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What top tips would you give to a first time mum about to have her first baby?

(53 Posts)
McDreamy Fri 05-Jun-09 20:57:06

SIL is about to have her first baby. I have only had sections so can't advise her about anything labour related but have been giving her some tips about newborns.

What would be your top tips about labour/newborns/first couple of days/weeks?

AitchTwoOh Fri 05-Jun-09 20:58:50

take flip flops to hospital as the showers are seeing a lot of blood...

and enjoy it all. it's a precious time. smile

uptomyeyes Fri 05-Jun-09 20:59:41

My mantra is always to get up and have a shower before your partner leaves for work. It doesn't matter if you decide to put clean jamas on and go back to bed. But at least you feel like youv'e achieved something in the early days if youv'e had a shower in the morning!

pavlovthecat Fri 05-Jun-09 21:05:33

If she has to stay in hospital for a few days, do not be afraid to press the help button to help with breastfeeding if she choses to breastfeed. I used the help provided to help me learn, and often pressed the button when DD did not latch on, got the technique well and truly sorted by the time I left after 7 days, and sometimes got them to pour me a drink while I fed grin.

Take some music into labour room if possible (ipod and speakers), some familiar tunes in the background can be settling.

If she has time, prepare some food/get partner to prepare some food for freezer, so that when she needs to eat, there is stuff she can put in the microwave, or that her partner can put in microwave.

Let visitors etc do everything for you while you spend time with baby. Cups of tea, sort out lunch, tidy up after lunch etc.

Enjoy it!

McDreamy Fri 05-Jun-09 21:07:37

Your last point will be my job then pavlov wink

I'm so excited, I can't believe my little brother is about to become a dad! grin

Thank you for all your tips - I am passing hem on to her right now!

pavlovthecat Fri 05-Jun-09 21:13:39

Oh, one more thing, it might not work for her and she might not even remember this kind of thing but...

My best friend who is also a nurse was my 'doula' and she 'walked' me up a flight of stairs as a contraction started, 'slowly up first step, second step, three, four, five' and then as the contraction peaks down the other side 'step down, five, four, three' and got me to visualise the steps. Maybe her partner or whoever will be with her can help do something like this. I its mostly all I can remember, other than telling DD she was doing good and I was looking forward to seeing her!

flamingobingo Fri 05-Jun-09 21:16:56

Read 'What Every Parent Should Know' and/or 'Three in a Bed' now, while she's got the time!

TheBreastmilksOnMe Fri 05-Jun-09 21:20:47

For labour- Keep active, stay upright, try the bath/pool and gas and air. However baby comes into the world you should feel proud for doing such an amazing thing.

With regards to babies- don't listen to anyone else or their tips for that matter and just trust and listen to your intincts and your baby's needs.

Give breastfeeding a go. Get as much help and support as you can and if you're having difficulties- see a lactation concultant before making and rash decisions.

Cowwomanmoo Fri 05-Jun-09 21:24:33

For your SIL
Have a good film for early labour, I had DVD of bagpus, which strangely worked to keep me relaxed. Say in the bath at home, if available at the maternity hospital get back in the bath there and have the gas and air brought to you.
Don’t have a definite plan; be open for changes in your birth plan.
When you see your baby the first time, remember you have only just met. You may not feel what you expected and a little overwhelmed.
Best piece of advice came from brilliant health visitor when I was panicky about how I was coping looking after baby.
“My dear, they dig them out of earthquake rubble a week later, there a lot tougher then they look”
Its the hardest thing I have ever done, but I could almost hear classical music when I looked at her sleeping, the first week home.
Most importantly, from same heath visitor,
“A clean house is a warning sign that mums not spending time with baby”

weegiemum Fri 05-Jun-09 21:34:56

I wish someone had told me that when I stood up from the delivery table a LOT of blood would run out! I seriously thought I was having a haemmorage and pulled the emergency cord in the shower as I was so scared ....

It was totally normal and I tell everyone I know having a baby about it!

plimple Fri 05-Jun-09 21:40:39

Midwife after long amounts of contractions and pain "breath out with long fingers and long toes" I was clenching on each out breath when I really needed to relax, suddenly didn't need gas and air and all was well.
My sister "a day 2 baby feeds constantly" this meant I didn't worry when my DD cried all night on day 2 and wanted more milk after a feed. In fact I was disappointed she didn't do the same the next night!

bamboostalks Fri 05-Jun-09 21:43:20

Everytime the baby cries, either wind it or feed it. They really are still that hungry, however unbelievable it may seem. Then your milk comes in and you will find it easier to establish bf.

sleepwhenidie Fri 05-Jun-09 21:45:42

Be prepared to feel like you are breastfeeding 20 hours out of 24 for a while..this is normal, try and relax and enjoy being able to sit down - this will not last grin!

