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Preparing for Birth and Bringing Baby Home

Things You Can do to Prepare for Birth:

  • Learn about the signs of labour, what happens in labour, how to cope with contractions, medical interventions, and postpartum recovery. You can do this in our Birth Class in our Online Prenatal Program.
  • Think about what your options are, what matters to you, and who you want to be with you. Write down these birth preferences and share them with your partner and caregiver.
  • Believe in your body. It was designed to grow a baby and welcome it into the world. Your health care team will guide and support you as needed.


Plan For Your Place of Birth:

  • Pack a hospital bag so you are ready for anything, at any time!
  • Plan how you will get to your place of birth when it is time to go. If you are planning to give birth at PRHC, see here for where to enter the hospital and where to park.
  • If planning a home or clinic birth, discuss arrangements and the things you will need with your midwife.
  • If planning a hospital birth, contact the Prenatal Care Clinic at Peterborough Regional Health Centre around 30 weeks to set up an appointment to complete admission paperwork and to have any of your questions answered by a Labour and Delivery Nurse! 705-743-2121 Ext. 3538


Things You Can Do To Prepare for When Your Baby Arrives:

  • Know when and who will be providing follow-up health care to you and your baby after birth. Family doctors typically see the baby in their office the first week and you will have a 6-week appointment.
  • Learn about breastfeeding and where to get breastfeeding help if you need it. You can do this in the Breastfeeding Class in our Online Prenatal Program.
  • Learn about the importance of skin-to-skin with your baby (especially in the first hour after birth).
  • Collect basic supplies such as diapers, clothes, and a thermometer. (Pro tip: Sleepers with zippers are so much easier than ones with buttons!)
  • Buy and install a rear-facing carseat. Practice putting it in and out before baby arrives. Contact for help with installation.
  • Set up a safe sleeping area for baby.
  • Learn about infant behaviour and how to cope with a crying infant. You can do this in the Newborn Class in our Online Prenatal Program.
  • Stock up on food staples, on-the-go snacks, and household items! Make some meals for the freezer.
  • Line up support. Think about people who can give you practical support (hold the baby while you shower, clean your kitchen while you nap) and emotional support.
  • Let other visitors know your visiting guidelines before your baby is born.
  • Prepare other children for a new baby. Read stories or watch videos together. Plan ways you can include, reassure, and have some special time with your older child when the new baby arrives. Check out the workshops that Peterborough Child and Family Centers offers to help with this.
  • If you are working outside the home, determine when you will stop working and apply for maternity leave or parental leave.
  • Visit to find out how to register your baby’s birth, request a birth certificate, apply for a social insurance number, sign up for child benefits, and access an Education Savings Referral service.
  • Learn about local services and community programs.


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