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First time pregnant, if you could give me one piece of advice?!?

(109 Posts)
NewMrsH Mon 24-Dec-12 22:13:59

Hello,

I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby and wondered if you could give me one piece of advice on labour/ babies/ new borns etc what would it be??

Thanks

Xxx

NickNacks Mon 24-Dec-12 22:14:58

Take lots of photos.

headfairy Mon 24-Dec-12 22:19:22

can't advice on labour - 2 planned cs here. But... for the rest of it? Go with the flow. Massively. Don't stress about routines, don't worry about what you think you should be doing, do what feels right for you. Agree with lots of photos, and videos. This is especially important as they get older. It's really nice to be able to look back and see how they sounded talking when they were 2 etc...

WillYuleDoTheFandango Mon 24-Dec-12 22:25:42

Enjoy every single solitary second smile!

Sit and sniff admire your baby whenever you can and take all the help you can get (DP/BF advisors/midwives/auxiliary nurses). And don't be in a hurry to leave the hospital too soon - you have the rest of your life to go home, if you need help/don't feel recovered enough it will only be 10x harder at home.

DS is only 8days and I'm already feeling like it goes too fast!

Go with the flow. Dont stress about things if you can help it. Babies are resilient little things.

Enjoy your baby as much as you can, hug it, sniff it and take lots of pictures.

Oh, and when people offer helpful/unhelpful advice just say Thanks. Then go with whatever your gut tells you. wink

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Mon 24-Dec-12 22:28:59

Listen intently to the advice and experience of anyone with a baby under one. Anyone without this, i.e. with older kids, ignore. something weird happens and people really do forget what it's like and spout a load of codswallop.

Dd is 6months

Themobstersknife Mon 24-Dec-12 22:30:55

Jax is very wise!
Do what you need to do to surive in the first few weeks. Don't read silly routine books and feel like a failure. Remember that you and your DP being able to make a baby is a miracle! Well I think it is anyway!

Bluestocking Mon 24-Dec-12 22:31:51

Do your Kegels!
Do your Kegels!
Did I remember to say do your Kegels?

LikeAVirginMary Mon 24-Dec-12 22:35:26

You cannot cuddle/hold a baby too much

If it cries, pick it up. It is tiny. It wants a hug, or fed, or changed, or winded or just to know you are there. They don't cry for fun!

Never, ever, ever forget what a complete little miracle she/he is. They are the most amazing gift ever.

noblegiraffe Mon 24-Dec-12 22:35:43

Don't have a fixed notion of how you want labour to go, a birth plan is merely a wish list. You may end up in labour that is nothing like the relaxing waterbirth with minimum intervention you had hoped for and if you are ready for that, it will be easier to cope with any disappointment - which can be a factor in whether you develop post-natal depression.

Also, breastfeeding can be tricky, ask for help sooner rather than later. And if you have a CS, take it easy, and take whatever drugs they offer.

Oh, and all babies are different. Don't feel bad if your baby doesn't sleep as well as the next, it's nothing you are doing wrong.

Also, some babies do not go to sleep when they are tired, they get more and more distraught. They need forcing to sleep via rocking, feeding, driving around the block, whatever works. You are not making a rod for your own back, you are saving your sanity.

Echoing others - go with the flow. Before Ds I was anti dummy, pro routine etc. He is 9 months and has just gone to bed after sleeping on me on the sofa since 7.30. Just because your sisters/friends/colleagues baby did well with Gina Ford it doesn't mean yours will, they're all different and need different things.

Enjoy being sofa bound for a while, don't stress about the housework.

Do whatever you need to to get sleep - swaddle, routine, co sleep.

More than one thing sorry!

Oh, and stiff your baby lots smile

*sniff blush fat fingers

RubyrooUK Mon 24-Dec-12 22:44:37

My advice is that the baby hasn't read any baby books.

You will pick up a book that helpfully tells you that your newborn will eat for 20 minutes every three hours on schedule then be awake for a short period before falling into sleep.

Then you get a child who eats for 45 minutes every 45 minutes and doesn't bother at all with sleep. Oh.

Don't drive yourself mad thinking your baby is abnormal. Very few of them are aware they come with an instruction manual costing £14.99 and available from all good bookshops.

Backinthebox Mon 24-Dec-12 22:48:37

Nothing will happen how you think it will. Don't get stressed about this.

ruby Ds keeps taking 'The Baby Whisperer' and 'No cry Sleep solution' off the bookshelf and trying to eat them.

I think he's mocking me hmm

barleysugar Mon 24-Dec-12 22:53:13

If in doubt, feed the baby. When my first born was crying and crying what I should have done was just sit down feet up and feed feed feed. Poor little mite was starving and I had no idea. Some dufus HV had told me babies didn't really need feeding much in the first three days.

So sod doing the washing, unpacking your bag, and cooking a meal, just rest and feed!

RubyrooUK Mon 24-Dec-12 22:56:04

grin English. Well, I suppose someone might as well get some use out of those books......

oddslippers Mon 24-Dec-12 22:58:25

Do everything the way you want to do it.....not the way you everyone else thinks you should do it

rainrainandmorerain Mon 24-Dec-12 22:58:54

Despite your best efforts, you will have a preconceived idea of what you and life with a baby will be like once you have a newborn.

Don't feel bad about abandoning it once it doesn't fit reality. It doesn't matter. Better to adjust and accept (go with the flow is such a good phrase) than to battle on feeling you have to force things in a particular way.

On which note - what Ruby said. i read a few baby books. They promise so much (which when you are very tired and emotional is seductive), they nearly all seem to be rather threatening ("do things my way or your life will be shit and you will regret not listening to me!") - and they were bloody useless. Baby books are like diet books. If they worked, there would be no fat people and babies that slept robotically for 12 hours a night.

spend the money on something nice instead!

doyouwantfrieswiththat Mon 24-Dec-12 22:59:46

You don't need half the stuff people will try to sell you.

Having a child gives you something in common with almost everyone you meet, strangers will smile at you in the street. One of them might be me, newborns are irresistible.

Lafaminute Mon 24-Dec-12 23:02:32

Don't get too stuck on any one ideal, ie if no epidural/breastfeeding/terry nappies works, good and well but if they don't please don't fret. Accept and move on. I think it is a crime that women judge each other on the "badges of honor" that are a drug-free birth, breastfeeding and nothing but, early toilet training etc. Motherhood is tough enough w'out some b** telling you that it's a crime to have an epidual/not to breastfeed, etc. Whatever you are doing is right for you and your baby and you are doing a sterling job: bear that in mind at all times. Good luck!! My first baby is ten and I found the first few years scary and sometimes tough but amazing and precious too. Enjoy!
PS Your baby has no one to compare you to, so he/she thinks what you're doing is the right way- that was my mantra!

BettyStogs Mon 24-Dec-12 23:12:15

Best thing anyone said to me was remember everything's a phase, even the good stuff. DS is 15 months now and I still find that I have to remind myself of this every now and then.

joanofarchitrave Mon 24-Dec-12 23:23:55

'Nothing will happen how you think it will. Don't get stressed about this'

This.

Also; have long chats with your mum/motherinlaw about how they fed their babies BEFORE they start advising you on what you are doing wrong. Not that their advice is necessarily pants - behind many successful breastfeeders is their mum - but at least you will know where they are coming from and what their bees in bonnets particular concerns are.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Mon 24-Dec-12 23:28:33

Always put the clean nappy on straight away after removing the dirty one. Like one of those 'pull the tablecloth' tricks.
You can leave it open, it'll just catch the pee and poop baby feels is necessary as soon as fresh air touches them.

WillYuleDoTheFandango Tue 25-Dec-12 00:36:05

Yes perfectionist and also wiping bums stimulates most babies to do another enormous stinky poo grin

cupcake78 Tue 25-Dec-12 03:41:44

During labour don't panic! Your body knows what it's doing. It might feel weird for it to take over but it's also amazing.

Chuck the baby books away! Follow your instincts and if you don't know what to do just try everything a few times round and see what happens.
Remember sometimes baby's just cry, it's not personal, doesn't mean your doing anything wrong its just the way they are!

Rest! Don't fill your house and time with visitors it's exhausting enough.

If your struggling talk to someone! It doesn't mean your a failure it just means your normal wink

Your life will change and for a while your baby will take up all of your waking and sleeping time. Don't feel bad if you need to mourn the loss of the person you were before, it is totally normal.

Look at night feeds as something to enjoy not endure, special time with just you and your lo.

Don't let your midwife or hospital staff force you into anything, it's your body and your baby.

Take as many pictures and videos as possible.

Congratulations!

Jacksmania Tue 25-Dec-12 03:59:10

Just say NO to forceps.

That's all.

CordeliaChase Tue 25-Dec-12 04:06:55

Agreed with all PPs! My SIL gave birth 3 months before me. Her baby slept through the night from 3mo, was in a fixed routine and that was that. What she failed to mention was that her baby shrieked all day every day. Most miserable baby I've ever met. I was so stressed with trying to get my DS into a routine when he wasn't ready because I'd read the same shitty book as my SIL and was listening to her advice on how it 'should' be done. Once I stopped listening to her 'advice', me and my DS were so much happier. He was always a very chilled out baby, such a joy. Could hand him over to anyone, because I didn't cling on to him like a limpet when he was young. He got plenty of cuddles, from everyone. He is now a confident, happy, laid back two year old and I wouldn't change anything. Just enjoy baby. You will be sleep deprived, frustrated and stressed. When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and re-evaluate. Does the washing up really need doing right now? Do you need to Hoover? Is baby asleep? Well go take a nap! The power of a nap will recharge your batteries. When people come round and ask if they can do anything to help, don't do the whole English polite thing. Send them off to make you a brew or hand them baby while you take a few mins and make the brew. When the weather is nice, pop baby in the pram and go for a nice walk. Fresh air is so rejuvenating, and also tiring for baby. There will probably be times when baby is crying/grizzly/refusing to sleep and you will be feeling a bit sorry for yourself. Pop them in the pram and walk it out. It's amazing. I spent 5 months walking around with DS in a pram haha! My DH works nights, so I was practically single parent. It seems like baby will never get into a routine and you are doing the same thing day in day out. It gets easier, but they grow up so fast. Treasure every moment.

Sorry, I've rambled on for long enough. Good luck with your lovely pudgy baby when they come. I love newborns smile. They always smell soooooo yummy!

Oh, one more thing! Don't buy a brand new pram straight away! Guaranteed your first one seems perfect-until you use it daily and then you really know what you need! I had 8 in the first 18months. I only stopped buying them because I moved to Canada and their all bloody crap over here lol!!!

FellatioNelson Tue 25-Dec-12 04:12:59

Take your birth plan, and then be prepared to forget everything you wrote on it and put your trust the midwives. Don't think that once you get going you will be in any fit state to control anything, or that you will even care. I wrote that I didn't want anyone in the room except MW and DH. Actually, by the time I was well under way I could not have given a flying fuck if a marching band had walked through the delivery suite.

Take some nice sandwiches for afterwards. You will be STARVING.

HRMumness Tue 25-Dec-12 04:21:48

Do your kegels.
Stop reading baby books.
Breastfeeding is hard. Do persist with it if you can but don't feel bad if it doesn't work out.
Be prepared to spend the first few weeks feeding. Get some box sets in.
It is possible for them to be hungry almost immediately after they have finished eating.
Don't take the crying personally.
This too shall pass!

Damash12 Tue 25-Dec-12 04:27:48

It would be buy the baby whisperer book from axon about £6 and worth a million imop. Really helped me get a routine and sense of control but the best part was the statement to remember "the first 90 days are not normal" that helped me put so much in perspective and do you know what it isn't normal or it could possibly be it is normal but by then you are used to it :-) either way it helped massively. Good luck x

Pudgy2011 Tue 25-Dec-12 04:38:25

- Witch hazel poured on a maxi pad is utterly luverly on the lady bits after birth.

