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How to Get Ready for Childbirth

Preparing for labor means more than packing your bag. Follow these steps and you’ll have a little peace of mind before you get to the hospital. 

Pre-register: Save yourself time on the big day and pre-register now!

Take a class: Start out right with one of our Childbirth Education classes.

Read tips for choosing a pediatrician (now is the time!)

  • Write a Birth Plan

    A birth plan helps you put in writing what you would like to happen during your birth experience. It helps you explore with your doctor what your wishes are for your delivery, pain management and care of your baby. It helps the hospital staff know your wishes and improves communication.

    Remember that labor can be unpredictable, and it is important to keep good lines of communication open during your birth process. We are here to help you have the most positive experience possible and will work with you.

    Items usually included in a birth plan:

    • What are your wishes during a normal labor and delivery?
    • Pain management — Do you prefer a non-medicated birth, or do you prefer IV medication or an epidural?
    • Visitors — Who do you want to be part of your birth experience?
    • Surroundings — Do you have special music you would like to play? All of our birthing rooms have free wifi. Do you prefer having the lights lowered during your delivery?
    • Cord cutting — We routinely delay cord clamping for 45 seconds if there are no complications. Please let your provider know who you want to cut the cord and if you want the delay to be longer than our standard of 45 seconds.
    • Immediate newborn care — We practice immediate skin-to-skin contact for the first two hours after birth at UK Birthing Center. Do you want other family members to wait to visit until after your bonding time, or allow them to visit?
    • Feeding — Are you planning to breast or bottle feed? At UK Birthing Center, we find that babies often start breastfeeding on their own soon after they are placed skin-to-skin with their mothers. Even if you are planning to bottle feed, allowing this first feeding can give your baby antibodies to help fight infection early in life.
    • Please remember sometimes there are unexpected events. If you require a Cesarean section, who do you want to go to the operating room with you?

    Once you've written your plan, review it with your provider and bring a copy to the hospital when you are admitted so we will know your wishes.

  • Pack for the Hospital

    It’s normal to feel anxious as your baby’s birth approaches. Give yourself some peace of mind by packing your bag ahead of time. You can do this three to four weeks before your estimated delivery date. Here is a list of things to remember:

    • Personal care items, including a toothbrush and toothpaste for you and your support person, such as contact lens solution. Some people prefer their own socks. We have non-skid socks available.
    • Comfortable clothes to wear after delivery. We have gowns for you to wear during labor, but you may wish to bring a robe and slippers. We will provide you with sanitary pads and mesh panties during your stay. Remember you cannot use tampons until six weeks after delivery.
    • Comfortable shoes to wear home.
    • Clothes for your baby to wear home or for pictures. We will provide you with diapers, wipes, T-shirts, hats and blankets for your baby during your hospitalization.
    • A jacket for your support person, even in summer (rooms are regulated for mom’s comfort during labor).
    • Personal music player/headphones if desired. We have free wifi.
    • Camera and new batteries.
    • Telephone numbers of people to call after the birth.
    • Coins for vending machines.
    • Cellphone and charger.
    • Insurance information or any other paperwork you may need, such as FMLA papers.
    • A list of baby names you are considering.
    • An infant, rear-facing car seat for bringing your baby home. If your car seat has two parts, you may leave the base already buckled into your car and bring the carrier in before being discharged. Remember a rear-facing car seat is required by law.
  • Getting a Breast Pump

    Breast pumps are covered under the Preventive Care Benefits provision of the Affordable Care Act. It states that health plans must cover one breast pump per pregnancy with no cost sharing for female members. If your insurance is through another carrier, please contact them and see how they are providing this benefit.

    Breast Pump Coverage Under the Health Care Reform Act

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated that pregnant and postpartum women will have access to lactation support and breastfeeding equipment before and after delivery and for the duration of breastfeeding.

    The following Medical Supply Options are available for breast pump purchases. Please check with your insurance carrier to see what they will cover. There are some variations depending on your plan. Companies who accept all insurances are also listed. Pumps can generally be ordered approximately 30 days prior to estimated date of delivery: