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Mothering › Groups › October 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › For those having a hospital birth, how/what/when to prepare?

For those having a hospital birth, how/what/when to prepare?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I realize all hospitals are different, but I'm looking for any input about birthing in a hospital.
My first 2 were waterbirths at a birth center so I have no clue what to expect in a hospital setting.
I just found out that I'm supposed to pre-register by 28 wks.. Oops. Is that when I take my birth plan? When do they explain what their standard procedures are? I think I would need to know that information before I complete my birth plan. Who checks the baby immediately after birth? At the Birth center the midwife did everything. Is it my OB or the Pediatrician on call? Do I even need to discuss the no Hep B, eye ointment, or vaccines with my OB, or just the hospital? I'm so lost!
I looked into hiring a doula but that is definitely not an option financially.
Also, anything in particular you will be bringing? What are you doing to prepare and when? I've seen hospital bag checklists but it seems like a lot of stuff!
post #2 of 5

I'm sure there will be better responses, but I thought I'd add what I could. We planned for a hospital birth last time up until 32 weeks when we switched to midwives. We were later transferred from the birth center for pitocin and wound up birthing at a different hospital. 


As far as finding out the standard procedure ect... I know we attended a hospital tour before we switched to the midwives where all of that was discussed to a big group of pregnant couples. It was something you had to register for...like birth classes offered via the hospital, but it was just an hour of pep talk about how things were done in that hospital and then an actual tour. 


I also talked about standard procedure ect... and what our options were and were not with my OB practice who would be working with us in that hospital. Because it was one of those practices where you cycled through all the OBs and whomever was on call would deliver you, I went through that process with each OB and by the time I'd cycled through all of them, I had a pretty good idea of what they'd let me get away with. 


From working as a doula, I think you're going to want to go over your birth plan with your OB prior to going into labor...maybe even leave them with a copy at that point in time, but ALSO bring several copies with you to the hospital. You'll want to give one to each of your nurses and then once again to your OB. 


As for the newborn stuff. We wanted nothing done, and pretty much had to say that a hundred times to every single person who came to look at the baby. lol Put it in your birth plan, but also plan to be telling lots of different people what you do and don't want done. I'm not sure who immediately looked at ds...but later, it was various nurses, a physicians assistant, our midwife...then another midwife, and finally a pediatrician. We wanted to leave early, and were not allowed to leave until a pediatrician on call had seen the baby. So, I'm sure that's something that definitely happens. 


I was in the hospital for a total of 16 hours. 8 hours laboring, 8 hours trying to get out of there. lol We hadn't planned on being transferred, so we actually didn't have a lot with us, but I think the biggest things for me were my own pillows and my own clothes. Music might have been nice and some hospitals already have a set-up for ipods ect... so that's something to find out. Also, we snuck food in...and I don't really remember eating it, but I know it was helpful to my husband! lol Also, I really have a thing against the hospital hats/blankets for newborns, so we had ds dressed in our own clothing from the beginning which was a nice homey touch. Pads etc.. are all provided by the hospital...along with diapers...peri bottles etc... So really you just want to bring things that will make the experience personal to you. 


I hope that helps!

post #3 of 5

I highly recommend taking the hospital tour and asking as many questions as you can think of. Find out what they will be giving you, Then figure out what you're comfortable using. Our hospital gives an admission bag that includes mesh panties, pads, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a comb. I am comfortable with using this stuff so didn't pack my own. They also gave me tucks, dermaplast and a peri bottle.


With my first daughter, we brought so much stuff and didn't use most of it. So since then, we pack light I have a doula, so she brings stuff for labor. For labor, I will probably bring my ipod and speaker, a sports bra and I bring a baby calendar for footprints. I wear their gown until I don't. I birth naked. I'm bringing a bra this time, just in case, but doubt I will use it. I might if I get to have a waterbirth, but I doubt it. You might try contacting DONA and see if there's a student doula who needs a birth for certification that would be willing to do your birth for free/cheap.


For baby, I pack a regular diaper like we would carry everyday. I throw in a special gown and hat that they wear while in the hospital. I have a coming home outfit. The girls all wear home what I wore home. And we use it for hospital portraits, which my mom buys. The hospital gives us diapers and wipes, blankets, etc.


For me, after birth, I pack a set of jammies, often a nursing nightgown, my boppy, an outfit to go home in, though last time I wore home what I wore in and a spare pair of panties, just in case, though I prefer the mesh ones the first week or so. I also throw in a pair of socks, though my hospital also gave me a pair of those because they wanted me to have grippy things to walk in.


For dh, he packs his toiletries, a couple outfits, a t-shirt and pajama pants, socks, underwear, etc. He is also in charge of electronics-camera, video camera, laptop, chargers, etc.

My mom brings the girls everyday and we are close enough that dh could go home if we needed something. He stays at the hospital with me the whole time, except to eat or run an errand.


I usually pack a bag a couple weeks before I'm due. I'm thinking this time, I'll have my bags ready at 34 weeks, just in case. My friends had a 34 weeker and she came home with them, no NICU, so I figure that's the soonest I would need all my bags.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you Pregnova and Joy of birth for your detailed responses! I have started a list and I honestly didn't even think about packing clothes and personal items for my husband! LOL thank you for letting me know. Poor thing. I'm going on a tour on the 24th so hopefully that will help me visualize everything.
post #5 of 5

I would just like to add SNACKS. I was starving to death my last hospital birth and the food was awful. Oh and breathmints for your birthpartner.


I second the suggestion for looking for a doula who needs to get some births for her certification. Some will give you a really good deal.

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