There’s a lot of information about how to prepare for labour on the internet but I can’t find any information about the early stages at home and then the journey to hospital. So I thought I would put down some tips for your birthing partners and how they can help (hint, hint Gavin!):
First and foremost be prepared – make sure you’ve got all your stuff up to date – tax, insurance and MOT. Most importantly, make sure you have fuel in the tank! Also it’s a good idea to fit the car seat before the baby is due. There’s nothing quite like trying to fit a baby car seat for the first time in the hospital car park.
I’ve written a list for Gavin once the labour starts (if it even does at home) and it’s kept on top of the hospital bag so he can get it quickly and easily which means no stress for me! Here’s what’s included:
1. Get rid of Tobias (in the nicest way possible)
2. Make a bath, even though this was hard work getting in and out of last time, it definitely helped with the pain so I would like to hope I’ve got enough time to experience this again.
3. Make sure phones are fully charged and pack at least one phone charger for us to use.
4. Get the perineal massage oil out – I’ve been advised to do a massage on myself this time following my third degree tear.
5. Get some paracetamol, this is the first advice you get from the midwife when you call the labour ward – I don’t think it did anything to help but best do as we are told!
6. Get the hospital notes together and remember to take with us – very important!
7. Ring the other people who are going to join us at the hospital. Once to inform them it’s starting and another to tell them when we’re going in. It might be a good idea to get to hospital before telling them to join us, depending on how many centimetres dilated I am.
Other bits to remember are:
Get the car ready! Calmly put the hospital bags into the car and if you are worried about your waters breaking whilst in the car, or if it’s been broken prior to getting in the car, you may worry about how to deal with the leaking. Get your birth partner to lay towels to cover the car seats.
Knowing where you’re going and how to get there will relieve some of the stress in the car. Also knowing where traffic could build up at certain times of the day or any roadworks that are currently taking place is useful!
Play music as this can be a great way for relaxation. Just playing some in the car, quietly in the background can help.
Go Slowly! This might sound counter-productive. But the road (remember those pot holes and drains), the ride, everything can be more overwhelming when in labour. Also try to avoid bumps, construction, and railroad tracks if you can. When it isn’t possible, you should go as slowly as possible to minimise the pain.
Once you make it to the hospital, be sure that you know where you are going, where to park and which entrance to use at different times of the day. As an extra bonus, try to have some cash or at least your credit card with you for the car park as they can build up to be expensive places to park.
Remember if the baby is coming NOW to always call 999, who will be able to help you through the process of how to deal with it, while at the same time dispatching someone to help you.
I’m feeling prepared and scared stiff all at the same time, for this labour! My first labour went by the book but that doesn’t help at all going into this the second time around, wish me luck! My biggest advice for Gavin this time is to not take the gas and air off me, under any circumstances!!!