- The only thing a baby needs is milk (whether it arrives by bottle or boob), a clean nappy and a place to sleep, be that a pair of arms, a hairy chest or a drawer. Your baby won't care that you're not perfect so don't try to be.

- Listen to advice that is gifted, but ignore any that is forced. This is your baby, and you are allowed to pick and choose which advice you take.

- And (completely contradicting my last point above), if baby allows it, invest in a miracle blanket and swaddle from birth. I have 4 of the things because I didn't want to be without one. It is the reason that we never lost any sleep for the first 6 months of DS's life and even then it was only because we were weaning him out of it. If your baby likes to be swaddled, this could well be your saviour - www.miracleblanket.com I shit you not.

- It doesn't matter if your laundry doesn't get done or you eat takeaway for 5 nights running, or if you don't get out of your pyjamas. New babies are the perfect excuse not to have to worry about any of that.

- Don't be alarmed if you find it easy. For some people it is. Enjoy it and go with the flow.

- Don't be alarmed if you find it horrendous. For a lot of people it is. Please don't be afraid to ask for help, your friends and family (hopefully) will only want to help you out, not monopolise your baby.

- If you don't want visitors for 2 weeks, you don't have to have any. If you want to go out and show your baby off to the world at a day old by all means do. Your choice when and how you introduce your baby. We took DS to happy hour with 20 friends when he was 4 days old. Granted we live in a hot country which is very family oriented but it was lovely to be able to come out, have a feed, a beer, some fresh air and then home again after a couple of hours. Made me feel human.

- Try not to feel guilty. If you have to, or want to go back to work, stand by your choice or need. I went back to work when DS was 18 weeks old because that's all the time I was allowed. I don't feel guilty. I see how he has thrived at daycare and how he learns far more there than I could ever teach him at home. I work so I can provide a fantastic life for him.

- Be confident in your abilities as a parent. You (and your DH/OH) are all your baby needs, and you are perfect for your baby, exactly how you are.

- Try and enjoy every second.

Best of luck OP and merry Christmas.

Pudgy2011 Tue 25-Dec-12 04:40:04

I only just realised you asked for one piece of advice.

I wrote a novel. Sorry smile

Much like everyone else. Be open minded in labour and accept that sometimes it won't go how you planned.
Remember BFing is hard but adopt the mantra 'it will get better' am 9 weeks in and it's starting to now!
If baby cries put boob in!
Enjoy your baby. Don't worry about routines or spoiling it- they will just want you. It's a great feeling!

stuffthenonsense Tue 25-Dec-12 05:02:29

Ignore all advice especially from Hvs

dylsmimi Tue 25-Dec-12 06:02:05

Pack nice chocolate in your hospital bag - just had Ds2 & needed antibiotics my dm brought me some lovely hotel chocolat when she visited which I used as a treat after swallowing the horrid things!
Spread visitors out and say no if you want. Remember that when they visit after work it will be babies cranky hr and you will be tired so don't expect the baby to lie contentedly on whoever turns up
Especially be careful of having loads of visitors about day 3-5 when ur milk comes in. With Ds1 my dad turned up with a random mate I wasn't dressed, exhausted, sore and he bought fish & chips for him to eat not me and Dh!! - not a good visitor! My dm was horrified with him!
Ask visitors to bring anything you need - noone ever minds picking up more milk, bread, look roll or nappies etc especially if it makes life easier.
Don't plan anything! And this comes from one of the most organised planners!
Most of all enjoy your beautiful baby - they are so tiny for such a short amount of time
Congratulations and good luck smile

Pickles77 Tue 25-Dec-12 06:17:23

Yes believe it or not my advice is enjoy it and ignore the scaremongers!

NanoNinja Tue 25-Dec-12 09:45:37

What I wish I'd known 10 weeks ago:
- what matters is that the you and the baby get through the birth as safely as possible and are as healthy as possible at the end. It really doesn't matter whether it is c- section, assisted or totally unassisted.
- breastfeeding can be really really hard (not say it will be for you)! I wish I had been a bit better informed - it might not have made things easier, but I would have been better positioned versus some ill informed midwives and probably reassured that I was normal and that I would get through it (with support from a lovely hv and mnetters)
- two days can seem like two weeks at the beginning when things may be difficult.
- but bizarrely, time seems to go so fast. At ten weeks, I can't work out where my tiny newborn has gone.
- I know that bonding isn't necessarily immediate in all cases, but I was just overwhelmed by the strength of the love I felt for him the moment I saw him. It's just continued getting stronger - I love him so much my heart could break!

Bluestocking Tue 25-Dec-12 11:37:38

Many women do find breastfeeding hard, but you're not a freak if you don't. I loved it from day one.

lynzie68 Tue 25-Dec-12 19:31:19

I wish someone told me my boobs would hurt.a lot. For what felt like weeks afterwoods. Cold flannels/frozen peas anything cold is a lifesaver.
If you need to be cut or tear, when you pee pour warm water over your bits at the same time... Stops the burn.
It's not all negative tho. Labour is amazing, having a baby is amazing Infact I totally forgot about the above two bad points but being pregnant with dc2 I've suddenly remembered the not so glorious parts smile
I wish I'd took my phone charger too, when battery dies and your on your own in hospital with a newborn, conversations and the Internet help!

TheElfOnThePanopticon Tue 25-Dec-12 19:45:03

Have the number of your local breastfeeding counsellors written down in a handy place before your baby is born, and don't hesitate to call them.

Get a copy of What Mothers Do (even when it looks like nothing) by Naomi Stadlen. It doesn't tell you what to you, but will make you feel proud of yourself and confident.

In labour and with a new baby, trust your instincts.

Murtette Tue 25-Dec-12 20:57:33

Go out for nice meals, to the cinema etc & have lazy lie ins as much as you can over the next few weeks and, when you're at home, relish the peace & quiet and the sense of just being able to do what you want.

MustafaCake Tue 25-Dec-12 21:02:31

When baby wakes in the night, lie down with it and BF it till you both fall asleep.

