Preparing For Birth: Advice, Supplies, And More
As you approach the expected time of delivery, you’ll want to diminish any last minute stress by making sure you’re preparing for birth. It’s best to start packing at least two weeks early.
Preparing For Birth: Labor Gear
- A picture ID (driver’s license or other ID), insurance cards, and any hospital paperwork you need.
- Bring your birthing plan and make several copies. Have a laminated copy in your baby bag and paper copies for staff at hospital and for your partner.
- Eyeglasses, if you wear them. Even if you wear contacts, some doctors strongly encourage putting glasses on during labor.
- A bathrobe, two nightgowns with pants, slippers or fuzzy socks. Choose a gown that’s short sleeved, or sleeveless, loose (blood pressure can be checked easily) and something that can get dirty.
- Snacks you and your partner enjoy. After many hours of labor, you’re likely to get very hungry and you might not be into hospital food. Bring your own crackers, fresh or dried fruit, granola bars, trail mixes or whatever else you like. Bottles of water or drinks you enjoy are also good to have.
- Anything that will help you relax. You might want to bring a favorite pillow, or an iPod with your favorite music.
Preparing For Birth: For Your Partner or Labor Coach
- A video camera or digital camera, iPad, phone charger and memory card. Someone needs to document this big event.
- Any toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, hair ties, face wash, cleaner, moisturizer for the face, or hand lotion).
- Comfortable shoes and a couple changes of comfortable loose-fitting clothes.
Preparing For Birth: After Delivery
- Nursing Bras or regular bras. Whether you’re planning to breast-feed or not, have an option in case you change your mind. Your breasts are likely to be tender and swollen when your milk comes in and can happen anytime during the first couple of days after you deliver. Don’t forget to pack disposable nursing pads and plenty of natural nipple cream if you breastfeed.
- A newborn book. The hospital normally provides every mother with a book of some kind but it’s good to have your own you can make notes in.
- A notepad or journal to document anything you want to put in there.
- A going home outfit and a newborn outfit. Bring something comfortable and loose fitting because you’ll still look 5-6 months pregnant.
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