Nice little tips - please add and share!

(211 Posts)
PixieCake Sun 30-Sep-12 15:05:38

I heard a nice little tip the other day that I am going to try to do:

- sleep with your newborn's blanket in the last few weeks of pregnancy, so that it smells of you when you wrap the baby in it at the hospital

I wish I had done this last time as I found it hard to cuddle my newborn for a number of different reasons so she was in a cot in a hospital blanket.

Anyone got any other easy little things to add that don't take much effort but are a nice idea?

Another one I heard was to ask for the room to be silent when the baby comes out so that the first thing it hears is its mothers voice. Not for everybody I know, but please share any other suggestions x

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 01-Oct-12 04:36:47

oh yy to take painkillers every 4 hours for at least 48hours after birth! Especially if number 2 and beyond - afterpains so so much worse the second time.

get in a lot of prunes to help with first poo (the fear is worse than the event though!)

FrankieMyDearIDontGiveADamn Mon 01-Oct-12 04:56:29

I played music at both of my children's births.

At DS's it was Bob Dylan's Plant Waves,
And for DD it was Erasure by Erasure.

I suppose I was fortunate in having two fairly uncomplicated births, and therefore no difficult memories, but both albums have very profound meaning to me now, and listening to them evokes some very special memories and feelings smile

Want2bSupermum Mon 01-Oct-12 06:26:12

Girl That reminds me... stool softeners. Take them with black decaf coffee. Gets things moving. If you have CS then no gas making foods. Don't even think about sushi until the baby is 3 months old. I had sushi at 7 weeks and was doubled up in pain from the gas. Never again.

GoldShip Mon 01-Oct-12 07:51:41

mame its nice for mum dad and baby to get some alone time before family start coming fussing.

scaredmummy2B Mon 01-Oct-12 09:36:03

Best bet.af ever goldship! At least 2 full days at home together

LesleyPumpshaft Mon 01-Oct-12 09:42:06

Make sure you have some nice munchies for just after the birth. I felt like I had just run the cross country 10 times and was so, so hungry.

Luckily my Gran had pre-empted this and blagged her way into the labour room with a bag full of Cadbury's fingers and other goodies for me!

MolotovBomb Mon 01-Oct-12 09:50:23

I have two tips - one for VB and one for ELCS.

Whilst in labour with DD1 and when contractions were peaking, the midwife said: "Imagine you are pushing an empty pram up a very tall hill. Your baby is at the top. Each contraction walk you a bit further up that hill; a little closer to your baby."

For ELCS (could apply to EMCS), enjoy the procedure for what it is - your baby's birth. Your baby is delivered to you without all of that pushing and shoving! smile

LapinDeBois Mon 01-Oct-12 10:06:42

Not quite sure how, but try anything you can to make sure that you're emptying your bowel regularly around the time you're due to give birth. I've become a bit obsessed about this blush, but I'm completely convinced that having a full bowel was one of the main reasons I couldn't deliver DS1 (eventual ventouse). I never felt the urge to push, and it was as if he never dropped right down low enough for my muscles to engage. And the day before, the MW had told me that my bowel felt quite full while she was doing a sweep. Second time round, I had the same experience, but after trying to push (but again feeling no 'urge' to push IYKWIM) for about an hour, I finally managed to empty rather a lot of poo blush blush out of my bowel. After that, muscles engaged with baby, and it was suddenly completely easy. If I were doing it again (which I'm not!), I would try to demand an enema in early labour (they always used to give you one, apparently).

MichaelFinnegansWhiskers Mon 01-Oct-12 10:23:00

I was surprised to see someone recommend Tizzy Hall's book upthread - for one thing, it's not about birth, and for another, it recommends controlled crying for newborns, which is a little controversial...

My book tip would be to get your dh, or whoever will be yr birth partner, to read Penny Simkin's The Birth Partner. It has a huge amount of detail on the process of birth, what decisions you may make, what may happen, how you may feel, what interventions are possible - think it remains the best baby-relared book I've read, and dd is 19months now.

