About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Parenting-Preparing for the arrival of your first baby

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Grainne is visiting the home of 28 year old Catriona O'Donoghue, who is expecting her first child in March

Grainne will be looking at 3 main things:
1. Packing your bag for hospital
2. The weeks leading up to the birth
3. What to do when you actually go into labour

Packing Your Bag for Hospital:

-Maternity Bra
-Dressing Gown
-Disposable Pants
-Sanitary Towels
-Toilet Bag & Contents
-Face cloth
-Charts for hospital-in folder

Baby's checklist:
-New born size disposable nappies

The weeks leading up to the birth:

1. Research labor methods. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to take advantage of hospital childbirth classes. You will spend time with other expectant couples and you will learn all about the labor and delivery process and helpful breathing techniques

2. Create a birth plan. Once you have done your research on labor methods and pain medications, consider making a birth pan.
A birth plan is a document that lists all of your expectations during the labor and delivery process. You can list your preferences during labor and delivery as well as your wishes for care for your newborn immediately following the birth.

3. Pack your bag. You may not be due for 4 weeks, but then your water breaks and all of the sudden -- you're having a baby! Pack your hospital bag well in advance of your due date. Be sure to include all of the essentials, like your favorite robe and slippers, and other items like reading material and a going-home outfit for your baby. Also, be sure that you have a properly installed car seat to drive your baby home in -- the hospital will not let you take your baby home in a car without an infant car seat.

4. Expect the unexpected. Labor is a very unpredictable process, so you should make plans for every scenario. Read several different pregnancy books to get a variety of perspectives on the process. If you have done your homework beforehand and are well prepared, you will have a more gratifying labor and delivery experience.

5. Bank up on Sleep

6. Get some fresh air

Going Into Labour

How do you know when to call the hospital?

1. water break
2. reduced movement
3. bleeding
4. regular contractions

What do I do when I go into labour?

1. Call the hospital
2. Call your partner or birthing assistant
3. If you have other children make arrangements for someone to look after them when you are in hospital