Well the 'due date' is looming (see our blog article on the due date here https://midwivesandmothers.com.au/mama-blog/the-due-date/) and you are starting to think about labour, birth and... what comes next? Oh that’s right, a baby and the start of the rest of your lives!
Here are some tips to prepare you for the days in hospital. Even though maternity hospital stays in Australia are becoming shorter, it is important you make this time, the time when you first meet your baby, as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We believe it should be the most memorable day of your life.
What to take to hospital
- take things that will make you feel at home. The more at home you feel, the more oxytocin (the hormone of love and safety) you will have on board.
- have your birth plan or preferences ready; this will ensure you and your birth team are all on the same page about what your preferences are for your labour and birth. You can see our tips on birth plans here https://midwivesandmothers.com.au/ufaqs/birth-plans/
- the hospital should provide a basic list to you of what to bring. There is also a great list on the Purebaby blog; https://www.purebaby.com.au/blog/hospital-bag-checklist/
Things to think about before you go into labour:
- It may sound simple, but it can be stressful for partners to navigate driving to the hospital and getting you to the right place in the hospital whilst you’re in labour! Do a prelabour run, to take the stress out of this for your partner. Think about the route and where to park.
- What would you like your partner to check/do before you leave for the hospital? A list is very handy, as it can be a stressful time for the partner and simple things can be forgotten. Remember the important things like: securing your property, blow out the candles and turn off the heater/cooler, feed the pets, take your pregnancy paperwork!
Express & store some milk in the freezer from 38 weeks
Why we recommend it:
- It promotes oxytocin, which can assist your uterus to prepare for labour
- It is a fabulous skill to master prior to breastfeeding your baby!
- It is great to have some colostrum stored for your baby, in case it is unwell or needs some extra milk.
How to do it:
- hand express, don’t use a pump as it may cause irritation to the ducts.
- have a look here for some more detailed information on how to express and store colostrum: http://brochures.mater.org.au/brochures/mater-mothers-hospital/breastfeeding—antenatal-expression-of-colostrum
- make an appointment with a MAMA Midwife (www.midwivesandmothers.com.au) and they can show you how!
Our Extra Tips:
- In the weeks leading up to your due date, make sure you have a full tank of Petrol in the car!
- Call the hospital before you leave home. Around 50% of women in early labour get to hospital and are sent home again, some multiple times. Sometimes a midwife can assess where you are at in your labour over the phone. You can also choose to have a private Midwife support you in labour, who will be able to advise you when it is time to leave! (visit www.midwivesandmothers.com.au for more info)