There is so much fun and excitement surrounding the news of expectant new parents. But along with tiny shoes, cute little clothes and picking out the baby’s name, come a lot of other things to consider. Below are 5 areas to research and plan for before your baby arrives.
- Understand your health insurance benefits
Between regular pregnancy OB appointments, lab work, labor, delivery and pediatrician appointments, having a baby is expensive. Before your become pregnant or early on in your pregnancy is the time to know exactly what help you can anticipate on receiving from your insurance benefits. It is also a good time to ask about unforeseen circumstances that could potentially arise. Which could include needing to see a specialist during your pregnancy or having a cesarean delivery.
Putting together a pregnancy budget may be helpful to anticipate how much pregnancy and delivery funds to set aside.
2. Understand your maternity and paternity benefits
It is unfortunate that the United States doesn’t have mandated laws for maternity or paternity leave. Thankfully, many companies do offer these benefits to expectant parents. Along with knowing your pregnancy insurance benefits, before baby arrives is a good time to understand what, if any, maternity and paternity benefits your company offers. It’s also good to understand your company’s policy on using any personal, vacation or sick leave in addition to the maternity and paternity benefits. Many companies will allow families to combine leave with personal time, allowing the new parent more time to adjust and bond with their newborn.
3. Find out when your baby will need to be added to your insurance policy
This is another good thing to find out very early into your pregnancy. Your company’s human resources manager or your insurance broker will be able to help you understand when it’s necessary to add your newborn onto the plan and what forms will be required. Often, baby will need to be added within the first 30 – 60 days, but this is a specific question to ask your HR manager or insurance carrier.
4. Start establishing your village
It is never to early to start thinking about who you will want supporting your family before, during and after your newborn makes their big debut. This includes everyone from family, friends and birth professionals. Utilize as much help as you can and take people up on their offers. Here are some people to consider:
- Immediate family. If you are considering having any family stay with you in the first weeks to several months, please make sure that these family members will be helpful around the home, with older siblings , running errands etc. The goal should be to allow you, the new parents, to rest and bond with your baby. Be cautious with anyone that you feel may cause extra stress by needing to be entertained/hosted or just personalities that don’t meld well with yours. Limit the amount of time they stay with you (or have them stay in a hotel or Air BnB) and give yourselves two weeks after the birth of your baby before having them fly in. These two weeks will allow mama to recover from birth and give both you and your spouse time to rest, establish breastfeeding and get to know your baby. I recommend this two week window for Intended Parents utilizing a surrogate as well. A lot happens in the first few weeks and generally speaking, most new parents like the quiet time to rest, process the delivery and bond with their newborn.
- Friends. Take them up on their offers to help with pets, older siblings and meal deliveries. If they ask how they can help, have a list ready. Put a friend be in charge of setting up a meal train that multiple friends, family members and neighbors can access to help. Most of these services are free and have the option to calendar for extras like play dates with older children or walking the dog.
- Providers. There are many to consider, but several that are necessary. Among these are your OB/Midwife and the baby’s pediatrician. Additional providers to consider are:
- Birth Doula
- Postpartum Doula
- Newborn Care Specialist
- Newborn Nanny
- Night Nanny
- Mother’s helper
You may want to consider some additional services such as; house cleaning, placenta encapsulation, belly binding, food delivery, Amazon Prime, Thrive, newborn photography, etc. Before baby arrives is the time to anticipate and plan for what services your family will want. Make a list of your priorities and start researching!
This is another category to look into sooner rather than later. If you know you will need to utilize childcare services, either a daycare or an in home provider such as a Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist, start researching and reaching out to companies ASAP. It is actually very common for daycare centers or centers that enroll infants (not all take infants) to have long waiting lists, some upwards of 1 year in advance. Nannies and Newborn Care Specialists are often booked many months in advance and finding the right fit for your family can take some time. Plan accordingly and allow your family enough time to find the perfect fit.
Along with all the fun of planning the baby shower, nursery design and picking out all the baby necessities, don’t put off the not so fun parts of preparing for your baby’s arrival. Understanding your insurance benefits, maternity/paternity leave and knowing when to add baby to your insurance plan are all really important and will provide your family with information needed to help make decisions throughout your pregnancy. Establishing your village and planning for childcare will take some time to research, but having this information early will help you budget, secure providers, plan for guests and feel much more prepared for your baby’s big debut!
The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future.
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