When you’re expecting, everyone wants to help you through the labor and delivery process.
Having a team in place can be a huge stress relief and help you focus on the big job: delivering your baby.
There will be some people you’ll invite to join you at the hospital. These core people will be responsible for addressing what you need in real time: rubbing your feet, getting you water—and getting out of the way when you need them to.
Here are 5 other roles that loved ones can fill whether they’re helping your push or waiting at home by the phone:
Ask someone to be responsible for communicating with people who aren’t there with you—your best friend or grandmother who cannot travel, for example. Give her an email or phone number list for people you wanted notified of major milestones.
Also, make sure all of these people know your stance on social media—you have every right to control which, if any, photos of you or your baby are released to the world.
Going into labor is a pretty huge deal. It’s likely that you will forget something at home or have a nagging suspicion that you left the stove on.
Designate someone to be on call to bring you anything you forgot or to run mind-clearing errands. Make sure she can connect with someone on your core team at the hospital via text or phone.
She can also bring supplies to your core hospital group so they don’t have to leave your side if they need something from home.
If you have other children who will need care while you’re in the hospital, make sure you line up a sitter who can pick up your kids or stay home with them.
Choose someone the kids know well and are very comfortable with. Getting a little brother or sister is a big change for them, too, and having someone they love focusing on them will make it easier.
Be sure to notify the school or daycare that this person is authorized to pick up your kids. Pre-authorizing will make everything go more smoothly when you go into labor.
And don’t forget your furry family members. Arrange for someone to feed and walk your pets, too.
It’s highly likely that you will be in no mood to cook when you get home from the hospital.
Ask a friend to organize a schedule for people to volunteer to bring you food. When anyone asks how they can help, send them to your head chef.
This is a fun way to let people help out and also introduce your new baby to friends while keeping visits short and sweet. Having people sign up for timeslots will keep you from being overwhelmed with food or guests.
You may leave for the hospital with a load of laundry in the wash, dishes in the sink and an unmade bed.
And even less than wanting to cook will be your desire to clean.
Designate a friend to lead the charge and clean your house. It’s not the most fun chore, but coming home to a clean house will be amazing.
No matter which role they play, every single person who helps you bring your little one into the world deserves a big thank you.
If you’re up in the middle of the night, write a note thanking them for their efforts and allowing you to focus on bringing your new baby into the world.
And maybe choose a 6th team member to buy you stationery.