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What’s the best advice you can give to a woman approaching childbirth?

(158 Posts)
SexLubeAndAFishSlice Tue 14-Nov-17 17:36:13

I tell every pregnant woman I know the same things, write a “labour list” of things to take to hospital so bag, notes and frozen water (see my next piece of advice) and people to ring, so labour ward, birth partner and babysitter if you need one and stick the list to the fridge.

And the next thing, a couple of weeks before your due date, get a couple of those 750ml bottles of water and put them in the freezer. Remember to take them with you when you go to hospital in labour. They will defrost slowly so you can sip at them every so often, and when you’re not sipping, they can be used to cool you down in various places if you need it. Because they’re frozen, they stay cold for HOURS. My bottles still had chunks of ice in at the end of a 8hr labour.

What’s your best piece(s) of advice?

Dailystuck71 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:37:31

Trust your body and if something doesn’t feel right stand up for yourself.

PepperSteaks Tue 14-Nov-17 17:39:43

You will get through it. Listen to your body and speak up for yourself.

NumberEightyOne Tue 14-Nov-17 17:39:48

Don't get stressed if the birth doesn't go as planned.

Tanfastic Tue 14-Nov-17 17:40:12

Don’t bother with a birth plan....

GlitterRollerSkate Tue 14-Nov-17 17:40:47

Don't try to be a hero take as many drugs as you need.

bimbobaggins Tue 14-Nov-17 17:42:16

I would tell people to get an epidural. Also buy more maternity pads than you think. Even some cheap pants that you can throw away.

I found that people spent so much time and advice focusing on pregnancy and labour that nothing prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of taking a newborn baby home from hospital. Even the journey home was an ordeal.

Ideserveaholiday Tue 14-Nov-17 17:42:53

Listen to advice but you don't have to take advice. Do what feels right for you.

MummySparkle Tue 14-Nov-17 17:44:00

Pethadine is horrible horrible stuff.

MissMooMoo Tue 14-Nov-17 17:45:40

I did the frozen water bottle thing too!
My advice is to mentally prepare yourself as best you can for any type of birth.
DH and I went on the hospital tour and completely ignored the delivery suite part as I was planning to use the birthing centre.
I ended up having a high risk induction which resulted in an EMCS.

ThisIsReallyFunny Tue 14-Nov-17 17:45:42

Try and have a waterbirth if you can.

nicknamehelp Tue 14-Nov-17 17:47:16

Go with the flow and accept things may not be fully in your control.

Pack a power pack in case phone dies.

Undies1990 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:47:16

I second holiday: go with the flow (be prepared to ditch the birth plan!) and do whatever feels right for you. Trust the midwives but don't be afraid to speak up if things are worrying you. Take drugs on offer (no one expects you to be heroic!)

sunshine8 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:49:26

Have a few of those massive maternity pad style knickers that you throw away.

Have no expectations! It might be amazing, it might be awful!

Namechangetempissue Tue 14-Nov-17 17:50:07

Relax and don't panic.
Everytime I had a contraction, I would let my whole body go loose and floppy, not tense up and squeeze or grab anything. It made a huge difference (this was second baby). Don't fight against the pain. That sounds so hippy and new age, but I'm the most far from that ever - it got me though a back to back labour and birth with no pain relief at all.

putputput Tue 14-Nov-17 17:51:32

Would massively recommend hand expressing and freezing some colostrum. So useful in case your little one has to go to special care/ has any complications. It also teaches you how how to hand express before it becomes a necessity.
Also maternity pads are useless for first few days. Tena lady incontinence pads all the way- saved me a whole load of sheet washing, you will bleed a lot.

k567 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:51:43

Another vote for having an epidural

babyturtles Tue 14-Nov-17 17:52:26

It's going to hurt - prepare and accept the pain as best you can.

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Nov-17 17:53:08

YY to don't bother with a detailed birth plan to avoid disappointment.

Don't take half the house into hospital with you because you will have to lug it all out again plus a baby.

Do take anti bacterial wipes.

Try to get out of the hospital asap (but that's just me projecting)

Justbookedasummmerholiday Tue 14-Nov-17 17:53:21

Don't be in too much of a hurry to go home. Especially if bf. Get as much help as you need while you are in hospital -

Loverunandwine Tue 14-Nov-17 17:55:15

Go with drugs rather than scented candles and lavender oil!

Seriously though; labour won’t last forever and it’s totally worth it when you meet your baby for the first time!

ShatterResistant Tue 14-Nov-17 17:55:57

Don’t panic. Someone said that to me, and I always say it to others. I found it so helpful. During a contraction I would repeat “don’t panic” to myself, and it really did keep me calm. I felt like if I lost it, that would be it...

FuriousElk Tue 14-Nov-17 17:56:04

Make sure people gain your consent for absolutely everything. Make them explain what they want to do.

IrritatedUser1960 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:56:14

Get as much sleep and rest as you possibly can in the coming days because you won't be getting any for a while.

Curlyone123 Tue 14-Nov-17 17:56:15

In the weeks leading up to the birth, sit on the sofa and do absolutely nothing. Be decadent and do things or yourself. Be selfish! Because once the baby comes you won’t be doing that for a while!!

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