Parents come to the hospital with a lot of expectations and worries. What are some mistakes that parents make in preparing to come to the hospital to have their baby?
But first, how do I know all of this? Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped thousands of families be admitted to the hospital to have their baby — I would call myself an expert on this one — so, let’s jump in (feel free to join me. I’ll give you info tailored JUST to your pregnancy):
Bring Too Much Stuff
So many families come into the labor room with WAY too much stuff.
First off, I recommend that you split your stuff into bags and to leave some of them in the car (if possible).
I have a whole post on what to pack in your hospital bag that has it separated into your different bags and what to put in each one.
Please remember that the rooms are often not large and there will be you, plus staff and possibly visitors that need to fit in the area. A 7 piece luggage set could be problematic.
What you REALLY don’t want is to get home and have a million things to put away (or your partner putting them all in the wrong spot). Being mindful of what you bring will also make it easier when you get home.
Leave the Car Seat at Home
There is ONE thing we won’t let you leave without.
And that is a car seat.
So often families forget it it at home. Make sure it’s in your car and hopefully installed ahead of time.
Bonus points for families who do some trial runs with a doll or stuffed animal clipped in to the seat and into the base so they know how it all works.
Not Having a Diaper Bag Ready
If you read my hospital bag checklist I recommend a separate bag for baby and the pro tip is to just pack a diaper bag.
With newborns you’re likely going to need several outfits, diapers, and blankets in that bag anyway. On your way home you may need to stop for medications, or to grab food, so having a diaper bag with you is super handy.
You never want to travel somewhere with a newborn empty handed. 🙂
Plus, if you keep it stocked it will make getting out of the house for your pediatrician’s appointment a lot easier!
Not Talking to the Provider Enough About Their Plans
Ok, now it’s time to jump into what will HAPPEN in the hospital.
SO many people never talk to the doctor about what will happen in the hospital.
Sure, no one really knows WHAT the plan is (because there are a lot of variables) — but they can speak to what will likely happen.
But, here are a few questions you should ask your provider:
- Which hospital should you go to? (Hopefully you’ve already figured this out, but I’m surprised by how many people figure this out late in the game).
- Are you planning on us having an induction? (A good thing to bring up if you don’t want an induction, or DO want one)
- Do you deliver most of your babies or will someone else likely be on?
- When do you think we should head into the hospital if we’re in labor? (This varies widely by your situation, the hospital, traffic, etc — your provider is going to be your best bet for info in this situation).
Not Taking a Prenatal Class
Speaking to your provider can give you a LOT of good information, but there is literally NO way they can prepare you for all the things to expect at the hospital. Most often, they recommend and probably plan on you taking a prenatal class.
When I taught prenatal classes for the hospital I realized that the traditional classes just weren’t working anymore. Mostly because most families did NOT take a class. It’s just SO hard to get your schedules to mesh with the hospital available classes (and the hospital classes fill SO fast). So, I created my own. I strongly believe it is the best class on the internet. My class has been around longer, I’m a better teacher, and I have more experience than any class I have seen (not to mention the price is right).
I hope you’ll take a class, and I really hope you’ll take mine.
So, what are YOU worried you’ll mess up in preparing for the hospital? Tell us in the comments!
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.