Getting Organised for your Labour
If you are planning to have your baby in hospital you’ll need to get everything organised in advance, especially if you already have children at home.
It’s usually a good idea to have your hospital bag packed and arrangements made at least four weeks before your estimated due date, so you can relax in the run up to the birth.
Here are some of the things that you’ll need to take into consideration and arrange in the few weeks leading up to your due date.
- Compile and keep a list of important contact numbers to hand, such as those for your healthcare professional and local hospital. Make at least two copies so there is one at home and one in your handbag.
- It goes without saying that you shouldn’t attempt to drive yourself to hospital when you are in labour, so it’s also wise to start thinking ahead about how you’ll get there. Try to organise a lift in advance, as best you can, someone to take you to hospital. If this is not your partner, find someone who’s willing to take you at short notice if the need arises.
- Work out the best route to the hospital, and roughly how long it will take you, bearing in mind that you may be faced with traffic
- Have plenty of change for the car park in case whoever drives you to the hospital stays with you for some time.
- Make sure that there will be someone available to babysit your other child/children and/or pets, if you have any, at the last minute.
- If your child/children are of school-going age arrange for someone to do the school run for you as your partner may not be able to do it.
- You may also want to leave some contact numbers for your partner so that he can keep your family and friends posted on your situation.
- If you have time, it may be wise to get some food in for your partner and/or other child/children, and to stock up the fridge for when you return from hospital, as shopping may be the last thing on your mind when you get back. If you do get a chance to do a shop beforehand, buy some snacks and drinks to take along with you to hospital.
- If you are very organised, you may find time to prepare and freeze food to cover the first week back from hospital – if not, and your partner can’t cook, there is always the local take-away!
When it’s time for you to go to hospital for your delivery, you’ll need to take some essential items with you for both you and your baby, as well as some other general/personal effects. Some hospitals may supply certain things such as baby clothing and nappies, and possibly sanitary towels, so it’s best to find out beforehand what will be available to avoid duplication.
Organising everything you possibly can and making sure that you are prepared will give you some feeling of control in the final weeks of your pregnancy. You can’t be prepared for all eventualities but you can certainly try!