• Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival

    For a less stressful delivery, plan ahead.

    Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

    Call the hospital.

    For a quicker admission when the big day comes, visit or call the hospital in advance and pre-register. Doing so will ensure your name, insurance details and physician contact information are correct when you arrive.

    This helps because it:

    • Reduces the paperwork you’ll need to fill out when you go into labor
    • Ensures you’ll get checked in faster

    Where should you go?

    When you call, you’ll want to confirm which entrance you need to use if you go into labor in the middle of the night. Some hospitals require you to enter through the emergency department after-hours.

    Learn more about what to do when you arrive at the hospital for your delivery.

    Choose a pediatrician.

    You’ll be asked about this when you check into the hospital to have your baby, so you’ll want to research and choose a pediatric doctor beforehand. If you’re within a couple months of your due date, it’s time to start thinking about this and make a decision.

    Here are a few things to consider:

    • Be sure the pediatrician is accepting new patients.
    • Confirm the doctor is affiliated with the hospital where you’ll be having your baby. Many physicians try to visit new babies under their care before they’re checked out of the hospital.
    • Check on whether the doctor is considered in-network with your insurance plan.
    • When you think you’ve found the right one, set up a consultation to meet the pediatrician. You’ll want to ask any questions you might have – you can find suggested questions on sites like these or learn more in our Baby Care Basics class – and make sure the doctor’s personality and approach are a good fit for your family.

    Pack your bag.

    Prepare a bag for yourself, your partner and your new baby.

    For the baby, you’ll want a few basics:

    • Going-home outfit
    • Socks
    • Blanket
    • Warmer clothes if the weather is cold

    The hospital will likely provide some diapers for when you get home, but be forewarned – they probably won’t last long. 

    For yourself, you should pack:

    • Birth plan, if you have one
    • Glasses, if you wear them
    • Comfortable clothes, for example
      • Sweatpants
      • Bathrobe
      • Soft shirts
      • Nightgown
      • Warm socks
      • Slippers
    • Nursing bra
    • Snacks, if you have preferences that aren’t likely available at the hospital
    • Toiletries – don’t forget the lip balm
    • Cell phone charger
    • Music 

    With your bag packed and ready by the door, you’ll have more peace of mind knowing you can just grab it as you leave home.

    Decide whether to bank cord blood.

    Your baby's umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells, which are special cells with potential to be used in treating diseases your child might face in the future. Learn more about cord blood banking.

    Buy – and install – the infant car seat.

    Have your baby car safety seat installed in advance. You’ll want to make sure it’s installed securely enough it doesn’t move around easily.

    And whenever you’re using a car seat, stroller or baby carrier, always remember to buckle your child in properly.

    Don’t forget your favorite music.

    No, it isn’t a necessity. But some parents like to bring a radio, CD player or cell phone speakers to be able to listen to their own music at the hospital.

    Labor and delivery

    Now that you've done what you can to prepare, including taking a birthing or new sibling class, here's what you can expect and what to do when labor starts

  • find an obstetrician

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    Classes for new and expecting parents

    Wellmont offers childbirth, baby care, breastfeeding and new sibling classes in the Tri-Cities.