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Getting Ready for the Birth

In the last few months of pregnancy, there are a few things to think about. Remember the signs of premature labour (more information in A Healthy Start for Baby and Me, available from Best Start www.beststart.org). You may also go into labour a week or two before or after your due date. The following are some things to have ready before baby is born.

1. Calling your health-care provider

  • Health-care provider’s phone number
  • Hospital phone number, if you are having a hospital birth
  • Be ready to tell them…
    • When did contractions start?
    • Have you had bloody show?
    • Have your membranes ruptured (water broken; note time and appearance)?
    • How long are contractions (How many minutes are there from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction)?
    • Other symptoms (nausea, back pain)?
  • Phone number for people you need to contact before leaving home

2. Your suitcase packed with the following (for hospital births)

  • Nightgown or pajamas
  • Housecoat and slippers
  • Underwear
  • Sanitary pads (super absorbent and/or specifically for postpartum or overnight use)
  • Nursing bra
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • Joy of Parenting
  • A focal point, backrub tools, massage oil, music and something to play it on, etc.
  • Birth plan
  • Disposable diapers if you want to use them in hospital
  • Your own pillow
  • Don’t forget your Health card and any supplementary insurance plan card

3. An extra bag for coming home (bring this to the hospital at discharge)

  • Mom’s homecoming outfit (fits third to fourth month of pregnancy)
  • Diapers
  • Undershirt or onesie
  • Baby’s homecoming outfit (sleeper and hat)
  • Light to heavy blanket (depending on the season)
  • Baby’s car seat!

4. At home have the following:

  • Meals ready for the week or two after you come home
  • Laundry caught up
  • Help with household duties and new parent relief
  • Baby’s room ready (see the section “Getting Ready for Baby”)