10 Things You Should Know Before You Go Into Labor
After the seemingly endless days and months of waiting, at some point in your pregnancy all that will be left to do is to either push or get ready for your C-section!
Simple as it may sound, we know there are a lot of mixed emotions that come with this life-changing moment. So we interviewed pioneering childbirth educator, Rome Kanapi, to give us tips on how to help you prepare for your baby’s big entrance into the world.
Before You Go Into Labor
1. Prepare Baby’s Room and Baby’s Things
From choosing a crib, to buying clothing essentials, down to breast feeding accessories, you can breath easy knowing that everything is in its place. Make a shopping list early on and buy things little by little to help your progress.
Mitch Besa gave birth to her second baby two months ago. She shares, “Be a wise mom. Don’t splurge. If you know someone you can borrow stuff from for your newborn, that would be best, because they grow so fast. For my pregnancy, I bought 6 sets of clothes, then the rest are borrowed or 2nd hand purchases.”
2. Get Your Go Bag and Information Sheet Ready
One of the things you should do once you hit your 34th week of pregnancy is pack your hospital go-bag. Make sure you have your information sheet, a piece of paper that contains all the information about you and your pregnancy. “Expect to be asked a lot of information when you’re admitted. Prepare at least 5 copies of the information sheet to distribute to nurses and residents so you don’t keep repeating the same thing over and over,” says Rome.
Keep in mind that nurses change shifts every few hours. Distributing your information sheet will make things easier for you.
3. Take A Tour of the Delivery Area
Rome is surprised that some parents-to-be don’t know where to go exactly when they get to the hospital. The common answer is to head to the Emergency Room instead of the Delivery Room. It will help to familiarize yourself with your hospital’s Delivery Area before the big day and find out where you’ll be dropped off.
When you go for your check-up, ask the secretary if you can take a tour. Rome explains, “You can’t have your tour whenever you want. Mornings are busy for scheduled operations. Makati Med, for example, only allows tours on Sunday afternoons. So depending on the hospital, try to take a tour when you go for a doctor’s visit to hit two birds at the same time.”
The tour will also help you compare the costs of different rooms as well as birthing packages. These are things you need to be settled on before you give birth.
4. Get a Maternity Package
Even before you go into labor, research about maternity packages. In general, these packages will be much cheaper especially if your pregnancy goes into an emergency situation.
Leslie Anne Lim, 5 months pregnant and mompreneur owner of Two Mamas Baby and Nursing Supplies shares, “This is my second pregnancy. My first was a cesarian but it was only decided on while I was already in labor because there were complications. I wasn’t really prepared for that. Now I want to do a normal delivery. Currently, I am searching for classes to help with vaginal birth after C-section. I want to use less medications and pain relievers.”
Rome shares that late July until December are peak months for deliveries. You need to prepare for situations where your desired room is not available. “Say you want a small private room but only a large private or small suite is available. Tell Admissions to wait list you. Upgraded rooms translate to upgraded costs,” she warns.
6. Candies and Snacks
Since you’re not allowed to eat while in labor, make sure you have lollipops for energy. Pack snacks for your husband too.
7. Daddy Power
“Husbands, never leave your wives alone. If you forget something at home, forget it. If you can ask a relative to help you with admissions so you don’t leave your wife’s side, all the better. You can also be the one to hand out the information sheet to residents and nurses. It’s a beautiful form of support for your wife,” Rome says.
Jackie Crasco, who gave birth 9 months ago, shares, “I wasn’t scared to go into labor. I was not afraid of the pain I will experience. Just stay calm, make sure you have all the supplies you need before giving birth. Prepare with your husband so that you have someone to count on and you don’t feel alone. Your husband should always be there for you.”
8. Find Comfortable Positions
When you’re in labor, find comfortable positions you can go into. It’s important to be mobile. You can sit, walk, and change positions because it will help progress your labor compared to lying down. Walking around, and even sitting down, gives you the advantage of gravity.
Anna Olaño, giving birth any time now, shares, “I’m due anytime and we’re walking as much as possible all the time. I’ve packed my go bags. I’m taking malunggay, vitamins for the baby, iron, all that. Since this is baby #2 we had to prepare space and prepare baby #1 by telling stories about the coming baby so she won’t get jealous.”
9. Let Instinct Takeover
Rome assures that mom will know how to push when the time comes. Some say, “But I don’t know how to do that,” yet at the right moment, instinct kicks in! Believe in yourself and have confidence that when it’s time to push, you’ll know how to do it. You’ll also get instructions from the nurse and doctors. Giving birth is a team effort between mom, dad, baby, doctor, and medical staff.
Mitch Besa shares, “I read a lot. You really have to read and learn. For first-time moms, breathing is important. And just relax. Don’t think of the stress.”
10. Have the Right Mindset
Instead of saying, “I’m going into labor,” say “I’m going into labor and delivery.” Labor is hard work. But delivery means you have your little one in your arms, a moment that is precious and irreplaceable.
Ready, Get Set, Baby!
A friend once said that she’s treating her pregnancy like she was training for a marathon. Another mommy shared that being pregnant is like being a full-time events organizer.
No matter how you look at it, one thing’s for sure, planning ahead while you’re pregnant is best. And the reward for all your hard work is no less than your beautiful baby being born into this world.