Want to relax and enjoy the time with your new bundle of joy? A little planning goes a long way.

As you're in week 22 of your pregnancy and probably enjoying that burst of energy that comes with the second trimester, it's a good time to start planning for your baby's arrival to ease your transition into motherhood.

Here's a list of what you should consider before your baby comes:

Prepare your nursery and delivery bag

Start to browse for items in the baby's department to fill your nursery — this will help you and your husband prepare for your baby's arrival. Having essentials, like diapers, stocked up at home will also help ease you upon the birth of the baby.

To bank cord blood or not

Cord blood, the baby's blood that remains in the placenta and umbilical cord after delivery, contains stems cells that can be used to treat blood diseases. Stem cells from your baby's cord blood can be collected after delivery and stored for future use. It's useful to speak to private blood banks or Singapore Cord Blood Bank to find out your options.

Sort out work issues

Inform your boss early about your due date and maternity leave and start planning for a smooth handover.

Call in reinforcements

Line up help for the first week or two of baby's arrival. An extra pair of helping hands while adjusting to life with a newborn is always useful as you get used to baby and parenthood. Think about family members or close friends you could recruit. You can also consider hiring an experienced confinement nanny in-house for the first month to take care of your meals and your baby. Conserving your energy in those first hectic weeks will be worth the investment.

If you're hiring a new domestic helper, get her in a few months before delivery so you and your family have sufficient time to familiarise yourselves with her and how she can help around the house. Building trust will help reduce unnecessary conflicts and stress in the future.

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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr TAN Shu Qi Senior O&G Resident,
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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