Most people think of this as a holiday that signifies the end of the summer. For the expectant mom, it has a very different meaning.
I want to focus on “labor day” and what it means to us as moms and moms-to-be.
Labor day is both exciting, daunting, and of course exhausting! We all hear the stories, the amazing and the scary. We each try to prepare in different ways for when the big day arrives. But the truth is, no one technique is foolproof for any mom at any time. Typically, it is a combination of techniques and efforts that pull us through the whole process. We need to be able to go into labor with a calm mind in order to be able to focus solely on the birth.
Here are some ideas of how to prepare for labor:
- First and foremost, learn about the childbirth process. There are plenty of books out there, and your OB likely has literature and recommendations for you. Talk to veteran moms to hear about their experiences and ideas to help you through.
- Research which birth method you would like to use for your delivery. Take a labor coaching class. This really prepares the mom and dad for what is going to come their way. Be sure you are clear on what to do when labor starts or if you are not sure if labor started.
- Pack your bag. Make sure that you have the essentials and that they will not be needed before you give birth.
- Make arrangements with the person/people you want to be with you throughout the labor (how they are reachable, etc.). Prepare a back-up for an unexpected scenario.
- Communicate with your partner. It is very important that you have a clear plan about the sharing of responsibilities and how you will communicate after the baby is born. We and our partners don’t realize just how much we will need them to pitch in. Oftentimes, after the baby is born and we are tired and hormonal, and cannot be expected to start communicating effectively. Create a plan that includes willingness and allows for flexibility.
- Line up some home help for after you bring the baby home. This can be cleaning help, nanny help, day care, pet sitting, and more. Everyone has different needs, so the type of help you will enlist will be different from what others will utilize.
- Prepare older children and pets. Make arrangements for care during and after the birth. Discuss with your pediatrician what and when would be the most appropriate time to tell your child (based on their age and development) about the new baby’s arrival and your hospital stay. Check your local directory for pet training centers. This can be very important if this is the first time your pet is going to be around a new infant.
- Find a doctor for your baby. Find out the required schedule for visits in the first year. Don’t wait until after the baby is born. The likelihood is that you will be really worn out.
- Have the appropriate baby gear available before you go into labor. This includes a car seat to bring the baby home in, stroller, undershirts and baby outfits, blankets, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, crib, bedding, and a diaper bag.
- Stock up on house goods. Many people find that prepared, frozen meals come in very handy in the beginning. Don’t go overboard; just make sure that you won’t come home to an empty cupboard.
This list can really go on and on… Moms, and those moms-to-be who have done their research, please share with all of us your ideas and tips to help others get ready for the big “Labor Day”.
A big good luck and wishes for an easy “labor day” to all of us!