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Talk me through after birth!

(40 Posts)
Tinkerbellefairy Wed 29-Jan-14 11:28:03

Hi ladies,

I'm a first time mum so please bare with my silly questions. Feeling relatively ok with the whole labour and actual giving birth as you hear/ read lots about that. However, feel completely clueless about what will actually happen after I have that lovely newborn in my arms and this is playing on my mind so hoping experienced ladies can fill in some gaps.

Was wondering about how long I will have before getting moved to main ward, how much support mw gives you with breast feeding and nappies (due to never changing a boys nappy before, those extra bits and pieces are worrying me!) or whether you're sort of left to get on with things. When will I go for shower etc and this may sound really vain but do you actually have a full on shower washing hair etc? I understand prob need to completely freshen up but my hair is so thick it takes ages to dry and just think it would be horrible having wet hair for hours as won't be able to blow dry it. When nappy does need changing where do I do this? Do I need to bring travel mat to do it on my bed?

Well done if you made it to the end of my post and thanks in advance for any replies!

magicballs Wed 29-Jan-14 11:37:32

Hi, I will give you my experience as everyone's different.
So my DC was born in a MLBU, it was a wonderful calm place and I had my own room with large bath and my midwife was with me the whole time. After giving birth, I was removed from the water and the cord was cut. I then got onto the bed in my own room and was given the baby onto my chest straight away, and I immediately breast fed (you don't have to do this obviously, if you are FF, you will have a prepared bottle and can still have skin to skin). Whilst snuggling my baby, DC was given the Vitamin K shot & I had an injection to speed up the 3rd stage with the placenta. I didn't feel the placenta come out (you won't, after pushing out a baby!). We then stayed on the bed cuddling. I was given tea & toast (didn't eat the toast as felt sick) and whilst I drank the tea, my DH snuggled the newborn and then she was weighed. After about an hour of snuggles, the midwife said I should dress the baby so I knew how to do it, and then the baby was put in a little crib and I went for a shower. After the shower, I was on the main ward for a few hours kip before being signed off and then I left.
In my shower, I just washed my body not my hair - my hair is short but very thick.
Changing the nappy on the bed with baby between your legs, midwife will assist if you want her too but I wanted to do it myself seeing as never done it before. With boys, remember to put the penis down as if you leave it up, they wee out the top of the nappy.
Ask anything, im happy to answer

Chacha23 Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:10

Not sure how it goes for straightforward births, but I can tell you what happened in my case (forceps and bad tear).

I gave birth around 2pm, they kept me in some post-surgery ward until the following morning. I got tea and toast, and midwives soon came to help me start the bf. They were absolutely wonderful, I must have sent for them a good 4-5 times in the afternoon and through the night, and they came round and helped. Couldn't get up or walk at all because of the catheter and various other things plugged into me.

When they woke me up the following morning they took the catheter off and sent me off to shower. (and let me tell you, after a 3rd-degree tear, having wet hair is the least of your worries! I could barely walk)

The following afternoon (24 hours after birth) they sent me to a general post-natal ward, and I stayed there for two days while they were checking I wasn't getting an infection. Was sharing the room with 3 other moms, which isn't great as the babies wake each other up and you hear all the conversations. On that ward I got all sorts of visits (anaethetist, physio, various people checking on baby, etc). The midwives continued to be great with the bf help, especially during second night with baby which was horrendous (I hear it's often the case).

I hope your birth is straightforward, but just in case it's not, that's how it went for me!

LittleYellowDuck Wed 29-Jan-14 16:11:01

After my second birth which was a straightforward drug free VB, baby was placed on me ,I had a quick cuddle then midwife took baby to be cleaned and weighed and wrapped up in blankets
The after birth was delivered about five or ten minutes later then I was free to sit up, feed baby , get him settled in his little crib
I was sitting up in bed , had my toiletry bag with me, so used my baby wipes to wipe face then pop on a little bit of bronzer, brush hair etc
I gave birth in the afternoon and maybe because it was my second baby and all was okay and no complications they asked me if I would like to stay in or go home, I chose to go home that evening.
I had a shower before i left to go home, didnt wash my hair just my body and had a spray of deodorant etc to freshen up

My first baby was EMCS and I was in hospital for 2 days
The midwives/ nurses were great in the wards. They helped me bath baby and change nappies as I was like you OP in that i had never changed a nappy before
They even ran formula feeding classes where you could see about sterilising and making up feeds etc
I showered and washed my hair daily whilst in the ward, didnt have a hairdryer to dry hair so just had to let it dry naturally
I had my toiletries and make up too , its nice to have your things with you
In regard to changing baby, I changed them on my hospital bed on top of a towel ...
i never felt at any point 'Left to get on with it' , support was great from all staff in the ward

Frizz1986 Wed 29-Jan-14 17:42:35

I had my baby at an MLU. It was a water birth and i had skin to skin straight away and they supported me breastfeeding. I had a third degree tear though so was transferred to hospital for surgery. Hubby put baby into clothes at the MLU whilst the midwives were helping to get me ready.

