This is a very special time in your life! You may be feeling a mixed range of emotions from excitement to nervousness but all of feelings are perfectly normal and as the pregnancy goes on, you will find yourself becoming more confident about it. Below are some tips that may help you.
- Parking: Bring plenty of change for parking or check out parking apps in advance as there is only paid parking in the vicinity of The National Maternity Hospital (www.parkingtag.ie). A parking app has the advantage of allowing you to top-up parking without having to return to your car. Daily rate parking options around the hospital might be worth checking out eg hotel parking. Be aware that there can be parking and access restrictions around Merrion Square at certain times, eg Dublin City Marathon and some festivals.
- Food: It's a good idea to have some snacks, a sandwich and some drinks with you, perhaps in the car, to help keep your energy levels up! If your partner is in labour during the day, you will be able to get food and drinks in the shop or coffee shop at the hospital. During the evening and night, there are vending machines available so you will need change for these. There are no late night shops or cafes in the vicinity of the hospital. It can be very warm in the labour ward so make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
- Wearing layers of clothing makes sense as it will be easy to take off a layer or two if you need to. Front-opening shirts or tops are ideal for skin to skin contact with your baby. Pack a spare shirt or t-shirt and toothbrush and toothpaste so you can freshen up; it helps keep you alert and fresh.
- You might need your phone charger too as well as a camera to capture special moments!
- Hand washing is one of the key ways to make sure you and your baby stay healthy and well. Make sure you wash your hands well with soap and water before handling or feeding your baby, cleaning baby's cord or preparing food. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom yourself and baby nappy changes. Before you eat or cook, wash your hands well.
- During the pregnancy you should not smoke in front of your partner as research shows that passive smoking will harm your partner and baby. You should also encourage your partner not to smoke or drink alcohol and to eat well.