Preparing For Labor: All the Necessities

When preparing for labor and the delivery of your new baby, the first thing you will need to do is to sit down and discuss it with your healthcare provider. There are many questions to ask, such as“where will my baby be delivered?” or “how far is the hospital/birthing center?” and “what will I need to bring to the hospital?” The excitement of labor will be a whirlwind and you may forget things. These questions are important to ask early in your pregnancy so that you are prepared and ready for your big day.

Preparing For Labor: All the Necessities

Since pregnancy is around 40 weeks long, you will have plenty of time to start preparing for labor, birth and the joys of your newborn baby. The tips below will help you get ready for your baby’s debut:

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Your body is going to need all the proper nutrients to get through labor. Getting the right amounts of things like protein–80g to 100g a day will give you energy and build a healthy baby; DHA and EPA–help build healthy brain cells and nervous system in baby; Complex Carbohydrates–keep you from getting constipated and give you and your baby the right vitamins.

2. Exercise Regularly

Pregnant women need exercise to help improve the endurance levels needed for labor. Some of the exercises are designed to help you withstand the work of contractions and push your baby out into the world. Here are some helpful exercises:

Exercises

Description

Yoga

Yoga can help you learn to listen to your body and work with it not against it.

Squats

These will help develop your core muscles, gluts and your quads. Beefing up these areas will prepare you for some powerful pushing.

Cardiovascular Training

Your heart and lungs will be working at maximum capacity. This will help you and your baby get the most oxygen during labor and oxygen is even a known pain reliever!

Kegels

This will help the muscles around your vaginal opening. They are the muscles that start and stop your urine flow. To do this, pretend like you are stopping your urine flow several times a day.

3. Prepare Yourself Mentally

If you are tense and anxious during labor, you could stall your contractions or increase the pain. Try these few things like meditating which can help you quiet your mind and focus; relaxing all the muscles–close your eyes and focus on relaxing all the muscles from head to toe. Both of these techniques can also help relieve pain.

4. Know the Birth Procedures

If you know what happens when you are in labor, you will get through it much easier. While everyone has a different experience in labor, knowing the basics can surely help you understand. You can learn it by watching videos of natural and C-section births.

5. Choose a Doctor for Your Baby

About half way through your pregnancy, you need to start looking around for a pediatrician for your baby. You may want to set up appointments to go in and speak with doctors to see if they are right for you.

6. Get Firsthand Experience from Veteran Moms

When it comes to labor pain, the feeling of pushing, bonding with your new baby and post-partum blues, the experts are the veteran moms who experienced these things.

7. Plan Everything Beforehand

Make sure you ask your healthcare provider when you need to call or go in after your contractions start. Make sure you have someone to call and drive you to the hospital. Do a few “dry runs” to the hospital and know where the parking and entrance are to the hospital or birthing center.

8. Choose Your Childbirth Partner

Labor is a very intense process, and it is entirely up to you who attends the birth. There are instances where women want their whole family together or just their partner. If you want more than one person to attend, make sure you ask the hospital how many are allowed in the delivery room. Make sure you assign one person in your family to make phone calls and notify people of labor and delivery stats.

9. Attend Childbirth Classes

You need to find a childbirth class that meets your needs. There are lots of different classes and methods designed to help you meet your childbirth goals. Classes need to be scheduled and finished prior to the 36th week of pregnancy. Check with your hospital for a list of providers or “in-house” classes.

10. Write a Birth Plan

Write down your expectations for care during your labor and delivery. Keep it brief and clear, and show it to your medical provider, sign it with them and have it placed in your medical file.

11. Get Your Home Ready

After you bring your new baby home, you will be busier than ever. It will help you get into a routine if you have everything ready for baby. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Find help with meal prep and cleaning for a few weeks.
  • Gather your needed items: crib, changing table, dresser, diaper pail and diaper bag.
  • Order your cloth diapers ahead of delivery if you’re using them.
  • Make sure you have enough disposable diapers and wipes (350 a month average).
  • Gather and organize clothes, baby shirts, booties, hats, sleepers and dress-up clothes.
  • Make sure you have crib sheets, blankets, wash cloths, burp rags and towels.
  • Have extras on hand, such as nail clippers, thermometer, baby soap, lotion and powder.

12. Stock Up OnFood and Baby Products

Avoid extra trips to the store by having enough bottles and formula on hand, but not too much in case your baby has a formula sensitivity. Go to the grocery store and stock up on easy “freezer meals,” pantry items, toilet paper and toiletries.

13. Pack Your Labor Bag

Have your bag packed for the hospital early. When you are having contractions, you won’t be able to remember all the things you need. Here is a helpful list:

Labor Needs

photo I.D.

insurance card

birth plan

robe

slippers or socks

pillow

stuffed animal

a book or movie

Your Coach/Partner’s Needs

camera

video camera

batteries

phone chargers

extra clothes

slippers

comfortable shoes

toiletries

After Delivery

newborn care book

cellphone

notepad

pen

nursing bras and pads

maternity underwear

going home outfit

makeup

toiletries

snacks

 

 

Baby’s Bag

car seat

blanket

outfit for pictures

going home outfit

baby booties

diaper bag

 

 

Watch this video to learn how to pack your labor hospital bag: