As the due date gets closer and closer, you’re going to be preparing yourself for the birth. There are a number of things that you can do to help prepare for going into labour, but when your contractions are building up and your waters have broken, what do you when your labour has started?
Monitor your contractions
If you can, monitor how far apart your contractions are and how long they last. This will be helpful to determine how far into labour you are and may be something your midwife or doctor asks when you get to the hospital.
Call your midwife
Contact your midwife if you’re unsure whether you’re really in labour. They’ll be able to determine whether you need to get to the hospital or if it is a false alarm. Or if you’re having a home birth, find out whether they’ll need to come to you.
Call your birth partner
Whether that’s your husband, partner or best friend, call them to let them know what’s happening. You may even want to call friends and family to let them know that you’re going into hospital to give birth. This is an exciting time for everyone, and close family and friends will want to know what’s happening.
Call the babysitter
If this isn’t your first time, then it’s likely you will have arranged for a babysitter to take care of your older child(ren). This is when you need to give the babysitter a call. Or if you’re going to drop them off with a relative, then start getting them ready.
Pack some snacks
You won’t be allowed to eat until after the birth but considering that can take quite a few hours, your partner is going to be hanging around and likely to be feeling hungry. Pack a few snacks for them as they’re not going to want to leave your side.
Grab your overnight bag
This should already be packed and ready to go so all you need to do is grab it. Make sure you have identification on you and you may even want to take a camera or your phone for photos afterwards. Be sure to leave your hospital bag in an obvious place so you can literally grab and go when the time comes.
IMPORTANT: If you have signed up to cord blood banking, don't forget to bring the cord blood collection kit with you to the hospital. It is recommended to place the kit beside your maternity bag to make sure you won't forget about it. New to cord blood banking? Click the banner below to download your FREE guide:
Grab the car seat
Don’t forget to install the car seat before you go. You don’t want to be faced with the scenario of sending your partner home to get it when you and baby are ready to leave. Install it beforehand – even before you go into labour is ideal.
Get to the hospital
If you’re opting to give birth in the hospital, then you need to get there. Make sure you have the address, money for the parking and know how to get there. Any unnecessary delays are not going to be helpful.
Most importantly, don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths and compose yourself. This is what all the preparation has been for and you know that you can do it.