The nursery is starting to be put together, the onesies and diapers have begun finding their way into your home and the excitement is growing as you continue to prepare to welcome a newborn into the world. Now that the environment is near ready, are you?
Upon choosing a medical professional and preparing for delivery, here’s a list of questions to ask yourself and discuss with your doctor before your due date:
Are your bags packed? This is a good place to start. Consider having a hospital-ready bag for you and your partner at eight months. Remember clothing, slippers, toiletries, electronics and their chargers, snacks and any other essentials.
What should I pack for the new baby? First things first – a car seat is required in order to leave the hospital. If you think you know which vehicle will likely be the transportation to the hospital, put it in there around eight months too. Other things to consider packing are a going-home outfit, a blanket, burping clothes, a hat and booties.
At what point should mommy go to the hospital/birthing center? Ask your doctor to know what to expect when expecting. This will likely vary per person, and there may be false alarms too.
What parking is available at the birthplace? Call the birthplace prior to find a safe place for overnight parking. The last thing a new mommy and daddy want to worry about is paying a tow charge. Next thing, map out the routes to the hospital from common locations, i.e. the home, work, a parent’s home.
Who will be in the room during labor, and how many people are allowed? This helps you know what to expect in the delivery room – how many family members and friends can join for the birth, or how many doctors and nurses will be assisting during labor. Oftentimes, the mommy to be can have a say in this as well. It’s best to ask the birthplace to plan ahead.
What is the preferred position to deliver a baby? The answer to this may vary based on the birth setting and the pain. There are multiple options, and it’s typical for the mother to change positions during labor. As the pain intensifies, trying a variety of positions may help manage the contractions. There also may be medical reasons for certain positions; explore your options with your doctor!
Is moving around/walking allowed during labor? This may vary as well, but asking this question will help prepare for the actual delivery. Oftentimes, walking or even dancing can help encourage a good pattern of contractions or even reduce the total time of labor.
What happens if the baby is premature or past the due date? If the baby comes a month or two early, it’s likely extra time will be spent to ensure your newborn can obtain and hold important nutrients. On the contrary, extending past the due date may require an induced labor. These are important questions surrounding the due date, and one your doctor will best answer.
At what point is a C-section or induced labor likely? What will this look like? Induction will typically come first, and if that doesn’t work then a C-section is the next step. Your doctor will best explain when an induced labor is necessary. It’s important to remember these birthing options are considered when the risks to you and your baby outweigh the risks of intervening. Although these are often not wanted, it’s best to know all potential options.
What happens if the birth plan needs to be adjusted? As birthing decisions are altered around the safest delivery for mommy and baby, it’s best to discuss all scenarios including circumstances and/or risks with your doctor.
What are typical methods of care during labor? Things to consider asking about are the water breaking, if an IV will be used, pain relief options, food and water, etc. Learning about what to expect for the baby and mommy will help ease your concerns about your care during labor and the birthing process.
Who will cut the umbilical cord? If your partner would like to cut the cord, ask your doctor if this is an option. The doctoral staff would then provide necessary instructions for clamping and cutting the cord.
How long will the baby need to stay at the hospital? This could range from hours to days based on the type of delivery and the baby’s health. A longer stay will be necessary if the newborn is unwell. Also inquire about staying in the same room as the baby, and discuss contingency plans for premature birth or birthing complications.
How long does the mother need to remain in the hospital? The Federal government has ruled the length-of-stay requirements for beneficiaries covered in a health plan as two days for a vaginal delivery and four days for a cesarean section. Although, this is based on health care coverage, this is typical for the length of stay per delivery. Ask your birthplace if you may have the opportunity to leave early or stay longer, depending on the mother’s health post-birth.
Does the hospital offer breastfeeding support? The Centers for Disease Control Center recently showed that over 50 percent of hospitals use the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” as the global standard for hospital care to support breastfeeding. Typically, hospitals will provide you with tips and information about feeding options for the new parents.
Childbirth can be daunting, so we’ll save the stress so you can rest as a mommy and daddy to be. There will be plenty of questions to ask as new parents, and speaking with your doctor or birthplace will help you prepare for the wonderful day as your family grows.