At a glance:
- Your baby's ready to be born
- The birth plan
- Hospital bag essentials
What’s happening to your baby
If your little one is impatient to arrive and pops out sooner than expected (i.e. now) it won’t be too dangerous for him as long as he’s not got any other health problems. He’ll have to stay for a short time in the neonatal nursery and may have a few health niggles, but generally he should end up as fighting fit as a full-termer. Oh, and right about now his first poo (meconium stool) is lurking in his intestines ready to be passed once he’s born. It’ll be thick, gooey and greenish black. Now there’s a lovely thought…
What’s happening to you
If you haven’t done your birth plan yet, then get cracking! Essentially a birth plan gives your midwife an idea of what you would like during the labour – e.g. pain relief, where you want to give birth, birthing companions, equipment you want to use (mat, beanbag etc). But please remember, a baby won’t necessarily follow your plan so keep your mind open and expect the unexpected. (It helps if you’ve read up on all the possibilities beforehand, so you’re fully informed if your birth plan goes out the window).
What you may consider doing
Have your bag packed and ready – even if you’re planning a home birth (just in case you end up being transferred to hospital.) And pack some things for your new arrival, too. For you, we advise packing things like your birth plan and maternity notes; dressing gown; socks (feet get cold in labour!), slippers; ipod; books and magazines (baby might be a long time coming!) snacks and energy drinks for labour; lots of maternity sanitary towels; nursing bra; old nightie/t-shirt to wear during labour.
Your baby will need sleep suits and vests; nappies; blanket; wipes; booties; hat plus, of course, a cute (but practical) leaving hospital outfit. And be aware, some hospitals don’t let you leave unless you have a proper, EU approved car seat and it must be fitted properly. If you’re worried get a safety inspector to help you. To find one in your area, go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site.
Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99