Pregancy

Ask the Educators: Prepping Your Car for Birth & Baby!

Childbirth education at Blooma serves families no matter what type of birth they are planning. All classes present evidence-based information for normal and safe birth, influenced by the Lamaze 6 Healthy Birth Practices. Classes provide information to expectant families to reduce their fear or anxiety while building confidence and preparing them for birth.

Each Blooma Educator is a seasoned birth doula, up to date on birthing practices and policies.

Our educators frequently hear the same concerns about pregnancy, birth, and beyond. One of our educators, Mari Melby, has some tips for prepping you - and your car - for baby!

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As you prepare for your new baby, you will undoubtedly come across plenty of lists detailing what you should bring to the hospital or what to stock in your nursery. However, something that is often overlooked is what you should have packed IN YOUR CAR prior to the baby coming. I suggest that you have these items in your car from 36 weeks on. Most likely, your baby will not come that early, however it will give you some peace of mind knowing that certain things are in place and ready to go.

1. A 1/2 tank of gas at all times

From 36 weeks on, I recommend not letting any of your cars go below this mark. Maybe you have a long drive to the hospital or birth center, or maybe there are frigid temperatures outside. Even if you live relatively close by, you may have a work commitment that takes you out of the area for the day. The bottom line is, you do not want to have to stop and get gas while you are in labor. Keeping the tank half full at all times will pretty much guarantee that this will not happen to you.

2. Chux pads or a few towels

In the event that your water breaks either before getting in the car or during the ride, amniotic fluid may continue to gush or leak for a while, and having something that you can sit on will help to protect the car from any damage. You will not get the chance to properly clean the car for a while, so this is a nice protective measure. My sister ended up having to use garbage bags as a last-minute fix, but this also worked well.

3. A properly installed and checked infant car seat

Without this item, you cannot bring your baby home! You may feel that reading the instruction manual is sufficient to install the car seat, but this is often not the case. It is generally FREE to get your car seat inspected by a safety specialist. In addition to making sure that the base is properly installed, he or she may even have you practice putting a doll or stuffed animal into and out of the car seat a few times. It feels a little silly at the time, but I was so fortunate to have had the practice when it was time to drive our new baby home for the first time! You can typically find where to go on your state’s transportation website.

Pro tip: Pack your suitcase and keep it in the car from 36 weeks on, too. You will be ready to go even in an unexpected situation and it is one less thing to do while in labor!

Originally posted on Mari Melby, Birth Services

Written by Mari Melby - doula and childbirth educator at Blooma. You can read more from her on her website, www.marimelby.com.