Do you know what you should do to prepare yourself for labour and delivery yet? Here is a helpful checklist to get yourself ready. 

Take care of yourself

Take care of yourself

  • Light exercise (stretch, take walks, continue your kegel exercises).

  • Pampering (get your haircut, bikini wax).

  • Take a birthing class.

  • Read up on labour and delivery scenarios and procedures.

Preparing a birth plan

Preparing a birth plan

  • Who would you like to have in the delivery room with you?

  • What kind of birth environment do you want?

  • Do you want to document the birth (photography/video)?

  • What kind of pain relief do you want?

  • How would you want to give birth?

  • Do you want your partner present if you have a caesarean section?

  • How do you plan on feeding your baby?

  • Do you want your baby circumcised?

At home

At home

  • Make sure the nursery is ready.

  • Buy a month’s worth of supplies for your newborn.

  • Pack your delivery bag.

  • Cook extra meals and freeze for later; gather delivery menus.

  • Pay your bills (rent/cell phone/cre dit card) in advance.

  • If you have other kids, arrange for babysitters/relatives to care for them and provide instructions.

  • Fill up your car’s petrol tank.

  • Know the signs of when you should go to the hospital (ask your doctor).

  • Come up with plans for different scenarios: if the husband is at work when you go into labour, if it happens in the middle of the night, etc.

  • Prepare a list of numbers to call for when it happens.

At the hospital

At the hospital

  • Take a tour of the hospital and check out delivery room, maternity ward, nurse’s station, lactation clinic,  administrative area for processing and payment. 

  • Preregister at the hospital if possible

  • Ask about hospital policies:

Visiting hours.

What items they provide (like diapers, maternity pads, toiletry kit)?

What you can and cannot bring (like food warmers, music players)?

Who can be in the delivery room with you?

How long can you stay postpartum?

Screening tests they give to the newborn?

Visiting hours.

What items they provide (like diapers, maternity pads, toiletry kit)?

What you can and cannot bring (like food warmers, music players)?

Who can be in the delivery room with you?

How long can you stay postpartum?

Screening tests they give to the newborn?

How to know that you’re in labour?

How to know that you’re in labour?

  • Stronger, more frequent contractions (ask your gynaecologist how far apart they should be before you head for the hospital)

  • Thick vaginal discharge; your water breaks

  • Strong back pain

  • Pressure on your pelvis

  • Diarrhoea

* When in doubt, call your doctor. If it happens at odd hours, proceed to the hospital. You might get sent home, but it’s best to be safe.

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