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Ten Things to Know Before Your Delivery

Having a baby is a natural process, but there are things you need to know and plan for well in advance of your baby’s arrival.

  1. You need to choose a pediatrician before your baby is born. You should call and make an appointment by your 32nd week of pregnancy. When you are admitted, inform your labor and delivery nurse who your pediatrician is.
  2. If this is your first baby, it is recommended that you attend prenatal classes. These classes will help prepare you for the life-altering events ahead of you. Call 770.214.CARE or see the classes and events calendar for more information.
  3. You will need a car seat to take your baby home in. Make sure that your car seat fits correctly in your car and that you know how to adjust it. (Many local fire departments have certified safety seat inspectors who can help you with this.) Have someone bring the car seat up to your room the night before you go home and make any necessary adjustments.
  4. If you need assistance when you arrive at the hospital, you may stop by the emergency department and someone will assist you to labor and delivery.
  5. Visiting hours in the hospital are from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Please advise friends and family that all entrances to the hospital are closed from 9:30 p.m. until 6 a.m. except for the emergency department entrance.
  6. No visitors under the age of 12 are allowed on the maternity unit at any time, unless they are siblings of the new baby, so tell your friends with young children about this in advance.
  7. The number of visitors in the birthing room is limited to four visitors in addition to the new mother’s support person (a total of five). The nursing staff must be able to safely maneuver in the birthing room in order to provide the best care to you and your baby.
  8. When you come to the hospital, you can pack two bags—one for labor and one for afterward. During labor, you will want to have snacks for your coaches, your MP3 player loaded with relaxing music and a list of phone numbers to call. You also will need a robe and slippers, a pillow and your camera (be sure someone other than the new father is in charge of taking pictures and that they are familiar with your camera). You are not allowed to set up tripods in the birthing room.
  9. If you think you are going into labor, do not eat a heavy, fried or spicy meal, as this may cause nausea later.
  10. You do not need to bring any paper items to care for yourself or your baby. However, you will need to provide an outfit for your baby to wear home, as well as a blanket and hat suitable to the weather.

For more information, check out our Maternity Q&A.

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