Craftyone Mon 01-Oct-12 10:41:33

I was really glad when someone told me that you could book a private room with a sink for about £70 a night which meant that your DH could sleep in the room, on a fold out chair with you. Mine had a shower room directly outside and no one else really used it as they assumed it was for me smile. You can normally pay as you go along. This gives you some peace and much needed rest and £70 is not much in the scheme of things.

OhSiena Mon 01-Oct-12 10:46:01

Practise those breathing exercises they give you and make your DH do it with you.

First time I dismissed all that nonsense.

Second time I was willing to try anything, I made DH practise with me, started using it as went into labour fully expecting to have to abandon it later, but it kept me calm and focused and took me all the way through.

That and the exercise ball I was given when I arrived. Again I dismissed it initially as pointless, but bouncing gently on this holding onto the side of the bed whilst dong my breathing took me calmly all the way to pushing.

And I'm no hippy type.

I had two sections, but I would say take food with you. Hospital food is disgusting. Luckily, we have an m &s food hall down the road from hospital!

elizaregina Mon 01-Oct-12 10:57:53

ahh how sweet about the baby blanket will try that!

Molotov

" For ELCS (could apply to EMCS), enjoy the procedure for what it is - your baby's birth. Your baby is delivered to you without all of that pushing and shoving! smile"

Again, lovley thanks for that!

I am another for saying I didnt do any " pushing" myself, my animal body took over during the whole thing really, I didnt know when to push, no one told me too....alll of a sudden my body just had huge strange ....convulsion? and it happened two or three times, at one point the MW said - hold it - which I did....then she was born...it just did it all by itself....23 mins and a first timer....

I am sure no one else would worry about this - but I was worried about DD being frequenlty startled once out...for instance asleep she would suddenly jerk...and I thought something was wrong with her - but of couse its just being out in the world and not contained with lots of sharp noises etc....

also, try hypnotherapy, apprenlty - lots of women are now trying it and they are soooo calm when calling the hospital in labour - the MW's dont belive them because they sound so calm so there must be something powerful to it!

MoonHare Mon 01-Oct-12 11:17:40

My top tips:

1. Read Ju Ju Sundin's "Birth Skills: proven pain management techniques for labour and birth"
2. Rent/buy/borrow a TENS machine and at least give it a try
3. Drink lots of raspberry leaf tea starting around 4 weeks before due date

If you do nothing else then read JuJu's book.

For after the birth - stock up on maternity pads, you will need loads more than you imagine! And if you're planning to breast feed get some Lansinoh (MWs often have trial size samples to give away and you need so little that there's enough in a couple of these to see you through).

And remember a straightforward birth is normal, not lucky.

tourdefrance Mon 01-Oct-12 11:28:36

Relaxation will make it easier - in particular relax your mouth, force it to be loose and relaxed, if you are gritting your teeth you will be tense down below.
The best book for me was Ina May's guide to childbirth. Thats where the mouth tip came from. I had cs for dc1 but a natural birth for dc2. Only painkiller was some paracetemol when contractions first started.
Relaxed mouth, hovering over the toilet and then standing against the bed with DP massaging my lower back. No tearing or cuts required.
When the midwife handed over at the end of her shift she said - 'she just breathed him out'.
Oh and he did fall on the floor, but luckily she'd put a pillow between my legs!

Ibelyx Mon 01-Oct-12 11:35:06

I remeber the first afternoon and night of contractions. All of the pain was in my hips, felt like someone was trying to rip them apart. Walking when I was having one seemed to help. And making pancakes. The amount of sugar I put on them kept me going for ages! Dont forget a clean nightie. I did and got to wear a lovely hospital gown. Erm, peeing in the bath was great for me, it became my best friend for 3 weeks. Try and get some ural sachets. I only managed to get them from another country, but they are amazing.
Enjoy those first cuddles as much as possible because you dont get them back. smile

OhGood Mon 01-Oct-12 11:36:00

Is you have an epidural, try not to tell the anaesthetist that you love him, and that if you weren't already doing it you would have his children.

They find that pretty scary.

aliphil Mon 01-Oct-12 11:44:03

1. If you want to try a particular method of pain relief, don't just put it in your birth plan, make sure your DP knows you want it and will demand it if you're in no fit state. (I wanted gas and air but it wasn't offered until late on - it was there but no one pointed it out and we didn't know what it looked like! - and instead they gave me pethidine which made me violently sick so I ended up dehydrated.)

