2 min Read

What to do before the big day

Preparation is essential to the arrival of a newborn, try tackling these tasks before you’re due.


Pre-register at the hospital where you plan to deliver.

Plan a Route

Schedule a tour of the hospital.

  • Plan a route to take.
  • Time how long it takes you to get there
  • Look at alternate routes
  • Take into consideration: traffic volume, the weather, construction

If you are planning a home birth, arrange a tour of the closest hospital should you need to transfer.

Partner on Call

Make sure partner can be reached by phone at all times and arrange for someone else to be available as back-up.

Class Notes

Review lessons from childbirth classes.

All In!

Enlist some help from friends and family if you desire additional support. Consider hiring a doula, someone who supports the expecting parents throughout the birth.


Consider arranging for help when you get home, especially if you’re having a planned caesarean.


Nothing really prepares you for life with a newborn, but you can prepare the essentials before they arrive. Set up the nursery with baby items such as blankets, diapers, and toiletries.


Speak to your prenatal instructor or to breastfeeding mothers. Get tips on feeding positions and address any concerns.

Pack Your Bags

Pack one bag for the birth and one for your postpartum stay.


Stock the kitchen with nutritious foods. You and your partner should cook and freeze meals ahead of time.

Let’s Review

Review your birth plan with your partner. It outlines how you would like to be cared for the entire time.

More for Your To-Do List

  • Take an infant/child first aid/CPR class.
  • Keep your resource list close to the telephone. Include numbers to your local La Leche League, breastfeeding clinics, family doctor, and 24-hour pharmacy.
  • Attend a car seat clinic.
  • Keep a full tank of gas in your car!

Dale Alleyne-Ho instructs childbirth and lactation education and is the founder of learning4lyf.ca.

a man carrying two children

Related Articles