1. Pack comfy clothes — and confidence
Readying an overnight bag with cozy onesies and blankets for the hospital is a no-brainer. But how do you get your body (and mind) dialed in for the big day? Knowing that your health care provider offers a wide range of childbirth classes, along with follow-up support like postpartum classes, is a big confidence boost.1 So just breathe. You’ve got this.
2. Set squad goals
Odds are you’ve already got a running list of family and friends to call for help with your baby. (We’re looking at you, Aunt Dot!) Now for your care team. An ideal lineup starts with your doctor and includes nurses, lactation consultants, and pediatricians. At Kaiser Permanente Northwest hospitals, midwives can also join the mix. Most importantly: everyone should function as part of an integrated unit. Another tip: it’s worth asking if your birth center offers a 1-to-1 nurse-to-patient ratio.
3. Get a home feel advantage
You’ll likely be anxious to get home quickly so you can start bonding with your baby in the comfort of your own home, but the right hospital setting can feel like the next best thing. Seriously. Kaiser Permanente Northwest birth centers include private birthing suites and private family bonding or postpartum rooms, along with other perks like hydrotherapy tubs, no-cost Wi-Fi, and even room service.
4. Know who’s on the clock
Your birth center should be staffed 24/7 with labor and delivery doctors, midwives, anesthesiologists, and other key care team members. This lets your team make the right clinical decisions, like moving quickly to cesarean birth, any time of day or night. And for those planning to deliver vaginally, it’s good to know that Kaiser Permanente Northwest boasts a VBAC (short for “vaginal birth after cesarean”) rate that’s 10% higher than the national average.2
5. Double down on expert advice
Breastfeeding provides benefits for both baby and mom. But don’t sweat it if things get off to a rocky start. (Difficulty latching, for example, is one common issue.) Kaiser Permanente’s postpartum care includes bedside visits with lactation consultants. Need extra reassurance? Their nurses also trained breastfeeding experts. That’s a huge help. In fact, 80% of babies born at Kaiser Permanente Northwest are exclusively breastfed while in the hospital — that’s nearly double the national average.3
Now that you’ve got a head start on your baby to-do list, learn more about how Kaiser Permanente can guide you every step of the way on your pregnancy journey — from prenatal planning through labor, delivery, and beyond.
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- 1 Some classes may require a fee.
- 2 Kaiser Permanente internal data, covering the period from July 2016 through March 2019; “Breastfeeding Report Card, United States, 2018,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard.htm, accessed August 12, 2019.
- 3 Kaiser Permanente internal data, covering the period from January 2015 through March 2018; “VBAC Rates by State,” cesareanrates.org/vbac, accessed August 12, 2019.
All plans offered and underwritten by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest. 500 NE Multnomah St., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97232. ©️2019 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest.