Let’s talk about 5 things you should decide before you go to the hospital for delivery. Labor preparation is important, but so is what life will look like afterwards.
I talk about what to expect right before delivery in a recent podcast — that might give you an idea about how all of this fits in:
Decisions to Make Before Delivery
Immunizations & Medications
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 3 medications soon after delivery (no need to rush your golden hour though). They are:
- Hepatitis B Immunization (starts their childhood immunization schedule)
- Erythromycin Ointment (protects eyes from any bacteria picked-up along the birth canal)
- Vitamin K (helps baby’s blood clot if necessary)
I don’t want to talk about the good/bads of all of these. But it is something you should decide in advance.
You can pick and choose which ones of those you’d prefer to give. Most places require you to sign a decline form for the Vitamin K as we do find that to be really important.
Pick a Pediatrician
You will want to pick a pediatrician before you come to the hospital. I’d ask around and talk to friends about who they use. I would recommend picking someone close to your home as you will head into the pediatrician quite a lot in that first year.
Also check with your insurance as those are all tightening up lately.
Breast or Bottle?
If you plan to breastfeed, that is important to know in advance.
If you plan to not breastfeed, that’s probably even more important — as we, by policy, just encourage all moms to breastfeed.
That all being said, if you have even the slightest notion that you’d like to breastfeed, the hospital is the place to try. If you find it’s not working for you, you can always switch at home — BUT it’s REALLY hard to switch back the other way (bottle feed in the hospital and breast at home).
And yes, I do have a list of my favorite breastfeeding classes.
**I am not advocating for/against any of these things. I am saying they are decisions you should take about/make before delivery.
This clearly only matters if you’re having a boy — but making the choice to circumcise is something you will want to make ahead of time (although any last minute questions can also be answered by your pediatrician).
A lot of time doctors don’t circumcise in the hospital, but they will do it a day or two after you get home (in the pediatrician’s office).
A few things to note:
- Make sure your insurance covers it, it is cheaper to cash pay in the office than to do it at the hospital
- If you have questions, you can always ask your pediatrician when they come to visit (which may help firm up your plans)
- Baby has to be at least 24 hours old and has to get the Vitamin K shot to be circumcised.
Who You Want in the Labor Room?
Although I am writing this during the time of quarantine, I think it is really important to get on the same page about who you want in the labor room with you at the delivery. Some of you may also want a doula.
And, beyond that — who do you want in your home afterwards? I do recommend getting help where possible. It’s a big adjustment and experienced help is always very handy!
Of course, there are lots of things you will want to make choices about before delivery. This was just to get you started.
If you’d like to start a bit deeper, I have a free beginning prenatal class that gets you informed on what to expect as you head into the 3rd trimester.
I think you’re going to love it!