Working Moms-to-Be: Preparing for the Hospital

In This Article:

|
Find out in advance the items the hospital supplies and those you must provide. A hospital staff member or your childbirth educator should have the answers. Then make these preparations:
  • Start packing a small suitcase for the hospital after your eighth month. Keep a second suitcase at work or carry one in the car. Use this checklist provided to help you remember everything. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home.
  • Keep your cell phone with you at all times, and bring your phone charger with you to work. Have your partner and other emergency contacts listed in your speed-dial/"favorites" for easy access to their phone numbers.

  • Keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car at all times.
  • Keep money for tolls in your car.
  • Keep the phone number of a twenty-four-hour taxi service in your cell phone, at your desk, and at home, just in case.
  • Rehearse your route to the hospital and an alternate in case of traffic problems with your designated driver. Get a sense of the timing, especially at lunch hour and rush hour when traffic may be heavy.
  • Know which hospital door to enter and what route to take to the maternity area. When childbirth is imminent, you don't want to be wandering around lost in a big hospital.
What to Do If Labor Starts at Work
Most first labors last for many hours so there shouldn't be an immediate need for you to rush off to the hospital. Call your spouse and/or labor coach to pick you up from work and take you home where you'll be more comfortable while laboring. If you're not feeling well, find a quiet, private place to rest while a trusted coworker makes the call, informs your boss/supervisor about your situation, and perhaps even stays with you until your ride arrives. Of course, if you are beginning to deliver, or feel that you're experiencing a medical emergency (sudden bleeding, faintness, or excruciating pain), you should call your doctor, 911, or a private ambulance service immediately.

In the early stages of labor, contractions will last about thirty seconds, building up to ninety seconds or even longer at the end of the first stage. You may also feel the following:

  • Your baby dropping—As your baby moves downward and forward, your abdominal pressure will lessen and breathing will be easier. This is called "dropping" or "lightening." It may occur at any time in the last four weeks but usually doesn't happen until labor starts. Now the pressure will be on your bladder. You can expect frequent urination, shooting pains down your legs, and an increase in vaginal discharge.
  • False contractions—Short, irregular spasms, called Braxton Hicks contractions, may occur in late pregnancy. They may be stopped with a change of activity; for example, shifting from standing to sitting down. Because the best way to keep your mind off these false contractions is to keep busy, the working woman has an advantage. Try not to worry unduly or let nervousness drive you to the hospital prematurely.
  • Premenstrual-like symptoms—Cramps, pressure on your rectum, and wanting to empty your bladder and bowels are early signs that labor is about to begin.


Next: Page 2 >>
|

More on: Work

excerpted from:

© 2005 by Marla Schram Schwartz. Excerpted from The Working Woman's Baby Planner with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.