It’s finally the third trimester. You’ve made it through many weeks of aches and pains to reach this point, and now you are just counting down the hours until your bundle of joy finally arrives. You’ll probably be getting some last-minute errands done and cleaning up the house in preparation, but there is one set of preparations many couples fail to make for the big day. You need to make sure both of you are ready for the moment when your water breaks in terms of transportation.

Assuming you don’t live in a major city, you’ll probably have your partner drive you to the hospital on the big day. This could require more planning than you think. First, you need to make sure you have a full tank of gas as your due date approaches. Can you imagining stopping at a Shell while you’re screaming in pain from your contractions? As you plan this, keep in mind that studies show that less than 5% of births happen on their due date. While your doctor’s estimate is probably close, don’t think that you need to wait until the 15th to fill your tank if your due date is the 16th. It’s a better idea to keep the tank full from the 10th on until the baby has gotten home safely.

If you do live in a city and don’t intend to take the subway to the hospital, make sure you have a list of cab company phone numbers on hand. Keeping more than one ready will prevent the wasted time of looking up more should your trusted company be unavailable.

Next, make sure you have a route mapped out to the hospital, and know which door to go into. Practice this route with your partner at different times of day to determine the fastest and most direct way there. You might even want to print out your preferred map so the cab driver can follow it instead of trying to understand you and your partner’s frantic shouts.

Finally, make sure the baby’s car seat is secured in the car the week leading up to the due date. That way, your hubby won’t be fumbling with it in the hospital parking lot while you wait in the lobby. Haste might cause improper installation, which could be extremely dangerous.

Make sure you take a moment to consider your transportation on the big day.

Source: Roshni Patel et al: Does Gestation Vary by Ethnic Group? International Journal of Epidemiology Volume 33 Issue 1 pp. 107-113 2004