They say it takes a village to raise a child and I like to think that we are creating our own special village out of our Coco Moon community. Time and time again our Coco Moon mamas have rallied together to share their knowledge of motherhood to prepare and inspire those around us in their own journeys. From knowing what to expect from your hospital here in Hawai’i, to packing your hospital bag and preparing for labor, we’ve collected their insights so that we can share them with you here.
Preparing yourself for labor is a challenge in and of itself. You want to have a plan, but also be flexible. You want to know what to expect, but also know to expect the unexpected. It’s physical, mental, and emotional. All in all, it can feel a little overwhelming. So we tapped in to our Coco Moon community to see what tips our mamas could share about the exciting, but often daunting task, of preparing for labor.
2 Months Prior To Your Due Date:
- Research hospitals nearest you (check out our comprehensive Hawaiʻi Hospital Guide!)
- Pre-register at the hospital
- Take a tour of the maternity ward to ease your anxiety and help you feel better prepared
Talk to your doctor about your preferred birth plan, but be prepared for the unexpected and create a plan B. You may need to have an emergency c-section or may miss your window to receive an epidural and will need to labor naturally, so having a secondary plan is always helpful
1 Month Prior To Your Due Date:
- Pack your bag! Don’t let Pinterest fool you into packing more than you need. Take a look at our “What’s in Your Hospital Bag” post to see what mamas in our community brought with them
2 Weeks Prior To Your Due Date:
- Decide whether or not you want to take newborn photos at the hospital (most hospitals offer photography packages to capture those first few days)
- Buy large pads for when you get home. You’ll need them!
- Talk to your loved ones about how many people and who you’d like to have in the delivery room so you ensure you can enjoy the moment and not be overwhelmed by having too many people in the room (though it’s also okay to ask them to leave if so)
- Pay close attention to your body and go to the hospital immediately if you feel “off” in any way. Going in after having just a small fever saved one mama’s life!
- Learn as much as possible about the labor process beforehand so you can labor at home as long as possible while monitoring contractions/comfort level, as there’s nothing like being in the comfort of your own home
Enjoy the time you have with your partner before welcoming your newborn into the world. It is so special to share those last few weeks, days and hours connecting with one another before focusing on your baby
When You Are In Labor:
- Call the hospital ahead of time so they expect you when you arrive
- Don’t wait too long to get an epidural if you choose to do so. It can be harder to put in after a certain point, especially if you move during a contraction
- Monitor your contractions & comfort level as the delivery process can be quick depending on how dilated you are when you arrive
- Be open to changing your plan – as your labor progresses, things may happen differently that you expected, and that’s ok! I went in to labor really hoping not to use an epidural. But in the moment, I decided to get one. I really beat myself up over it, and looking back, I realize what a waste of energy that was.
- Trust your body and speak up if you are unsure or have a question. Don’t let any nurse or doctor intimate you as they are there to support you.
And remember, every women, baby, pregnancy, labor and delivery is different. Just because something (good or bad) happened to one person doesn’t mean it will happen the same for you. As much advice as is offered to you, taking it with a grain of salt will give you peace of mind in knowing the possibilities that can inevitably happen, though each experience is different and deeply personal. It is essential to be kind and patient with yourself and to ask for guidance and support when you need it.
Above all else, the biggest tip we heard from our community was: You got this mama!