<lazy parenting>

Seriously, you'll both get much more sleep that way. Following safe co-sleeping guidelines obvs.

dizzy77 Tue 25-Dec-12 21:09:45

If in doubt, go out. A pp said about walks and fresh air: these are wonderful things. And if you can meet a friend or two at the end of it, so much the better (I realised early in my Penelope Leach "babymoon" I was not cut out for two weeks in bed feeding).

Meeting new mums is easy, yes antenatal classes are one way, but going to (free) children's centre groups, Buggyfit, baby yoga or nct coffee mornings and brightly saying "anyone fancy a coffee?" or "anyone fancy meeting tomorrow, say 11ish?" at the end is a way of making links. People who fancy socialising, will, and whilst not all of them will end up long term friends its a great way to start. (maternity leave is almost like starting a new job, in that respect).

oscarwilde Wed 26-Dec-12 06:51:36

Www.kellymom.com and mumsnet will get you through the wee hours

In the very early days, if you are in ANY doubt whether the baby is wetting a nappy enough [if ebf], then they are not getting enough food/not feeding well. Get help before they lose too much weight!

DolomitesDonkey Wed 26-Dec-12 07:16:59

1. Go private
2. If you're baby is losing weight it is not sabotage to say "use formula" - people just don't want you to starve your baby. No amount in the world of reading kellymom will stop your baby starving. Don't be a dick in the name of principle.

BlameItOnTheBogey Wed 26-Dec-12 07:27:15

If something is making your life easier, do it without guilt until it stops working and makes your life harder. At that point, try something else.

This can be applied to e.g. letting the baby sleep on you, giving the baby a dummy, carrying the baby in a sling - everything really. Lots of people will be ready to tell you you are making a rod for your own back. Ignore them and as long as it makes life easier, carry on. Then change when it stops working.

BikeRunSki Wed 26-Dec-12 07:42:55

Take as much time off work as you can afford. Return p/t if you can.

No one has written a book about you and your baby.

BikeRunSki Wed 26-Dec-12 07:50:33

Do not fit a white kitchen the week before you get a bfp. if you accidentally do, then baby wipes are very good at cleaning kitchens.

More seriously, if you instinctively feel that something is wrong during pg/childbirth, then say something! I had an undiagnosed breech first baby and a uterine rupture second time, because I let v bossy mws convince me that they knew my body better than me.

Fairylea Wed 26-Dec-12 07:51:29

Learn to smile and nod and ignore people.

Remember the phrase "this too shall pass".
Enjoy having a wee and a poo in peace because it's the last time you will for about the next four years unless you have someone babysitting.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 26-Dec-12 10:17:12

Congrats. My advice:

1) Trust your body to deliver the baby, but be ready for a different experience to what you hoped/wanted. In the scheme of things a healthy baby and mum is all that matters, the how less so.

2) Trust your instincts. It doesn't matter if the HV/Dr think you are fussing over nothing.

3) I found routine books unhelpful (but there are those that did) but I loved What to expect in the first year. It is more of a reference book than manual. Helps you work out why they are now doing x. DH also enjoyed learning about development stages.

I picked up the tip from the book that warm bottles are a matter of taste and if you don't give warm bottles they don't expect them. DS was fixed fed for 9 weeks then bottle fed, seemed ok with non warmed bottles.

4) Get out once you are ready. A trip to the shops can be enough of an outing, just good to get back to normal things.

5) Try to find some "mummy friends" (yes i know that phrase isn't liked on mn), you don't need loads in common and you'll be surprised how many hours you can while away etc.

6) Accept/ask for help.

7) Sleep when they do. Most women I met didn't, but I did and it really did help.

8) Enjoy it. It goes really quickly.

ohforfoxsake Wed 26-Dec-12 10:23:22

For the first six weeks of your baby's life do nothing but feed and gaze, feed an gaze.

Try to shower and do your teeth, but go back to feeding and gazing. Maybe go for a stroll.

Buy some nice, comfy new 'loungewear'. Several pairs.

We are all in too much of a rush to get back to 'normal'. Your new normal will be nothing like your old normal. Give yourself time to adjust and make no demands on yourself.

Buy Avent breast cups - both the ones with air holes in and the ones without. Try are brilliant. Don't bend over when wearing the ventilated ones.

Savoy cabbage leaves are amazing for engorgement.

Natty4 Wed 26-Dec-12 10:34:03

Don't worry about anything to do with pregnancy, birth or looking after your baby. It will always be the things that you never knew you had to worry about that will get you.

Don't read any baby books, go with what your baby wants and that makes for a happy mummy and baby.

BikeRunSki Wed 26-Dec-12 16:12:28

Everything is a phase. Never get too despondent or too smug.

Very cheap pyjamas are a false economy.

jkklpu Wed 26-Dec-12 16:17:06

Yes, labour matters, but what happens afterwards matters more. Don't put lots of pressure on yourself to be "up and about" 5 minutes (or 5 days or 5 weeks) after your baby is born. It's fine to stay at home and cuddle him/her, whatever other people tell you that they/others do/did.

BikeRunSki Wed 26-Dec-12 20:56:10

There are many ways to nurture a baby, how you feed them is just one of them.

Arthurfowlersallotment Fri 04-Jan-13 22:42:14

In the early weeks, you'll do little else other than feed, change, wind and rock your baby. Enjoy this rare opportunity to sit down, watch crap TV and eat nice food.

Ignore other parents who tell you they have perfect routines and sleeping through the night babies- they're lying.

It's normal to sob uncontrollably and two minutes later be overwhelmed with joy.

In the early days the sleep deprivation can be utter hell. Night and day blend into one. It will get easier.

You can't spoil a baby.

Stuff the housework.

Get a tumble dryer.

Don't buy a nursing bra until your milk comes in.

You WILL leave the house again, I promise.

Get a Kari me and wear your newborn. That way your hands are free to make lunch/go to the loo/read MN.

Change into clean PJs before bed. Much nicer.

