Third Trimester

10 Things You Have To Do Before You Go Into Labor

Think you’re ready for delivery? Not until you’ve taken care of these must-dos.
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Take a childbirth class
You can brush up on labor basics in advance, but it’s worth it to practice breathing and relaxation techniques with someone who knows what they’re talking about. Plus, you probably have some personal questions you’ve been dying to have answered. Sure, humankind existed for hundreds of thousands of years before Lamaze and Bradley, but pushing out the head (and shoulders!) was probably a whole lot more traumatic back then.
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See a movie

Heck, see as many as you can before this kid makes his appearance. After he’s born, it could be months (or years!) until you see a new release in the theaters.

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Know the breastfeeding basics
Don’t expect baby to just latch on and start feeding. For both of you, it will be a learning process — and some new moms have trouble. Head off problems as much as you can by learning the basics before you give birth.
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Pack your hospital bag
Make sure you have all the essentials before you head to the hospital. Check out our packing list and the extras moms couldn’t live without.
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Program important numbers into your phone — and your partner’s phone

If you’re like us, you don’t have any phone numbers memorized (which is why Google is so wonderful). But now’s the time to program the numbers for your hospital, doctor, parents, best friends and any other important contacts into your phone. And don’t forget your partner’s phone too. Come labor day, he’ll probably be making a lot of calls on your behalf.

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Freeze some meals, or round up takeout menus
Before your due date, it’s a good idea to stock your fridge — similar to the way people do before a very big storm (oh, yeah, an eight-pound storm’s a comin’!) — with delicious, nutritious stuff. Some high-achieving moms-to-be bake and freeze casseroles and lasagnas, so they have easy-to-warm meals for those hectic first weeks with baby. But if you’re busy enough already, we think it’s okay to just update your collection of menus from restaurants that deliver.
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Get a crib and wash the sheet
Every baby needs to have a safe place to sleep. And you don’t want to do laundry while you’re recovering from childbirth. So make sure to set up the crib or bassinet completely, and wash baby’s crib sheet and put it on, so all you’ve got to do is pop her in.
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Install the car seat
Once you go into labor, both you and your partner will be too nervous to read step-by-step instructions carefully or to think clearly enough to know the car seat is installed correctly. So do it early. (Or ask him to, of course.)
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Make a labor playlist
Some moms swear that listening to calming — or just really great — music during labor helped them through. It’s certainly worth a shot to assemble a music playlist of some of your favorite songs if you think it could make the whole thing easier. Just remember to pack the portable speakers.
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Read a novel

That thing we said about movies? Same goes for a long, detailed novel. Pick up 50 Shades of Grey while you still can.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Best Things Moms Brought to the Hospital

Prep for Life With a Newborn

Create Your Birth Plan

By Elena Donovan Mauer