Before you reach the last few weeks of pregnancy, you should take care of a few last minute to-dos. This way, you won't have any loose ends to deal with when you go into labor. Use this checklist to help you get ready.
- Visit the hospital or birthing center. Make sure you know how to get there, where to park, and where to check in. Find out if you can preregister so that your insurance information will already be in the computer when you arrive.
- Develop a birth plan and discuss it with your doctor or midwife. A birth plan is a tool used to communicate how you want labor and delivery to go. Some things you might want to include in your plan are what support people you want in your labor room, your wishes for managing pain, your desire to hold or nurse your baby right after birth, and concerns you have about any routine policies or procedure at the hospital or birthing center. Write your birth plan out so that you can bring it to the hospital when you go into labor. Find out how to reach your doctor or midwife when you go into labor. And ask her or him at what point in labor should you call.
- Arrange maternity leave with your employer, and discuss who can cover for you during your time off.
- Arrange for a neighbor or family member to take care of your pets or other children while you are in the hospital.
- Talk to family members and friends about what kind of support will be helpful to you when you come home with your newborn. You will need lots of support and help. On the other hand, don't plan for too many out-of-town visitors all at once. Ask family members and friends to be flexible.
- Pack a bag for the hospital. You will want to pack items for yourself and your baby.