During a quiet night on the labor and delivery floor, the phone at the nurses’ station rings, breaking me out of a sleepy reverie.
“Birth Center, this is Chaunie, how can I help you?” I answer. “Um, hi,” a hesitant voice responds. “I think I just lost my mucus plug and I was wondering what to do? Should I save it? Do you guys need to see it?” One of the best—and worst—parts of my job as a labor and delivery nurse is fielding the endless questions about pregnancy that an expectant mother can have. When it comes to pregnancy, labor and delivery, there are no easy answers. (Why does childbirth have to hurt so much? Why can’t guys feel labor pains? How many calories does giving birth burn?) I have, however, learned a thing or two that may help you — and your OB staff — along the way. So to simplify things a bit, here are my 10 tips for what NOT to do as you prepare for your baby’s birthday:
1. DON’T … BRING IN YOUR MUCUS PLUG
I know you may be tempted to whip out a plastic baggie and save that thing, but please don’t. I’m begging you. We congratulate you on losing it, we remind you that labor could still be days, even weeks away after losing it, but we do not, under any circumstances, want to see it. Especially in your Ziploc freezer bag.
2. DON’T … BRING ALL OF YOUR OTHER KIDS
It’s not that we don’t love kids — really, we do — but the labor and delivery environment is really not the best place to have them running around. Not to mention, sometimes stuff, well, splatters. So unless you want a traumatized kid on your hands, leave’em at home.
3. DON’T … COME IN RIGHT AFTER HAVING SEX
It’s a pretty well-known fact that sex can induce contractions. Unfortunately, they may not always last. So please do everyone a favor and wait an hour or so before you rush in with those “O”-induced contractions, okay?
Read the other 7 facts at Babble.com