1. Things you should leave at home
The day of your baby’s arrival is often preceded by a great deal of anticipation and preparation. As you prepare your hospital bag, you realize just how close you are to meeting the newest member of your family. What you pack is important: you’ll need all of the essentials, from insurance cards and phone chargers to an outfit and car seat for the trip home. But there are a few things that are better left at home!
2. Stuff you don\’t need
After you’ve gathered the essentials, your first question should be whether or not you really need the other things you are packing. At the hospital, it can get very hectic and you’ll probably be a little out of it (especially after the exhausting feat of having a baby!), and you may change rooms several times. In all of this commotion, “stuff” can become very cumbersome and may just plain get lost. Jewelry, especially, may be lost along the way if you have an unplanned C-section, in which case all of it will be removed. With that in mind, seriously consider leaving especially valuable items at home, and bring only what is truly essential for your comfort. If that means that you bring a favorite pillow, that’s OK, as long as it is worth lugging around. If you really must bring valuable items, consider making a special plan to ensure that they are kept safe.
3. People who cause stress
Labor didn’t get that name for nothing. It will be hard work, and with a baby on the way, it can be emotional, so you’ll want to be sure to choose your labor support carefully. The hospital may limit the number of people you can have in the room, or perhaps you want to keep it to just you and your partner for your own reasons, but be sure to remember that the people you include are up to you – choose people who won’t cause you stress, make you anxious, or just take up space without helping because labor is hard enough on its own. It may be difficult to tell someone that they aren’t welcome in the room, but you can alleviate some of the pressure by providing your nurse with a list of people who are allowed in the room.
4. Young or immature children
Young or immature children might create unneeded stress for mom at the hospital, so some families choose to arrange for them to stay home. However, if your family feels it is important for siblings to be present, there are a few things to consider first. You should check hospital policies and also consider how your child might handle the experience. Will your child will be frightened by seeing his or her mother in pain? If you decide not to leave your child at home, be sure that you are prepared with someone dedicated to caring for him or her throughout the hospital stay (the hospital staff won’t be able to help here), and have an adequate prep session for what’s ahead (books, tours, videos, conversations – whatever will best help your child handle this big event).
If your water breaks or your mucus plug passes at home, don’t worry about taking on the messy job of retrieving a sample. Going into labor can be a very exciting and sometimes scary event, especially for first time moms, so some women worry about whether or not everything is going smoothly. But rest assured that your doctors and nurses won’t need samples of your bodily fluids when you arrive at the hospital; they may ask to see your pad if you’ve been bleeding, but the goal is to determine how much blood has been lost, rather than to collect a sample.
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