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Checklist: Practical Ways to Prepare for Labor

__ Pay your bills (cell phone, rent/mortgage, etc.) It's easy to forget about the mail -- even the pressing stuff -- after the baby arrives.

__ Preregister at the hospital. Pausing for paperwork when your stomach feels like its turning inside out? No thanks.

__ Wrap up stuff at work. Send out a good-bye email to co-workers and clients, set up an out-of-office message for your e-mail and appoint a pal to be your D-day correspondent, so your partner can call or e-mail with the good news.

__ Get groomed -- mani-pedis, waxing -- whatever makes you feel pampered. Running out to a day spa won't be at the top of your list for a while, so enjoy one last baby-free session now.

__ Stock up on diapers and wipes. Who wants to send Dad out to the drugstore the second you get home from the hospital?

__ Finish up last-minute packing, like makeup (this is one of life's greatest photo ops, after all -- and we can?t overstate the amazingness of concealer!) and take-out menus from restaurants near the hospital. (So your partner doesn?t starve while you?re laboring away -- and you have more than Jell-O and rubbery mac ?n cheese to look forward to after giving birth.)

__ Install the car seat and have it double-checked by a pro (see if the hospital or local police or fire department does inspections).

Birth Stories: "My Water Broke "
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke "

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All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.