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May 17, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Planning for Baby Before & After Arrival

Congrats, you're going to be parents! Review our check-list to insure your baby business is in order.


__ How much of my pregnancy and delivery our health insurance covers.

__ Discuss adding newborn to my health insurance.

__ Learn what type of baby care my insurance covers.

__ OB/GYN or a midwife? __________.

__ Where and how do I want to deliver my baby? _____________________.

__ Tell my boss (know legal options beforehand) about pregnancy. Learn if he/she is open to my prenatal appointments during work hours if necessary.

__ Learn about my rights as an expectant working woman. (Download a copy of the Family Medical Leave Act at

__ Ask for a list of pediatricians covered under my plan.

__ Ask friends to recommend pediatricians.

__ Choose a good pediatrician. (Make a list of questions to ask in an interview.)

__ Determine if I will need child care for the baby, i.e., full- or part-time care?

__ Research and visit local day cares.

__ Put name on waiting lists if necessary.

__ Pick a baby announcement.

__ Gather friends’ & family addresses so they’re ready for announcements and for calls after the baby arrives.

__ Prewash newborn clothing in Dreft or another safe detergent.

__ Purchase or borrow a baby crib or bassinet and set it up in my room.

__ Make and freeze dinner meals (a life saver when there’s no time for quick stops at the grocery store!).

__ Install my baby’s car seat correctly and show it to others who may care for the baby.

__ Decide if I want to continue breastfeeding after returning to work, and learn how I will make that happen.

__ Rent a double electric Medela pump from a lactation boutique for breastfeeding purposes.

__ Purchase a baby book.


__ Write down the birth story so I don’t forget any of the details.

__ Report Baby’s birth to my insurance company.

__ Schedule Baby’s first doctor’s appointment.

__ Schedule my doctor appointment.

__ Start filling out baby book.

__ Obtain Baby’s social security number. Many hospitals make this easy by giving you a birth registration form which has a check box for requesting your child’s number. If you don’t deliver in a hospital, you will need to visit a Social Security Office which has local locations in Columbia, Murfreesboro and Nashville. Visit

__ Obtain Baby’s birth certificate ($15). Baby’s birth certificate is different from the mother’s copy you receive in the hospital, but the hospital will usually set the wheels in motion for you to get Baby’s copy. If you don’t deliver in a hospital, contact the health department in the county where your baby was born. The health department will initiate the process to have a birth certificate filed.

__ As a breast-feeding mother, I know that in Tennessee “a mother has a right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present.” Learn more about your rights as a breastfeeding mom at

__ Investigate the tax breaks for parents, including the Dependent Exemption and the Child Tax Credit at

__ Create or update my will.

__ Begin saving for college: Put a set amount of money each month into a 529 plan (an education savings plan). If you can’t afford money each month, deposit a portion of any tax refunds into a 529 to help kick-start college savings. Learn about 529 plans at

__ Start baby-proofing our home. Baby will be crawling soon!

__ Think about returning to work. Do I want to? Is it possible my boss would be open to a flex plan where I work part-time from home, part-time at the office?

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.