When it comes time for your baby to make their entrance into this world, the last thing you want to deal with is looking for or completing paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork that goes along with having a baby; however, most of it can be filled out in advance. If you can’t fill it out ahead of time, prepare the information you will need to easily fill out the documents. Read on for what paperwork to prepare and expect when giving birth.
Documents to Prepare Before Labor & Delivery
There are many documents you can prepare and complete even before you go into labor. Getting these documents ready in advance will save you time and stress when your baby is coming. Grab our complete checklist of all documents to prepare before having a baby and paperwork to complete at the hospital in the Ultimate Baby Planning Toolkit HERE.
Complete Your Mom and Baby Hospital Packing List
By week 36 you should have your hospital checklist made out and everything packed and ready to go. However, you may need to add in a toiletry item later on. If you have an item or two you need to add in at the last minute, leave a note with those items on top of your bag so you do not forget when it is time to go to the hospital. Do this in case the baby decides to come early, as 10% of babies are born premature. For more details on what to pack click here.
In addition, do not forget to pack things the baby will need like a going home outfit, car seat, etc. Need help with what to pack for the hospital? We list out everything in our mom’s, dad’s, and baby’s hospital checklists. Grab them and much more in the Ultimate Baby Planning Toolkit.
Before Leaving For the Hospital Checklist
Even though you know it is going to happen, when labor starts it is an exciting and nerve wracking experience. There may be things that you want to quickly do have ready when you get home from the hospital. Make a before leaving for the hospital checklist of those last minute things you need to do.
Photo ID and Insurance Card
Likely you will need your photo ID (a drivers license) and your insurance card when checking into the hospital.
Hospital Registration Paperwork
The next paperwork to prepare when giving birth is hospital registration paperwork. Have the hospital registration paperwork all filled out before actually going to the hospital. Paperwork is usually needed in order to be admitted into the hospital. Typically you can grab this paperwork while you are on your hospital tour or call and ask where you can get the paperwork. Some hospitals even let you turn it in ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is have to sit and fill out registration paperwork while you are in labor.
Maternity Leave Paperwork
After you are done announcing your pregnancy to the world, contact your human resources representative at work and request a meeting or information on how maternity leave works, how much time off you receive, if it is paid or unpaid, insurance information and adding a baby (if mom carries the insurance), and what paperwork you need to complete. Some places of employment offer disability insurance to new moms and dads so ask if this is available to you as well and how it works as each employer can be a little different.
Paternity Leave Paperwork
The same goes for dads. Check in with your human resources representative at work and request a meeting or information on if they offer paternity leave, how much time off you receive, if it is paid or unpaid, insurance information and adding a baby (if dad carries the insurance), and what paperwork you need to complete. Some places of employment offer disability insurance so ask if this is available to you as well and how it works.
Health Insurance Paperwork
Check in with your human resources and/or insurance company well in advance. Ask what you need to give them and how to give it to them once the baby is born to get the baby added to your health insurance. For example, to add my babies onto our health insurance I had to email our HR director their exact full name and date of birth. Then once we had their social security number I had to provide that as well.
If you have specific requests during labor and delivery or after giving birth fill out a birth plan and go over it with your doctor ahead of time. Need a birth plan template? Our birth plan worksheet has all the details you need for during labor and delivery and afterwards in the hospital. Grab it and much more in the Ultimate Baby Planning Toolkit.
Have ready who you want to contact once your precious baby is born. Think through who you want to call, text, email, and post on social media.
How will the pediatrician be notified once you have your baby? Does the hospital do it, you have to do it? The baby will need to see the pediatrician while you are in the hospital for a visit. So check into any paperwork to prepare when giving birth for the pediatrician.
If you are choosing to have your baby baptized at the hospital or baptized at the church down the road, there likely is paperwork you need to fill out to make that happen. Check with your church or whoever you are having baptize your baby what you need to do and how you need to notify them. Also, if you want the birth of your baby in the church bulletin or anyone else needs that information check how you would provide that to them after your baby is born.
Pay Bills Coming Up
Pay any bills that are due coming up and complete any paperwork at home that needs to be done in the next couple of weeks before the baby arrives. Complete as much paperwork, errands, etc in advance as possible because the first several weeks after having a baby is a whirlwind and the last thing on your mind will be completing these various tasks.
Paperwork to Complete at the Hospital After Giving Birth
After your baby is born, there is some paperwork to complete at the hospital.
Birth Certificate Paperwork
The hospital will provide you with paperwork to fill out to apply for your baby’s birth certificate. They recommend purchasing a couple copies for when you need them down the road for school and other activities. It is a lot easier and cheaper to get copies made right away instead of getting them down the road. Then they are mailed to you a few weeks later.
Social Security Card Paperwork
Next, you need to apply for your child’s social security number. The hospital provides this paperwork as well for you to complete. Then in a few weeks their social security card is mailed to you.
If you have a boy and are choosing to have him circumcised at the hospital there is paperwork that needs to be completed. It is a minor surgery, so that is why there is paperwork involved.
After Birth Screenings
During your hospital stay your baby will have a health screening and a hearing screening. There is a couple short documents to fill out and sign before this.
Baby’s Footprints and Handprints
During your hospital stay a nurse will come and do your baby’s footprints and handprints. If you have a baby book that you would like them to put the prints in as well, bring that along and have it ready as they usually will do it right in there then too.
Journal About Your Birth Experience
I highly recommend taking a few minutes to journal while you are in the hospital. Write down the events as they happen- make a timeline. You think you will remember exactly what happened and how long everything took, but after some time you will forget. Write down special memories and moments, who came to visit, and how you felt about your new baby. Write down how the nights went, firsts for you, and fun details. It is fun to look back at the hospital details when your kids were born. Also, it is fun to share their birth story with them and tell them details about when they were born. This is something I like to do with my kids on their birthday. I still like to hear my parents tell me details on the morning I was born.
Final Thoughts on What Paperwork to Prepare When Giving Birth
There is a lot of paperwork to prepare and expect for giving birth. Limit stress and frustration by completing as much as you can ahead of time. Keep everything together in one folder so you know exactly where everything is when you need it. Also, make copies of documents before you turn them in. That way if it gets lost or misplaced you have another copy instead of having to do it all over again.
Let me know what you think of the list in the comments below. Is there anything you would swap in or out on the list?
For more on how to prepare for your baby check out my Ultimate Baby Planning Guide. Grab your free 30 item checklist below.
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