Is it really only a few months until the birth of your baby? Where did the time go? We haven't even put together the crib! Well mom, it's time to start thinking about what you need to do for the big day. This is a great time to work out details about issues that are important to you. Take the time during your third trimester to sit down and make a checklist of items you will need to accomplish BEFORE the day you go into labor. Organizing yourself ahead of time means a more positive birth experience. So let's get started!
- Look at a calendar and count back 3 weeks from your due date. This is going to be your new PREPARED DATE. Women of your generation are having their babies earlier. Don't wait until the night before your due date to pack your bags.
- Take a TOUR of the hospital. Touring your hospital is about easing your stress and fears. You need to learn where to park, meet the staff, and do a little mental labor rehearsal. Walking through the units (Family Birth Center, Women's & Newborn Care Unit, and NICU) does more for your self- confidence than any childbirth class. You'll have the opportunity to see our newly renovated units and additions like king size beds, updated furniture and a modern design. Bring some family members along and have fun.
- If you are planning to breastfeed your new baby, CONTACT YOUR PRIVATE INSURANCE to let them know. The new Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies provide you with an electric breast pump. Your insurance company also covers, at their own cost, any visits you will need to make to a lactation consultant.
- Attend a CHILDBIRTH CLASS. Knowledge in childbirth is an effective tool for an expectant woman. The more knowledge you have, the less fear you'll experience, which in turn diminishes tension and pain. Having a better knowledge of what to expect can actually relax you more and often speed up the labor.
- ORGANIZE TASKS as much ahead as you can so you don't have to fret about it when you go into labor. Go online and get pre-registered; get some frozen meals in the freezer for first nights home with the new baby; get baby's sleeping space prepared; determine who will watch the kids and the pets when you go to the hospital; choose a Family Practice or Pediatric physicianfor your baby.
- Get your LABOR AND BIRTH QUESTIONS answered now. Labor is a chaotic time to have conversations with anyone. You have a whole team of people that can be a resource for you: your physician, the physician's office staff; your childbirth educator; the Family Birth Center staff; the anesthesia provider; the lactation consultant; the NICU staff, and the Women's & Newborn Care Unit staff. Don't try to remember your list of concerns, write them down and take them to your next prenatal visit.
- DECIDE which family members or friends you wish to have at your side during the labor. Even more important, which person(s) will be a positive support to you to during the delivery?
- UPDATE YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS about your wishes concerning visiting. For example, if you are having a cesarean birth, you might prefer people to come at a later time than right after the surgery. Instruct your family/friends as to where to find you and how to use the security phone to be admitted onto the unit (directions will be given on the tour).
- PACK 2 very different bags for your hospital visit. One is for the Family Birth Center and the other is for after the baby is born and you are recovering on the Women's & Newborn Care Unit with your baby.
At Alaska Regional Hospital, we understand that having a baby is an exciting and momentous event. Visit our Family Birth Center for more information and let us have the privilege of caring for you and your new addition!