How do you prepare for delivery, especially when you feel like there are so many unknowns? First off, you take a prenatal class (I even share what to do if your prenatal class was cancelled). But let’s talk a bit more about how to prepare.
How do I know this? I’m Hilary — I’ve been an L&D RN since 2001. Lots of people know me as “The Pregnancy Nurse” but I have lots of pregnancy info for my pregnant friends online!
When will you have your baby?
Of course, the big question is WHEN will you go into labor, right? While no one really knows, I can give you an idea based off the information you have in my when will I go into labor quiz.
It is important to understand vaginal exams and what they might mean for when you will have your baby. Some women also need to learn how to tolerate painful vaginal exams.
It doesn’t SEEM like it will be that confusing, but sometimes you just don’t know if your water broke — so I like to help you know what to look for.
How will you KNOW you’re in labor if you have no idea what a contraction feels like? I have a whole post on what a contraction feels like.
And, as you have contractions (even false ones) you might lose your mucus plug (all normal and not really a true sign of labor).
Also, many women are DONE being pregnant and wonder how to put themselves into labor.
Beyond choosing which prenatal class is right for you, one of the main things you’ll do to prepare for labor is pack your labor bag. That post includes a labor bag, a postpartum bag, a dad bag and a baby bag! I also have a whole post on what to put in your c-section bag.
I also have a post on what to do before going to the hospital << that one is from a labor nurse perspective so it has some differences to what a lot of people recommend.
Choices for Your Delivery:
I outline a lot of your choices in my birth plan template. That way you can get familiar for what you will need to decide.
Many women are considering to use a Doula. After 20 years of bedside experience I think I have some pretty good pro’s and con’s to a doula.
Many people like to take a gift for their labor and delivery nurse. I recommend making it personal, that post has a lot of good ideas for your family.
You might be wondering who you should have in your delivery room.
Pain Management Options
There are a lot of options for pain management options in labor. I outline the big four in my my post on pain management options.
First off, there are ways to increase your chances of success in an un-medicated delivery.
Since I have been an L&D RN since 2001 I have helped with thousands of epidurals and I have a lot of good info for you! I have a whole encyclopedia of epidurals. That includes if an epidural hurts, the labor epidural placement procedure (pretty well a pro at that part by now), how long the epidural lasts, if labor still hurt with an epidural. Obviously lots of of good info on epidurals!
Whatever you do — I do believe preparing with SOLID info (which means you can’t believe every article on Pinterest) can only benefit you as you go into labor! I wish you the very best with your new baby!