Anticipating delivery is one of the most exciting, yet terrifying things in a woman’s life no matter if it’s her first, second, third or even fourth delivery.
Every birth and baby can be so different, but being prepared will help you feel more calm, empowered and prepared!
Getting things ready before the baby comes is an important aspect of preparing for birth. When you feel prepared going into labor you will have more confidence and less stress too!
We’ve put together a checklist for preparing for delivery day—from your hospital bag to physical exercises you can do and beyond…
A checklist of things to get ready before your baby arrives
First of all, make a checklist of all the things you need to prepare and have ready before your newborn arrives. Prepare your hospital bag and postpartum care kit, along with all the things your baby will need.
Pack a hospital bag for baby, mom and dad that will include the following:
- Car seat: make sure you know how to install it and have it ready to take your baby home. Your local fire station will double check this for you if you’d like.
- Phone chargers
- Driver’s license and insurance card
- A comfortable gown(s) or pajamas
- Nursing bra
- Breast pump
- Nipple cream
- Baby swaddles and blankets
- A couple outfits for your newborn
- Your own pillow
- Nursing pillow/boppy
Check out a more comprehensive list of other things here!
You’ll also want to decide beforehand who will be in the delivery room. Check with your hospital about COVID restrictions and decide who will be by your side before the day of.
Physically preparing for labor
A huge part of preparing for delivery day is getting your body ready! There are exercises experts recommend you can incorporate into your routine before your due date.
Kegel exercises can prepare you for labor as well as postpartum recovery because they strength the muscles that support your uterus, bladder and bowels.
And even doing something as simple as sitting on an exercise ball will help maintain pelvic alignment and strengthen your core as you approach your delivery. It can also help your baby settle into a head down birthing position.
A few other exercises include:
- Butterfly stretches: improves posture and blood flow
- Squats: helps to expand your pelvis
- Pelvic tilts: strengthens your lower back and abdomen
Mentally preparing for labor
Being able to be in control of your emotions, stay positive and have confidence in yourself during labor can make all the difference in the experience!
Before the day of, think of ways you can relax—whether that’s yoga, listening to music or other techniques. Think about what you can focus on during delivery that will help take your mind off of the pain or discomfort.
Some birthing classes recommend finding a focal point during labor by looking at a specific spot in the room. While focusing and doing breathing exercises you may find your labor contractions more manageable.
Most importantly, try to develop and maintain a positive mindset. Surround yourself with people that make you happy and exude positivity. Avoid listening to negative pregnancy, birth or postpartum stories. Visualize the positive outcomes of labor, like being able to hold your baby for the first time!
Identify your fears and separate those from reality. Oftentimes our fear is what is causing all the anxiety and worry, but usually our reality is far from our fears.
Childbirth is an unpredictable, but beautiful experience. Not all pregnancies and labors are the same, so trust your doctor and your maternal instincts and you will be prepared for whatever happens during delivery.