How to Prepare For Labor And Delivery: Tips For First-Time Moms

There is no doubt that being a first-time mom can be really exciting, but it can also be really scary. The last thing you want to add to your list is stress over how to prepare for labor and delivery. It’s important to research and prepare for the process of labor and delivery so you are physically and emotionally ready for what’s to come. 

Preparing For Labor And Delivery

The process of giving birth can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it’s important to be prepared. Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we have put together a list of some of the best tips for first-time moms when it comes to preparing for labor and delivery. 

1. Learn About Your Options

Every pregnancy journey is unique, and being knowledgeable about your options when it comes to labor and delivery is essential in order to advocate for your wants, needs, and the health of you and your baby. There is a range of approaches, techniques, and settings when it comes to labor and delivery— natural birth, epidural, cesarean section, and more. Each option carries its own benefits, considerations, and potential risks. It is important to talk to your OB/GYN about your specific wants and needs so that when the time comes, you’re confident and ready to deliver your little miracle. 

2. Pack A Hospital Bag

Being comfortable during labor and delivery is a must. That’s why creating a checklist to ensure you have everything you need when the time comes is essential. Pampers offers a comprehensive hospital bag checklist for mom, baby, and partner. Some of the essentials include 

  • Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card
  • Your birth plan (if applicable)
  • Bathrobe, socks, and slippers
  • Body lotion
  • Comfortable pillows 
  • Relaxing entertainment

Being ready to go can help you feel prepared and bring you peace of mind For the full checklist, visit

3. Start A Labor And Delivery Checklist

A labor and delivery checklist can help you arrange the specifics of your big day. Although your little one decides to make their entrance at their own time, having an idea of all of the moving parts can help to put your mind at ease. Some things to consider include arranging transportation to the hospital or birthing center, preparing your support team, and setting up childcare, if you have older children. It is also important to stay in communication with your healthcare provider and to discuss any concerns, ask questions, and stay informed about your progress.

4. Learn The Signs Of Labor

Understanding and recognizing the signs of labor is the last step before bringing your baby into this world— making it essential in preparing for labor and delivery. The American Pregnancy Association put together a list of signs that labor is a few weeks or days away:

  • Lightening, where you can breathe again as the baby drops deeper into your pelvis
  • Loss of the mucus plug
  • Your water breaks
  • Nesting
  • Effacement, or thinning of the cervix
  • Dilation, or opening of the cervix

One of the strongest indications that you are in labor is consistent contractions. They can start anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes apart, and as you progress, begin every 10-15 minutes. When your contractions are 5 or fewer minutes apart, it’s essential that you contact your healthcare provider. 

Preparing for labor and delivery can help first-time moms feel more confident and in control of the birthing process. If you have more questions about preparing for labor and delivery, our physicians are happy to provide you with insight and advice. Visit our website, or call (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.

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