Health & Wellness: How to prepare for your baby like a pediatrician – Daily Herald

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If you’re expecting a baby and don’t feel ready, you are in good company! According to a 2020 survey by Repeller, 39% of parents said they didn’t feel ready to have kids before conceiving. The good news is that there are tons of resources to support you as you prepare — and you will definitely learn while on the job.
As a pediatrician and parent, I know how nerve-wracking it can be to contemplate parenthood. So here are some things you can do to be more ready: make a plan for feeding, choose a pediatrician, buy what you need and know the symptoms of postpartum depression. By taking these simple steps to prepare, you can look forward to your new little one with more joy and confidence.
There are three major options for feeding your baby — nursing, pumping, formula feeding or a combination — and each option has its pros and cons. The benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby are significant, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. To help you prepare, here are some resources to check out:
After researching, make a plan for how you’d like to feed your baby, and then mentally prepare yourself to adjust that plan. Breastfeeding is more complex than it looks, and getting the routine down can be difficult, leading to frustration, anxiety and even depression. Sometimes, even your best-laid plans just don’t pan out. But the most important things are a happy, healthy baby and a happy, healthy mom, whatever that ends up looking like!
When you’re still in the hospital after giving birth, your care team will probably ask you to choose a pediatrician. It’s a good idea to add that to your pre-baby to-do list so you don’t have to worry about it! 
“It’s a good idea to start looking for a doctor about 3 months before your baby is due,” according to Kids Health. “Ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers and doctors you know. Then, check your insurance company’s website to see if the doctors are in your plan.”
Here are some other factors to consider:
More often than not, you don’t need to spend big money on products. Just make sure the things you’re buying are safe and appropriate for newborn age. For example, avoid buying cribs that have bumpers or pillows, as those are not conducive to a safe sleep environment for your little one.
When you’re considering an item, think about the practicality of it. If it’s a stroller or car seat, is it light enough for you to carry with a baby strapped in? Will the stroller fit in your trunk? Are those swaddles lightweight enough for a Utah summer? Are those pajamas stretchy enough to slip off a sleepy baby during a midnight diaper change?
Check out “Preparing For a Newborn Baby” at for a list of items to buy, skip or just borrow.
As you’re preparing for your newborn’s arrival, it’s also important to prepare for the changes you will experience after delivery. Please be aware that, “nationally, about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression,” according to the CDC.
As your pediatrician, we will check in with you, and your obstetrician will, too, at your postpartum appointments. Watch yourself for signs of postpartum depression, like frequent crying, feeling like you’re not bonding with your baby, severe anger, feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of death or suicide. If you’re having these symptoms or something just doesn’t feel right, seek support from your loved ones and your doctor.
To be more prepared for your new little one’s arrival, make a plan for feeding, choose a pediatrician, buy what you need and know the symptoms of postpartum depression. And if you’d like some extra education from an expert in kids, consider attending a local Talk with a Doc event, where a pediatrician will give you a good foundation for taking care of your baby.
Dr. Bryan Weed is a pediatrician at Utah Valley Pediatrics, which has nine locations throughout Utah Valley.
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