Preparing for the delivery of your baby can be one of the most nerve-wracking and overwhelming experiences for any mother, especially when you’re unsure about what to expect. Fortunately, there are things you can do and consider, as you wait for your little one’s arrival, which will help prepare you for the big day. Here are just a few:
Packing for the Hospital or Birthing Center
Get your suitcase ready for the hospital or birthing center much sooner than your due date. Unless you have a C-section scheduled you won’t know exactly when the baby is coming and you’ll want to have the bag ready to ‘grab and go!’ Be sure to pack basic hygiene items like toothpaste, a toothbrush, a hairbrush and possibly some makeup for photos. Think about comfort above all else when packing a change of clothes, slippers, socks and a robe. Pack a few outfits in different sizes to bring the baby home in, as well as a few receiving blankets. Don’t worry about wipes and diapers, as the hospital will provide all that you need plus some to take home. Lastly, pack your cell phone, charger, camera, batteries and a book to keep you occupied during the quiet moments.
Blood Cord Banking
Before your baby arrives you may also want to consider cord blood banking. This option allows parents to save the baby’s umbilical cord blood as a potential medical resource for the family. The blood in the umbilical cord has the same blood-forming stem cells that can be found in bone marrow, with cord blood stem cells having some unique advantages. You may want to have access to your baby’s cord blood down the road if there’s ever a medical need for a stem cell treatment.
When to Call the Doctor or Midwife
Women may experience contractions much sooner than at 40 weeks. These are actually false contractions, known as Braxton-Hicks and they often confuse first-time mothers. They usually start in the third trimester and are intended to prepare the uterus for delivery. Although they don’t happen to everyone, there are easy ways to tell Braxton-Hicks contractions from the real thing. Most Braxton Hicks contractions will not become stronger, closer and longer.
It’s best to ask your doctor or midwife when you should call him or or her to go to the hospital or birthing center, as everyone has different advice. The advice may also be different if this is your first child. In general, however, most doctors or midwives will tell you to call or check in at the hospital or birthing center when your contractions are about 10 minutes apart and steady. If you do arrive too soon, they will check to see if you’re having regular contractions. If the contractions aren’t close enough they’ll probably send you home.
Taking steps to prepare yourself in every way possible before the big day will relieve a lot of stress when the time comes for your newborn to be brought into the world!
About the Author
This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, child birth and other topics within this niche. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact her via twitter @moorekm26.