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

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Oct-12 15:08:04

From another thread:

Remove nail varnish well before going into labour. If you need an EMCS it might need whipping off at the last minute as they monitor blood oxygen circulation through your nails in operations.

aggadoo Tue 02-Oct-12 15:47:49

Make up or make up remover, - tbh I hardly ever wear any, but on labour day l had mascara on and I remember hearing 1 midwife saying 'its all running down her face' to the other midwife hmm...... I cared not,...... HOWEVER, looking back at the pictures, I am very glad I wiped my face with cleansing wipes after. Obviously you have other things to think of at the time, but ...just sayin'! Oh and on the subject of photos--remember to take lots. Didn't take so many last time and kind of wished we had more.

BoffinMum Tue 02-Oct-12 17:07:46

Unbleached maternity pads are less likely to chafe your sore bits than bleached ones. I only found that out after the fourth birth! blush

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 02-Oct-12 20:47:47

lean forward like putting your head to the floor when peeing. this really was the only way i could pee without crying. then rinse with tepid water.

Have a birth plan -but don't stress if everything changes when you get in there.

I ended up with no epi (v quick labour) and a ventouse. Neither of these were planned. It was still amazing.

Talk to birth partner lots in the lead up to labour. My DH and I read Juju Sindin's book together and went through loads of exercises in it during last trimester. Even though I didn't end up with an 'active labour' but an induction, the fact that DH had been there through all the practices definitely had an impact. He knew how to respond to my contractions, and how I felt about things, and was an amazing support to me, as well as being my spokesperson/advocate to the medics.

Don't panic. Don't be scared. But if you do, and you are, don't feel bad about it - you're doing something amazing and there's no need for guilt. smile

Oh, and have a wee in the bath afterwards.

Buckette Tue 02-Oct-12 23:50:05

It can ease the pain of contractions to kneel down and lean on your gym ball, but don't do it on a carpet in bare knees; carpet burns were the most bizarre side-effect of my labour...
Stock up on maternity pads, even if your bleeding gets quite light, the padding makes sitting down a lot more comfortable, normal sanitary pads don't.
Flip flops are useful for the hospital shower but arrive wearing shoes or pack some shoes / slippers in case you end up in those delightful compression stockings.
Don't combine cooking spicy foods to bring on labour with filling your freezer for post - birth quick meals, as you'll end up with a freezer full of meals you don't fancy eating when you're new to breastfeeding.

i'd second all the fabulous tips on here and would add:

* take a couple of folded carrier bags to put dirty washing in
* take a bottle of squash - the water is usually rank as it has added fluoride and stuff that makes it cloudy
* take a present and card from baby for children, especially youngsters, will keep them occupied and pave the way that baby is friend not someone to be jealous of

good luck everyone - I'm gonna pack my bag this week

FlangelinaBallerina Wed 03-Oct-12 11:51:47

Take enough babywipes for yourself as well as baby, as hospital loo roll can be scratchy. I used them rather than loo roll for all toilet visits for the first week, and for all poos for about the first six weeks. Much more comfortable.

If your waters go early, you'll presumably want a pad on. Don't use one with the dry weave top, like always. I did, and the midwife wanted to check my pad to ensure it was waters and not wee. She couldn't, because of the type of pad, so she had to examine me instead. You might be able to save yourself an internal if you wear a maternity style pad.

FlangelinaBallerina Wed 03-Oct-12 12:10:52

Oh, and seconded to whoever said about iron tablets messing your bowels up. They did me, and I'm quite frankly the duchess of shitting- never constipated in pregnancy, emptied bowels totally as soon as my waters broke and didn't poo in labour as there was nothing left, first postbirth poo only two days later and fairly untraumatic preens. But the iron tablets bunged me up after a few days. The midwife suggested I finish the course but just take 1 or 2 a day. So if you end up on iron tablets, consider asking if you can take a lesser dosage for a longer period. Obviously if your iron is really low this may not be wise, but if it's just slightly low it could be an option.

lovemyrose Wed 03-Oct-12 12:16:05

Start taking arnica tablets as soon as you get contractions and keep taking till you healing nicely after.

Have baths with tea tree oil or lavender oil to help healing.

When you ring hospital make sure you ring during a contraction, if you can speak during contraction they ll tell you to stay at home, so if you desperate to go in make sure you can't speak!

Agree with your partner before hand what you want to do about visitors to hospital/home as can be over whelming when everyone wants to descend on you, especially if you have mother in law champing at the bit ringing every 5 mins for news - you can guess what she ll be like once there is news lol!

Along with sleeping with blanket to get your smell on, sleep with a t shirt and put over mattress in Moses basket.

Putting a clock in basket/cot or leaving radio on can help with sleeping as they used to lots of noise in the womb.

lovemyrose Wed 03-Oct-12 13:56:43

On iron tablets, I had same problems with constipation and a few other mums recommended Floradix a natural alternative,you can get in syrup or tablet form. I found it worked much better than iron tablets and no constipation! :-)

surelythisoneisnttaken Wed 03-Oct-12 15:00:16

not sure if already been said but shave! Nothing quite like a midwife coming at you with a cheap disposable razor to make an EMCS seem just that bit worse!

surelythisoneisnttaken Wed 03-Oct-12 15:01:05

meant wax not shave!

Shagmundfreud Wed 03-Oct-12 16:04:49

Don't, for the love of god, choose to go to the labour ward unless

a) you intend to have to have an epidural
b) you are high risk and they won't let you use birth center/have a hb/there is no birth center within reach.

I really can't get my head around why low risk women choose to go to the labour ward when they have a perfectly good birth center to hand (unless of course they want an epidural, in which case they have no choice).

