by Jennifer Shakeel
You have turned the bend and heading for the home stretch. You have bought the adorable little onesies for the baby, maybe you have even purchased the car seat and the coming home outfit. Counting down the days until your blessed little one comes into the world. Have you taken the time though to come up your labor plan, I don’t mean what you are going to do during labor.
Relax, don’t stress… so you haven’t thought about it or don’t even know what a labor plan is. As I sit here going over my labor plan that I am hoping to kick into action any day now I am going to help you out. First things first, if you are married, does you husband work close to home or farther away? This is key. If you are at home and you go into labor, is there time for your husband to get home to take you or are you calling 911?
While I would like to tell you that you will know when you are going to go into labor, that there is plenty of time between those first contractions and the time baby is going to pop into the world, but there isn’t. With my first child I had time to get to the hospital, roam the hallways and shower before she came into the world. The second child, not the same story. Didn’t think I was in labor, went to get checked out, he kicked the doctor’s hand out and they rushed me into an emergency C-section. So this time I am prepared for anything.
Make sure that you have a family member or friend that is on an “On Call” status if you go into labor. This is for three reasons, if your partner does not work close your friend can get you to the hospital if you don’t feel up to calling 911. Your friend or family member can also wait at your home for your other children to come home so they are not coming home to an empty house and waiting for what could be hours until your partner is able to get home. The third reason is that your friend or family member can bring your children to the hospital to meet their new baby sister or brother.
You also need to pack that hospital bag. Being a nurse I can tell you that I highly recommend that you pack your own maxi pads and Tuffs wipes. It is much more cost effective if you buy them and take them with you then if you have the hospital supply them for you. A normal vaginal delivery is going to land you in the hospital for 24 hours. A c-section will keep you there for about 3 days, if all is going well. So pack your tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, deodorant. Make sure that you have clothes to get home in.
I also recommend that you talk with family and friends and see if anyone is willing to help you with meals for the family and any little household chores for the first couple of weeks but especially those first few days. You don’t need to worry about preparing dinner, and your partner is going to be busy with the kids and trying to help you. This is the time to ask for help and have the help lined up.
Do not overlook the importance of coming up with a labor plan. It will help alleviate stress on not only you but your family. A labor plan will also help going to the hospital and coming home much easier.
Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting. One of my children has ADD, our journey of learning to come to terms with the diagnosis and figuring out what works best for us has been a challenge and a joy. Our son was diagnosed about two and half years ago, and we have had our ups and downs, joys and sorrows. If I can just offer you one day of hope or one idea that may work to help you and your family then I know that my purpose has been fulfilled. I also want to share with you the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!