If you’re feeling anxious about giving birth, we get it! The idea of giving birth can feel overwhelming but the best way you can combat that anxiety is by being prepared—both physically and mentally. Go into labor with confidence by taking a childbirth class and checking these items off your “To-Do List.”: 

 

Stay positive. Your mind is powerful, which is both a wonderful and dangerous thing. Try to keep positive and not get too overwhelmed or worried. The activities below are meant to help you feel ready and confident, if at any point it becomes too much, take some time to relax and do something you enjoy. 

 

Think through logistics. The thing about labor — unless you have a scheduled induction or c-section— is that you don’t know when it’s coming. As you near those final weeks of pregnancy, figure out where to go, how you will get there, and who will care for other kids or pets in the house. That way, you don’t have the added stress of these logistics when you’re actually in labor.

 

Establish birth preferences, but stay flexible. Some may call this a birth plan, but as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. If you’re not sure where to start, a childbirth class will help guide you.  In our Childbirth 101 online class, we walk you through exactly how to do this. Sit down with your partner and ask yourself these questions: What do I want my birth environment to look like? How do I want my birth experience to go (do you want cervical checks? Be free to move around? Certain birthing tools)? Do you want to try breastfeeding right after birth? Do you plan on encapsulating your placenta? 

 

Do some nesting. Get ready for when the baby comes home. Set up diaper stations, wash and organize their clothes, blankets, burp clothes, and everything you’ll need when you come home from the hospital.

 

Pack your hospital bag. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this one. The good news is the hospital will provide you with everything you truly need. But there are certainly things you can bring to make yourself more comfortable. Our expert also recommends a long phone charger, flip flops, toiletries you would bring on a short trip, a nursing tank or bra, water bottle, items for your partner and clothes for you and baby as well as burp cloths and a swaddle blanket. Get a full checklist for your hospital bag in our Childbirth class. 

 

Set things up for postpartum. Prepare your home for when you return. Set up postpartum baskets in your bathroom(s) with pads, extra underwear, a peri-bottle, cooling pads, and any other products you may have purchased to help with postpartum recovery, 
 

Take a childbirth class. Childbirth education will empower you to make the best decisions for you and your baby during any situation that may arise.  Not only will a childbirth class help guide you to know the questions to ask, and your options, but also what to expect: the good, the bad, the possible, and the inevitable. The fact of the matter is you WILL give birth, but giving yourself the opportunity to think through the options you have during the journey will help alleviate a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. 

 

Our online course Childbirth 101: From Labor through Postpartum will teach you everything you need to know —and what other parents wish they had known — about labor and childbirth. Taught by experienced Labor and Delivery Nurse and Childbirth Educator, Ashley Derderian, you’ll learn about the final weeks of pregnancy (including how find relief from common aches and pains), how to choose and communicate your birth preferences to your support team and providers, how to know you are in labor and when to head to the hospital, a deep dive on the phases of labor, pain management tips for all the ways labor can go, what to expect in the first few hours and days after birth, and what to expect postpartum.