Preparing for birth
Don’t forget to pack yourself a hospital bag. Fill it with items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, washing items, iPod or iPad, camera, chargers, magazines or books to read, or cards to play with your partner during labour. If staying overnight please bring suitable night attire and slippers and a change of clothing, remember it is very warm in hospital.
It’s a good idea to have your bag stocked several weeks before the baby is due. Remember to add some food for you, to help keep you going. Most of the hospitals have canteens but they are not open 24 hours a day. You can also add a few surprises to put the bag: you could pack some treats for your partner – consider massage oil, toiletries or new slippers to wear in the hospital. (Chocolate never hurts either.)
Car parking arrangements are often costly or difficult to find a space at peak times. Make sure you have some change in the car ready though at North Lincolnshire hospitals the machines do take cards. You may also want to consider asking someone to drop you off to reduce the stress of looking for a space and getting your partner to the ward accompanied. At the Hull hospital site there is an opportunity to buy a monthly pass that allows unlimited parking for the full month. This can be an option if you are making several visits prior to the birth. This is available from the main hospital tower block, general office on the 2nd floor.
Cutting the baby's cord.
You may as a birth partner want to do this. If all is well after the birth the midwife will clamp the cord and show you where to cut. This can be a nice thing to do if you wish or it maybe something you have not considered or do not want to do. There is no pressure for this decision it is a very personal thing that you and your partner may wish to discuss this prior to the birth.
Partners are often responsible for sharing updates and arranging visitors after the birth. Talk to your partner and make a must-contact list with your family and friends’ contact details. Make sure to involve your partner in these decisions. For some new families it is useful to have close family and friends to visit in the early days, and grandparents can provide significant support. Some couples find this idea overwhelming, and prefer to have a period of time without visitors so they can get to know their new baby with minimal interruption. Remember to bring a camera or charged up phone to take those all important first pictures and discuss prior to sharing.
There is no right or wrong way, but discussing this during pregnancy, and sharing your plans with your close family and friends can help avoid misunderstanding. Some mums would love an Instagram of themselves and new baby just after birth; some would rather the world never, ever see them without makeup! Make the plan together and share the joy of sharing the joy.
It is a good idea to practice fitting the car seat prior to the birth. It is best to bring the seat when baby is ready for discharge as there is limited room in the hospital rooms for large items. Please refer to our page for advice for fitting and buying a car seat.