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- Family Medicine
- Wellness Institute
September 24, 2019 • OB/GYN
As your anticipated delivery date draws closer, you have to think about last-minute preparations for the birth. Getting ready in advance will bring peace of mind and help ease your stress levels.
Your OB/GYN may provide you with a checklist or information to help you prepare for giving birth. The information below can also help ensure that you’re ready, once the time comes for your new baby’s arrival.
When it’s time to head to the hospital, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling to find the address or your obstetrician’s phone number. Gathering all relevant information ahead of time will help ensure that everything goes smoothly and everyone remains calm.
HealthyChildren.org recommends collecting full contact information for the following before going into labor:
You may want to consider doing a trial run to the hospital, so you can determine the best route and identify the correct door for drop-off. Map out at least one alternate driving route, in case of traffic or road closures.
If you so desire, put together a list of names and contact information for anyone you want to notify of the happy details, once your baby arrives. If you plan to mail (or email) birth announcements, make that list now also, complete with current addresses, as you may not have the time or energy to do so once you’re back home with the baby.
Packing your hospital bag well ahead of your designated delivery date will help ensure that you don’t forget anything. MedlinePlus recommends including:
Additional items that you may wish to bring with you, if appropriate, include:
For the baby, you should pack:
You will also need to provide the hospital with your insurance card, medical records, pre-admission paperwork (if applicable), birthing plan, medical power of attorney, and contact information for your healthcare provider(s) and the designated healthcare provider for your baby, upon arrival.
Finally, consider any items you may need for your birthing partner or labor coach, such as a stopwatch, timer, massage supplies or focus object.
If you have older children or anyone else at home who requires care, finalize arrangements with caregivers, grandparents or whoever will be handling those duties in your absence. Don’t forget to arrange for a pet sitter if you have pets in the home that will require attention.
Consider making and freezing meals before your anticipated delivery date, for both during your absence and when you return home, to make life easier.
You’ll want to have everything ready when it’s time to bring your new baby home.
For the drive home, you’ll need to have a rear-facing car seat (one that’s approved for newborns) installed in the back seat of your vehicle. Whether this will be your first baby or your fifth, have the car seat and installation checked by someone who is trained in child passenger safety.
If you have any last-minute preparations left for the nursery, or if you haven’t already ordered a breast-milk pump, now is the time to take care of those details.
If you have any questions or concerns about being prepared for childbirth, talk to your OB/GYN or healthcare practitioner to help ease your mind and ensure that you are ready for the arrival of your new baby.
“What to Bring to Your Labor and Delivery.” MedlinePlus.
“Last Minute Activities Before Delivery.” HealthyChildren.org.
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.