(English) Labor & Delivery Must-Haves

(English) Don’t forget a thing!

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(English)

Getting ready for your new baby’s arrival is an exciting time, but we know the amount of things piling up on your to-do list can feel overwhelming. To help ease your preparation (and, hopefully, stress levels too), we’re going over what you should keep in mind when planning for labor and delivery. We’ll also discuss the importance of creating your birth plan (we have a handy template below that you can follow!), and provide you and your support person with your very own hospital bag checklists. Read on to help you both get your ducks (or ducklings!) in a row for your baby’s delivery.

When Should You Plan For Your Delivery?

The answer to this common question is simple: It’s entirely up to you. However, there is one caveat. Be sure to leave plenty of time before your due date in case your little one makes a surprise entrance. A good rule of thumb to follow is getting into the nitty-gritty of your labor and delivery preparations in your second trimester (a.k.a. the “honeymoon” period). This is because it will likely be when your morning sickness subsides—but also before your belly is big enough to cause much discomfort. 

What Preparation Should Be Done Before Delivery?

One of the most important items you should prepare in the months before your baby’s delivery is a birth plan. Think of it as a one-stop doc that informs your support partner and medical staff of your preferences during labor and delivery. There can be quite a lot to think about, so, to help, we’ve created this template you can easily download, print, and fill out.

Another way to get ready is by doing your research and learning as much as you can about the phases of your baby’s delivery—before, during, and after. You can do this online, by speaking with your OB/GYN, and by signing up for educational labor and delivery classes. They can help shed light on what to expect, as well as give you a chance to have a mommy-to-be support group—it may also come in handy if you want to “nanny share” or arrange playdates down the road.

Classes can cover a range of topics, such as the Lamaze method, which teaches you to focus on your breathing, massage, and labor support. They may also cover the Bradley method: an emphasis on forgoing medication during childbirth and, instead, focusing on deep breathing. Some classes may cover both methods along with others, but all tend to focus on ways to help you have a successful labor and delivery in as comfortable a way as you can.

Ask in advance what topics will be covered and which methods will be discussed, as well as if they involve active participation, rather than ones that are more lecture-like. Also, be sure to check that the instructor is certified, has a childbirth philosophy that complements your own, and confirm if there are any COVID-19 restrictions. Also consider classes you can sign up for that teach parenting skills like infant care, breastfeeding, baby first aid, and CPR.

What Should I Pack In My Hospital Bag For Delivery?

Now comes the fun part: Getting your hospital bag in order! You can use the easy-to-follow hospital bag checklist below for yourself, your support partner, and for when your little one arrives.

Hospital bag checklist for yourself:

  • Folder With Birth Plan, ID, Insurance Card & Other Important Documents (including emergency contacts and who you want to be contacted upon your baby’s delivery)
  • Phone & Phone Charger
  • Lip Balm
  • Healthy Snacks
  • 3 or 4 Granny Panties
  • Maternity Bra
  • Night Gowns or Loungewear
  • A Comfy Robe
  • Fluffy Bath Towel
  • Your Own Pillow(s)
  • Headband or Hair Tie
  • Toiletries (including sanitary napkins)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Slippers or Non-Slip Socks
  • Entertainment (like music players, books, magazines, iPad, or tablet)
  • Birthing Tools (i.e. birthing stool, birth ball, peanut ball, squatting bar, or mirror)
  • Homecoming Outfit

Hospital bag checklist for your support partner:

  • Phone & Phone Charger
  • Money for food, drinks, and snacks (many hospitals don’t allow non-staff into their cafeterias due to COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Sleep- or Loungewear
  • Pillow and/or Blanket
  • Toiletries
  • Slippers or Non-Slip Socks
  • Camera or Video recorder
  • Entertainment

Hospital bag checklist for your new baby:

  • T-Shirt (instead of a onesie—you don’t want to cover their freshly cut umbilical cord)
  • Receiving Blanket
  • Hat
  • Homecoming Outfit
  • Bottle & Nipples
  • Pacifiers
  • Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Drops (safe for even the newest of newborns, our dye-free and original gas drops quickly break gas bubbles down to help your baby naturally release them)
  • Car Seat (be sure to have it checked to ensure that it’s properly installed at one of the places found here: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm or http://www.seatcheck.org/. You can also call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK)

The hospital should provide diapers and everything else you and your infant will need during your stay.

What Helps Easy Labor & Delivery?

We get it: Labor and delivery are monumental. Not only is your body under a tremendous amount of physical stress, but they can also take an emotional toll as well. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself mentally, educationally, and physically. This includes going into childbirth armed with your birth plan and the above checklist. Being prepared can be the holy grail for many things in life, but especially when it comes to labor and delivery.

Next: Get prepared in other areas of your new journey with our nursery and diaper bag checklists.

Infirst

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