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If you could give one piece of advice

(100 Posts)
Themilkyboobsareonme Sun 28-Oct-12 19:01:09

Anyone who has done this before, if you could give one piece of advice or if there is one thing you would tell yourself now that you wish you had known when you went into labour.

What's the best piece of advice you got?

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Oct-12 20:58:48

Ask for an epidural before you think you might need it

It will take them ages to come with it and you can always change your mind - but get that request in early

Also - do not bother packing hair straighteners, rescue rememdy, "special" labour massage oil. I took a huge bag of shite like that - it never saw the light of day smile

Do take slippers - the showers are minging

Smicha Sun 28-Oct-12 21:00:21

Learn to use the gas and air before you really need it! My labour was pretty fast with no real gap between contractions so by the time they'd wheeled out the g&a I was in too much pain to think about how to actually use it!

Everyone and every birth is different. It doesn't matter what your baby does when it all evens out in the end. Trust yourself.

Somersaults Sun 28-Oct-12 21:29:43

You can do it. And, if it's what you want, you can do it without pain relief, but only if you want! You don't have to be a hero.

It will feel like you need the biggest poo of your life, and that's exactly how you need to push.

And it is so worth it. Eyes on the prize. I'm excited for you.

Loftyjen Sun 28-Oct-12 21:56:30

Forget maternity pads & get some Tena Lady pants instead - much more comfy
(their completely padded!) and nil sticking/lifting/chafing.
So glad my MW tipped me off on it wink

melliebobs Sun 28-Oct-12 21:59:27

Stand your ground

crikeybadger Sun 28-Oct-12 21:59:52

Not advice exactly, but I was never told that I might vomit in labour- t'was a bit of a surprise tbh.

My top tip would be to use gravity- stand up as much as you can, and keep active. It really does help the baby go in the right direction.

and finally....it's your labour, take control if you can, ask questions if you don't understand something and check the implications of not doing something if you are unsure about it.

hackneybird Sun 28-Oct-12 22:07:17

It hurts like fuck (unless you have an epidural). You just must remember that it will all end eventually.

marriedinwhite Sun 28-Oct-12 22:12:16

For the first week after your baby is born you need to rest and to be cared for. All you should be doing is feeding your baby, feeding you and sleeping.

Restrict visitors during the first week.

If you are unsure about anything be it: the labour, the baby, or you during those first few days or weeks get a second opinion from a doctor; an experienced local GP, paediatrician or obstetrician. NOT the NCT, NOT a midwife, NOT a health visitor. A DOCTOR.

BeeWi Sun 28-Oct-12 22:18:23

Take something to occupy yourself. It can be really dull (2 days failed induction meant we played lots of scrabble)!

And don't be too hard on yourself if the birth doesn't turn out how you want or expect - my envisaged water birth with calming music and intimate atmosphere turned into an emcs. I beat myself up about it for a couple of months, which was really silly as it was such a brief moment in the grand scheme of things and the end result,of ending up with the best ever little baby imaginable, was the same smile.

Hospital pillows are not comfy. I took a boomerang pillow which helped me get some rest and got dd in a good position to bf. smile
Expect the unexpected.

didireallysaythat Sun 28-Oct-12 22:32:31

Don't over plan.

Accept that you will give birth and the process may not be like the books, the telly or the classes you almost forgot to ask about. I can honestly say that both of mine were absolutely nothing like OBEM and I've never "breathed through" anything (oh and my feet weren't cold, I didn't want a lip salve, and I was quite happy just with water). Oh and if you have a c-section, not everyone needs to take to their beds for 3-4 days. I was up and happy within 12 hours. Of course, you might want to let everyone know that.. And the best bit of advice I ever had was to never tell your MIL your real due date. Add on 3 weeks. Otherwise the last few weeks (and 2-3 weeks after if you go over) are bloody hell - all those phone calls...

Rachel130690 Sun 28-Oct-12 22:33:41

I got disposable knickers and they were shit I wouldn't bother with them. I also listened to people on here saying buy knickers the next size up as you'll need room for pads again this was shit. My knickers kept falling down and I felt worse for them.

