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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Preparing for labor

To do list

Practice your breathing and relaxation.

Decide whether you want additional labor support.

Hire a doula if you want professional labor support.

If you've had a Cesarean birth, talk with your health care provider about a vaginal birth after a Cesarean (VBAC).

Create your birth plan.

Make your packing list and pack your labor bag.

Learn the best route(s) to the hospital.

Register for a childbirth preparation class.

Register for a sibling(s) at birth class and/or a new brother or new sister class to help older children feel better prepared for a hospital trip.

Take a tour of your hospital's birth center. Ask if your older children can go on the birth center tour with you.

Forms and worksheets

Adobe Reader required to view worksheetBirth plan worksheet


Video series

View our NEW Giving birth: Managing pain video series

Cesarean birth (five video topics)

Vaginal birth (five video topics)

Coming soon

Guided imagery for pregnancy and birth

Audio programs to assist with relaxation, pain control, healing and breastfeeding are coming soon.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 01/16/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts