You're almost there! If your due date is rapidly approaching, or in my case, your due date has come and gone with no new little bundle yet, you are probably trying to get some last remaining to do's scratched off your list.
Baby websites like Babycenter and The Bump have some great to do lists to get you prepped in the final weeks before labor begins. These include finding a pediatrician for your baby, stocking newborn essentials, installing the car seat, and lining up help for after baby's arrival. If you are a gluten free mommy-to-be however, there are a few additional things to consider when packing your hospital bag and getting things ready to go for baby's arrival. The lists below take into account my past experience as well as some great advice from girlfriends and their birthing experiences. Good luck and here's to a great delivery!
To Do's Before Baby's Arrival
- Pack Your Hospital Bag
- Contact Your Hospital about Allergen Free Meals
- Try an Online Grocery Service
- Make some "Freezer-Friendly" Meals
- Pamper Yourself
What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
We've had our bags packed for the past few weeks, so it figures baby is taking its time. We did have two false alarms and having that bag ready to go was certainly a stress relief. This list is by no means exhaustive, but a good starting point when thinking of what to take with you to the hospital, especially if you are gluten free. Several of my mom friends offered suggestions as well.
- Gluten Free toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer, cosmetics) - hairbrush, toothbrush, rubber bands
- Comfortable PJs (bring a couple) and a robe or warm sweater
- Socks, slippers and/or flip flops
- Something to relax you during labor - CDs of music, pictures of your other children
- Electronic devices for capturing the moment - iPhone, cameras and accompanying chargers
- Gluten free snacks - check out my gluten free snack blog post. Gluten free granola bars, Crunchmaster multi-grain crisps, and pretzels travel well.
- Phone numbers, Email addresses for contacting family and friends with the big news
- Nursing bra, comfortable sports bra, nipple cream
- Maternity underwear (several pairs) - the mesh undies the hospital gives you are good but you'll run out quickly
- Yoga pants, tank tops, maternity outfit for going home - yes, you will be a smaller maternity size but don't expect to wear regular clothes home!
- An outfit for the baby, including socks, onesie, diaper and hat, baby blanket
Contact Your Hospital About Allergen Free Meals
Since you are going to a hospital, you'd think getting any dietary concerns you have addressed would be a given. Just to be safe though, be an advocate for yourself and contact the hospital to ensure you can get gluten free/dairy free or whatever allergen free meal service that you need during your stay. You can indicate that when you register at the hospital, but it's a good idea to let the staff know once you arrive in labor & delivery as well.
Try out an Online Grocery Service
My husband and I used to order groceries online quite frequently in my pre-celiac days, until I accidentally ordered and received 11 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal (I intended to order 1 but obviously fat-fingered the entry). I was pleasantly surprised to re-establish our account with Peapod recently and find a wide selection of gluten free and dairy free items, ranging from Udi bread and Van's waffles to Glutino breakfast bars and Silk yogurts. Peapod also has clear icon indicators for each product that is considered gluten free and dairy free. Stocking the household with groceries can be done with the click of the mouse while feeding the little one. To me, it's worth the extra cost of delivery for that convenience.
Make Some Freezer-Friendly Gluten Free Meals (Dairy free too!)
Fast. Easy. Convenient. Nutritious. If you can stock your freezer with a few go-to meals before baby comes, that will be one less thing to think about. You need meals that you know are safe to eat and convenient, but are also nutritious for you and baby (if you are nursing). Here are a few meal ideas that either come from the frozen foods section or are easy to prep and freeze:
- Italian Beef Sandwiches, Baked Fries and Veggies: Hormel Italian Style Beef Roast with Au Jus, gluten free sandwich bun (Schar, Udi), Ore Ida golden crinkles fries,and a frozen veggie
- Gluten free Lasagna: Whole Foods has a great recipe I've made for gluten and dairy free lasagna. I use tofu to make my own tofu ricotta cheese that actually tastes like ricotta cheese too!
- Pasta Veggie Soup: This veggie soup is packed with nutrients, easy to make, and filling. Add a gluten free roll or a sandwich and you've got a quick dinner.
Everyone says to take these last extra moments to enjoy some time for yourself because it will be hard to come by once baby arrives. I've enjoyed a few extra naps, long walks (which have proven unsuccessful to induce labor), an eyebrow wax, and catching up on some mindless television. Whatever relaxes you and makes you feel a bit better as you slug through these last uncomfortable days and weeks, do it. You'll be re-charged to birth that baby when the time comes!
To find out more about living gladly without gluten and dairy, Like Gladly Gluten Free on Facebook. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Tags: babycenter, celiac disease, dairy free, delivery date, freezer friendly meals, gladly gluten free, gluten free, gluten free snacks, Hormel, peapod, pregnancy, soup, the bump, what to pack for the hospital, whole foods