These Are the People You Need to Have on Speed Dial Before the Baby Comes

Many couples, despite telling their family it's not necessary to come to the hospital, end up with a waiting room full of loved ones eagerly anticipating the birth of their baby. Apparently there's nothing like a newborn to get people out of their house and willing to sip lukewarm coffee from styrofoam cups in an uncomfortable chair with a Highlights magazine in their laps. However, there are a few people who aren't so caught up in your life's current events that they'll be conveniently waiting for you, but they might very well be some of your first calls after the birth.

Depending on your particular situation, these are seven resources you should definitely have on speed dial before heading to the hospital to ease a bit of stress and enjoy the time with your new baby as much as possible:

  1. Lactation consultant. You'll have help made available to you in the hospital, but often moms need assistance after going home. Finding one beforehand, whether you end up using them or not, is a good idea.
  2. Babysitter. If you have other children, you don't want to be scrambling postbirth for someone to watch them. Although your family may be up for taking shifts, it's good to have a nanny or sitter poised to take over just in case. And even if you don't have other kids, it's wise to have someone you can turn to for help with childcare if you are feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Pediatrician. Most hospitals require you to have selected a doctor for your child before delivering, so it's wise to have them at the ready for urgent medical questions and to set up the baby's first appointments.
  4. Backup pediatrician. You won't know how you feel about your baby's doctor until after the first few visits. Do they rush you through the appointment? Do they seem to brush aside your concerns? Instead of feeling stuck with someone you aren't comfortable with, have a shortlist of other recommended practices in your area.
  5. House-cleaning service. Maybe you left for the hospital sooner than you thought, or didn't feel like straightening up at a time you couldn't bend down to touch your toes. If bringing baby home to a clean house is something that would put you at ease, it's a good opportunity to pay someone to do it for you.
  6. Favorite restaurants that deliver. Whether you and your partner are heading home with baby alone or you think you'll have plenty of visitors, cooking is one of the last things you'll want to be doing.
  7. Anywhere you buy baby gear. Maybe you didn't want to know the sex of your baby and chose two different layettes, or the baby came early and an essential piece of gear won't have arrived or been ordered yet. Have your local store's number at the ready to see if they can help you better over the phone than online.