This post was written and submitted by Katie Moore at her wonderfully named blog, Moore from Katie. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.
She has great advice for expectant parents on what to bring to the hospital. It’s a little bittersweet for me to share this post with you. My Sweet Girl was breech and had to be delivered by planned C-section, so I had to let go of my dreams of listening to ambient trance music while having a completely natural birth. Then my Little Guy arrived 7 weeks early (with a birth story that has yet to be told here… soon, soon!). If there’s one thing pregnancy and parenting have taught me, it’s to prepare for being unprepared! How about you?
Preparing Yourself for Delivery Day
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. For my pregnancy, I was ready for the end of my term to come so I could see my feet again and stop the maniac cravings of spicy foods.
Fortunately, there are things you can do and consider as you wait for your little one’s arrival. Between my many naps and mealtimes, here are a few steps I took to prepare:
Packing for the Hospital
It’s never too early to start packing your hospital bag. For me, my mood would change constantly for what I felt I wanted with me, and what I wanted baby to come home in. If you start packing earlier, you can make all of the changes that come with your mood changes.
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
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 certainly confused me the first time I experienced them! 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 when you should call him or go to the hospital, as every doctor has different advice. The advice may also be different if this is your first child. In general, however, most doctors will tell you to call or check in at the hospital when your contractions are about 10 minutes apart and steady. If you do go to the hospital 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. Luckily for me, my medical team was super patient with me and would talk me through my Braxton-Hicks and made sure I didn’t rush in to the hospital only to sit around and be sent home. Be sure to ask your doctor many questions so you feel more comfortable. Your doctor will want what’s best for you and not being nervous for labor is something that he will want for you.
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!
In the comments, please share your advice on getting prepared. What did you do? What did you pack? Did things go as you expected? What would you have done differently?