Getting ready for baby

Hands holding pink baby shoes

Anxious about delivery day? Think you might panic when your partner needs you the most? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re totally normal. Don’t worry — a little planning now and a few deep breaths on delivery day will help you keep things running smoothly.

Thinking ahead (you’ve got this!)

You’ll feel a lot more confident when you know what to expect, where to go, and what to do on delivery day.

Go see where your baby will be born
Depending on where you live, you may be able to take a virtual tour of labor and delivery centers near you. Even better, make plans to go visit in person.

Know the signs of labor
No amount of preparation or dress rehearsals will slow that rush of adrenaline that shoots through you when your partner says, “It’s time.” Learn what to look for.

Have an action plan
If you and your partner have taken a prenatal class,* you’re off to a great start. You can’t predict when delivery day will be, but you can be ready to spring into action.

During early labor at home:

  • Play your partner’s favorite music.
  • Massage her feet.
  • Place a cool cloth on her face.
  • Offer her ice chips, water, or juice.
  • Give her a shower or a bath.

When it’s time to go to the hospital:

  • Grab her hospital bag
  • Get her there safely.
  • Breathe with her through contractions.
  • Stay calm and help her focus.

*Some classes may require a fee.

Ready to get maternity care?
Find a hospital or care provider near you.


Northern California members:
Visit Your Pregnancy to sign up for prenatal classes, get weekly emails, view and prepare for appointments, and more.

Learn about CenteringPregnancy®, a unique prenatal care program that includes group support with other new moms.

Download our Birth Preferences form.