Pro Tips for a Smooth Labor & Delivery

If you are anything like me, you’re super nervous about labor & delivery.  The last few weeks is a very strange feeling.  While you’ll completely recover, you don’t know when it will be your last time to do…. blank… before baby arrives.  At first, this really stressed me out.  However, I flipped my mindset to focus on prioritizing as practice for baby.  Be selfish with your time, do what’s most important and start practicing how to let go.  We’re now home with baby girl, and it’s given me time to reflect on all the things before labor & delivery.

1. Pack your hospital bag 3-4 weeks in advance

Our little one arrived a little early.  Luckily, our hospital bag was already packed.  However, you may have limited maternity clothes, so it may be tough to keep a bag packed with extra clothes for nearly a month.  It at least was a challenge for me.  Here’s my tip – keep a few foundation items in the bag and continue to rotate other through when you do laundry.  On a weekly basis, check in that you have what you need for the stay.  To see what I packed in my hospital bag, click here.

2. Get your nails & lashes done

OK so this one doesn’t necessarily guarantee a smooth labor & delivery, but it will make you feel beautiful.  Chances are you’ll labor for a long time – anywhere from 6 hours to longer than 24 hours.  Having your lashes done will make you look like you have makeup on.  You’ll feel beautiful, which means you’ll fell comfortable in all postpartum photos.  If you have the time, get your nails done as well.  I’d recommend a no chip so it lasts as long as possible.

3. Bring an extra bag or keep space in your hospital bag

I shared my recommended packing list here for your hospital bag. I’d also recommend leaving space in a bag to bring home all the gifts and samples you’ll get at the hospital.  You’d be surprised how much stuff you end up accumulating in a few days.  We ended up with 2 large Lululemon bags full of things.

4. If you’re getting an epidural, get it early

This was the best advice I had received from a friend.  I ended up getting my epidural when my pain was a 2 or a 3 and it was perfect!  I was able to sit still without cringing from painful contractions.  Also, it helped me to relax and let my body focus on labor vs. a giant shot headed my way.  Many people have said to me, “Wouldn’t you want the option to walk around?”  I completely understand where they’re coming from.  For me, I was so uncomfortable with contractions out the gate, that I didn’t want to walk around regardless.  I’d highly recommend getting it early!

5. Grab every sample you can get your hands on!

The nurses are awesome and will help you with everything you need.  I recommend taking all the samples from the hospital for a few reasons.  First, it’s the products your newborn is already using so you can have some consistency.  Second, you can continue to test these products to ensure they work for your new family.  I’d recommend samples of:

  • Diapers (as many packs as you can get)
  • Hospital swaddles (3-4)
  • Ice packs for you (10-15 total)
  • Pads (2 packs)
  • Hospital bed pads (10 total)
  • Lanolin nipple cream (3-4 tubes)

If you have any questions, let me know and I can add them to this post!  If nothing else, know that you can do this and it’s 2 days of pain max!

 

Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.

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