Your first poo after giving birth may feel scary.

explosioninatoyshop Sat 05-Jan-13 00:01:27

Relax! Applies to during labour - less painful if you can keep the rest of your body relaxed, when your baby cries- the more relaxed you can be helps the baby calm down, don't worry about schedules, what books, or other people say/ what other people's babies are doing, just relax and do what feels right for you and your baby - trust yourself to know better than anyone else what's right for you and your baby. In fact it's probably best to start practising now - I'd put your feet up with a brew if I was you! x

Dualta Sat 05-Jan-13 09:14:43

Remember to take loads of videos on your iphone - even 20 seconds when you are with your baby on the first night - its incredible how fast they change and to look at a video brings it all back!

You will feel anxious and overwhelmed and you might fight with your partner like you have never fought before - remember its normal and it does end (usually when the baby starts sleeping longer at night smile)

People whose babies 'sleep through the night' are just lucky b*****s and aren't doing anything better than you - we did Gina Ford to the letter (stupid and unnecessarily stressful) and he didnt sleep ever (he's 15 months). Our friends' baby slept through at 2 weeks - they didn't follow any book or system - its just the way they are born.

Congratulate yourself every day on the fact that you are coping and you are doing it - and you as parents know whats best for your child, even when you feel you haven't a clue what to do next. You'll learn together.

My biggest piece of advice, to echo what other ladies have already said, accept help!! Whether that's an offer to drop in groceries, help you tidy house, mind the baby while you have a shower or a nap, anything at all that will make your life easier during first few weeks while you are getting a feeding pattern established and recovering from delivery if you end up needing stitches or losing blood or anything like that.

I have no advice for labour except to try and keep calm (because I was not good at that!), remember it's more like a marathon than a sprint so be prepared for it to go on for a bloody long time and just have an open mind - no matter what is in your birth plan, the way things go on the day might be different than anything you had expected so you have to just go with the flow, use whatever pain relief you need and remember that the best outcome is a healthy baby, however they end up being delivered.

Good luck and enjoy smile smile

SurroundedByBlue Wed 16-Jan-13 09:09:14

Sleep whilst you still can.

Then when your baby is here, sleep when he does even if its during the day.

Eskino Wed 16-Jan-13 09:10:12

Don't listen to advice!

Or at least, don't take any notice of anyone who advises anything against your natural instincts.

If something doesn't feel right to you, then its not right for you and your baby.

(Nearly 4 kids and I'm still learning!)

MB34 Wed 16-Jan-13 10:13:14

There's one thing about the birth that I regret not doing (although there's no way on this earth I would have taken pictures/video during the birth)

BUT I do wish I had told DH to take a picture of DS lying on the bed seconds after he'd been born. All I have now is a memory, which will fade in time, but every time I think back to that moment, my heart swells and I wish the image was clearer in my head!

Don't compare your baby to other babies of the same age, it will only make you stress out. And don't try and plan your day, you will be disappointed...go with the flow and you will be pleasantly surprised! Good luck and enjoy your baby.

LubyLu2000 Wed 16-Jan-13 10:16:58

Don't compare you or your baby to anyone else. We're all different and noone else has exactly your combination of personalities, lifestyle, character, partner, homelife. Forget about all the perfect mummy crap that's out there and just trust that you're doing it right and good enough without all the pressure of having to be absolutely perfect.

Clarella Wed 16-Jan-13 10:21:12

buy a flask mug or two. the sort that seals tight shut.

specialknickers Wed 16-Jan-13 10:30:15

Back away from the baby books! When you have your baby, everyone will have an opinion. Smile sweetly, say "really, how interesting" and go with your own instincts. Throw the books in the bin, especially the more dogmatic ones (baby whisperer, contended little baby etc I am looking at you), they'll just make you feel like you're doing something wrong. If you're feeding the baby when they're hungry (ie practically all the time!) giving them lots and lots of cuddles and they're sleeping now and again - that's as good as it gets. You've nailed it. Don't stress out.

Clarella Wed 16-Jan-13 10:47:02

if you end up with a c section, tie a dressing gown cord to end of bed to help hoist yourself up ( though nurse friend said one hospitals have some sort of similar thing to help - mine didn't and I had to express and feed 3 hourly - it was hell on my tummy and I think hampered healing at first.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 16-Jan-13 11:16:55

Oh, so many pieces of advice!

1) Don't focus too much on the kind of birth you will have - the baby is the important thing. If you have intervention it's for good reason, don't sweat it. First births, especially if you're older (ie in your 30's) have a higher proportion of interventions than other births. Having a completely natural birth does not make you 'better'.

2) In the early days, breastfeeding hurts. It does pass, and personally I love the closeness that comes with it. Don't believe anyone who says that if the baby is latched on properly it won't hurt - but equally try to get the latch right as it will be less painful. Make use of breastfeeding support from people like the NCT or La Leche League, especially if the support in hospital isn't up to much.

3) If you formula feed, for whatever reason, that's absolutely fine. Don't worry yourself silly about bf v ff. It doesn't matter.

4) If anyone you know has a young baby, ask to hold it a couple of times before you give birth. Even better, change a nappy. It will remove some of the fear!

5) You need more muslins than you think you do.

6) Take loads of photos.

BettyFlutterbly Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:18

Buy a sling. I got my first one ( a mai tai) when dd was 7 months and it changed my life. She had her naps and bf all snuggled into me and I had my hands free to read or book or do the hoovering or rest and have a cuppa. Much better than battling with putting her down and her waking up.
Now 10weeks pg with dc2 and definitely going to buy an elastic wrap as soon as I've had my scan!
I found it very hard work and that surprised me as I love babies and have lots of younger sisters but the happy snuggles make it all worth it.
Good luck x

Twattybollocks Thu 17-Jan-13 14:44:14

Just make it up as you go along, you and the baby will be fine I promise!

floradora Thu 17-Jan-13 19:37:33

2 best pieces of advice from trusted friends:
1- It's your baby, you know your baby, you know what's right and if she's ok or not (i.e trust your own instinct as a mother)
2 - pick her up and cuddle her as much as you want - soon enough she'll be too big/ too grown up / not want to be picked up and cuddled
And my own - lots of people say don't read the baby books; i did and gleaned a certain amount from them, even if it was just to snort and say what a load of shite. Just don't expect your babyu to have read them grin
enjoy the pregnancy and enjoy the baby

ReikiMummy Thu 31-Jan-13 23:27:59

BettyFlutterbly - pardon my newbieness... what's an elastic wrap?

atrcts Fri 01-Feb-13 11:25:28

I really struggled in the beginning! But I had a baby with colic and reflux so he was not a comfortable boy and he wanted to suck on me most of the day for comfort - which was exhausting and painful!

