Navigating the Cab Ride to the Hospital

6 tips to make your cab ride in labor as smooth as possible

Navigating the Cab Ride to the Hospital

"What I am really nervous about is that cab ride to the hospital. How do people even do that?" I hear this a lot from expectant city dwellers. It can be a real source of stress during pregnancy, but after hundreds of cab rides through busy streets with people in labor, I promise this is something you can do! While no one has ever told me the cab ride was their favorite part, it tends to be manageable and better than expected. Plus, big cities are full of really kind, compassionate (or at least quick and quiet) cab drivers. They will get you there safely and often with best wishes and blessings for your baby.


Here are 6 tips to make your cab ride in labor as smooth as possible.

1. Know where you are going! Many people assume that getting to the hospital is as easy as typing the name of the facility into your Uber app, but it’s easy to get routed somewhere else if you are not careful. Many hospitals have multiple branches throughout the city or multiple entrances. I have had to quickly correct cab drivers several times after they were given a bad address by a partner who picked the wrong location when typing in their destination. So have all the information you need handy: the name of your hospital, the street address, and the entrance you should head to for Labor & Delivery.

2. Do not go to the hospital too early for fear of the cab ride. NYC hospitals routinely send people home when they are in early labor, which can result in more cab rides. There is a temptation to get the car ride over with before labor gets more intense or because you are worried about traffic, but this can really backfire if they send you back home. Talk to your care provider about when they want you to call them and when they want you to head to the hospital. You can also take a childbirth class to get more information on the signs and stages of labor or hire a labor doula to help you time your cab ride to the hospital.

3. Be prepared for the possibility of lots of body fluids! If your water has broken, you will be actively leaking amniotic fluid and should definitely have a pad on and sit on a towel. If your water hasn’t broken yet, a towel to sit on is still a great idea just in case. Throwing up is also very common, especially with bumpy city streets. I highly recommend having excellent bags to vomit in. I buy hospital grade bags, but strong zip lock bags will also work. Old bags from the bodega often have holes in the bottom and can be very messy. Also, pee right before you leave the house — as you have probably been doing for months.

4. Don’t eat right before leaving your house. Some hospitals still restrict food and fluids from laboring patients, so if you are hoping to get in a last snack before being admitted, I suggest delaying it until you arrive at the hospital. Bring snacks with you and eat them on the street outside the hospital or in the lobby before heading to Labor & Delivery. Eating right before you leave might make the car trip even less pleasant (see above).

5. Give yourself space in the backseat in case you need to move around. Any time you are in a moving vehicle, being seat belted is the safest option. But if that feels impossible while you are having contractions, moving into another position can often help a lot. Make space for yourself by not having more than one person in the back seat with you and by putting anything you don’t immediately need in the trunk. For alternatives to sitting down, you might try lay down with your head in someone’s lap or on a pillow, kneeling backwards on the seat or the floor (if the front seat is pulled forward), or being on your hands and knees across the backseat.

6. Have cash. Winter weather, busy times, broken meters, or other events can severely limit the availability of cabs and car services drivers in many places. In these cases, cash will often solve your problem. Hundred dollar bills have gotten me cab rides during the worst blizzards, in the aftermath of Sandy, during black outs and street closures, and in all sorts of other tough moments. You probably will not need it, but if you do, you’ll be really happy you were prepared.

Illustration by Jennifer Cascino of Famous Swan Productions.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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