New moms have to do a lot of preparation before their delivery date. If you are planning to just show up at the hospital the day you are due, you could be in for a stressful surprise, especially if the baby comes early. Here are a few tips for how to prepare for the hospital before delivery.
Oftentimes, when we think of hospital preparation, we don’t think about all the planning it takes to get there. While most people plan to arrive before close contractions and frantic labor begins, sometimes the baby has other plans.
To prepare for the big day, make sure to practice your route ahead of time. Have your partner or designated driver practice the quickest and safest route to the hospital. For a more comfortable ride, pack a pillow or blanket and some protective pads in the car as well.
Don’t take any chances with car trouble as you near your delivery date, either. The last thing you need when it’s time to rush to the hospital is an unexpected breakdown. Perform routine maintenance on your car to check tire pressure and fluid levels, and never leave your car low on gas as you near your delivery date.
A visit to the hospital usually means lots of paperwork, and being in labor is no exception to those rules. When your contractions start coming faster, you certainly won’t want to be filling out information about your insurance provider. Call ahead to your planned hospital and pre-register to minimize the paperwork you’ll need to do when you arrive.
Packing for You and the Family
Here are a few other items you’ll want to add to your bag:
- Your favorite pillow
- Hair clips or hair ties to keep your hair out of your face during delivery
- Diversions for long labor or entertainment for other family members, such as books, music, magazines, a laptop, or handheld electronic games
- Snacks for you and your partner after delivery
Planning to Return Home
Knowing how to prepare for the hospital before delivery also requires preparing your own home, so you can negate one more worry while at the hospital. Hospital delivery usually requires an overnight stay or two. If you know you’ll be tied up at the hospital, create a plan for how to hold down the fort at home. Whether your partner will stay home, or you have a friend or family member coming to stay, map out step-by-step directions for watching the house, caring for children and pets, or collecting the mail.