After surgery i was bed bound with a catheter, but the nurses were very helpful with breastfeeding. I had to press my buzzer to feed and do nappies as i needed help getting baby out of her crib.
I didn't get any food until after surgery so was rather hungry (had the baby at 11am and got out of surgery at 5pm)
I couldn't shower until my catheter had come out the next morning so felt rather skanky as was led on the bed on a mat with a pad between my legs (all very bleedy to be honest)

StrawberryTartYum Wed 29-Jan-14 19:07:44

Can I warn you about the afterpain? I had been warned about it by a friend but totally forgot about until it happened! Was so upset that I was still in so much pain even when holding DS, I was begging for pain relief as I couldn't pay attention to him but after some gas and air I was ok within about 15 mins. But it was a shock and it was the first time I had to really demand pain releif. We had skin to skin and breastfed for 40 mins then I a shower and tea and toast and we moved to the main ward. We changed our babies on our beds or in their cots, and the midwives were on hand if you needed help with any aspect of their care. They were very big on BF support at my hospital and there were always people ready to help you. Good luck when the time comes! (ps my mobile was a big help not just for texting etc but during the night I used it to listen to the radio during feeds and to time feeds.)

Mmolly2013 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:30:25

Where do stitches come into this. Or did no one have them. Do they do stitches ASAP before shower etc

Mmolly2013 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:30:37

Are they painful

StrawberryTartYum Wed 29-Jan-14 19:38:48

Didn't have them, sorry - but they're not inevitable, you might be ok

absentmindeddooooodles Wed 29-Jan-14 20:38:38

I was induced ( just the pessary) as was 15 days overdue. Started on ward and then transfered to labour ward after waters had broken.

Had a few complications ( low blood pressure, heartrate, spd) so was monitored closely.

Had ds....he was put straight onto my chest. He had some fluid on his lungs so had a couple of people quickly lean over me and sort him out. He disnt breathe for a little while think he was a bit shocked dear of him.

Had skin to skin and he latched on for a feed before they even cleaned him up. Think I held him for aboit half hour at first. In that time I had an injextion to help the placenta. Didnt really feel it that much.

Had a rather nasty tear as ds was back to back. So at that point he was taken off of me, weighed and his dad dressed him amd did the nappy. Had stirrups bought in amd big lights....few people crowded round to have a gawp down there ajd then 2 people sis the stitches. Had aome local anasthetic injected. Took about an hour and15 mins.

Had ds back for another feed. Brought tea ( bleugh) andtoast and then given a couple of Injections and tablets for blood loss and clotting or something.

Stayed on the bed for a while as afterpains were quite a shock for the first few hours!

After that went for a shower. Im the same with really rhick hair so didnt wash it. Just be prepared for the sheer amount of blood and grossness when you firat stand up! Haha.

Never got moved to the main ward. Small hospital and not many beds.....so went home at 3am. I had him at 7.24pm.

Never got a chance to use half of what I took with me. No need for dressing gowns n all that jazz. Was naked for the most part!! ( never thpught I would loose all inhibitions like I did)

PastaandCheese Wed 29-Jan-14 20:57:03

I think about 70% of women have some stitches so it's not inevitable.

I had them in the hour after I'd given birth obviously post delivery of the baby. Well before I had a bath.

They weren't painful as I had a local anaesthetic injection. I could feel a tugging sensation though which i didn't like. I think they took about 15 minutes. Legs in stirrups which wasn't pleasant but made it easier to keep still.

I was allowed to hold my baby throughout which was a good distraction.

Re your hair. You don't have to wash it. I had to stay in hospital so wanted to wash it the next day. I just stuck it up in a loose clip whilst damp.

PastaandCheese Wed 29-Jan-14 20:58:33

Oh, I wasn't transferred to ward for about 4 hours. They didn't need the delivery room so left DH, DD and I alone there to snuggle with her, eat toast and make our phone calls.

Chacha23 Wed 29-Jan-14 21:25:58

re: stitches, in my case it was immediately after birth, as my feet were still in the stirrups and I had the baby on my chest.

they had brought me into a surgery room for the forceps delivery (in case they had to do an EMCS), so the surgeon and everyone needed was already there ready to stitch up!

Mmolly2013 Wed 29-Jan-14 22:28:40

thats great to hear honest details as no one talks about after..

