Whether it's your first or your fourth, expecting a new baby is exciting and anxiety-provoking for all involved. You're likely anticipating labor and delivery with a mixture of fear and excitement. Having your bag packed for the hospital the month before your due date is advisable, suggests the Baby Center website. Communicating to your partner what your anticipated needs during labor will be can help you as well.
Less is More
Moms-to-Be can get overzealous and end up packing half the closet. Resist the urge to bring everything under the sun because your partner will be able to head out after your little one is born for food you might crave or a magazine to read. There is usually a gift shop or cafe open in most hospitals to purchase last minute items. It's likely you'll have visitors who can be counted on to indulge you.
You will need your insurance card when you check in at the hospital as well as any pre-registration forms you may have been given. It helps to have these filled out ahead of time. Nursing bras, breast pads and nursing pillows will be a necessity if you plan on breastfeeding. Pack two comfortable nightgowns, socks and slippers for labor and post-delivery. Sanitary napkins and toiletries will be needed after birth. Pack a going-home outfit for you and your baby, keeping in mind you will likely look about 6 months pregnant. Include hard candies or lollipops for dry mouth during labor, your camera or video recorder and magazines for your partner to read.
Nobody can control her entire labor and delivery but writing a birth plan by the beginning of your third trimester can give you the best shot at it. Although a copy should be included in your chart, bring an extra with you to the hospital. A birth plan allows for input from both you and your partner. It lists what you would like to happen during the labor process as well as what you don't want, and it gives your doctor or midwife a refresher without having to question you during active labor, according to the Baby Center website. Flexibility is key as additional medical intervention may be necessary when it's in the best interests of mother and child.
Bring a supportive partner. Practice breathing exercises and relaxation techniques during labor to naturally ease labor pain, suggests the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health on its website Womenshealth.gov. Encourage your partner to do it with you, and to massage areas of your body that feel tense. The baby's father or your birthing partner can assist you with warm and cold compresses to ease labor discomfort, and help you to find the most comfortable position for you to labor in. These positions, such as standing, sitting, walking, crouching or leaning against your partner, can change as labor progresses. Your partner can provide you with emotional support and reassurance.
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