Preparing For Childbirth
Preparing For Childbirth
Jay Goldberg (Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What happens at the hospital once I'm admitted for labor?; How should I prepare for a "home birth"? and more...
What should I pack in my hospital bag before I go into childbirth?
Everyone always asks "What should we put in our bag?" When you are preparing a bag for the labour and delivery experience you really don't need anything. The hospital will have food, will have pillows, will have gowns, will have clothing for the baby and diapers, but if you want to have some of the amenities of home, then by all means bring them. I usually recommend you bring your own pillow; maybe bring an old pillow case, but a pillow that's comfortable because the hospital pillows aren't always the most comfortable. For after the delivery you could bring a night gown or some pyjamas of your own that you might feel more comfortable in. You can always bring a little outfit for the baby to wear home; you can put the baby in a cute outfit. Your husband can bring little snacks for himself so when your in labour if it's a long period of time he doesn't have to be anxious and antsy and feel like he has to go down to the cafeteria for five minutes; you can just have food in the bag for him. It's also always a good idea to bring activities like playing cards, magazines, or music. Nowadays people bring their Ipods and their docking stations and listen to their own music; they put in a track of their pregnancy or their labour music and then they play music and play cards, because if you are going to be in labour and delivery for six to eight hours or sometimes even twelve to twenty-four hours, then you want to have activities. Most labour and delivery rooms will have a television and even a radio, but sometimes just the two of you bonding before you have your child together will be a great activity.
What happens at the hospital once I'm admitted for labor?
If you think you're in labour when you get to the hospital, you'll probably initially go into a triage area, where someone will examine you; either a nurse, a doctor, or a midwife will examine you to see if you truly are in labour. If you think you've broken your bag of water, they'll do various tests to see if that's happened. If you think you're in labour, and you're having regular contractions, they'll examine your cervix to see if you're in labour. If you are not in labour or you have not broken your bag of water, it's not uncommon to be sent home and reassured and told to make an appointment with your doctor in the near future. If you are in labour or you truly have broken your bag of water, then you are admitted to the hospital and placed in a room. Various hospitals have various different rooms. Some have labour rooms. Some have labour rooms that are separate from delivery rooms. Some have labour rooms where you deliver in the same room. You'll be admitted to the hospital, assigned a nurse, and then your physician will be contacted and will either come in to evaluate you or will give over the phone orders to proceed as indicated.