(HealthDay News) -- It's not unusual for a pregnant woman to begin labor up to two weeks before or after her due date.

Although most women can't predict exactly when they'll give birth, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says everyone should be prepared for labor and delivery. The group offers this advice:

  • Know which symptoms should prompt you to call the doctor, and know the doctor's phone number.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you should go straight to the hospital, or call the doctor's office first.
  • Plan for how long it will take you to get to the hospital, what traffic may be like, and who can drive you.
  • Make preparations for someone to take care of your other children, and to take care of your home.
  • Create a plan at the office so your workload is covered.