You cannot predict when labor will start but there are some things you can do ahead of time to be ready.

Pack your bag for the hospital. Include clothing and toiletries to use while in the hospital as well as a loose-fitting outfit for leaving the hospital. Leave jewelry and other valuables at home.

  • Identification and health insurance information.
  • Hospital pre-registration paperwork, if applicable.
  • Birth plan.
  • Phone numbers for people and family members you want to call.
  • Camera, film, video recorder, extra batteries.
  • Decide how you will get to the hospital, who will take you and the route you will take to get to the hospital. You should have more than one route planned, know how long it will take to get there considering the distance, means of transportation, and time of day.
  • Typically you should call your doctor when you think you are in labor. Your doctor may have you come to the office or go directly to the hospital depending on the time of day and circumstances.
  • Baby items: A receiving blanket, clothes to wear home, and an infant car safety seat (required by law) for bringing your baby home.