Preparing for labor

Preparing for labor

To do list

  • Practice your breathing and relaxation.
  • Decide whether you want additional 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 and travel bag.
  • Learn the best route(s) to the hospital.
  • Take a childbirth preparation class, and a class for new siblings, if appropriate. For Abbott Northwestern, United and Mercy Hospitals and St. Francis Medical Center, visit Amma Parenting CenterBlooma or Everyday Miracles. For all other Allina Health hospitals, go to our Find Classes page.
  • Consider options for professional birth coaches, such as doulas, if you and partner decide to seek labor support aside from your health care team.  
  • Take a tour of your hospital's birth center. Ask if your older children can go on the tour with you.

Forms and worksheets

Birth plan worksheet

Labor log worksheet

Labor bag and hospital checklist

The labor companion's quick checklist

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Mother baby care

A wide variety of videos on topics ranging from labor and delivery to newborn and postpartum care can be found on our Allina Health mother baby care video page.

Giving birth: Managing pain


Breastfeeding your baby is available in English, Arabic, Hmong, Russian, Somali and Spanish.

pregnancy birth guided imagery cover

Guided imagery for pregnancy and birth

The tracks on the Guided Imagery for pregnancy and birth album will assist you with relaxation, pain control, healing and breastfeeding.

Related resources

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, eighth edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/06/2021