Time seems to be speeded up once you have children (and more so for each subsequent child IME). Try to keep in mind how precious your time with newborn is, especially when you are finding it tough....another reason to relax about housework - it can WAIT.

Try and get outside every day, even if it is just for a ten minute walk around the block, the power of fresh air to make you feel human is invaluable.

yousaidit Fri 05-Jun-09 21:58:38

3 days in hormones will probably go rampantly bezerk and everything will make your sil very very weepy and heartbroken and sobbing, then after a day or two you are back to normal new mum mad hormones!

go with the flow routine wise, but one thing i found reaqlly useful to get ready for when you are being a mum day to day, by yourself, ius get a bedtime routine sorted. with both my dcs, when dh was finishing his paternity leave, i was putting them to bed by seven, so it encouraged the dcs to start recognising that this was nightime and that meant sleeping, plus, it means your sil and her dh / dp get some babyfree time on an evemning to try and remember what life was like before dcs! seriously, i can't recommend enough to start getting a bedtime routine up and runnung asap. a decent monitor will help your sil if this worries her, as will her radar like mum sensors which puick up your baby crying sooner than your monitor!!!

insywinsyspider Fri 05-Jun-09 21:59:46

after pains when breastfeeding can really hurt

if you don't instsntly bond with your baby don't worry, some people don't but it comes, just don't listen to all the 'other' mums saying they do and feel really crap that you didn't - you are normal

you can bleed lots - buy twice as many maternity pads as you think you'll need

take your OH to mothercare and boots, show him exactly what you might need, ie if you don't buy formula and bottles beforehand say which ones you would like to use in case he needs to get them in a hurry/unexpectedly - same for maternity pads, nipple cream, infacol etc it makes his shopping trip much quicker!

trust your instincts - you are right more times than you are wrong

lower your housework standards (as has been said grin)

after a hard day go and look at them sleeping just to remind yourself why they are worth it grin

listen to advice, take the bits you like, ignore what you don't

I'll probably think of some more this is my first draft smile hope everything goes really well for your Bro and SIL

liahgen Fri 05-Jun-09 22:00:54

haven't read whole thread but my tip is

Enjoy something every day, you will look back in a year and wonder where it all went.

Take lots and lots of photographs

don't rush them through their first milestones, you will never again see those first wobbly steps, treasure them.

laugh lots and tell your partner and your children that you love them every single day.

Turbomouth Fri 05-Jun-09 22:02:24

Have mum on speed dialblush

yousaidit Fri 05-Jun-09 22:04:47

don't bother with those 'babys first tooth, babys first smile' books, get a nice big writing book, and make your own diary of all tghe important, funny, touching, bizarre events that fill out your dcs lives. i started one for my dd, then had ds and he shares it with his sister, so in years and years to come, its a god way to look back on their lives in addition to photos!

Pennies Fri 05-Jun-09 22:06:28

I always tell mums to be about the hideous night sweats you get in the days after labour and reassure them that they have not gone from pregnancy to menopause in one week. No-one ever mentioned that to me and it freaked the hell out of me.

TheYearOfTheCat Fri 05-Jun-09 22:23:02

Tell her to read The Best Friends Guide to Motherhood before she goes into hospital. (great advice re labour & hospitals)

Loads of really good, sensible advice, masked as a deeply funny book.

EyeballshasBackBoobs Fri 05-Jun-09 22:23:33

When taking your bro to mothercare, don't just point things out, take photos on his phone so he has a picture reference. It took dh an hour to find maternity pads etc!

And really, sleep when baby sleeps. I didn't do this, God knows why but she'll feel a bit more human.

duchesse Fri 05-Jun-09 22:32:52

Get her a copy of Libby Purves' book, "How Not to be the Perfect Mother". Saved my sanity.

hester Fri 05-Jun-09 22:35:23

Don't get divorced for the first six months. (The day will come when you actually like your dp again.)

cyteen Fri 05-Jun-09 22:36:57

Oh god, the sweating shock I'd forgotten about that.

Loads I agree with here, but the most important thing I would always say is: enjoy your baby. Listen to them, love them, get to know them, watch them sleeping and listen to them breathing for hours without wondering if it's what you 'should' be doing. Drink in their weird little crumpled face and their funny noises. No matter how much it feels like you've been dropped on an alien planet with no back up, trust that you will come to know your baby better than anyone else.

WibblyPigRocks Fri 05-Jun-09 22:42:44

A few small tips for labour -

1. Glucose tablets - invaluable if you can't eat but need some energy. The lemon ones are nicely refreshing, too.
2. Digestive biscuits (or other, fairly plain and sweet, food)
3. Find out as much as you can about the different forms of pain relief so that, if you want something, you know what you need to know.
4. Finally, try to remember to take a moment during your labour to think to yourself "bloody hell, I'M in labour" and appreciate the moment. I know this might sound silly but I really wish I had done this!!

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