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Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Top tips for mums2be

(12 Posts)
SpikeMomma Sun 24-Jul-05 14:59:45

Just had my first baby. I know i found mn really useful when waiting for child birth. So thought it would be good to pass on handy practical advise to all those who are waiting. Some may seem silly, but worked for me. Hope it helps all expectant mothers and gives them some coping mechanisms for the first week - which is hard work!

1. Take some nice body spray for 'downstairs' as the lochia smell (if that's what it's called) makes you feel rubbish. I used 'out and about' spray which has lavendar, tea tree, aloe vera... from the nappy lady website. Sure it made my tear heal a lot quicker. I sprayed some in a jug of water and doused myself when i went to the loo. I also sprayed it directly on me. Worked a treat. Could use other natural sprays. Makes such a difference to feeling fresh and less 'ill'.

2. Buy some Arnica to reduce the bruising after you've given birth. Hopefully will make you recover quicker.

3. If you have carrier bags of stuff in your birthing bag, like i did, use different shop bags for each thing. e.g. baby stuff in a 'tesco' bag, and your labour stuff in a 'boots' bag. Sounds daft but it makes it a lot easier for your partner to find when you can't be arsed explaining where stuff is in the throws of labour!

4. To remember which breast i fed off last i wear an elasticated bracelet and swap it from each wrist. (just remember your method as i confused myself at first - did i move it before or after i did that breast?!! worked it out in the end.) Some woman put stickers on their busoms or tie thread onto the bra side they fed off last.

5. Use lansinoh cream when first breast feeding. I found it a god send. Only need to put it on the parts which hurt (as expensive).

I know i've forgotten the other stuff i thought of - but hope these help.

Blossomhill Sun 24-Jul-05 15:08:56

1. take a radio into labour ward to drown out sounds of other women in labour

2. buy a rubber ring if you have stitches as it will relieve the pressure when you sit down. It's also really calming listening to music.

3. Also use a hairdryer to dry yourself if you have stiches too and I also found adding a tiny bit of baby bath with oil in helpful to soften the stitches.

4. Forget everything (housework etc) and sleep when the baby does. I didn't and looking back should have done.

Tipex Sun 24-Jul-05 16:06:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpikeMomma Sun 24-Jul-05 18:34:03

Tipex - night sweats - yes! Never got mentioned beforehand and i did lots of reading up. Wake up with back of neck soaking. Very odd!

At time of writing baby will be 3 weeks old. Only now starting to feel 'human' and more confident. I've learnt to take it really slowly and expect to feel weak even if birth straight forward. Defo sleep when little one does - they are so unpredictable!

Also had really strange anxious feeling for first week. Bought some rescue remedy in the end. Not sure it works but was worth a try. Again, i didn't expect that - even though says it in the books - i was too focused on the actual birth rather than what happened afterwards.

For those waiting to give birth do some reading on how to calm a crying baby. All my NCT group agreed we wished we'd concentrated less on the birth (which you can't actually plan, nature will dictate how and when baby will appear - and what ever the case, you will get through it!). Being a bit more savvy on calming techniques would have been a good move. My friend lent me the Dr Harvey Karp 'The happiest baby on the block dvd', which has calming techniques - seemed to help with my little one. So worth a shot.

Nbg Sun 24-Jul-05 18:38:28

Buy lots of ready made food or make up batches of stuff to freeze so all you need to do is re-heat. Ideal for your dp/dh when they're going back and forth to hospital at all times and for when you come home as for some reason you just don't have the time to cook a good meal (and it's the 1 time you really need a good meal)

That spray sounds really good SM. I wish I knew about that when I had dd.

Flossam Sun 24-Jul-05 18:42:53

Wish I had had the sports cap bottle - saw someone raving about it on MN before I had DS - thought to myself I'll have to bear that in mind - never had one and I was cursing myself between contractions!

SpikeMomma Sun 24-Jul-05 19:35:25

The out and about spray is fantastic. I had a third degree tear and the mid wife said she thought i'd healed much better than some second degree tears. Sure the spray helped a lot. Smells really nice too. Hated smelling so grim!

Sports top bottles are the way to go too. Only way i could drink in hospital and when breast feeding.

Another: use a thermos flask at night for nappy changes. Means you don't have to go out of the room to get warm water. Saves valuable energy - especially if your still sore and half asleep! I dropped mine - doh - had to buy another - don't do that!!

Whizzz Sun 24-Jul-05 19:39:20

dark coloured nighties are good for hospital in case of ...leaks...OOPS

Wet Wipes are good too for cooling hands & face

SpikeMomma Sun 24-Jul-05 19:42:50

Talking of leaks...breast shells! Saved a lot of wet tops. Didn't realise when you feed off one busom the other one leaks! Stops lots of soggy breast pads if use a shell. I don't need them, but my friend and sister practically spray across the room when they feed (nice!), so they say they are a god send!

MrsFogi Mon 01-Aug-05 20:35:56

Not quite on topic but a query from Blossomhill's post point 1 - enlighten me here (clearly I've been pretty naive about all this), you have other women giving birth in the same room ???!!!!!!????

Blossomhill Mon 01-Aug-05 20:39:09

No you don't Mrs Fogi but the walls are pretty thin.
I remember going into have dd (already had ds) and the awful sounds coming from the room next door frightened me enough to ask dh to turn the radio up very loud to drown it out.

Nik72 Mon 01-Aug-05 20:53:31

Be really strict about visitors for the first few weeks. Don't have your MIL to stay for over a week when baby's only 2 weeks old..... Leave the answer phone on and call screen.

I wish I'd had a video camera - already forgetting what Dd was like as a teeny baby.

Don't bother with baths at first, top & tailing is fine and less hassle.

I also wouldn't recommend buying a house an hour before you go into labour then putting your flat on the market when you have a newborn.....!

If you start to struggle emotionally & feel you can't cope, don't just soldier on to the point of nervous breakdown - GET HELP!!!

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