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Now that I'm pregnant, what should I do to prepare?

  • Consider taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid and iron to reduce the risk of birth defects.
  • Schedule your first appointment with your obstetrical care provider. Typically the doctor will see you when you're seven or eight weeks pregnant (the second half of your first trimester).
  • Start to research hospitals where you'd like to deliver your baby.
  • Take a maternity unit tour of hospitals you're interested in.
  • Register with your selected Main Line Health hospital's labor and delivery service. Preregister easily online.
  • Select your pediatrician.
  • Look into your coverage for maternity leave information (if you're employed).
  • Review your insurance coverage.
  • Enroll in childbirth education classes.
  • Call your pharmacist to determine if medications, supplements, vitamins and/or herbs are safe to continue to use during your pregnancy.

Ask your insurance company

These questions will help you plan your payments and file any necessary paperwork before your hospital stay:

  • Does my policy cover maternity?
  • Does my policy reimburse me for expenses such as a breast pump and childbirth education classes?
  • Does my policy cover babies, including well baby or sick baby coverage?
  • Will my policy cover a neonatal provider from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia if necessary?
  • Does my policy require prior authorization?
  • How much time do I have to add my baby to the policy after I've delivered?
  • Does my policy cover a well-mom/well-baby home visit?
  • Does my policy cover lactation consultation services?

Ask your obstetrical care provider

  • How many coaches can I have in the delivery room with me?
  • How will I know it's time to go to the hospital?
  • How do I reach you in an emergency or when I go into labor?
  • Do you have any specific instructions for when I get to the hospital?
  • When will you see me once I'm admitted?
  • What is our plan for epidurals and anesthesia?
  • Who will deliver my baby if you are not available when I go into labor?
  • What happens if you need to induce my labor?
  • What situation would cause you to perform a cesarean section?
  • Explain what would happen next if I need a cesarean section?
  • Will a neonatal provider need to attend my delivery?

What to pack

  • Personal identification and insurance information
  • Phone numbers (family, friends and physicians)
  • Mason Shaffer cord blood paperwork (if you have selected this option)
  • Phone charger with long cord to reach your bed
  • Toiletries (toothpaste and tooth brush, shampoo and soap, glasses and contact lenses, lip balm, makeup)
  • Comfortable clothing for your stay (bathrobe, nightgown, socks and slippers)
  • Books, music, magazines
  • Change of clothes for your birth partner
  • Snacks and money for vending machine, cafeteria and other incidentals
  • Baby blanket and going-home outfit for your baby
  • Car seat (installed and inspected)

Ask your nurse

  • How soon can I get started on breastfeeding and who might help me learn?
  • What kinds of screening tests will be performed on my baby and how soon will I know the results?
  • What are my options if I experience pain after labor?
  • How can I ensure my baby's safety and security?
  • What is your visitation policy for children coming to the maternity unit?
  • What supplies will be provided to me at discharge?

Download our delivery checklist (PDF)

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