Advice for 1st time Mum(16 Posts)
Hello lovely ladies, I am 38 weeks with my first baby and keen to soak up any advice you may have about the upcoming birth (have a v loose birth plan, will prob start in MLU and see what happens, am open to anything and everything!). What do I need to know? What do you wish you'd been told before your first birth? Any advice/tips/warnings will be SO gratefully received. Thanks in advance!
I went into the whole experience with an open mind, I felt I was open to anything happening & letting things take their course in whichever way was safest for DS & I. I ended up having an EMCS & although mentally I felt I had prepared for that possibility, I hadn't actually done any research on the recovery. I would spend a bit of time reading about recovery processes of various different types of birth (c section, forceps, episiotomy etc), just to be prepared. Be open minded, trust your baby & your body & all will be well. Best of luck when the time comes
I wish I'd known how awful it could be. I felt like I had failed which is ridiculous.
Try to breathe out when you reach the peak of a contraction. Holding your breath makes it hurt more.
Not all labours start off with mild contractions that gradually increase in intensity. Mine started at 4-5 mins apart and were so painful I was on my hands and knees. I had lower back and spinal pain. My baby was back to back but this wasn't spotted until over 30 hours of labour, getting to 9cm and baby getting stuck.
After the birth baby should be feeding roughly every 3 hours from the start of one feed to the start of the next.
Before going to have a shower stand by your bed for a few minutes first.
Is that for formula fed baby, Mythological? I breastfed in the hospital and felt like the Munchkin was constantly attached to the boob. If you're planning on breastfeeding read up on cluster feeding, as I was not prepared for that at all!
I had an EMCS so no practical advice for labour as such. It's useless saying stay calm if things go a different way to what you were expecting, though. I never even considered a c-section would happen to me, so was bit of a shock when it did!
Arriving at triage can be a weak point so hang on until you're in your room before shouting "epidural!".
Avoid forceps at all cost.
Doula/private midwife better than hubby.
Ask NCT/La Leche for breastfeeding support (if that's what you're doing). Unfortunately each midwife gives different advice and also after 10 days max they're gone. Skin to skin constantly.
Pelvic floor exercises religiously after birth.
I should have said as a minimum. I know many babies will feed much more often and do cluster feeding as well. My son had tongue tie and really struggled to breastfeed. He wasn't getting enough colostrum in the first few days so we ended up bottle feeding. Luckily we had the tongue tie procedure carried out at two weeks and were able to breastfeed after that.
It fucking hurts so take the drugs if you need them. They're good.
Babies are smaller and more fragile than you think they'll be.
Breastfeeding can be hard at first but will make life easier for you long term. It's totally normal and expected for babies to feed A LOT in the early weeks. Around 3 days and 3 weeks are the first growth spurts where they will literally feed for 48 hours or so.
This is normal and necessary for growth and milk supply
It's fine to use sensitive baby wipes. You don't need to faff oneithcotton wool for weeks.
You don't need any bath products. Warm water and olive oil is all you need.
It's fine to not leave the house for a few weeks and just lie in bed with the baby watching Downton box sets, if that's what you want.
Oh and you have like a month long period after having the baby.
I have a tip for afterwards.
Don't feel bad if the prevailing emotions you experience when your DP goes back to work, and you are at home alone with the baby, are crushing loneliness, isolation, and a bit of boredom. It will get better and you will feel less abandoned as you hit your stride. Make sure to get out of the house, go to mother and baby groups, and ask people over who will bring food, wipe surfaces, and make you tea!
You've definitely got the right attitude of "anything could happen" - really helped me stay calm.
My big shock was how long the recovery was after a natural birth with Ds2 - I had an emcs with no labour for DS1 and assumed that doing things the natural way would mean a quicker recovery. I was wrong! I was still unable to get up off the sofa easily for a good 10days after birth thanks to an episiotomy.
Also after pains, I had what felt like bad period pains/contractions for days after,especially when bf.
Just remember it will all be over soon enough, and to have lots of cuddles after.
Spend time now trying to get baby into a good position. DS was facing the wrong way and it makes you feel like pushing before you're allowed to do so.
TENS machines really can help.
Take flip flops and anti back wipes with you to the hospital. Not everyone leaves the toilets or showers in a state you'd want to use.
If your maternity pads aren't doing the job ask for some hospital maternity pants.
And for afterwards...
Look up average awake times for babies so you have a rough idea of how often they will need a nap.
Be prepared to be reliant on others and graciously accept help if offered and ask for help if you're struggling with anything, baby, feelings, housework etc.
Step away from the gadgets when you could be trying to sleep.
Remember it slowly slowly will get easier even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.
Take sugary drinks. Once in the pushing phase you won't be able to eat anything and on the off chance like me you end up with a long pushing phase you'll need energy. We didn't have enough and I couldn't get the job done due to lack of energy and sheer exhaustion.
I had my first baby last September, like you my birth plan was relaxed.
I had a waterbirth and found that once I was in the water it was more comfortable for me, i managed the Labour with just gas and air near the end. My husband was brilliant as a birth partner.
although I planned a natural birth and that's what I got, I did read up on c sections just in case as you never know what might happen in Labour. Might be something you want to read about?
If your breastfeeding, it can be tricky to start with but it does get easier.
Take some sugary drinks for yourself as you might want them in Labour & after.
Take some snacks for after birth, I got given toast but the baby was born at 2:20am I hadn't eaten for 14 hours and I was starving so was glad of the flap jacks and dried fruit I'd packed.
Have you and your partner been to a birthing class? I found them good for breathing relaxing advise.
To trust your instincts and don't be fobbed off. My first contractions were immediately 2-3 mins apart, midwives on the phone were sceptical as it was my first and said I would probably be sent home if I went down and tried to put me off. I ignored them and went to hospital, I was 5cm and within three and a half hours of getting on MLU my DD was born. So I was glad I didn't stay home.
Yes, agree with above, look up clusterfeedig if you are planning to breastfeed, no one told me about it, particularly when the baby is trying to get your milk in.
Wow, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. Will take all your amazing advice on board! x
Pack some jam. When you can't really eat/drink much but are running low on energy, few spoonfuls of jam really helps!
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