Maternity Services

Preparing for Childbirth & Delivery

Whether you have a scheduled a cesarean section or plan to let your baby tell you when its time, being prepared for labor and childbirth is important. Here are a few things you may want to do before the big day arrives.

Preparing for Childbirth & Delivery

Take Childbirth & Parenting Classes

Yale-New Haven Hospital offers affordable, fun childbirth and parenting classes and fitness courses to prepare you from a smooth, safe delivery.

Understand Your Birth Preferences

Making sure that others understand your preferences and beliefs about childbirth is important. In addition to expressing your feelings to your obstetrician and partner ahead of time, it is a good idea to have a written birth plan on hand so everyone involved in your labor knows exactly what you want. Some things to consider and communicate are:

  • How you feel about using pain medication
  • How your baby should be handled immediately after birth
  • Who is allowed in the room while you're in labor

Create a Contact List

Once your baby arrives, you'll want to spread the news. Jot down the names and numbers of people you want to notify and give it to your partner a week or two before your due date. That way, he or she can make the calls while you rest and spend time bonding with your baby.

Pack Your Bags

If you wait until you feel the first contraction to pack your bags, you're bound to forget a few things in the excitement. Have everything you'll need ready to go several weeks ahead of time-just in case your baby decides to make an early appearance. In addition to any personal items you'd like to have on hand, like your baby journal or specialized labor gear, be sure to bring:

  • Bathrobe, nightclothes and non-skid slippers
  • Personal items and toiletries (makeup, comb, brush, toothpaste, and toothbrush)
  • Your favorite pillow, if desired (non-white is best)
  • Several copies of your birth plan, if you have one
  • Small amount of cash (under $50)
  • Camera and videocamera, if desired
  • Your contact list and stationery items
  • Seasonally-appropriate going home clothes for mother and baby
  • Rear-facing infant car seat for the ride home (State law requires you use one at all times, so buy or borrow one before your due date)

Pre-register for Your Visit

If you expect to give birth at Yale-New Haven Hospital, you can pre-register for your visit. Filling out paperwork ahead of time will get you through the admitting process faster and minimize inconveniences-like forgetting to secure required pre-approvals from your insurance company. Once you reach your second trimester, you can complete your maternity pre-admission form online or call 203.688.3331 for instructions on submitting your information via mail.

Take the  Maternity Tour

We will take you on a free, one-hour guided educational tour which will include admission, labor and birth, postpartum and discharge. You will also have the opportunity to complete your pre-admission paperwork. Schedule the grand tour at least two to three months before the due date. The tour is free but online registration is required. Children are not allowed on tour. Call (203) 688-9355 for more information.

The Day of Delivery »

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