2. If you need to push, tell the midwife. If she says you can't possibly be at that stage yet, you or DP should insist she checks before giving you something to stop the pushing (says she who went from 2 cm to fully dilated in under 2 hours, with a first baby in a posterior position, which everyone said was impossible!).

And two for after the birth:

1. If anyone tells you iron tablets don't cause constipation, they're lying.

2. Be demanding! You can be polite about it, but keep asking for what you need until you get it - pain relief, help with feeding, a shower, to be discharged ...

surfingluby Mon 01-Oct-12 11:47:31

I'm loving this thread, loads of great ideas! I shall keep watch :-)

Curtsey Mon 01-Oct-12 11:49:59

Food, food, food for after you've given birth. Then more food. Also food for your OH. FOOD!

Agree with Lapin about trying to empty your bowel - I became fixated on this during labour as I didn't want to poo in front of DP blush so was trying to get it all out in the loo. The more fixated I became the harder it became to roll with the contractions and I got very weepy! I did manage a big void at one point though and felt better afterwards <overshare>

Pushing a baby out of your vagina feels like you're having the world's biggest poo. That's just what it feels like but people will be too polite to tell you this until the last minute. So push there accordingly. Forget about your vagina, if that makes sense. You're doing a giant, very cute, poo.

When you're in early labour, kneel and lean over your Pilates ball if you have one. This is a really comfy position. If you're not sure whether you're in labour or not, consider posting an 'Am I in labour?' thread on MN. this seems out of the question, you're in labour.

MissTapestry Mon 01-Oct-12 12:01:19

If they offer you a meal in the later stages, say yes but secretly give it to your birth partner. DP was very grateful and so was I as it meant he had no reason to leave my side grin

aliphil Mon 01-Oct-12 12:04:08

When you're in early labour, kneel and lean over your Pilates ball if you have one. This is a really comfy position.

Didn't work for me. sad I ended up with the worst pain in my legs and none of the positions that were supposed to help worked.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 01-Oct-12 12:05:58

Elizaregina - Re involuntary pushing ... Im with you on that!

My DD was an epidural so couldn't feel any urge to push. DS was a natural birth and I was expecting to feel something and then consciously make a decision to push it out, and then push.

Whereas, actually it was much more like throwing up - sort of happened all by itself with each contraction.

I remember the contractions at transition started to get "pushy" - still achy and throbby, but with a but of convulsing in there too. As we got into pushing proper, the aching contracting feelings reduced and were replaced by giant convulsing/expulsing feelings - like throwing up your entire internal organs!

I didnt do any pushing my head down in my chin or pushing down into my bottom. I didn't do anything at all actually!

That was a real surprise.

MichaelFinnegansWhiskers Mon 01-Oct-12 12:53:55

Oh yes, same here with involuntary pushing!

After dd was born, they were staring at my fanjo waiting for the placenta and after a while, looking a bit worried, they asked me to push. I was a bit confused as to what to do, but I made like doing a poo ... and out it popped. No pushing for the baby though!

Baaartimaeus Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:35

I fifty-third having a bottle or jug of water to pour over you when you pee afterwards. First time DH heard me he thought I was having real problems blush grin

I had maternity pads provided by the hospital (despite them telling me they didn't so having bought loads). Lovely midwife told me to pee whilst pouring water then use a pad to "blot" myself dry rather than using paper and/or wiping (pad then thrown away).

Where I gave birth (hospital in Paris) it was standard to be given painkillers (which are compatible with BF) - so I had painkillers 4 times a day whilst at hospital (5 days) plus a prescription for the next 2 weeks. I was told to take them for 10 days and then after that if necessary. A couple of days after giving birth I remember musing to DH that bizarrely my lower back had started hurting, then he pointed out I'd forgotten to take my painkiller. Apart from the odd chink of pain like that I had almost no pain after birth, despite an episiotomy and 5 stitches.

As I said I was in hospital 5 days and I really wish I'd had the courage not to go to the "nursery" every time I needed to change DS's nappy. Next time round I am definitely just putting a towel on the bed and changing the baby there.

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