Although there are ways to predict the time of delivery, babies have a tendency to move at their own pace. It is not really possible to determine the exact time and date of a birth until after it happens. However, including the estimated delivery date is still good to include in a birth plan. As you approach the date, you may notice more signs and symptoms that indicate your baby is ready to go. Being prepared a couple of weeks before the expected due date can help in case your baby is early. Late deliveries can also be a problem for both mother and baby.
If your baby is delivered too early (before 37 weeks), they will be considered preterm or premature, thus special treatment and precautions will be necessary during delivery. Alternatively, if your baby is very late (over 42 weeks), they are considered post-term or postmature. Premature babies have a higher risk of infection, low birth weight, and breathing problems, while postmature babies are at greater risk of meconium aspiration.
In addition to who and when, including where you plan to give birth is important. By default, most mothers are taken to the nearest hospital once their water breaks and are about to deliver. However, not all mothers want a conventional hospital birth. While hospital births are very safe, some women opt to give birth at home or in a birthing center instead.
Aside from listing down your preferred location to give birth, coordinate with the facility well in advance. When it comes to babies, always expect the unexpected. Reserving or registering at the facility beforehand allows for a more seamless process once your baby is ready to be born.