Ramping up to Birth Article
Making Arrangements at the Hospital
One of the main tasks of preparation is hospital pre-registration, and most hospitals offer it. Make sure you do it. It allows you to fill out all the required paper work beforehand so that when you do arrive at the hospital with your baby on the way there are no forms to fill out and no waiting for admission. You'll be able to show up and very quickly be admitted and go directly to a labor room.
Things to check on when you pre-register:
- Health insurance - ask about any out of pocket costs or limitations.
- Accommodations for you to stay with your wife at night.
- Your baby's social security number application (called "Enumeration at Birth" for some bizarre bureaucratic reason). It will arrive several weeks after your baby does, and can actually be a pretty cool confirmation that you are really a father.
Become Familiar with the Place
Many hospitals will also include a tour of the hospital, including the labor delivery rooms and postpartum areas. It will enable both of you to get familiar with the surroundings. Fear is often the result of not knowing what to expect. Getting a handle on what is going to happen goes a long way to reducing anxiety for both of you.
You will probably get to see the birthing rooms and the surgical center for Cesarean births. Also the post-delivery room and the recovery rooms for Cesareans. Some hospitals have sleeping facilities, whether it's a cot or fold out couch. Some may have showers or even Jacuzzi tubs. The tour leader may also have literature with ideas on what to bring and comments about what will be happening through the whole process.
The employees associated with the hospital's mother-baby floor like to help people, so don't hesitate to ask. You can get detailed information on everything from hospital policies and procedures to where to park, where to enter the hospital (this can vary at different times of day and night), and what reception desk to go to.
Get an idea about where food is served. While mom will have meals brought to her, dads usually do not. So get an idea of the cafeteria facilities and the hours of operation.
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