Tinkerbellefairy Wed 29-Jan-14 22:41:36

Thank you for all replies and yes had heard of after pains but forgotten so useful to be reminded of what to expect. Feel much more relaxed now I know what to expect. So it's ok to/ you felt well enough to shower so soon after stitches etc? I'm sure it's going to be very messy so necessary but it just seems such a huge thing to go through.

Freckletoes Wed 29-Jan-14 22:51:52

I had very low blood pressure after my 3 births so everything was taken very steadily. I had stitches each time and they were a little painful. I did feel the placenta passing-I had quite painful contractions. I used a commode chair on two occasions and also was assisted in the shower in a shower chair. As absent says you loose all your inhibitions and just do stuff naked!! I was in a MLBU and there was no rush even though it was busy on two occasions. I was able to sleep in the delivery room on one occasion for a few hours. I was able to have a private room each time-don't be afraid to ask if there is one available-then you miss a lot of the disturbance from other babies, mothers, midwife movements. For me that was a big deal-I had been on a ward before one birth for a minor complication and found it a nightmare! The MW would come if I buzzed them and due to low BP I was under strict instructions not to get out of bed for 24 hrs so they did nappies and helped with feeding-well not all as I didn't do as I was told wink. All MW are different but I found them great, happy to help with the simplest thing first time round and happy to leave me to it the following times unless I needed help.

PastaandCheese Wed 29-Jan-14 22:53:13

Definitely. I actually had a bath but it was lovely to get myself cleaned up and in a fresh nightie.

There was no pressure to rush though. After stitches the midwife left us alone and said to press the bell when I would like her to run me a bath and to feel free to use our mobiles. She came with tea and toast at some point too.

I left DH in the delivery room with DD tucked in his shirt while I washed.

superlambanana Wed 29-Jan-14 22:56:51

After pains? Say what?! Please explain!!

DH has just told me not to read about things if it makes me worry. I told him he was an idiot and of course I wanted to know what to expect so I didn't freak out as much!!

Sid77 Wed 29-Jan-14 23:02:09

I had a bath afterwards too, it was amazing to lie there without a massive bump! All wobbly jelly belly smile. Midwife ran it for me and helped me to the bathroom, just told me not to lock the door so she could check on me. It was lovely! DP held and dressed the baby while I was in there. IME midwives will help/guide as much as you want re dressing, bathing, nappy changing etc. just speak out if you're not sure about breastfeeding as it's important to be happy with how that's going (if bf is what you're planning). I was in pain with the latch, but didn't speak out and wish I had done...

Mmolly2013 Wed 29-Jan-14 23:06:41

Im quite frightened now it all sounds horrific. ive never gad anyone near my south end before apart from partner as too young for a smear and Ive a small fear about it. childbirth i can cope but stirups and lights for the stiches im afraid

Tranquilitybaby Wed 29-Jan-14 23:09:52

After pains are like period pains, they're just the womb contracting. Just don't be afraid to ask for pain relief if you're in discomfort afterwards, that'll keep a lid on things. X

firstimer30s Wed 29-Jan-14 23:11:46

Really informative thread, thank you op for starting it. Yes, what are afterpains please? blush

Sid77 Wed 29-Jan-14 23:21:46

Molly, all being well, you will be too excited with your baby/high the rush of giving birth to worry about what's going on re stitches etc. I was terrified if having to have an episiotomy - I didn't need one but did tear and had stitches, but it was nothing like I'd built it up to be in my mind. It was really ok - and for the majority of ladies it is. Please don't worry, you'll be fine.

Firstimer - after birth your uterus contracts back down to size. It does tend to hurt, for me it was like period pain, much worse with DS2. You can take paracetamol though, so be sure to let the midwives know if you are still in hospital and they'll sort you out.

sharonosaurus Wed 29-Jan-14 23:23:33

I cant remember any afterpains.

I had a nice bath, I felt shaky & my legs were wobbly.

I felt in total shock & would only hold baby if I was sat down for a while grin

Take some flip flops, so much easier than trying to bend down to put shoes on smile

kaatieexox Wed 29-Jan-14 23:31:47

I gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy on Friday but needed forceps and had stitches as I had to be cut. (I think is 3rd degree as it's all the way round). I didn't feel delivering the afterbirth but did feel the stitches even after 5 locals. My stitches are getting better every day but i won't lie they are painful. Especially when you sneeze or cough! I shower every day and point the shower head down there for a while which is soothing. Baths with lavender are also a god send. We got home on Monday night but mw has been round to check all is well with us both. I am taking paracetamol and ibruprofen which does help the pain. I hope you have a normal and straight forward birth. Good luck!

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