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All tips and tricks welcome!(12 Posts)
I know these threads have been done before, but thought I'd start a nice shiny new one for anyone who has more tips
I'm 32+4 today, have had a scan this morning which has confirmed that my placenta is no longer low and baby is head down, so I'm now thinking ahead to a hopefully natural birth.
What tips/tricks can you can give me that I can start now? Or can make a note of to remember when in labour, or for the early days with a newborn?
This is my first so I'm nervous/anxious/excited all in one - all tips appreciated
A few things I wish I'd known:
Get your partner to either pack it himself or have a good look through your hospital bag. He'll probably be the one who needs to grab things for you and baby as you'll be busy . I didn't do this and my poor DC had to wear the scratchy hospital hat while I was coming round after the birth cos he couldn't find the one I'd bought.
Whatever birth you have, try and get some precious colostrum from your breasts into the baby in the first hour or so after birth. The midwives can help you with this. I struggled with it and they were kind of squeezing it out and dribbling it on DC's mouth.
Skin to skin straight afterwards is obviously great, but don't beat yourself up if you don't manage it. I was out of it after my first birth (couldn't stop falling asleep after a very long labour and forceps) and was really upset I didn't do it. But it's made no difference to my bonding with my DC. We're good.
Three or four days after the birth your pregnancy hormones leave your body and you feel suddenly really down. I cried a lot. It usually lasts about a day or so. Sometimes longer. Don't worry, it'll pass and it's perfectly normal.
If you decide to breast feed and you find it hard. (I found it really hard) there are tons of amazing groups out there that offer support. La leche league are amazing. And YouTube videos of getting the latch right are helpful.
Don't obsess about timing the contractions. At one point DH was writing them all down! it's useful to keep track of them but you just need a general sense of where you are rather than timing them obsessively.
Go with the flow as much as you can. You may find that you need an intervention - pain relief, forceps etc. Don't feel bad about this. Do whatever you need to to keep yourself and your baby safe. My experience of this is really positive. Great midwives and doctors explaining everything in a really calm and positive way.
Hope that's helpful. Best of luck! xx
@bananasandwichcake that's a great reply, thanks for taking the time to write that!
Hadn't thought about DH being the one to go through the bag, I'll make sure we do it together
Interesting about the colostrum too! I think I plan on FF from the beginning, but starting to wonder if I should be offering the colostrum if I can...
Cold flannel on your perineum during the pushing stage! Give the gas and air a fair try!! Don't be afraid to ask for some private time after the birth.
Ask the midwives from the moment you get into hospital to help you avoid becoming constipated. Do everything you can to help yourself. Completely ruined the first week home after DD was born. Glycerin suppositories very helpful if you do get bunged up.
Limit visitors/visits after the birth and make it a priority to have private time to bond/have skin to skin/establish breastfeeding if you're able for the first couple of weeks. Go to bed with baby and just be together.
Trust your instincts, expect to feel deranged with tiredness after the first few days, take signs of PND seriously and try to have a good relationship with your health visitor. Mine probably saved my life when DD was nine months old.
Take some powerade or similar sugary drink. Accept that you will just want to be naked and that's fine. Contractions feel like terrible constipation.
I wrote some more bits but stopped myself!
Take cotton wool and a bottle of water to clean up after going for a pee after you have the baby. Cotton wool to dab yourself dry, and bottle to fill with warm water and pour over yourself as you go.
Don't take a shower cream/smellies you love be the smell will take you straight back everything you use it after. (sorry if it's Tmi, take the advice and you'll understand afterwards) Congrats, I'd do it all over again tomorrow if I could have another gorgeous newborn again!
I ended up with 2 emergency sections then a planned one, so have never given birth vagunally. However, my friends swear by this miracle fanny freezing spray that you can buy from amazon. They used it when the baby was crowning.
These are all amazing! Thank you all so much giving me lots of food for thought, I'm taking note of them all.
Do some nice things that you and your partner enjoy that might be harder with baby around. Grown up meal out? Cinema? Theatre?
How about practicing squatting? Sounds silly but getting those thighs and back strong can make staying in different birthing positions easier.
For going into hospital I really appreciated having a cup with a bendy straw in it. Meant I could drink whatever position I was in.
Stock up on maternity pads (seriously, I bought one pack!) they are brilliant and you will need lots.
I am also FF but we tried to get as much colostrum into LO while it was available, the midwives helped me squeeze it out and suck it up with a little syringe - just stop squeezing once milk comes in. Also, I took some of the little ready made bottles of formula with the sterilised teat included with me as this was the easiest way to feed LO whilst still in hospital. We used aptamil and they were £8 for 6 I think, I'd really recommend these!
If you can't do skin to skin, your DH can. It's for the benefit of baby as well as bonding.
Take lactulose. Helps ease the first post-birth poo.
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