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the birth of your baby (and mine too) is a kina scary time...
I mean don’t get me wrong…beautiful and amazing, and pretty much all you’ve ever dreamed about your whole life (if you’re me anyway) but it’s also a time of great insecurity and fear!
Especially if it’s your first time.
That’s why I’ve created this super-blog-post which is going to walk you through the 13 essential steps you can take to prepare yourself for your trip to the hospital & the birth!
Plus sprinkled throughout I’ll be linking some articles that go deeper into each of these subjects, in case there is a subject you’d potentially like to read more about!
Let’s get started :D.
For related reading see: THE 5 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO PREPARE FOR BABY FINANCIALLY
The article continues below…
1:00 Make a Birth Plan, 1:51 Prepare Your Car, 2:27 Contacts List, 2:45 Charge Electronics, 3:03 Give Jobs Out, 3:42 Check Your Insurance, 4:20 Test Run to the Hospital, 4:44 Hospital Tour Questions, 5:25 Pre-Register with the Hosptial, 5:48 Baby Document Folder, 6:16 Save Coins & Small Bills, 6:33 Suck up to the Nurses, 6:56 Water-proof the Bed, 7:12 Pack Your Hospital Bag, 7:38 Get Dad Ready
Make a birth plan
There are tons of articles about how to make a birth plan, including this one that I wrote…after having read through tons of articles about how to make a birth plan! haha…
Here is the gist of it:
WHO, WHAT, & WHERE
These questions are very important to consider!
Who will be at the birth? Will you be opting for a doula? Just your partner? A family member? What about someone to take photos & videos? Would you be open to having student doctors and nurses view your birth?
Where will you give birth? At home? A Birthing center? A hospital?
What kind of birth will you have? A c-section? An induction? Natural?
What kinds of labor props, pain management, and other comforts would you like?
How important is freedom of movement for you?
Will you opt for a routine episiotomy? Will you opt for an elective episiotomy? What is your stance on the use of forceps or vacuum? What position(s) would you like to be in for labor? Would you like to view with a mirror or feel the head as it's descending? What is your decision on chord blood? Will you receive antibiotics/treatement for strep b?
Chord cutting? Skin to skin? Golden hour?
All of these questions and more can be found on your own printable birth plan.
Grab you copy here:
2. Prepare Your Car
Before baby comes here is a list of some things you can do to prepare your car for the big day!
Waterproof the passenger seat
In case your water breaks in the car on the way to the hospital, or other random stuff is leaking outta there (no shame momma!) it’s a good idea to put downa waterproof pad or puppy pad in the car. This will save you the hassle of cleaning it up later!
Gas & oil
Check the oil levels in your car, as well as all the other levels like windsheild fluid, gas, water, and more! Ok just take it to the autoshop (that you trust) and get them to check the important levels.
Another great thing not to skip is the air pressure in the tires!
install your carseat
They aren’t gonna let you leave the hospital without it so make sure this is done around 36 weeks!
Hey….BTW…I’ve put absolutely everything you need to prepare for a new baby into one handy checklist. Want a copy of that checklist? You can find it here:
On a budget?? Join the challenge for free below….
Download the freebie:
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Join the “prepare for baby” challenge a complete checklist of everything you need to do before your baby arrives!
3. prepare a contacts list
Make a list of all of the important contacts you may need to reach during labor:
4. Charge Electronics & Download Apps
Make sure all of your electronics are charged. Including but not limited to:
External cell phone charger
Ipods or Music players
Bluetooth headphones etc.
Download any apps you might find useful in your labor as well. These could be contraction counters, hypnobirthing apps, or labor apps.
If you’re the type to Netflix & chill during or after labor (no judgement) download some of your favorite shows using the Netflix app. That way you won’t have to rely on hospital wifi to catch up on your favorite show.
5. Give your family & friends jobs to do
For the people really close to you, they are probably as excited as you are about the birth.
One thing I know that helps them feel involved and will ultimately help you and your partner is to involve the family-members and friends that are close to you in some way!
Of course you won't be obligating them, but giving them jobs to do will help you and they'll be more than happy to do it!