Now I am pregnant again I feel I have learned a lot of tips from the first baby that will help me with the second - and hopefully help you with your first!!!!

1. Always sleep when the baby does (it really was a shock to be up so much in the night and I was exhausted)! But I was so tempted to 'carry on as normal' with my social life, big mistake! This time I will hunker down with a completely empty diary until I get more sleep at night.

2. I didn't want to use a dummy but after a month resorted to it, as baby needed to suck on something all day! But i would say that we got rid of the dummy at 6 months old because he was crying with it in his mouth (wasn't giving him comfort anymore). So I wouldn't be afraid to use one short term grin

3. My boobs were so sore that I cried when breastfeeding, so kept asking midwives and health visitors to check my latch was ok. They all said it was, but since then I have been told by a breastfeeding specialist that it shouldn't make you cry, if it hurts that much then the latch isn't quite right and so the best advice is to see an actual breastfeeding specialist rather than a midwife or health visitor who hasn't been specifically trained in that area.

4. Remember that NOTHING lasts forever, even though it can feel like the baby will always cry at night (it won't!) and that you will always be mopping up sick and poop (you won't!). Sometimes it's only when you look back you realise that the stage has finally passed and you haven't had your life stuck in the same routine forever!

5. At the 6 week check, my health visitor suggested we try a night routine. I had never heard of suck a thing with a tiny baby so was really sceptical, but tried it anyway.
We began to give him a bath at 7pm, then a cuddly dim-lit feed in his bedroom, followed by laying down in the cot. I didn't understand how it worked but it was amazingly different - he settled and slept much longer than if we had him asleep downstairs (as we did during the day). I will DEFINITELY do this again with the second and highly recommend it as a turning point for your sanity!

6. In the night I sometimes fed every 2 hours during a growth spurt, and religiously changed nappies every feed. Now I would do it every other feed at night (so more like 4 hourly) unless of course it is pooey or the baby's skin looks pink, as it woke him up too much unnecessarily.

7. I really regretted being too tired to pursue free portrait photo and little hand prints etc, because when they're much bigger (and sleeping better - so you don't feel so tired out yourself), it felt a bit too late hmm and we just didn't get round to it. But we took LOADS of photos and would recommend you do too - they change so quickly and you don't always see it until you look back over the photos grin

atrcts Fri 01-Feb-13 11:30:14

Ps - in labour, I found one of the best ways to get through the contractions was to count really slowly each deep breath in and out. After about number 12, the contraction had gone. It was a really good way to get through each contraction because every time I got to breath number 11 I knew after one more breath the pain would be suddenly switched off again. Contractions are so funny like that! Suddenly on and then suddenly gone again after 12 seconds (for me). smile

recall Fri 01-Feb-13 11:32:35

Ban visitors for at least two weeks after the birth.

Don't try and live up to other's expectations of motherhood, we are all winging it.

If you are unsure of how to approach something, just aim to make the world a good place for your baby.

Do what works for you, your Baby and your family.

recall Fri 01-Feb-13 11:35:07

Also, unless you particularly want to, don't worry about establishing routines, I found it easier to follow the Baby's lead, and they established their own patterns, I just tweaked them here and there.

Flisspaps Fri 01-Feb-13 11:38:05

Anyone who says 'sleep when the baby sleeps' has never had a baby who will only sleep on you, for 20 minutes at a time.

Babies feed for what seems like an endless amount of time in the early weeks.

Some babies don't like to be put down at all during the early months weeks.

Colic isn't just wind. It's a catch-all term for unexplained crying in a newborn, the causes of which might include baby having wind.

If you're unsure of something, ask MN.

When people say it flies by, it really does, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 01-Feb-13 11:49:53

Trust your instincts, you know best.
You'll get loads of advice, but in your heart you'll know what's right for you and your little one

Xxxx

BiddyPop Fri 01-Feb-13 11:52:19

Keep active as much as you can during PG - not strenuous but lots of walking etc (don't get lazy using lifts, keep to the stairs). It really does help to be able to keep moving into the latter days of the pg, and get moving afterwards too.

Relax - both about the whole process (it does help babs come out easier) and afterwards (once babs is fed and clothed, that's the important thing). And sleep as much as you can in those first few days when you're tired from the exercise of birth and others are happy to help. Do NOT start making cups of tea for all (either DH or the visitors should do that) or dinners etc.

Pocket1 Fri 01-Feb-13 17:21:03

Ooooh this is such a lovely thread. I'm currently 18 weeks with my first and have found so many golden nuggets here. I've bookmarked it so I can refer to it again. Thank you grin

gwenniebee Fri 01-Feb-13 17:28:34

Best piece of advice I was given was only to listen to the advice you want to hear!

My piece of advice from experience (all whacking great 6 months of it wink ) is to go with the flow, as others have said. Good luck smile

LimelightsontheChristmastree Fri 01-Feb-13 17:31:15

If in doubt, attach boob A to baby B and have a cup of tea while you're at it!

Good luck!

NewMrsH Fri 01-Feb-13 17:36:53

Really appreciating all your comments, It's amazing to hear good stories and helpful tips!!

Big thank you everyone!!

Xxx

Kafri Fri 01-Feb-13 20:19:01

1) Don't go buying everything you think you'll need. Get the basics to get by and then buy what you actually need.

2) Always seek advice if you feel like there is something wrong

3) Be prepared for things to not be textbook (e.g. my DS will not sleep on his back - apologies to the official guidelines)

4) Painful as it is, labour is a magical experience. Try not to fret about it - its natural and there is an end to it with a beautiful gift to boot.

5) Everyone will tell you the best way to do everything and they will all think they're right. Nod politely, use the advice you find useful and archive the rest in the back of your brain somewhere. Your baby - your rules.

