The last few weeks before you meet your baby for the first time are filled with excitement and expectation—and, often, a lot of anxiety, too. If this is your first child, the fear of the unknown can be a lot to overcome, but all parents, regardless of how many children they have had, will naturally be apprehensive as the baby’s arrival draws closer.
So the first word of advice is this: Breathe! Remember, breathwork isn’t just for women about to deliver. It can be useful for anyone, anywhere, at any time, as a means to reconnect with the essential you and release tension. Breathe, deeply and slowly, in your nose and out your mouth. Mindfully focus on the sensation of the cool air filling your lungs, warming your heart, and easing your mind. Deep breathing of this kind will help relax you in almost any circumstance; it’s the entranceway to calm, and with practice, you can access it wherever and whenever you want. And you’ll certainly want that sense of calm often after the baby comes!
There are other important things to remember about you and your new child both before and after the big event. Here are three that you might want to consider and plan for:
1. The soul and spirit
A new human being is about to join your family. Perhaps that person will make you a family. Who will that person grow up to be? Set an intention to gently help your baby along their path day by day and year by year, always remembering that it is their path, and not yours, that needs to be nurtured. Your baby will one day be a toddler, then an adolescent, then a teenager, and then an adult, but they will always want your love and need your support. Respect and cherish that human being’s unique soul and spirit.
2. Your self in silence
Once you, too, were a baby, then a toddler, then an adolescent, then a teenager. And now you are about to be a parent. But you are still you, and you mustn’t ever lose yourself within the challenging role of parent. Every day, find some time for yourself, even if it’s only five minutes. You may or may not have a partner, or other children, or living parents, or siblings, or pets, or a career. But you do have you, so take time to quietly honor your unique energy and the amazing thing you are doing in being a parent. Silently contemplate and celebrate yourself and your own journey.
3. Some stuff with style
Child rearing isn’t all mindfulness and focused intent—it should be fun, too! There are so many awesome, practical, and cool products and services that you’ll want and need, from diaper bags and strollers to blankets and onesies to baby dishes and easy organic recipes suitable for little tummies. There’s something for every budget, so make up a registry and share it with friends and loved ones, or just keep it handy for when you want a little personal “shop therapy.”
Your impending parenthood is an incredible adventure, one that will present opportunities for growth that you can hardly imagine now. Be mindful of this rare and special time in your life and the life of your child to come, and do all you can to relax, honor, and enjoy every precious moment.