A Helping Hand
Picking a support person is vital. The person you choose will have one of the most important jobs in the delivery room: to help make you as comfortable as possible. Your support person is encouraged to attend prenatal and birthing classes with you to help develop breathing and relaxation techniques that you will rely heavily upon during the various stages of labor.
In Early Labor, the support person should keep a written contraction record – the length, intensity, and rest period between each. This information will prove important to your physician and the Women's & Children's Hospital staff when you arrive at the hospital.
Your support person will be the guardian of your birth plan, the one who advocates for you to make sure things stay on track with your wishes. If circumstances during labor and delivery require a diversion from the plan, your support person may be called upon to decide what course of action medical professionals will take. So, make time to sit and talk about your birth plan in detail.
A lot of things are running through your head about what to do to prepare for the arrival of your baby, and it seems everyone you know has advice on just what to get and do. Here’s a checklist to help you make sense of it all and keep track of what’s already done:
- Schedule regular appointments throughout your pregnancy with your OB-GYN. Be sure to keep the appointments. Prenatal care is vital to the health of you and your baby. If you don’t have an OB-GYN and need help finding one, visit Find a Doctor or call 1-877-302-2731.
- Pre-register to deliver at Women's & Children's Hospital within the first trimester of your pregnancy. Call (337) 521-9100, ext. *5-5740 or register online.
- Register for prenatal classes. Registration is free for those pre-registered to deliver at Women's & Children's Hospital. Your support person is welcome and encouraged to attend classes with you at no additional charge. Call 1-877-302-2731 or visit our full list of classes and schedule.
- You may request anesthesia, such as an epidural, during your delivery. Please note that our anesthesia physicians will bill you separately for this service. Call 1-800-296-2611 for a free quote or more information.
- Choose a Pediatrician for your baby. Visit Find a Doctor or call 1-877-302-2731 for help finding a physician.
- Sign up for My39 Weeks. Receive helpful hints, tips, and much more from the experts at Women's & Children's Hospital directly on your cell phone throughout your pregnancy all the way to baby’s first birthday!
Packing for the Hospital Stay
About six weeks from your due date is a good time to begin packing a bag for your upcoming stay with us at Women's & Children's Hospital. Why prepare so early? Well, babies have been known to come early. Here are a few items to consider slipping into your overnight bag:
- Robe and slippers. Button- or wrap-around robes are preferred.
- Nightgown or pajamas. Nothing binding. Think comfort.
- Two good support or breastfeeding bras.
- Personal care items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and other essentials.
- Photo and video equipment. Don’t forget batteries and chargers.
- Pillows with colored pillow cases for easy identification.
- Going-home outfit. You’ll want to wear something loose-fitting.
What to Pre-Wash and Pack for Baby
- Receiving blanket.
- Sleeper or onesie.
- Extra blanket, depending on weather.
- Car seat – be sure it is properly installed and know how to use it.
- Disposable diapers and wipes are provided by the hospital, but it’s never a bad idea to pack a few extra.
Selecting a Pediatrician
Selecting a Pediatrician is an important task to complete before giving birth to ensure the one you choose is accepting new patients and will be available for the delivery.
If you do not make a decision before your baby arrives, it’s OK. One of the Pediatricians on call at Women's & Children's Hospital will see your baby. Pediatricians make daily visits in the hospital.