Have I bored you yet...? Good luck x

Phineyj Fri 01-Feb-13 20:39:03

Get organised well before the baby arrives, because you will be tired afterwards and not being able to find things will seem like the last straw!

i) if any DIY jobs need doing, do them now, as you will be at home A LOT for the first few weeks and really notice any issues
ii) set up a couple of changing stations with everything you need in an old shoebox or basket e.g. nappies, wipes, changes of baby clothes, nappy sacks. You don't want to be trying to find that stuff at 3 in the morning. Once you find brands of nappies & wipes you like, mail order in bulk and have delivered.
iii) get the basics for bottle feeding just in case -- you can always give them away, and having the stuff in the house is a lot better than an emergency dash to the nearest 24 hour Tesco!
iv) if people have given you baby clothes for various ages separate out everything not for newborn/0-3 months and stash the rest somewhere -- also, don't take labels off and wash newborn clothes in case your baby is big and doesn't need them -- then you can return them
v) fill the freezer with food (but don't overdo it like we did necessitating a freezer defrost around week 4 when the doors got wedged...)
vi) invest in a couple of nightlights or those windup torches -- night feeds involve a lot of crashing round the house in the small hours and light helps avoid falling over furniture and waking other family members!
vii) get outside for a walk every day if you possibly can, especially if you've hardly slept -- it helps the baby tell night from day I think and makes you feel better

Good luck!

Phineyj Fri 01-Feb-13 20:42:13

Also, if you're breastfeeding (or if like me you're always starving) lay in snacks that don't need refrigerating for the bedroom -- cereal bars, nuts, chocolate biscuits, those mini pots of fruit with a fork in the top -- also useful for labour and if you have to spend a few days in hospital. The NCT do a really useful cycling drinking bottle thing that clips to a bed rail -- much better than the NHS jug of water that they normally place just out of reach...

JollyRedGiant Fri 01-Feb-13 20:44:26

DH's advice is "it gets easier".

Mine is "the nhs and medical professionals are there to help. It is better to call nhs 24 than to put it off because you are worried about looking silly."

Phineyj Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:26
CarriedAwayAnnie Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:44

The two best pieces of advice I stole from another thread:

1) The days are long but the years are short

2) Make their world a happy place

atrcts Fri 01-Feb-13 21:25:03

I had a baby who slept for only 20-30 mins at a time but you can still get a pre-sleep doze which is better than nothing so I would still stand by that advice - as someone who HAS experienced such a baby!!!! wink

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 01-Feb-13 22:07:47

Actual advice:

- Look after your back. You want to be able to get down on the floor to play with your toddler, not be in agony sitting on a sofa because you were careless when they were a baby. Your joints and ligaments will still be very vulnerable as the effects of relaxin decrease slowly so practise safe manual handling and lifting when you're carting carseats, pushchairs and your lovely baby around.

- Don't buy a pram/pushchair until the baby is about 3 months old and you can test it out with the baby in it. Get a stretchy sling instead for the newborn stage. Honestly, it will save you sooo much money in the long-run because you will have a much better idea of what you want and how you will use it.

You might also want to know: Pregnancy doesn't just 'end' once the baby and placenta are out. You don't suddenly spring back into the same person you were before; there are hormones all over the place, your organs need to move into their settled positions, your joints are still loose from your body pumping so much relaxin into them (see above) etc. You will also be cream crackered from labour and looking after a teeny tiny, utterly dependent little person so you need to be gentle and kind to yourself. Other lovely things you might experience once your baby is here include:

- lochia (massive period) for up to six weeks;
- pain leaning over, sitting down and twisting your torso if you've had an episiotomy or tear (put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your maternity pad; it helps);
- stinging when you wee if you've had a tear or graze (wee in the shower using the shower head to dilute the urine);
- really bad, stinky wind;
- losing control over your pelvic floor for a week or so (do your pelvic floor exercises now and carry on doing them!);
- anal fissures so it feels like you have spiky poo;
- afterpains;
- mood swings;
- spotty skin;
- seemingly insatiable thirst;
- massive sugar cravings;
- (if you're breastfeeding) milk squirting out in all directions whenever your breasts are exposed to fresh air hmm;
- sudden major dislike of your DH/P; and
- (around the 3-month mark) clumps of hair coming out in the shower and on your hairbrush.

I wish someone had told me that those things might happen 1) so I didn't push myself so hard after DC1 was born, 2) so that I didn't feel so much like a stinky, incontinent, piggy, moody trainwreck who wanted a divorce immediately, and 3) so that I knew it was fairly normal and would eventually end.

AliceWChild Fri 01-Feb-13 22:10:58

Cuddle them, snuggle them, curl up with them, gaze adoringly at them. Indulge yourself. Leave everything else, it doesn't matter.

AliceWChild Fri 01-Feb-13 22:15:16

Also, but it might depend on the person, get out of the house every day. I had one day when it was snowy where I didn't, and my mood plummeted. Go to the supermarket and relish the adoring coos.

Liveinthepresent Fri 01-Feb-13 22:20:53

Its not my advice as such - but now I am pg with DC2 this has really struck a chord with me - dont know where it's from -

I hope my baby looks back on today
and remembers a parent who had time to play
There’s years ahead for cleaning and cooking
but babies grow up – while your not looking
So settle down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I’m cuddling my baby and babies don’t keep

Newtothisstuff Fri 01-Feb-13 22:27:41

Tell the HV to shove their advice. When I had DD1 they interfered with every single part of her first 6 months, they made me miserable because she was small (she still is) so when I had DD2 I told them to butt out and it was fine !! grin

Trebuchet Fri 01-Feb-13 22:29:43

Buy a natural sponge for gorgeous baths, some Neals Yard Baby Barrier (miracle cream!) for help with pretty much everything, turn the computer off and live right there in the moment as much as you can.

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Fri 01-Feb-13 22:44:15

Buttons on a baby outfit are the work of the devil. Poppers and zips are your best friend.

