Even though you may not give birth for another few weeks, it's a good idea to prepare as much as possible now so that you'll be ready if you go into labor early. Here are some things to do now:
- Write down the name, address, and phone number of the hospital where you intend to deliver, along with contact information for your doctor or midwife and your doula, if you're using one. Post a copy of this information, along with the phone number of an ambulance service, next to your telephone. Keep one copy in your purse or wallet (or wherever you can get to it easily) and another in your partner's wallet.
- If you have other children, write down the names and phone numbers of the person/people you've lined up to babysit. (Dog owners should arrange to have someone on call to walk and feed the dog. Give that person keys to your house.)
- Know the best route to the hospital, where to park your car, the best entrance to use (large hospitals may have several entrances), and where to go once you're inside the hospital.
- Check with your health insurer to find out if you need to notify the company when you are admitted to the hospital.
- Make a list of phone numbers (cell, home, office) for the family members or friends you intend to call when labor begins.
- Pack two small bags: one for you and one for your baby. (See next page.)
- Install an infant car seat in the backseat of your car.