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About Mercy

Pregnancy Checklist

Now that you’re expecting, you may be wondering what to do next and when. We’ve put together the following information that will help guide you in checking off some of the items of your “to do” list to get ready for when the big moment comes!


First trimester

  • Register for all childbirth education classes during your first trimester—especially Great Expectations.

Second trimester

  • Register for a tour of our birthing facilities and get to know our staff. If you attend Great Expectations or Mercy Prenatal Class, you will be given a tour as part of those.
    • For Mercy Women & Infants’ Center, visit schedule online or call (515) 643-MOMS.
    • For Mercy West Lakes Birthing Services, call (515) 358-8300.
  • If you are employed, check with your employer about maternity and family leave benefits.
  • If you are planning to return to work or school after your baby arrives, begin to think about child-care plans.
  • If you haven’t done so already, start thinking about possible names for your baby or babies.
  • Register for Breastfeeding Essentials to learn more about the best way to feed your baby.
  • Choose a doctor for your baby. Mercy has six pediatric clinics with more than 20 pediatricians.
    • If you need a recommendation, call (515) 643-MOMS.

Third trimester

  • Pre-register for your delivery during your seventh month by completing the pre-admission form in the back of your
    birthing folder. Return to Mercy at the address provided or give it to your child birth educator.
  • Complete both the birth and newborn communication plans located in your Mercy birthing folder. Go ahead and
    pack these in your hospital bags and hand to your nurse once you are admitted.
  • Install your baby’s car seat and base. If you aren’t sure the safety seat is properly installed, consult with a certified car seat
    safety technician. Mercy is part of the Safe Kids Coalition, which holds monthly car seat checks for free. Due to the weather in Iowa, car seats can break down with the heat of summer and cold of winter—so if you are reusing an existing car seat, make sure it is no more than five years old.
  • Get ready for your hospital stay by packing the items you and your baby will need. Refer to the packing list for details.
  • Prepare siblings for the birth of the new baby and make arrangements for care of your children for when you are in the
    hospital. Don’t forget your “four-legged” children as well—make arrangements for pet care for while you are in the
    hospital. Always have a back-up plan!
  • If you plan to breastfeed, at the beginning of your ninth month check on insurance coverage for a breast pump. Little
    Miracles Lactation Boutique
    can do this for you—stop by the boutique in person with your insurance card. We’ll check
    for you and let you know within a couple of days if your plan covers breast pumps.
  • Get things ready for when you return home—like fixing and freezing meals, purchasing a package of maxi-pads, making
    sure you have diapers, clothing and blankets for your baby.

After you return home

  • Be sure to add your baby to your insurance policy. Most policies require this to be done within 30 days.

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