Creating a calling tree is a great way to get the word out about the birth of your baby without missing those precious first moments as a family.
Your grandmother, girlfriends, and neighbors will be waiting on pins and needles for news of your baby's birth, but the last thing you and your partner will feel like doing after delivery is calling all 100 friends and relatives to let them know the good news. Take time now to set up a phone tree. First, make a list of everyone who would like to be contacted.
Then figure out a "tree" of connections. For example, you call your parents and your partner's parents. They call all of your respective siblings. One of your siblings calls your best friend, your next-door neighbor, and your favorite coworker. Your best friend calls all of your other friends, your neighbor spreads the news in the neighborhood, your coworker calls your work friends, and so on.
A phone tree is successful only if everyone has a list of names and phone numbers ahead of time. Double-check phone numbers a few weeks before your due date to save friends and relatives the trouble of having to track down phone numbers.
You may prefer to notify people by e-mail. If you do, get everyone's e-mail addresses ahead of time, set up a group list, and test it. Also set up a phone tree for people who don't use e-mail or have access to it only at work but won't want to wait until Monday to hear that you had your baby Saturday morning.
Some hospitals will post babies' pictures on their websites for your friends and family to view. Others have a service on the postpartum ward by which you can do it yourself. Check with your hospital now to see if it offers this service and whether special arrangements have to be made beforehand.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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