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Birth Bound: Car Checklist for Driving to your Birthplace During Labor

You've been laboring at home during early labor and maybe even a little bit of active labor (you learned about this in your Childbirth Masterclass). Then something shifts within, and you know it's time to head to the spot you've chosen for completing this process and meeting your baby face to face. Enter: your birthplace and also: your car.

Heading to your birthplace, especially while in active labor, might be a little bit physically uncomfortable. But waiting until your labor is really moving along is a great strategy for keeping you in the zone and avoiding a stall or slowdown of labor once you get into the car and/or arrive at the hospital. To help you stay in this flow zone, even while driving from point A (early/active labor at home) to point B (active labor and birthing your baby at the hospital), here are some tips and tricks.

  • Prep yourselves ahead of time.

    • Have your hospital bag(s) packed by at least 37 weeks or so. Keep them by the door, ready to be grabbed (by your support person, not you!).

  • Do a dry run to the hospital to make sure you know the best route.

    • Research the rush hours, so you can make sure you leave home with plenty of time.

    • Scope out where to park and where to enter the building, both during day and night as they are often different.

  • Prepare the car.

    • Know which car you're planning to take.

    • Have your car seat properly installed (you can't leave the hospital with your baby without it).

    • Place old towels or sheets on the seats just in case your water breaks during the ride (trust me, I am speaking from first-hand experience).

    • Bring a plastic bag, bowl or bucket in case you feel sick.

  • There's typically a lot more room to move around (a necessity during labor) in the backseat so consider this option.

  • If you have a support person who can ride along (in addition to the driver), invite them on this joy ride! Someone to help you keep your center can be invaluable.

  • You've likely created a playlist for labor, so utilize this resource on the car ride too.

  • Keep the temperature to the level that's most comfortable for you (the laboring person is in charge of the temp in the car and the birthplace room!). Make sure your driver knows to listen to your needs and take action quickly. You might change your temperature needs as contractions ebb and flow.

  • Bring a water bottle with a tight-fitting lid (no spill) and a straw for easy access to hydration.

  • Pull over, if safe, during contractions to help you focus and to garner support from your driver.

  • Did you notice a common theme in many of the above tips? I mention your driver. That means you are NOT driving yourself to the hospital!

Well, there you have it! I hope these tips are helpful to you and make your transition from home to hospital as smooth as possible. There's lots more where this came from in my Childbirth Masterclass. Check here for scheduled classes!


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