I mean think about it from the opposite viewpoint. When someone you love is going through something big (ike childbirth, a surgery, or a big move) you want to be able to help. Especially when there's going to be an adorable baby involved!
Ask for help from people who are talented in your family or friends group for hair & makeup, photography, meal prepping, painting baby’s room etc.
6. check your insurance
This is hugely important!
Before the big day call up your insurance company and find out EXACTLY what is covered and what is not!
Some things to ask about are:
a breast pump
extra days in the hospital
That way you won’t be surprised when the bill comes in later!
7. Do a test run to the hospital
Before the big day you’ll need to drive at least once to the hospital.
Most hospitals will offer a tour for expecting mommas so this is a great opportunity to ask all the questions you need to ask (keep reading for more on this), find the fastest route, figure out where you can park your car, and more!
8. tour the hospital
On the tour of the hospital it’s best to have a list of questions to take with you!
I have conveniently created this list (with over 75 questions on it) you can grab a copy of that here.
If you’re looking for the cliffnotes version here are some categories and common questions you should ask on your hospital trip:
Are the labor and delivery rooms shared or private?
Will I have my own bathroom?
Are the rooms of equal quality?
How long will I stay in the hospital?
Are there televisions in the rooms?
How many other rooms are there in the hospital/on my floor?
How many births does this hospital average per day?
Are there students here in this hospital?
Can I opt out of student observations?
labor & delivery:
Can I wear my own hospital gown?
Who is allowed in the room during labor?
What labor props does the hospital provide?
What labor props can I bring myself?
Can I have a doula at the birth?
Whay kind of pain management tools do you have available?
Will I have a private room for labor?
Can I have outside food?
What is your policy on food in general during labor?
Does the hospital offer wireless fetal monitoring?
Are there lactation services available?
Do you have a lactation specialist on site?
Does the hospital allow pacifiers or bottles?
Will breastfeeding be supplemented with formula?
Where will baby stay after he/she is born?
Can I opt for the baby to stay with me or in the nursery?
9. pre-register with the hospital
This will save you a lot of trouble during the actual labor! On the day of your tour bring your medical history and any important documents concerning your pregnancy or the baby.
You’ll be glad you took the 15 minutes to fill out the papers while you were NOT in labor!
10. Bring a Baby document folder
Once baby is born, then comes lots and lots of PAPERWORK!
I mean cute little baby…but also lots of paperwork.
You’ll likely already have your own folder for the pregnancy, but it’s totally worth it to prepare a new folder for baby!
11. Save coins and small bills
For the day of the birth your partner or yourself might want vending machine snacks, and you’ll likely have to pay for parking.
It’s worth it to prepare a little envelope with some change before the big day so that you aren’t searching at the bottom of your purse at the last minute!
12. Suck up to the nursing staff
I mean yeah it’s brown-nosing, but likely they’ll really appreciate a batch of homemade cookies, a box of treats, or a big thank you.
They work really, really hard often on 10-12 hour shifts so it’s 100% worth it to show your appreciation for those badass babes who bring babies into the world on the daily!
13. Water-proof your bed
Your water will be breaking soon, and it will most likely happen when your asleep, just probability since we spend a lot of time sleeping as preggo mommas!
So to avoid any awkward stains on your mattress it’s worth it to grab a mattress pad that’s water-proof and pop it on there somewhere around 36 or 37 weeks.
14. Pack your hosptial bag
When doing the research for this section of the momma gear post, I looked at a lot of hospital bag vides & posts.
But I limited the valuable info by choosing the hospital bags from….2nd time moms, & nurses in hospitals!
Here are the items that showed up again & again on their lists! Want the full list, you can get it here.
Makeup + Makeup Bag
READ THE FULL LIST HERE: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING MOMMA NEEDS FOR LABOR, DELIVERY, & POSTPARTUM
15. Get your partner ready
Make sure your partner (be that dad, mom, or other) has their own birth plan. You can find out more about that here.
Also it’s worth it for them to pack their own mini-hospital bag for the big day!
join the challenge:
Tell us in the comments sections below…what else will you do to prepare for baby’s arrival???