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Bump & Beyond | Before You Arrive

Bump & Beyond | Before You Arrive

In the third trimester of my pregnancy, I got very sick and needed to be admitted to the hospital. It was a scary time. The doctors caring for me were debating on whether or not I needed to deliver my baby for the sake of both of our health. I was overwhelmed with emotion, and we felt added stress because we weren’t ready to have our baby! We still needed to purchase our car seat, I hadn’t bought any post-partum supplies, and I didn’t have a lot of the things from my registry because I hadn’t had a baby shower yet! I remember looking at my husband and crying, “I haven’t taught you how car seats work!”

In a panic, I was writing lists for him so we could get what we needed. I made a packing list for me, for our baby, and a few suggestions of things he would want as well. Luckily, my health improved with the treatment my doctors and nurses gave me, and I was able to go home on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was healthy and delivered my baby full term. So, for this blog post, I want to share check list of things to do before you deliver your baby.

If you have attended any of our childbirth classes, you may have heard me mention some of these things, but this is a comprehensive list of everything you will need to do before you arrive to the hospital.

Before your delivery you will want to:

  • Research and decide how you plan to feed your baby
  • Set up a safe space for your baby to sleep (crib, bassinet, pack-n-play)

*Note: It is recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months -- not in the same bed.

  • Purchase and install your baby’s car seat. Make it your goal to be confident on how to use it! The nurses will assist you with strapping your baby in the seat, but we are not legally allowed to install your base for you. You will want to be comfortable using your equipment
  • Pick a pediatrician for your baby
  • Plan for someone to drive you to any appointments for the first few weeks. It is recommended that you do not operate a motor vehicle after delivery for two weeks
  • Attend a childbirth class! The more information you know helps you make good decisions for your and your baby’s health. Check out our class schedule on our events page. It would be my privilege to teach you!
  • Decide who you want to support you during your delivery. Be sure to check our current visitation policy on the website before your delivery
  • Decide what information you are comfortable sharing with family and friends. Everyone won’t be there for your delivery, and some patients are comfortable sharing updates with family while others prefer to be more private. This is a personal decision but having the conversation before hand will make it easier for your support people to respect your privacy!
  • On that note, also discuss any preferences for your visitors. Many new moms like to set some boundaries when it comes to their newborn. (For example, washing their hands, refraining from kissing them, or not giving them pacifiers) Talking about the boundaries with your support people beforehand will help them know what your wishes are and help you maintain those boundaries. Remember this is your baby, and it is ok to tell family “No.” This cold, flu, and RSV season has been a tough one, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your baby
  • Get a Tdap vaccine and have your partner update their vaccine as well
  • If you are having a boy, research whether or not you would like the have them circumcised. This is an elective procedure that you will want to discuss beforehand
  • Pack your bag, your diaper bag, and have your support person pack a bag as well
  • Invest in some supplies for your first few weeks postpartum. Check the list below!
  • Stock up on groceries so you can limit your trips during your recovery
  • Organize your nursery and go ahead and wash your newborn, one, and one-to-three month clothes
  • If you want newborn pictures, look into a photographer beforehand. Mobile Infirmary has a photographer that offers newborn photo sessions. But if you would rather wait until a few weeks after delivery, many photographers recommend coordinating with them before your delivery to get on their schedules!
  • Research and get on the wait list for your preferred child care service. Some day cares or personal nannies have wait lists and application processes, and you will want to be prepared if you plan to return to work

I hope this list of suggestions helps you feel more prepared before your delivery. Some supplies you may want to invest in for your recovery include:

  • Larger pads – you will want something for a heavier flow and good coverage with wings
  • Comfortable underwear – you want them to be cotton and breathable
  • Tucks pads – these are a life saver if you have hemorrhoids
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast milk storage bottles and bags
  • Breast pads
  • Comfortable pajamas
  • Several robes (trust me)
  • Abdominal binder – I didn’t use one, but I know a lot of moms who find them comfortable
  • Dermoplast spray – There are other soothing sprays and cooling gel pads on the market, but I haven’t tried them! Dermoplast is what we use in the hospital, and it worked well for me
  • A cooling eye mask or sleeping blindfold – I found this helpful when I needed to take naps during the day time
  • A good water cup – You want to stay hydrated. I find it easier to drink out of my favorite cup!
  • Nutrient-dense snack foods – Sometimes getting a good snack in between feedings will help you feel like you have more energy
  • And find some good TV to binge watch. You may spend a lot of time breastfeeding and having something to watch helps!

And finally, try to enjoy the last bit of your pregnancy! Spend some quality time with your partner. Treat yourself to a pedicure or a facial (or both 😊) you deserve it! I hope this list helps you feel more prepared!

Read more about the Tdap vaccine in pregnancy from the CDC.