hope this list of things to do before baby arrives has been useful? Let me know which ones you hope to do in the comments section below.

Good luck with your pregnancy and I hope to see you in my photography studio soon! If you’re interested in booking in with me for maternity photos or newborn photos, please get in touch by completing this form.

Karen x