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Most women are both excited and nervous about giving birth to their first child. They want to ensure the best procedure for themselves and their little bundle of joy. And luckily, there are ways to make the process easier before and while you give birth at your local hospital.

Set up a hospital bag beforehand

Most mothers know that labor often happens unexpectedly, so it’s critical to prepare as much as possible before your water breaks and you need to rush to the nearest hospital. An easy way to prepare is to set up a hospital bag with all your labor essentials, including:

  • Snacks and water
  • Entertainment, such as books, music and even movies
  • A cellphone and your charge
  • Toothbrush and hairbrush
  • Earplugs
  • Additional change of clothing for you and your partner
  • Any additional items to make the room more comfortable, like pillows or blankets
  • A breast pump

Setting up this bag beforehand will save you time and energy when you finally need to head to the delivery room.

Get to know your doctor and nurses

You may be lucky enough to choose the doctor that helps deliver your baby and get to know them over the term of your pregnancy. However, you should also get to know the nurses on staff during your labor. They often act as your biggest advocate and work with you during contractions and other parts of labor, right before the delivery.

Learn some comforting techniques

Most experienced mothers say their first child had the longest labor, and it’s important for you to prepare for the long haul. You will want to learn some comforting techniques to help manage pain and boredom during your hospital visits. Many people find walking, water therapy, heat compression, guided mediation and other techniques work well for managing both aspects.

There is also medication that can help with comforting significant pain in the later phases of labor. It’s up to the mother if they want to use medication or not in their birth story, but make the right decision for you and your child.

All these tips will help you prepare for a better labor experience, but there are certain things that parents cannot prepare in a hospital stay, such as birth injuries or medication errors. New mothers may want to look out for the signs of a mistake during their child’s birth to ensure the best health for themselves and their kids.