by Alan Cassidy
Bringing a new baby into the world may seem daunting, especially for first time parents. While parents welcoming their second –third or fourth – baby know how to prepare for delivery day, first time parents may be unfamiliar with what to expect and how to prepare. Therefore, it’s important to give first time parents an idea of what to expect before and during delivery.
The first thing moms and dads need to do is pack a hospital bag and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice. A full term pregnancy occurs at 37 weeks, which is a good time to get that bag packed, even though the baby’s due date is often more than 3 weeks away; some babies come earlier and it is better to be overly prepared than not prepared enough. Doctors, hospitals and parenting information books have checklists of what to pack for the hospital for the entire family.
The Day of Delivery
On the day of delivery parents need to time labor contractions and write down how long each one lasted, what time it started and what time the next one started. Once a pattern is noticed, the contractions happen closer together and the pain is becoming greater, it is time to call the doctor and head to the hospital. Breathing techniques learned in child birthing classes can come in handy at this time and should be used on the drive to the hospital. In addition, parents should make a final decision as to what to do regarding the baby’s cord blood. Cord blood banking is the process of collecting removing blood the left over blood in the baby’s umbilical cord and storing it for potential future medical use later in life.
Expecting the Unexpected
When a woman envisions her moment of going into labor, it goes something like this: she wakes up in the middle of the night with contractions, excitedly tells her husband it is time and rides off into the sunrise to have her baby. However, labor is usually unexpected and every family needs to plan for the unexpected, such as what to do if mom goes into labor at the store or when her husband is at work or when she cannot get a hold of him on the phone. A back up plan to get to the hospital is mandatory.
Childbirth should not be something women fear because of the unknown; it is an exciting, positive and wonderful day for all new parents. Having a little pre-planning in motion only makes it easier and more enjoyable for all.
This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22