Have you considered your ride into hospital?
Here are some tips:
- Ensure your car is not running low on petrol
- Hospital bags packed in the car or ready to go at home
- Take a test run together.
Very likely your partner/ support person has not attended pregnancy appointments due to COVID restrictions, so the hospital may still feel unfamiliar.
- Know who to call: Save the contact number of who to call in your favourites. You can ring ahead to let them know you are heading in. You can also present to hospital without notice
- Know where to park: Most hospitals have a short term parking bay. Park here and come back to the car later to move to a more long-term location.
- Know where to go. What entrance/ lift/ floor do you need to take to get to the birthing suite?
- Positioning: Front seat? Back seat? Where do you think you will feel most comfortable whilst remaining safe?
Safe, Calm, Private:
- Keep your labour playlist going – consider headphones or bluetooth-ing your playlist to your car
- Shut down your external environment especially if it’s bright day light – consider an eye mask
- Keep doing your thing – continue to labour inside whilst your partner/ support person is getting everything ready for the car ride. You don’t want to be spending anymore time in the car then you have too.
- Heat packs – Partner/ support person can warm and have heat pack(s) (for your front and back) ready to go.
- TENS machine on if not already in use.
- Pillows can be a great comfort measure to aid positioning
- Try going to the toilet to pass urine before the trip to avoid a full bladder
Whoever is driving you, ensure they drive calmly and safely to hospital.
When to go to hospital?
This will be a decision between you and your partner/ support person when the timing feels safe and right. You can also contact your caregiver for support
You want to stay out of your critical thinking brain when in labour. Reduce the mental load by considering these tips and have the conversations with you partner/ support person so they too can feel confident and best support you on the day.