Pregnancy is a long, exciting journey for every expectant mother. The process is nine months long, and some women even plan for their pregnancies well in advance. Now, as your delivery date nears, it’s time to start preparing for childbirth.
Whether this is your first baby or you’re a seasoned parent, labor and delivery can bring up some jitters and nerves. While you can’t guarantee that the birth will go exactly how you planned, you can do a lot to prepare.
Our obstetrician, Dr. Alan Patterson, offers this guidance to help you prepare for delivery.
Take a childbirth class
Taking a childbirth class is always a good idea, even if it’s not your first pregnancy. The classes teach breathing techniques, pain relief options, and other means to help you handle labor. You can also find classes that teach infant CPR and the basic fundamentals of caring for a newborn.
Childbirth classes also give you the opportunity to meet other expectant parents with due dates near yours. At a time of your pregnancy when you may be naturally turning more inward, childbirth classes can provide a social outlet, in addition to offering valuable information.
Get some rest
In the months leading up to childbirth, take the opportunity to nap when you’re tired. Once you have a newborn, your sleep will be disrupted. While you can’t “save up” rest in a bank, you will feel better if you’re not sleep-deprived when you go into labor.
Create a flexible birth plan
Design a birth plan and put your plans in writing before labor begins. Some of the things you may want to include in your birth plan include:
- When to go to the hospital
- Who will be present during your labor and delivery
- Whether you plan to labor in a certain position
- What type of anesthesia you want, if it’s necessary, and under which circumstances
- Whether you plan to bank your cord blood
- Whether you plan to breastfeed or not
If you’re scheduled to have a Cesarean section, you may not have as many choices (such as when to receive anesthesia.) But, whether C-section or vaginal, you want to make your birth experience as personal and memorable as possible.
Plan what to take to the hospital
What you take to the hospital when you give birth is very important. You need things for yourself and also for your baby.
Some of the items you’ll need may include:
- Medical insurance card
- Phone numbers of people to contact after birth
- Snacks for labor partner
- Socks and slippers
- Lip balm
- Music CDs you might want to listen to during labor
- Nursing bra and breast pads
- Gift for sibling(s) from the baby
- Loose fitting clothes to wear home
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, brush or comb
For the baby, having a car seat is required. Also, make sure to bring either an infant sleeper with legs or a T-shirt and a diaper to wear home, as kimono or sack-style sleepers won’t fit well in a car seat.
If you have questions about delivery, Dr. Patterson is always happy to answer them. Contact him by calling our office in Coral Springs, Florida, or by scheduling an appointment online.
1. We are still seeing obstetrics patients in our office to ensure that our pregnant patients are getting the prenatal care they need. If you are pregnant, please call us to book your appointment today. We are also seeing patients in our office for annual well-woman exams, as well as those who are having gynecological problems or emergencies.
2. Here's what we're doing to ensure the safety of our patients who come into the office for their appointments. We are:
- Ensuring that patients are not experiencing respiratory issues when they visit our office.
- Sanitizing all services on a regular basis.
- Wearing masks and gloves to reduce the probability of virus transmission.
- Washing our hands for 20 seconds after every interaction we have, inside and outside of the office.
- Patients may not be accompanied by other people at their appointments.
3. We’re offering telemedicine appointments for the following conditions: yeast infections, UTIs, birth control consults, vaginitis (vaginal infections), hormone replacement therapy consults, premenopause, menopause, amenorrhea, and abnormal periods. Please call us to determine if your need for services qualifies for a telemedicine appointment.