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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

lizardqueenie Sun 30-Sep-12 20:03:04

When they say "push down into your bottom" they mean push like you are pushing a poo out of your bottom. Having had DD I only realise this now & wish I'd known in labour, I was just trying to push with my lady bits hmm still, there is aways next time.

Napdamnyou Sun 30-Sep-12 20:03:16

You may get exhausted during thr last bits of labour but be totally unable to eat. A spoonful of honey, placed in your mouth can give you just enough energy to push on through.

Napdamnyou Sun 30-Sep-12 20:04:23

Ps. A soft weaning spoon might be safer if you are off your head and likely to bite down

sittinginthesun Sun 30-Sep-12 20:09:39

There's a certain point on your lower back which, if it is rubbed really hard, actually eases the pain of contractions. Friend told me, and tried it during my second labour - does actually work.

WantAnOrange Sun 30-Sep-12 20:15:43

Any tips on hurrying things up? My waters went at 10am this morning and I'm still waiting for something else to happen!

VerityClinch Sun 30-Sep-12 20:18:20

Actually useful advice (as opposed to my own anecdotes)

1. Do not let DH use your birth plan as a bookmark.

2. Accept you might go a bit crazy.

That is all.

Good luck! Get ready to meet your baaaaaaabbbbbbyyyyyyyyy

<would actually be broody if there was any way of having another baby without (a) having to be pregnant again (b) having to give birth again (c) more children at the end of it all)>

sittinginthesun Sun 30-Sep-12 20:18:53

Wantanorange - good luck! If it were me, I'd try and get some sleep now, then start jogging up and down stairs tomorrow morning. smile

debbie1412 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:18:59

I second the witch hazel on sanitry pads. Really helped my healing
As often as pos a 1min blast on the cool air setting of hair dryer ( down there ) also speeds up healing.
Pee sitting the wrong way on loo.
holland and barrets do great energy snack bars. for labour.

lucamom Sun 30-Sep-12 20:20:45

- Get the free contractions app. Partners get to feel useful, it accurately records timings and will prompt you when they get close enough together to be taking action.

- If you're not agile enough with the jug and end up pouring water on your feet whilst tying to pee, just time your wees for the end of bathtime or showers (I had loads of showers in the first few days post episiotomy)

- A few drops of lavender oil mixed with a little milk, then added to the bath in the days post birth. Might be psychological but seemed to help with bruising down below (milk apparently helps the oil emulsify rather than sit on top of the water). If nothing else it means the smell of lavender now evokes lovely baby memories for me!

- When you go to bed in the early days after having baby home, take a hot water bottle with you, then when baby wakes an hour or two later and you scoop them out of their basket, you can pop the bottle in to keep the bed warm whilst you feed them - less likely to wake than if placed on cold sheets. Not really childbirth but just a good tip I received from a midwife with my first.

- You will be grateful for food & drinks during (maybe) and post birth (definitely). You will probably not need all the other paraphernalia I took into hospital three times, and brought back three times (face spritz/magazines in case i got 'bored'!/face masks etc). Pack two bags; one smaller one which comes into hospital with you and contains enough for a day/overnight stay. Leave another, larger bag, in the car with more clothes etc in case something happens which warrants a longer stay (unless you already know you'll need to stay longer).

- It took me three attempts to discover gas & air is from the gods rather than a con. With my first two, I wasn't doing it right so didn't feel any pain relief benefits (I'm saying this as advice because I wasn't really advised how best to use it). I ended up having my third child on the ward so never actually got any pain relief (my poor husband is never allowed to mention if anything is painful without a withering look!), but had gas & air both in labour and being stitched and found it amazing. Really deep breaths through the 'tipsy and just had a couple of vodkas but might throw up' stage, and then keep regularly dragging on it to keep yourself at the 'I'm gorgeous and could dance on tables' stage of drunkenness'. I think the mistake I made before was just puffing on it when pains were present, by which stage it's too late, it needs to be in your system and topped up.

