This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SSM Health St. Mary’s. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you’re about to have your first baby, congrats! This is such an exciting time! But as a first time mom, you may have no idea what to expect when it comes to delivering your baby. You may be like me and after watching a birthing video at a birthing class, you may go home and cry to your husband that there’s just no way your body can do that! Well after having 4 babies of my own, I am here to tell you that yes, you can can do this! Our bodies were made to have children and it may seem terrifying to give birth now, but when it’s over you will be amazed at what your body can do! You’ve got this!
Prepare for Your Hospital Trip
There are a couple of things you can do before baby’s due date to help you get ready for a smooth delivery. These will help you feel more calm and confident for when the big day comes.
Most hospitals have birthing classes for new parents. Take advantage of these so you can get a better idea of what will happen and how things work on delivery day. This can also help you decide what kind of birthing experience you want to have whether that’s natural, low-intervention, or to get an epidural.
Many hospitals like St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites have virtual tours online as well as in hospital tours for new patients to help you know where you need to go when your little one comes. This is so helpful especially when your baby comes after hours and there aren’t as many people around to point you where to go. It will also help you see what the rooms look like and all of the amenities available to you.
Pack Your Bag
Packing your hospital bag a few weeks in advance will help you be ready for when you need to run out the door. If you throw things together in a panic, you’ll probably forget your essentials. Here’s a great list I created for packing your hospital bag so you’ll know just what to bring.
A Birth Plan
As you get closer to your due date, it’s a good idea to create a birth plan for when baby comes. There are so many choices to make when you’re having your baby, that it can get a little overwhelming if you haven’t made these decisions before your baby comes. It’s important to think about questions like:
Do I want music playing in my room?
Do I want to have an epidural?
Who do I want in the room when I deliver?
Would I like to do skin to skin right after birth?
Would I like to have my partner cut the umbilical cord?
Now some of these questions may seem trivial, but when you’re in the heat of the moment and this baby is coming, you may not be thinking quite as clearly as you would like. Because maybe you’re anesthesiologist can’t get you that epidural right when you want it and you have to wait so you’re in a lot of pain and you may not be able to think straight… I may know from experience.
Or maybe you prefer some quiet music to help you calm down. Or maybe your partner really wants to cut the umbilical cord. When your first baby comes, you don’t really know what’s going to happen so it’s a good idea to create a birth plan so your doctors, nurses, and family members know what works best for you and what you want to do. This is your birthing experience and at this moment, it’s all about YOU! But if they don’t know what you want, they won’t be able to give you the experience you would like to have.
Finding a Supportive Hospital
As you create your birth plan, it’s important to find a hospital that fits your needs. Do you want to use a doula? Do you want to labor in a tub? Do you want to be able to walk around while having contractions? Would you like to have access to a lactation specialist (which I highly recommend for first time moms!)? Whatever you want to happen during your delivery, make sure the hospital you choose is willing to work with you.
I love that SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital Birth Suites gave me the option to follow my birth plan. While having contractions, they let me walk around the hospital to help them increase. This was really helpful for my first baby, but unfortunately not helpful with my 4th. But I was glad I had the option. Other hospitals I’ve been to didn’t let me walk around once I’d been admitted.
And I loved that they asked my husband if he wanted to cut the cord – even though he didn’t want to. 😉 And I loved that they put my baby directly on me for skin to skin time right after birth. Then my baby starting nursing right away which was amazing! I’d never had that happen before.
As I mentioned before, it’s hard to create a birth plan when you’ve never experienced giving birth before, so here’s a great place to start. Think about each question and envision what your ideal delivery will look like. It’s also important to know, that although you have a birth plan, it may not all happen just as you want. Sometimes you go into labor sooner than you think or sometimes women will have emergency c-sections. Create your birth plan as if everything will go just as planned and hopefully it does! But also know that things happen, emergencies happen, and know that things may not go according to plan and be OK with that. It will make the entire experience more enjoyable for you.
Remember to talk to your medical professional about your birth plan so they know what you want when it’s time for baby to come. Bring it with you to the hospital and make sure your partner knows where it is.
You’ve got this momma! You are amazing and you CAN do this!