Preparing for Labor and Delivery


Bringing a new life into the world is a thrilling yet overwhelming experience, and knowing what to expect can significantly reduce anxiety. At May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology, we’re committed to empowering expectant parents with invaluable insights about labor and delivery. This preparation guide offers a comprehensive overview of what to anticipate, how to prepare, and the many ways we will support you on this exciting journey.

Exploring the Landscape of Labor

Understanding the stages of labor is the first step in your preparation. It’s akin to having a roadmap for your adventure, revealing the landmarks you’ll encounter along the way.

First Stage: Early and Active Labor

  • Early Labor: Contractions are relatively mild and spaced apart. You may notice a bloody, mucous discharge. This stage can last up to 20 hours.
  • Active Labor: Contractions become longer, stronger, and closer together. It’s typically the time to head to the hospital or birthing center.
  • Second Stage: The Birth of Your Baby Your cervix is fully dilated, and it’s time to push. You may feel an overwhelming urge to push or pressure in your back.
  • Third Stage: Delivery of the Placenta After your baby is born, you’ll deliver the placenta. This is the final stage of labor and usually takes five to thirty minutes.

Pre-Labor Checklist

Arm yourself with essential tools for your journey. Here are key items to consider:

Create a Birth Plan Jot down your preferences for labor and delivery. This includes pain management options, desired birthing positions, who you want in the room, and more. Share this with your healthcare team.

Pack a Hospital Bag Essentials include:

  • Comfortable clothes and underwear
  • Toiletries
  • A change of clothes for the baby
  • Cell phone charger
  • Snacks

  • Arrange Childcare: If you have older children, arrange for their care while you’re in labor and immediately after.
  • Prepare for Recovery: Have meals prepared or frozen, a stockpile of essentials like diapers and wipes, and a quiet, comfortable space for rest and bonding with your baby.

Techniques to Embrace for Pain Management

May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology encourages a diverse range of pain management techniques to make your labor as comfortable as possible. Techniques you might embrace include:

  • Breathing Techniques: Conscious, controlled breathing can help you focus and reduce tension during contractions.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques such as visualization, massage, and listening to calming music can also help manage pain.
  • Movement and Positioning: Different positions and movements like walking, swaying, or bouncing on a birthing ball can ease discomfort and help labor progress.

Partnering with May-Grant: The Gold Standard in Care

At May-Grant, we’re committed to providing exceptional care for mothers-to-be. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Collaborative Care: Our team is your team. We will collaborate closely with you, respecting your birth plan and offering our expertise when needed.
  • Advanced Facilities: Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to make your labor and delivery as smooth and comfortable as possible.
  • Comprehensive Support: From nutritional counseling to lactation support, our comprehensive care services ensure you feel supported and empowered throughout your pregnancy and beyond.

Preparation is key to an empowered labor and delivery experience. Understanding the stages of labor, having a well-packed hospital bag, creating a birth plan, considering various pain management techniques, and choosing a supportive healthcare team are all crucial steps in this journey. At May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology, we’re committed to being your partner on this incredible journey, providing comprehensive care and support every step of the way.

Your Journey, Our Mission

At May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology, we believe that the journey of pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most beautiful and profound experiences life can offer. Preparing for labor and delivery may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right knowledge, guidance, and support, you’ll be ready to meet the challenges and joys that await you.

Remember, every labor and delivery is unique, just as every baby is unique. We invite you to embrace this journey with confidence, knowing that you’re backed by the compassionate and expert care of May-Grant. You’re about to embark on an incredible journey—one that we’re honored to share with you. With our extensive resources, experienced team, and unwavering commitment to your health and well-being, you’ll have all the support you need for this transformative experience.

Here’s to the joyous adventure of parenthood that awaits you—May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology is with you, every step of the way!


  1. American Pregnancy Association: “Stages of Labor”
  2. Mayo Clinic: “Labor and Delivery: What to Expect”
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Preparing for Labor”
The Promise We Make to Our Patients
The Promise We Make to Our Patients

The overarching mission at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology is to help women of all ages live a healthy life. From general gynecological services to helping you through navigating pregnancy and menopause, our team of certified physicians, midwives, and certified registered nurse practitioners pride themselves on being leaders in women’s healthcare throughout Lancaster, PA.

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"Having been a patient of May-Grant for over 2 years, I can proudly say that all of their providers are top-notch. They really listen and always asks the right questions. The registered nurses and midwives are so personable as well. I couldn't ask to be working alongside a better team..."
February, 2023
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