As you head into your third trimester and prepare for the final day, you may want to consider reading a few things that will be helpful during your postpartum period.
Besides labor and delivery, you will want to think about any documentations, phone calls, and legal paperwork that will establish the arrival of your baby.
New parents are often unaware of this part of the postpartum period because it doesn’t directly involve your physical health. Instead, it involves things that people assume you should know.
In most cases, we don’t.
But this post will cover the top six things you should do after giving birth. If you are a working parent, have health insurance, and lives in the United States, then this guide is for you.
Let’s read on.
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1. Call Your Insurance Carrier
If you’re currently enrolled in a health insurance plan with your employer, you want to make sure you call your insurance carrier after birth so that you can add your little one to your medical plan.
You need to provide the following information:
- Your health insurance information (typically listed on your insurance card)
- Your baby’s first and last name
- Date of birth
- A copy of your baby’s birth certificate
Most insurance carriers need a copy of your baby’s birth certificate to verify the the relation between you and your baby; however, you may not have one at the time of birth.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can obtain one.
2. Call your Short-Term disability vendor
Do you plan on going on maternity leave?
If so, make sure you call to notify your disability vendor as soon as you give birth to ensure you get paid during this time period.
Depending on the employer, some employees can get paid anywhere from 60% – 100% of your pay while on short term disability. Keep in mind, other employers may also offer no pay during this period.
You can check your employee policies or you may verify with the Human Resource department for details.
The type of information you may need during the call include:
- The last date you went to work
- The day you gave birth or the day you went on leave
- The amount of time you plan to take leave
You can also pack your disability documents inside your hospital bag so that you can make the call during postpartum recovery.
I recall making sure I had all my documents prepared so that I can make the call as soon as I was awake and well. I was able to call my disability vendor the following day after birth so that I can take care of all steps necessary.
3. Find a Pediatrician and Schedule your Newborn’s First Doctor appointment
While you are in your third trimester, one of the first things you want to do is to find a pediatrician. This is especially important because it will save you time right after birth.
After you give birth, the nurses may ask if you have a pediatrician in mind and if you do, the nurse will then contact your baby’s pediatrician so that he or she can follow-up with your baby’s care during the rest of the hospital stay.
You will also need to schedule a doctor appointment for your little one within a few days. Make sure you don’t miss out on what to expect at your baby’s first doctor appointment.
4. Fill out a Birth Certificate form
Shortly after you’ve been rolled out into a postpartum room, expect to fill out a birth certificate form in the next 24 hours.
This form is used to establish your baby’s birth date in the government’s system.
You’ll have to fill out the name, date of birth, name of father (if applicable), physical address, and all the other essential information that will identify your relationship with your baby.
Keep in mind that you won’t get a birth certificate immediately. You will have to get a copy yourself.
If you want a copy of the birth certificate, here are a few things you can do:
- Visit your local vital records office and apply for a copy of a certified birth certificate. You will need to fill out an application and wait for a while (because we all know how busy these offices can be!). Once complete, you’ll have a copy in hand! I recommend you arriving early to the office so that you are one of the first person who receives help. The sooner you’re in, the sooner you’re out.
- Go online and use VitalChek to order a copy of the birth certificate, which will be mailed to you. You will receive the birth certificate in the mail within a few weeks – this will be stated in your confirmation email.
- Fill out a birth certificate application form and mail it in. You can find the application form from your state’s vital records website or Department of Health. This method takes a tad bit longer as it may take more than 2 weeks to receive it in the mail. If you’re needing an immediate copy of the certificate, it is best to visit the local vital records office in person.
Remember that there will be a fee for each copy you request. Make sure you prepare payment before you go into the office or send the application in the mail.
5. Apply for a Social Security number
This goes hand-in-hand with your birth certificate form.
When you receive the birth certificate form, you may also receive an application to apply for your newborn’s social security number. You will need to fill out similar information that was also requested on the birth certificate form.
After completion, you may look forward to your baby’s social security card in the mail within the next few days.
6. Update your W-4-Employee Allowance and Additional Withholding
As soon as your baby is here, update your W-4!
You can claim an additional allowance on your taxes which will reduce your payroll taxes on your paycheck. The added bonus is that when you file your taxes at the end of the year, you will also get a Child Tax Credit!
Sounds amazing, right?
Oh, and one more thing.
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Other mothers may find it helpful as well!