Chippenham Hospital - April 03, 2020

Your contractions have started and you feel like “This is it!” But, your doctor says to wait until they are closer together to head to the hospital—and that could take a while . If you aren’t too uncomfortable, here are three things you can do to distract yourself, fill the time, and also end up more prepared for your baby’s arrival.

They’re small tasks that can make the next few days infinitely easier:

Get familiar with your car seat

You don’t want to be sorting out latches and buckles with a crying newborn in your arms. So, take a few minutes to try buckling/unbuckling the carrier and putting it in/taking it out of the base. Have your partner do so too, since you’ll probably be instructed not to lift or carry the seat yourself right after birth.

If you need further distraction, you can also tackle your stroller. You won’t need this to leave the hospital, but it will come in handy almost as soon as you come home. The one thing all new moms wish for is an extra pair of hands. Placing your newborn securely in the stroller is a great way to accomplish that. Not sure how to install your car seat? Check out this Ultimate Car Seat Guide for tips on buying, installing, getting the right fit, and knowing when to replace your car seat.

Rest and take some “me time”

As labor progresses, try to take time to rest for self-care, or to just get some “me time.” Try to take a nap (send your partner to take a nap, too), have an energizing snack (with your doctor’s permission—women at high risk of C-section may be told to avoid eating once labor starts), or relax through contractions in a shower or bath.

The idea is to pamper yourself with whatever will help you feel confident and relaxed. For some moms, that will be shaved legs and blown-out hair. Others will want to prep like an athlete with stretches and yoga. What you do is up to you. Just take the time to focus on what you need to feel comfortable and ready (as much as possible).

Grab your comfort items

Your partner may be in charge of the “go bag,” but take time to grab two comfort items that will make a huge difference­—flip flops and your phone charger. Slip on shoes are ideal for any hospital stay, but especially when you might be dealing with sudden changes to your foot size (swelling increasing or decreasing after birth). A phone charger will keep you powered up to send pics once your little one arrives (or for playlists and additional distractions when needed).

Check out these Spotify playlists for your big day

Check out our 40 Weeks Alexa skill. You can also find a doctor, explore our maternity center, and register for classes.