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Labour- tips and tricks you wish you'd known

(113 Posts)
user1484167681 Mon 09-Oct-17 07:34:16

Hi everyone, just about to go into third trimester with first baby and starting to think about labour and childbirth itself.

Hoping to gather some collective wisdom here- what did you wish you'd known for your first labour? What tips and tricks did you learn (or get told!) that helped with the whole experience? smile

For example, yesterday I discovered that you should take lip balm because your lips can get very dry from the gas/air. Would never have thought of that myself!

windowSong Mon 09-Oct-17 07:36:39

Get ALL the pain relief.

Callamia Mon 09-Oct-17 07:37:50

When are you supposed to put the lip balm on? Not while you're in labour?

G&A does dry your mouth, I took a 4-pack of lucizade sport each time (that had been frozen so it was cold and lovely).

Take lots of snacks for afterwards.

gamerpigeon Mon 09-Oct-17 07:38:23

Bring sports drinks because if they think you might need a C section you are not allowed to eat anything.

Postnatal wards do not let you have phone chargers so bring something else to do!

isthistoonosy Mon 09-Oct-17 07:41:02

Stay stood up / walking as long as possible and be polite (but not a door mat) to the staff, cleaners, midwifes, doctors etc.

windowSong Mon 09-Oct-17 07:51:47

Of course postnatal wards let you have phone chargers!! There are plenty of plug sockets.

ememem84 Mon 09-Oct-17 07:52:56

When the time for pushing comes go with gravity. Don’t stay lying on your back unless you have to for medical reasons. All fours will be more beneficial tonget baby out.

My local hospital allowed phones to be charged. So take charger in case.

Agree take snacks. Food where I was was dire.

Don’t fight the labour. That was the best thing I was told. Baby is coming out whether you like it or not. So listen to your body. Let it do what it knows to do and go with it.

I was also told to relax but that’s a lot easier said than done....

butterybean Mon 09-Oct-17 07:53:26

Marking place as 1st baby is imminent smile

SandysMam Mon 09-Oct-17 08:00:10

Don't expect it to be wonderful. You will be disappointed. So many first time birthers I know carried around a sense of disappointment for months afterwards because it wasn't the experience they expected. Just go with it and get your baby out, however it happens, you are still a hero and there is no failure. Also, when you push, (and this is tmi) imagine you are firing out a big poo from your bum hole in someone you hate's face (so gross but that's the other thing, childbirth is!). It really helps you push in the right place (your bum not your fanny) and gets you in the zone.
Good luck!!

user1484167681 Mon 09-Oct-17 09:31:20

@Callamia I don't know... didn't even think to ask...?! :S Whenever your lips get dry, I guess? Or maybe after?

Thanks for the comments, everyone, these are so helpful! I'm certainly trying to keep my expectations low, although somehow I keep imagining I can breathe myself through an idyllic, naturally-painfree experience... Wishful thinking, ha!

SupermarketSally Mon 09-Oct-17 09:33:41

Breathing techniques do help, massively!

2014newme Mon 09-Oct-17 09:35:54

Have all the drugs.
You won't give a damn about lip balm I assure you.

BoredOnMatLeave Mon 09-Oct-17 09:44:30

Ermm I'm sure the lip balm tip is good but I literally couldn't have given a crap about dry lips during labour.

Lots of snacks! I didn't eat the whole labour as I wasn't in the mood but I was ravenous once it was over, ate a whole pack of rich tea!

As above, the baby is coming out no matter what so best not to dwell on it and just do whatever you need to get through it.

ememem84 Mon 09-Oct-17 09:52:03

My labour was not a beautiful or a wonderful experience. It wasn’t traumatic or dramatic. But I wouldn’t say it was wonderful. Or beautiful. It was however very quick. 4.5 hours from first contraction to baby.

I went in not knowing what to expect other than I’d get the baby at the end of it. I didn’t listen to anyone’s stories - seems like everyone has a horror story...

Trust in yourself that you can do it - your body was designed to do it. Listen to the midwife(ves). If you want pain relief ask for it (or make sure dp knows to suggest it to you if he thinks you’re struggling and need it).

Enjoy your baby at the end of it x

2014newme Mon 09-Oct-17 09:54:58

If all you want to get out if it us a healthy baby that's great. Don't be one if these women who us upset because their birth isn't the magic experience they wanted. I had emergency section, a mo that in hospital, twins in nicu, a further operation because I was ill. Am I bothered, no. I'm not wailing about it being traumatic I'm glad I had 2 babies especially after 5 years if ivf

GuinefortGrey Mon 09-Oct-17 10:01:03

Keep walking, walking, walking for as long as you are able. Pace those corridors! Lean on your partner or the wall and breathe through the contractions then get walking again. I've had 4 babies. For the first, I stayed lying on my back on the bed from about 1cm because I thought that's what I was supposed to do grin. It was long, drawn out and horrendously painful (and yes I realise it being first baby was a part of this, I was also terrified which didn't help!).

For my other 3 babies I kept walking and walking right until the end and they were all fab easy births and pain much more bearable being upright and moving.

TeddyIsaHe Mon 09-Oct-17 10:06:27

Don’t fight the labour is the best advice. I fought the pain and it made it so horrible, I screamed for an epidural at 4cm. It made me furious, I should have calmed down, breathes and gone with it. Next time I’m going to try hypnobirthing to try and keep myself calm and together.

Mints! Even when I was pushing I was really aware that I hadn’t brushed my teeth in ages and it was putting me off. Strange things that bother you in labour.

Good luck! Confidence in yourself and your body goes a long way.

chocdog Mon 09-Oct-17 10:11:40

Don't lie down if you can help it. Stay upright if you can. Gravity is your friend. If you tense up, try keeping your jaw slack and your mouth open, it relaxes everything.

MainGrain Mon 09-Oct-17 10:18:00

When pushing keep your mouth closed - took midwife to point out I was wasting precious energy on making noise blush

SquareWord Mon 09-Oct-17 10:23:14

The most important thing is to go in with an open mind. I never made a birth plan as I just feel it's setting yourself up for disappointment if things don't go to plan. Just have confidence in your body to do what it needs to do. Hypnobirthing is great to get you in a positive frame of mind.

RoryItsSnowing Mon 09-Oct-17 10:24:28

Straws so you can drink easily from a bottle in any position.
Yes to lots of lip balm!

Tennis balls! Your husband/midwife/anyone can give you a much more effective back rub with them, and if able to stand you can use them yourself between you and the wall.

RoryItsSnowing Mon 09-Oct-17 10:25:28

Also 100% agree with pp mentioning hypnobirthing. Breathing and relaxing your muscles as much as possible definitely helps.

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 09-Oct-17 10:26:48

Stay fit going into it if you possibly can, it is quite literally physical labour.

Walk walk walk and stay on your feet. Don't fight it. Try to let each contraction pass through you and over you without tensing in response.

neddle Mon 09-Oct-17 10:35:30

I've had five babies and what I wish I'd known before my first:
Don't accept induction based on post dates. All my babies were, on average, 10 days over. That's my normal.
Home births are much better. One to one care, my dh wasn't sent away afterwards, he was more comfortable at home as it was his turf. The hospital births, he felt like a spare part.
Water births are fantastic and meant I didn't need pain relief. I was able to move around easily and found a natural instinctive position for birthing. Made my labours immensely quicker. (8 hours for 1st - induction, epidural and laid on the bed. Others were less than 2 hours.)

purpleprincess24 Mon 09-Oct-17 13:38:36

Chilli bottles are amazing, you can put ice in them and it will last for over 24 hours

https://www.chillysbottles.com

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