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labor and delivery

0 In Motherhood/ pregnancy/ Uncategorized

Tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse

tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse
This post is sponsored by Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.,but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

You’ve got the nursery organized, the carseat installed and your freezer stocked with freezer meals, but are you truly prepared for the birth of your baby? Preparing for the birth of your baby is an exciting time, but is also a time of information overload, and lots of emotions as well. As a labor and delivery nurse, one thing that I have learned is that each birth is different and unique, and there is no way to predict how things are going to go. Yet, there are some things that you can do to be prepared.

Here are some ways to prepare for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the birthing process. Education is key to helping dissolve any fears and build your confidence. The more you can become educated on the birhting process, the more comfortable you can become with what to expect. MyBirthPlan.com is an excellent resource for both new and experienced mamas to educate yourself on different topics and situations surrounding birth as well as an opportunity to create your birth plan, create a “what to pack” checklist, and more. One topic that I find especially important for new mothers is to be familiar with the birthing process and the stages of labor. Read more about the stages of labor here.tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse
  2. Take some childbirth classes. Classes are a great way for you and your partner to learn different relaxation techniques and coping mechanisms to help you through labor. In addition, they are also a great way for your partner or support person to learn how they can best support you throughout the birthing process. There are many different kinds of classes from Lamaze, to the Bradley Method to Hypnobirthing. You can reach out to your obstetrician or midwife or the hospital in which you plan to give birth to see what classes they offer. Some classes even include a tour of the hospital or birthing center as well.tips for preparing for your birth from a labor and delivery nurse
  3. Create some sort of birth plan. As a labor and delivery nurse, I do remind women that birth may not always go the way they had planned, and at the end of the day, the best plan is a healthy mom and baby. But it’s a good idea to have some sort of idea as to what’s important to you and your partner and have a discussion ahead of time with your obstetrician or midwife. And most moms feel comfortable knowing that they have a plan in place should certain situations arise. My BirthPlan was created with the expertise of OBs and the perspective of moms to help moms-to-be prepare for the birth of their baby as well as to serve as an educational resource.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had envisioned going into labor naturally and having an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. However, at 37 weeks, I found myself being induced for high blood pressure. (You can read more about the different reasons for induction here.) Typically the induction process starts with some sort of cervical ripening, especially for first time moms. (Click here to familiarize yourself with the induction process).

Even though I was a labor and delivery nurse and familiar with the different methods of induction, at the time being in that situation, I wasn’t thinking as a nurse.  I was a sleep deprived mom in that hospital bed and all of my clinical thinking and reasoning went out the window. However, had I had somewhat of a plan in place in the event that induction was necessary, I would have discussed with my provider the different cervical ripening methods and played a more active role in the decision making. In the end, the outcome wasn’t what I had envisioned, but both myself and baby were healthy and that was all that mattered.

 

tips for preparing for the birth of your baby from a labor and delivery nurse

While every birth plan may look different and certainly isn’t set in stone, education is the key to being prepared for your birth. Head on over to MyBirthPlan.com where you can create your own customized birth plan as well as have access to various educational resources and tools.

 

Click here to check out my post on what to pack in your hospital bag and get my free printable checklist

 

3 In Baby/ Motherhood/ pregnancy/ printables

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag
This post contains affiliate links meaning I make a small commission

If you’re searching for a hospital bag checklist, you’ve come to the right place! There are tons of similar posts floating around the internet with checklists, but being a labor and delivery nurse and a second time mama, I’m sharing what you really need to pack in your hospital bag!

I remember with my first babe, we got sent in for induction after our appointment at 37 weeks. I was in no way prepared so I literally threw everything in a bag and off we went to the hospital. I remember strolling in looking like we were going on a week’s long vacation. This time, I definitely plan to be more prepared and intentional with packing my hospital bag.

 

Here is the down and dirty of what you really need to pack in your hospital bag

from a Labor and Delivery Nurse:

Flip Flops – I love these Croc flip flops. They are so comfy for walking around, grip to your feet and can also be worn in the shower.

what to pack in your hospital bag - crocs flip flops

 

Comfortable dresses/nursing gowns – I’m all about the comfortable dresses and these are like all I wore last time. They’re easy for nursing, a loose, non-binding option for csection recovery mamas and a simple way to look a little more put together. I love this one from the Nesting Olive. I bought it in a few colors. I also love these 24/7 house dresses from Undercover Mama.

What you really need to pack in your Hospital bag - nursing dress

 

Yoga Pants – I like these ones from Target because they are loose fitting and stretchy (so great for csection mamas).

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - yoga pants

Nursing Tops – I love this three pack of nursing tops on Amazon

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - nursing tops

Nursing bras – I got this three pack on Amazon. They are wirefree.

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag - nursing bras

Swaddle blankets – seriously you can never have enough. I got a few from Copper Pearl and I love them because they are big, soft and super stretchy. They also have lots of different, fun prints.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - swaddle blankets

Going home outfit for baby – Amazon has lots of cute ones. I like this one for a girl and this one for a boy.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - girl going home outfit

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - boy going home outfit

Boppy – I loved having my Boppy with me at the hospital to help with breastfeeding. The lactation consultant was able to show me different positions that were comfortable post c-section.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - boppy

Pillow – your own pillow. I know sometimes on L&D especially when we’re slammed we run short on pillows so I always tell people bring your own from home. That means dad or your support person too.

Diffuser – Not only is it nice to have going during labor, but also in postpartum for overall rest and relaxation.  I have mine that I use from Young Living but I like this one from Amazon as well. My favorites for sleep and relaxation are lavender and frankincense.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - diffuser

Phone charger – I have this extra long one from Amazon.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - extra long phone charger

Camera

Headbands/hairties – I found these cute ones with a bow on Amazon.

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - headbands

Toiletries – Ok so the hospital does have some stuff but I’m a little particular. I got a cute cosmetic bag and hit the travel sized toiletry bins at Target and stocked up on everything I needed. Don’t forget the dry shampoo and chapstick!

what you really need to pack in your hospital bag - dry shampoo

Pacifiers – some hospitals no longer provide them especially if they are Breastfeeding Friendly. So if you know you are going to want them, bring your own just in case.

 

Things that you don’t need to pack because the hospital will most likely provide to you:

– Underwear – the hospital will give you that sexy mesh kind so why pack your own?

– Pads/topical numbing sprays and creams/icepacks

– Non skid socks

– Gown to labor in (unless you want to wear your own but it’s most likely going to get covered in lots of fluids just saying)

– Diapers/wipes

– Nipple cream

– Onesies

– Breast pump – most hospitals have them for you to use during your stay but ask before you go.

 

Click here to download my printable checklist

 

What you really need to pack in your hospital bag printable checklist