- Take in or send something nice for your midwives (basket of muffins/chocs/handcream etc). We tip our hairdressers for cutting our hair (even if we don't like it), yet we often don't acknowledge the people who bring our babies safely into the world and work hard looking after us (it may not have been all whale music & peaceful vibes, but healthy baby and Mum are a good outcome in the scheme of things)

perfectstorm Sun 30-Sep-12 20:22:10

I was told that there's no reason to push consciously, that involuntary contractions will do it for you and that paralysed women give birth vaginally (Abigail Witchells has twice, apparently) as a result. It was my experience. I actually found trying not to let the urges to push too strongly was my priority because it made me less likely to tear.

The jug when you pee is essential, IMO. Single most important post-birth tip. Soft pants help as well; who wants paper ones when you're all sore?

Freezing one-fork meals, too. I didn't get around to it and I wish to God I had. If you can afford it, buy them in from Cook instead. I buy vouchers for friends now instead of flowers/teddies/babyclothes when they have a baby! I've seen a lot of other Mumsnetters suggest it as the perfect gift, for a bloody good reason.

Finally, I was terrified of giving birth. Genuinely terrified to the point I was almost having panic attacks. When it happened, I honestly enjoyed it. So don't assume it will be bad - in my case, it was one of the happiest experiences of my life. It never hurt unbearably, and it had the same focused energy as running a marathon, where despite some pain you're doing really well and are in or near the lead the whole way through. So be open to the possibility that you may enjoy it!

Seconding what sittinginthesun said.

The only relief I got during labour was when my exmil rubbed my lower back at the base of my spine. The pain practically disappeared.

DP has been well instructed for this time smile

I would also say relax. When you are in pain you automatically tense. But that makes it worse. So aswell as doing the breathing, make yourself relax. Shoulders down etc.

And for anyone who has never done it before, when you get to the pushing stage, it is nothing like tv. Dont scream. That wastes energy. Take a breath, put your chin to your chest and push.

Sorry if thats too basic, but I was clueless about all that first time round.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Sep-12 20:25:44

Really deep breaths through the 'tipsy and just had a couple of vodkas but might throw up' stage, and then keep regularly dragging on it to keep yourself at the 'I'm gorgeous and could dance on tables' stage of drunkenness'. I think the mistake I made before was just puffing on it when pains were present, by which stage it's too late, it needs to be in your system and topped up.

Yes, yes and yes. I was lucky; my midwife had just had a baby and told me exactly the same. Once I started using it like that, it provided all the pain relief I needed (together with a pool) to have an almost 9 lb baby and actually enjoy it.

Actually looking back on it I'm not sure it was the birth I enjoyed. It might just have been the being so monumentally and unexpectedly poleaxed. DH tells me that at one point I beamed at him happily before carefully enunciating, "I haven't been this stoned since I was nineteen!"

notcitrus Sun 30-Sep-12 20:26:35

If you have to go to the postnatal ward after delivery, it'll be hotter than hell. Soak a towel in cold water and tie it to the head of the bed, so you can wipe yourself with it for hours, even if you aren't up to moving and reaching your drink.

Buy lactulose and have a dose until that first postnatal poo happens, and a dose a day for the next couple weeks until all is working more easily again (as prescribed after dc2, but recommended to anyone)

Take food with you for after birth. Esepecially important if it turns out that at your hospital that postnatal tea+toast is a myth...

catgirl1976 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:28:43

Epidural - request immediatly as overreaction said smile You will have to wait and you don't want to get to 9cm and be told "oh they are in theatre" grin

R2PeePoo Sun 30-Sep-12 20:32:11

What perfectstorm says about it not having to be terrible and terrifying. I had a similar experience with my DS, relatively little pain, my body pushed him out and I had the most astonishing rush of hormones afterwards that left me deliriously happy.

Also if you have perineal stitches they can tug/pull the skin as they heal and where the stitches go in your skin can be very painful. After my first birth with DD the midwife checked them after five days and said 'they are healing nicely, would you like the stitches out?'. Say yes. Its uncomfortable and not pleasant for about two minutes but dear god, the relief from that itching, pulling, tugging sensation was brilliant. I could sit down comfortably and not gingerly and everything. Second time around, after a week I went to the doctors and asked her to remove mine. I hobbled to the surgery, had my unpleasant five minutes and honestly had a little skip and dance as I left the surgery as I felt so much better.

