Few events cause as much excitement and trepidation as going into labor. These are some of the most important hours of your life, and in many ways, it’s impossible to prepare for the physical and emotional rollercoaster of having a baby. 

Nevertheless, you need to focus on what is within your control and make sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure your labor goes as smoothly as possible.

Here’s how you can prepare for when you go into labor:

Mistakes can happen

It isn’t pleasant to think about, but mistakes and unexpected complications can sometimes happen during labor, and it’s of the utmost importance for you to ensure you’re legally protected in case you are a victim of malpractice or a simple – but potentially deadly – mistake. These mistakes or malpractice can include a lack of medical equipment, administration of the wrong medicine, and mistakes during intake. 

Finding an effective medical malpractice lawyer is therefore essential to make sure you’re protected. You can find out more with this handy emergency room mistakes article.

You could be in for the long haul

While labor passes quickly for some, it can drag on for almost a day for others. In fact, the average length of labor for first-time mothers ranges from 6-12 hours to 17 hours. It varies due to a number of factors, but essentially everyone is different. 

While you can’t predict how long your labor will be, simply the understanding that it is perfectly normal for labor to endure for so long makes it less daunting if you find yourself in such a scenario. While you can’t physically prepare, getting your head around this simple fact can help you when you go into labor.

Get your affairs in order beforehand

Make sure you have organized your normal schedule to accommodate your labor. While you’re already on maternity leave, it’s worth taking the time to think about who relies on you or any important commitments that you’re going to miss. 

For instance, if you usually look after your sister’s children on a particular day or help out at a local charity, make sure nobody is actively relying on you during the run-up to your labor. 

Have a ‘labor’ plan

Once you’ve got your affairs in order, and you’ve started to prepare for your labor, the next step is to create a labor action plan. If you’re expecting any day soon, you’ll want to have somebody on hand around the clock incase you need their help getting to the hospital or doing work around the house. If you live with a partner, this is relatively simple. Ensure they are always available to give you assistance and make sure it’s as easy as possible for you to leave the house at short notice. Anything from getting down the stairs to climbing into the car could be a challenge, so think ahead and create a plan of action

If your partner is not immediately available or you live alone, recruit a trustworthy member of your close family or friendship circle to stay with you as your due date approaches.