Did you know that there are over 300,000 births across the country every single year, according to figures collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics? Naturally, every one of those will come with a set of friends, colleagues and family who are after the perfect baby gift, but those thoughts will often pop up long before the expectant mum enters the delivery room.
To that end, going into a labour can often be a whirlwind, and there are plenty of things that can be easily forgotten, especially if the impending little one is your first. Here's how new mums (and dads!) can best manage the hospital stay surrounding a pregnancy:
There are over 300,000 births across the country every single year.
Take a tour
Many maternity wards offer soon-to-be parents the option of scouting out the hospital long before the due date. The Alpha Mom blog pointed out that this may seem a little unnecessary, but it's the best way to get a handle on exactly what the facilities are like.
It's also the ideal time to ask questions about things such as visiting hours, the quality and quantity of food provided and whether any of the applicable rooms are shared or private.
One other tip that many forget: Be sure to check the mobile phone reception in and around the maternity ward. After all, how will you be able to let friends and family know that bubs has arrived if you can't get through to them?!
Proper packing and optional extras
It's important to ensure that you have a few home comforts to make the stay as relaxed as possible. While the standard overnight bag is of course a necessity, Family Education suggested that a few optional extras such as lollipops are a great idea.
Why? Chances are that you won't be able to eat and drink during labour, meaning that there's a slight chance of dehydration and the associated dry mouth. Most people see to this with ice chips, but lollipops are a lesser-known, more simple solution.
Prepare for home
After the little one has arrived, the next thought will likely be getting him or her home and enjoying those precious first few days. There are a number of simple things that can be done to make this process easier.
For example, Fit Pregnancy suggested that it's best to get someone to gather up all of the flowers and baby gift hampers and take them back home the day before leaving the hospital.
Also, two other minor things that many forget: The car seat for the trip home and a pen to sign the birth certificate with!
Going into labour can of course be a stressful experience. If the hospital stay is planned and thought about in advance, it's easy to keep the focus solely on welcoming your newborn to the world.