Get some comfy pjs for when your in hospital. Also bring a lot more sleep suits for baby than you think you'll need. I was in two nights after baby born and he peed over 3 of them while I got the hang of nappy changing.

Go with flow and if you want it just do it.

MsStaken Sun 28-Oct-12 22:42:25

get the first post-birth poo done as soon as you can. your insides wont fall out (even though you might feel like they will.)

marriedinwhite Sun 28-Oct-12 22:47:56

Pack a clean shirt for your partner. DS was born just after midnight on Xmas day and as he was put into DH's arms passed more meconium than an elephant would have been capable of passing. DH had to go home like that.

AlisonDB Sun 28-Oct-12 22:58:03

My advice would be, Keep an open mind throughout the entire thing and do what makes you more comfortable:

1, you will not get a medal for bravery at the end, if you are in pain accept and ask for pain relief,

2, lip balm during labour is an absolute must

3, dont get embarrassed by anything you say or do (pooh) in labour the MW's have seen it all before

4, If you cant BF dont beat yourself up over it, you will only make yourself unhappy, and an unhappy mummy is not good for baby.

Don't expect too much of yourself post birth. Nobody expects you to be wonder woman. Rest as much a possible!

incognitomama Sun 28-Oct-12 23:18:05

Make sure you have packed a banana or two. They will give you a much needed burst of energy if you start to get physically tired.
Think positively, go into labour with an open mind, thinking 'I can do this'. I had no drugs at all, not even gas and air, just a water pool. I won't lie, it hurt, a lot! But I'd do it all over again. Have faith in yourself and your ability to get through it.

NellyBluth Sun 28-Oct-12 23:26:07

Accept or demand any and all pain relief that you want, or refuse any you don't want. There are no awards handed out for achieving The Most Painful Labour or the World's Longest Labour. Just do what you want to do to get through it. All that matters is having a healthy baby at the end.

Warn your DH/DP you may hit him. Some women want to be held, some women want to be alone. I nearly gave him a black eye when his accidentally put a hand on my shoulder during a contraction.

And ask for Lactulose post-birth, and ask for a suppository if its starting to get bunged up. You do not want constipation after birth!

Signet2012 Sun 28-Oct-12 23:46:09

Don't under estimate how hot the wards are and make sure you have plenty of drinks.

Go in with an open mind and don't pin all your hopes on what you expect. My worst case scenario was an emcs. Guess what I got? And guess what else- I was fine. Up and about 12 hours later would of been earlier but nurses wouldn't remove catheter. Keep an open mind and remember all what matters is healthy baby at the end.

ComradeJing Mon 29-Oct-12 04:55:27

Put a bag of prunes in your hospital bag. Brilliant for the first post birth poo when it feels like your insides will fall out if you push too hard.

My hospital had ice packs for your post birth fanjo. BLISS.

Hyperballad Mon 29-Oct-12 05:22:51

Do hypnobirthing.

The pain has a limit, it won't ever get beyond what your mind and body can take.

When pushing the head out, change your breathing to a very quick pant with each push, it will help you not tear.

If you are sick with gas and air, ask for the injection that stops the nausea.

Make sure your DP knows the baby could come out with a very squashed head, I thought it was commen knowledge. Apparently not. My DP spent the first 20 mins of what should be the most amazing time of his life thinking I had just given birth to an alien!

Oooh, Hyperballad, my OH was exactly the same. He stood there thinking, 'Why isn't anyone saying anything about it?' grin Ds had major bullet head!

Notmyidea Mon 29-Oct-12 08:31:05

trust your instincts over the professionals and be prepared to be stroppy until you are heard. Make sure your birth partner is clear about this, too.

Camelsshouldnteatcrisps Mon 29-Oct-12 08:39:35

I wish I'd known: It's called Labour for a reason, it's bloody hard work, take water to keep hydrated and snacks to keep your energy up.

I was glad that I knew (as described by my friend): You know the worst is over when the head comes out, it is an very painful stinging/stretching splinting feeling. You usually have one more push and the baby is out.

The labour pain vanishes instantly.

Don't take your own towels for you post labour shower/bath, use the hospitals.

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