Saying good-bye: Before and during delivery

It is easy to get caught up in the preparations and decisions for your baby’s delivery and miss out on the last moments you will spend with your baby. Here are some suggestions from the members of the PROM list for making your remaining hours together as a family meaningful.

  • Set aside time every hour to bond with your baby before and during delivery. Massage your belly, and talk or sing to your baby. Savor these moments that you will have this baby inside you, especially if your medication will make you groggy later.
  • Before you begin the delivery procedure (i.e. before you begin medication to induce labor, or leave your room for the c-section or D&E), ask your health care team to leave you alone for a moment. Your life is about to change dramatically, and it may be helpful to take a moment to say a prayer, cry with your partner or family, or talk to your baby one last time while he or she is still inside you.

Some other suggestions to help make saying good-bye meaningful.

  • Work on your birth or delivery plan. (See “Create a birth or delivery plan” section)
  • Ask to talk with the hospital’s social worker for counseling on what services are available, what arrangements the hospital can take care of for you, and how to implement your requests for how your baby’s delivery will be handled.
  • If you are delivering vaginally, it might take hours before the medications take effect and your baby is delivered. Find out whether there will be a shift change for your nursing team, and make sure that the next shift is familiar with how you would like your baby’s delivery to be handled.


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Article by Kay Squires, with special thanks to Valerie, Holly, and Marion, and the members of the PROM mailing list
January 2005, updated July 2011