Last tip. If you have a TENs machine make sure your DH/birth partner either knows how to use it or make sure they are forbidden to touch it ever.
I still harbour a lot of resentment for being electrocuted just as DS's head was emerging- apparently he was only trying to show my mum how it worked and didn't mean to turn it up so far. hmm

CanIOfferYouAPombear Sun 30-Sep-12 20:39:10

My grandma made me a load of barley water to drink, it made peeing so much easier without having to faff around with pouring jugs of water down there.

Also agree about banging on about an epidural as soon as you get there if you know you want one. They make you wait for ages otherwise.

CanIOfferYouAPombear Sun 30-Sep-12 20:41:18

Oh and make sure you have a very fluffy comfy pillow to sit on afterwards. Sitting down is so scary, the pillow does take some of the edge off.

nm123 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:43:23

Totally agree about not pushing.

Try it on the loo the next time you go. Just smile and breathe a poo out, don't push! Smiling apparently helps relax all sorts of muscles 'down there' too. I haven't pushed for a poo for about a year now ;)

Oh. And trust your body and your baby. Both are designed perfectly for birth and they will do what they need to do. But you need to trust and relax. Don't fight it.

GoldShip Sun 30-Sep-12 20:46:14

Ive not had a baby but ive been on midwifery training courses and have learned the following which may help:
Take something to eat with you, even a sugary sweet. You'll need to energy
When they say 'have a lavender bath'. They aren't trying to fob you off. It will help
DON'T let any midwife TELL you what position you should be in. Do whatever feels best for you. Too many women are told to lie on their backs because its easier for the midwife. Do it standing up if you like, she'll just have to get down!

culturemulcher Sun 30-Sep-12 20:50:02

Get someone to bring you lots of lovely, fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries (even out of season) after the birth. It feels wonderful to eat something easy and super-fresh, and helps so, so much with that super-scary first poo toilet trip.

wadadlis Sun 30-Sep-12 20:53:05

Get all your pubes waxed off before labour (can't remember the salon term for that sorry).

After the complete carnage down below (I agree, don't look, you won't recognise yourself, and that was after 3 days) the icing on the cake was all the blood clots (sorry if TMI) which tangled with my pubes so that every time I went to the loo I felt like someone was scalping me down below.

And order that epidural BEFORE you think you need it. Marvellous.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Sep-12 20:54:34

Yes to the position bit. I was lying back in the bath and DS' head was appearing and disappearing with every contraction, when my midwife suggested that gravity would help if I leaned over the edge of the bath, squatting. She was right, and he was born 3 contractions later.

Pushing uphill is a lot harder than a heavy baby doing the work for you. grin

catgirl1976 Sun 30-Sep-12 20:56:27

Oh god yes to the don't look

I looked after a episiotomy and forceps delivery of a 9lb 1 baby

I went into actual shock. Literally.

DH was possibily the loveliest he had ever been at that point.

GoldShip Sun 30-Sep-12 20:57:21

- don't ring family and friends straight away

- before birth, make yourself aware of your options. Look at pain relief, their side effects and think about how you think they'd affect you. Most of the time this goes out of the window, but midwives will try and get you to try other forms bar the epidural.

- if you do get a TENS, don't give up on it if it doesn't work right away! Keep going with it, it does take time but can be really effective.

- beforehand, have a exploration into alternative pain reliefs like homeopathy and aromatherapy (just make sure you check with your midwife first). Some women find these really useful, even alongside medical pain relief.

oopslateagain Sun 30-Sep-12 21:00:03

Don't bother with super-sized sanitary pads, the lochia (sp?) is a lot more than you expect. Use Depends - the pants type not the pads - at least overnight. They don't leak.

Take a lolly (the ones with a stick), to suck on - you need a bit of energy from the sugar, and the stick means your DP can whip it out of your mouth when a contraction comes on.

Take an insulated cup full of ice cubes, it's lovely to have ice cold water in the ridiculously hot maternity unit!

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