Oh, and don't try to be a model patient, or brave. Yes the staff are usually very nice and hard working, but YOU are the one who has to push a baby out, so they need to put your needs ahead of their need to drink tea and laugh over people's birth plans in the corridor.

CPtart Wed 03-Oct-12 16:33:24

If you have an epidural, make sure the midwife drains your bladder intermittently with a catheter as you won't know if and when your bladder is full. This tip comes from a conversation I once had with a continence nurse who has lost count of the number of women who have bladder problems due to this being neglected/forgotten when in labour.

scaredmummy2B Wed 03-Oct-12 23:22:05

Good one cptart

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 15:56:11

shagmundfreud I'ld strongly disagree there, I'd say count out stand alone MLUs all together and only consider home birth or hospital. you get more monitoring at home and there's nothing you can get at MLU that you can't get at home but at least at home if things aren't going to plan someone is STUCK IN YOUR HOUSE with you to notice and transfer you and not off at the desk answering phone calls not your call bell!!

perfectstorm Fri 05-Oct-12 16:08:18

Halloweeny most MLU or birth centres are attached to hospitals, and they can also give you pethidene which you can't get at home. Most women who have given birth in MLU rave about them, in studies.

I gave birth in one, but knew consultant led care was just one floor above. The home from home atmosphere plus that medical reassurance was great for me. And the birthing pool was amazing - way better than any inflatable one, let alone my own bath. I'd never have been a candidate for a home birth as very unfortunately a family member was one of the rare cases where things went wrong. I do appreciate people differ, and some women will like the brightly lit clinical environment, but personally I would choose a MLU for advanced labour every time.

perfectstorm Fri 05-Oct-12 16:09:02

Also MLU in my experience offer 1 to 1 care all through, unlike consultant led. Is that not standard?

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:15:06

"Most women who have given birth in MLU rave about them, in studies"
think about that sentance, it does not include people who STARTED in MLUs then had to be transerred out! ask THEM how they found it!

it is quite common for the midwife to not stay in your room with you at a MLU

I have no problem with MLUs attatched to hospitals so long as its a hospital with paeds and obs (not all do, some hospital MLUs are not attatched to the same hospital you need to be in if you need to be stepped up!!), and you get properly watched like you would at home, but many are an ambulance transfer away from the "step up" and you'ld be better off at home with proper supervision because at home its more likely that the need for hospital transfer gets noticed sooner!

if you were not a candidate for home birth you would not have been a candidate for stand alone MLU anyway!

YompingJo Fri 05-Oct-12 16:43:02

Also, you CAN get pethidine at home, you just have to mention to your regular midwife that you would like some available. AFAIK, there's nothing a MLU can give you that a homebirth can't - they are both staffed by midwives and not doctors, but at home you will generally get 2 midwives and you can relax in your own environment, you don't have all the to-ing and fro-ing if things aren't as far along as you thought at the beginning. I guess the only benefit of a MLU might be if it's closer to the hospital in case you need to transfer, and the support available afterwards. Same transfer time from my house to hosp. as from local MLU, so no contest for me, and I would rather my DH can be with me and his new child full time instead of being sent home at night which I think is the most outrageous thing about MLU OR hospital birth.

Still pregnant, grr confused

GoldShip Fri 05-Oct-12 17:31:16

Yep Yomping is right, a midwife can administer pethidine at home.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 05-Oct-12 18:07:59

actually a MW can only administer pethidine at home if the hospital they're tied to allows it. Eg CMW from St Thomas' will not administer pethidine because the hospital doesn't

perfectstorm Fri 05-Oct-12 18:10:57

My MLU waterpool was a giant bathtub with hot and cold running water. I could float in it. I could brace myself across it midsection. It had a sloping back I could actually lie down on. They even had a weird colour phasing LED light "focus object" above, which made me chuckle, but apparently lots of women love. 'Twas bliss. The inflatable home type is a lot less comfy. MLU having one was a massive boon - the level of pain relief that pool afforded was immense.

I wasn't a candidate for a homebirth because my niece almost drowned from the home pool and ended up in NICU for a week in an induced coma afterwards, not for medical reasons. My CMW said that the fear something could go wrong would cancel out the benefits of a relaxed setting. And personally, I found the MLU lovely and relaxing, plus better equipped for labour than my own home once it was too advanced for DVDs to distract me much. Soft lighting, big beds with nice sheets, just a pleasant room to be in with all the birthing aids you could want really helped me. Other women did transfer upstairs and I agree that having a MLU unit attached to a CLU is the best of both worlds, but I don't understand the hostility to a MLU of itself. There is one near us (the only stand-alone I've heard of, actually) that people love - it's a halfway house between a home birth and a hospital one, and some find that the perfect compromise. What is so wrong with allowing women options?

""Most women who have given birth in MLU rave about them, in studies"
think about that sentance, it does not include people who STARTED in MLUs then had to be transerred out! ask THEM how they found it! "

A statement which applies equally to home births - more so, if you want to look at the maternal satisfaction scores from the Netherlands, where home births are the norm and mothers very much less than happy. And I don't know if you were patronising me intentionally, or if it was inadvertent, but either way, I'd be appreciative if you stopped? It rather impedes a friendly and informative debate, in my view, if people start implying different views are inherently valueless or mistaken, certainly when the debate is by its very nature opinion-based and not subject to proof.

You say most MLU/Birthing centres are stand alone, and not attached to a hospital. What are the statistics for that, please? I agree it makes more sense to have a unit as part of hospital provision, but the majority of those I know are set up in exactly that way.

perfectstorm Fri 05-Oct-12 18:12:21

When I gave birth, local midwives were not allowed to administer pethidene. No.

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