Be Prepared for When Baby Arrives
Your baby is almost here! Your due date is coming and that means you will be going into labor soon. This sheet will review when and how to get in touch with us in case you need to be evaluated. Most importantly, if you think you need to be seen call us (same number as the front desk-if it is after hours the paging service will contact the physician on-call and we will call you back within 15 minutes) and tell us what is going on-we will let you know if it is time to come into the hospital yet.
Call Immediately for the Following:
- If you think your bag of water has broken: this may be an obvious big gush of watery fluid; sometimes it may be a more subtle, continuous leakage – if there is any confusion, call!
- If there is bright red, heavy vaginal bleeding: it is common to have light spotting after a cervical exam or after intercourse; light bleeding that is noticed mainly after wiping and can be managed with a panty-liner between trips to the bathroom is OK; more significant bleeding like a full-blown period is not OK and may be the sign of a serious problem
- When contractions are obvious, painful and very predictable occurring every 5 minutes or more often for at least an hour: Once you start to contract, when you need to go to the hospital may depend on a number of factors such as the strength and frequency of the contractions, how far you were dilated at your last exam, have you had any previous C-sections, and how fast were your previous labors.
- If you haven’t felt the baby move at all for a whole day: it is common towards the end of pregnancy for fetal movement to be less strong as the baby is more crowded but the movements should still be frequent. If you have concerns get something sugary to eat or drink (like orange juice or graham crackers), get off your feet and rest, and focus on the baby – if there still is no movement after an hour of observation you should call.
It is common to get “faked-out” by early or false labor- often contractions start every 10-15 minutes and then intensify and come more frequently. Once the contractions have been coming at least every 5 minutes take note of the time. If they persist and strengthen over the next 1-2 hours and are lasting 45-60 seconds call.
Where to Call:
Call our office number 303-280-2229. During the day, we may ask you to come to the office first to be checked. At night, the call will be forwarded to our answering service and the physician on call will telephone you back as soon as possible. If you do not receive a call within 30 minutes, call the answering service again. Remember, always call first. Unless it is a true emergency, speak to the doctor prior to going to the hospital.
Packing List of What to Bring When in Labor
For Mom While in Labor and Delivery:
- Your insurance card, the most recent copy of your prenatal records, and any other indicated paperwork
- You may consider bringing your own favorite pillow and/or blanket to help you be comfortable
- Your eyeglasses or contact lenses PLUS the cases or solutions needed to clean or remove them
- Toiletries, such as lip balm, a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, a brush and comb, hair bands or clips. Hospitals will have soap, shampoo and lotion, but you might prefer your own brands.
- A bathrobe, slippers and a couple pair of socks. The hospital will provide gowns, pads and special underwear for you to use while in labor and during your postpartum stay.
- Something light to read – a distraction might be especially helpful if you are heading to the hospital to be induced and might be there quite a while before you have any serious contractions to deal with.
- Music, massage oils, whatever you might need to help soothe you during labor.
For Your Partner or Coach:
- Money for meals and parking, perhaps some change for the vending machines.
- A few basic toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
- A change of clothes.
- Snacks and something to read during the early stages of labor.
- A camera/video camera with memory card and batteries, extra film or tape/disc, charging cord if required. Someone has to document the big event!
For Mom During Postpartum Stay:
- Pajamas, your bathrobe and slippers.
- A nursing bra and breast pads if you plan to nurse; a jog bra if you do not plan to breastfeed. The hospital will provide special underwear and pads during your hospital stay. Chances are, whatever underwear you DO wear the first few days will get stained, so leave your favorites at home.
- Snacks: crackers, fresh or dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, or whatever you think you’ll enjoy.
- Your address book and cell phone. After the baby is born, you’ll want to call family and friends to share your exciting news!
- A comfortable, loose outfit to go home in. You probably will still fit in maternity wear at this point.
For Your Baby:
- An infant car seat. You will not be allowed to leave the hospital with your baby without one! You will want to have the seat properly installed in advance of your delivery. Despite your best efforts chances are much better than not that it is not properly installed, so we strongly recommend you have the seat checked by a certified specialist prior to leaving the hospital (see carseat safety sheet for more details).
- A ‘going-home’ outfit-chances are baby will be fitting in a “NB-Newborn” size outfit; we suggest a simple onesie which is much easier to put on a newborn. Don’t forget outerwear and a baby blanket if it’s cold. Include a pair of socks or booties if the outfit doesn’t have ‘feet’.
- A receiving blanket (a heavy one if it’s cold outside).
- A cap, although the hospital usually gives you one.
- Diapers will be provided by the hospital so you may want to hold off on purchasing any until you know what size baby is wearing.