Last minute preparations before childbirth

Final preparations before childbirth:

As your due date approaches, consider making a list of tasks to complete before your baby is born.
This way, you'll have less to worry about once your child is ready to arrive and more time to focus on welcoming them into the world. Some suggestions:

How do you prepare for the last moments before giving birth?

  • Make a list of the people who will receive the birth announcements. If you order print ads, select the style of the ad and pre-address the envelopes. Similarly, gather email addresses or phone numbers to announce your baby's arrival.
  • Cook some meals ahead of time and freeze them.
  • Find child care or housekeeping help if you can afford it, and interview candidates in advance. You can also take advantage of the help of friends and family who are available to do so.
  • Even if you think you won't need extra help, you should have a list of names you can call in case things change.

Before your ninth month, complete any necessary preparations. Your list should include:

  • Name, address and phone number of the hospital.
  • Name, address, and phone number of the doctor or nurse-midwife (certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board) who will deliver your baby and the person who covers the practice when your doctor is not available.
  • The fastest and easiest route to the hospital or birthing center.
  • The location of the hospital entrance to use when you go into labor.
  • The phone number of an ambulance service, in case you need assistance in an emergency. 
  • The phone number of the person who will take you to the hospital (if that person does not live with you).
  • A bag with essentials for labor and the rest of your hospital stay, including toiletries, clothing, addresses and phone numbers of friends and relatives, reading material, a baby blanket and the clothes the baby will wear home.
  • A car seat so you can take your baby home safely. Make sure the seat is approved for use by a typical weight newborn or for babies weighing less than 5 pounds (2.26 kg) if you are expecting twins or anticipating a premature birth.
  • Information on low weights and maximum weight can be found on the label and in the user manual. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Install it on the back seat, facing backwards. (Never place a rear-facing car seatin front of an air bag.) You must remain in this position until the child has reached the maximum height and weight for rear-facing seats as prescribed by the car seat manufacturers. Most convertible seats have limits that allow children to ride rear-facing for an additional 2 years.
  • Don't forget to have your car seat checked by a trained professional. Proper use and installation is key to protecting your little one during an accident. Also, remember that the car seat must be installed correctly for each use.
  • ​If you plan to breastfeed, find out if you can request an electric breast pump ahead of time. Some insurance companies will allow it, and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program will usually provide a pump after your baby is born.
  • If you have other children, please arrange for their care during the time you are in the hospital.