Remember too that those vests etc. which have envelope necks are designed to be pulled DOWN rather than over the head. Essential for the inevitable poonami!

smile4me Fri 01-Feb-13 22:45:43

It's totally normal if your baby only wants to sleep on you, just go with the flow. You'll actually be quit upset when they eventually decide they want to sleep by themselves.

Ignore any advice that says 'your baby only needs to be fed every X no of hours' or 'if it's only been X no hours since their last feed, you know they aren't crying because they're hungry' . Always offer boob/bottle...you feel really mean if you've tried everything else for an hour of screaming following the above advice, only to find the poor mite is starving/wanting that comfort

EVERY BAD PATCH WILL PASS, they do amazing developmental things in the first few months and it makes them quite cranky. Just roll with it and remember the good times are just around the corner. It is sooooooo hard to do though after days of non-stop crying by you let alone baby

If you think of questions write them down to ask your midwife at her next visit... baby brain makes you forget so much

There are millions of books out there, if you read any just pick out the bits you like and ignore the rest. They all contradict each other anyway, so do what works for you.

Labour - stay as active and upright as you can for as long as possible, gravity helps. And have a sippy bottle of water... one of those with a straw you can suck is best. And try not to get your heart set on any 1 birth method, it's very traumatic if it doesn't work out. Try to go with the flow and remember the only important outcome is a healthy baby and a healthy mum smile

Postpartum - huge sanitary towels, buy el cheapo ones as they don't have fancy plastic covers so are softer. Avoid wings (hell on stitches/grazes/bruising). Open up one end, put ice cubes in, seal up with elastoplast and freeze. Heaven. And don't look at or examine by hand your undercarriage for a couple of weeks confused it can be a bit upsetting but it improves a lot in a couple of weeks, so don't traumatise yourself!
Ask for pain meds if they don't offer, it's not a time to be tough! And Lansinoh for nipples. Better texture than the other nipple creams.
Make sure MWs give you heaps of help with BF, get them to check you're latching right etc and get them to help you with different positions, sometimes later on, only 1 will work (babies are weired) and it's much easier if you've had a go like that before

Most of all, ENJOY IT, those first few days/weeks are amazing smile and you'll soon wish you could have them back sobbing with nostalgia

smile4me Fri 01-Feb-13 22:48:43

Oh and after babies born (don't do it yet as you might get a bit scraed) google 'wonder weeks' it's a series of developmental leaps babies go through in 1st 2 years and when to expect them. I don't know if I saw the so called leaps as they describe them, but DEFINITELY corresponded with the fussy periods, and totally gave me reassurance that it was something normal and that it would pass soon.

preggomamma36 Sat 02-Feb-13 04:39:09

I am a first time mom to be with a due date of August 8. I was looking online for some of the common problems during pregnancy and found this article extremely helpful. Thank you mommies for all of your submissions.

kazzy77 Sat 02-Feb-13 05:36:44

dont pull tags out straight away of any presents you have been bought! i did and ended up with about seven of those small teddies holding a blanket which are used to comfort babies. think i stopped pulling the tags out after the fourth one and ended up taking them back to the shop to exchange for something useful instead! obviously dont ask whoever has bought them for the receipt! plus the same with clothes you may think something looks cute at first when its been bought for you but try them on the baby first before pulling tags out as you may not like your baby in it once its on! plus when u are finally out and about you will see loads of lovely clothes for your baby which you will want to see them in instead. i know it sounds harsh but why waste the opportunity of exchanging it for something you really like! most shops will exchange items without a receipt! i did this with quite a few items of clothing we got as presents and ended up with about £40 to re spend in next!! smile

CruCru Sat 02-Feb-13 16:46:17

Get a doula. Mine made a big difference to my childbirth experience.

LoganMummy Sat 02-Feb-13 21:16:42

During labour try to relax and do what your body tells you. Made it so much easier.

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Sat 02-Feb-13 22:22:42

My baby would only sleep on me and I spent a looong time trying to get him to sleep elsewhere, convinced he would be 14 and still sleeping on me and he just grew out of it. If I could go back I'd have just enjoyed the time I was tied to the sofa with a sleeping baby instead of fretting about it.

Also if you notice a reddy colour in a newborn nappy tell the midwife, it may mean they're not getting enough milk from you and that isn't the end of the world and doesn't mean your hopes for breastfeeding will be dashed, it just means you need some help getting your milk in. I still remember sobbing all over the midwife like it was the end of the world but happily breastfed to 14 months in the end.

atrcts Sat 02-Feb-13 22:32:18

I know everyone seems to be saying don't read books and I didn't - however this time round I flicked through the baby whisperer and thought the bits about 'reading' babies cries and body language could be useful, especially to a first time Mum. I'd read that chapter in a passing library rather than buy it though!
Everyone says you know your baby and follow your instincts, but sometimes people can feel helplessly bewildered by the language of this little stranger who feels more like an alien has landed and taken over your world than someone you 'know'. It can take a bit of time to get to learn the cries and read the signs, so don't be afraid if you feel a failure for not automatically knowing. You're not failing, you're just completely normal! And it does get clearer and more obvious as you get to know your baby's little personality.

Londonmrss Sun 03-Feb-13 14:00:55

Don't have any expectations of labour.

The first few weeks with your baby, you will feel like you've been hit by a truck. You will feel like you're living on a different planet and that the rest of the world cannot possibly exist any more. Like everything else, this passes. You will feel normal again. At some point, you will suddenly think "Oh! This is ok! I can do this!"

Breastfeeding can be really hard. If it's something you want to do, ask for help at the hospital and do not let them discharge you until this is established.

Accept help from family and friends of they are nearby!

Don't have any expectations of how you will feel after giving birth- you might feel elated, disappointed or nothing. You might fall in love with your baby instantly or it might grow gradually. All of these are fine and normal.

Drink plenty during labour! I forgot and for terribly dehydrated which meant my blood pressure dropped quite dramatically.

Enjoy these last few weeks before you have your baby. Have nice singers, go to the cinema, relish a good night's sleep, have sex. Of course your life isn't over when you have a baby, it's just beginning- but you will miss these simple pleasures as it does get a bit harder to be spontaneous.

Good luck!

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