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If you could give one piece of advice

(100 Posts)
Themilkyboobsareonme Sun 28-Oct-12 19:01:09

Anyone who has done this before, if you could give one piece of advice or if there is one thing you would tell yourself now that you wish you had known when you went into labour.

What's the best piece of advice you got?

DingDongBelle Wed 31-Oct-12 23:06:05

Later discovered that an added advantage to bf-ing on your side was you could mumsnet on your phone drink, eat etc while doing it. Saved my sanity.

YYY to the poo thing. Holding a pad on your stitches when you go was really helpful. A friend of mine said she did her first couple of poos post- delivery while in the bath but I wasn't brave enough grin

FrightRunScream Wed 31-Oct-12 19:34:25

A student midwife saved DS's life (I think). Anyway, it was her who questioned his position when mw gave me an exam and said "ooh he's git his hands on his head" and left. Student got scan machine, found previously undiagnosed footling breech ans mobilised consultant.

sieglinde Wed 31-Oct-12 15:10:27

Yes, and on the subject of poo, DON'T have the enema. They mostly don't offer it anymore.

The gloop they give you afterwards as a laxative is IMHO totally unnecessary. rreow's advice is brilliant. But the incessant harangues you get about poo are just weird - that and the ludicrous probing into when you resume sex, which is really just an effort to ask if you have a fistula.

rrreow Tue 30-Oct-12 12:30:46

Oh also a tip a friend gave me, that I'm sooo happy she did rather than thinking it's too weird to give that advice:

If you have stitches, afterwards if you need to go for a poo, either use a wadge of toilet paper or a clean maternity/sanitary pad to press against the area while you go.

Kopparbergkate Tue 30-Oct-12 12:18:48

When you start feeling contractions, if it's the middle of the night, do NOT think "I must remain mobile at all costs" and start pacing the house. FGS try and rest - you'll be knackered later otherwise!

sieglinde Tue 30-Oct-12 11:16:58

YYYY to bf lying on your side. Saved my reason. Old attachment tricks like skin-to-skin contact really helped bonding and milk letdown - I am one of those who find it needs work to build a big supply.

MsStaken Tue 30-Oct-12 10:23:53

My student midwife was brilliant. Got her the second time when she was qualified and she was brilliant then. Plus dc1 was her 40th delivery so she remembered us, it was lovely.

Smicha Tue 30-Oct-12 08:28:59

I'd second the advice to say yes to a student midwife, especially if you ars good at earwigging on conversations, as they discuss everything so there's no danger of one midwife doing things or making observations without you realising it. I also found it really nice to know I was helping someone get their qualification. And she was lovely!

And don't worry about your hospital bag - my advice now I've gone through it is take a tens machine, a banana, a water bottle and some bendy straws. Those are the only things I used when in labour and wish I had filled the bag with more baby clothes (little boys wee in funny directions, took me a few days to learn that) and less of my crap.

Shagmundfreud Tue 30-Oct-12 06:41:14

If you are going to a busy consultant led unit to give birth, consider taking your mum, sister, friend, doula or hiring a private midwife. Any woman you feel comfortable with who's had a baby herself AND IS NOT SCARED!

NICE guidelines point out that doing this reduces the likelihood of an emergency cs.

And don't close your mind to the idea of having a student midwife if you're offered. They are generally fantastic.

Yika Tue 30-Oct-12 06:39:59

Oh YYY to breast feeding lying down. I found BF such a nightmare at first. But this really helped. If I were doing it again I would cosleep from the word go.

DingDongBelle Tue 30-Oct-12 01:21:35

Oh, and you can breastfeed lying down. I really struggled until a great mw told me this. It's SO much easier, for you (both hands free) and baby (more wiggle room) and you are automatically more relaxed. I LOVED this and it made it seem more doable smile

DingDongBelle Tue 30-Oct-12 01:19:33

Best piece of advice I was given was a very practical friend. She told me that yes, it hurts, but unlike the pain of, say, a severed leg, it's good pain, and it's supposed to hurt. It's ok and you don't need to panic. Each contraction seemed easier knowing that, yes it was painful, but I could cope because it was SUPPOSED to feel that way. Somehow that helped me, psychologically.

Lavender oil in the bath every day if you have stitches. I loved that.

A midwife gave me a jug and when I needed to pee, I filled it with warm water and poured it over my bits as I went, to dilute the pee. Stings much less. I like the sponge idea too.

Travel light. I had so much crap with me and I barely used any of it. But do take a little basic make up bag and a hairbrush if you are a makeup girl like me; there will be lots of photos and next time I want to look vaguely like me in them!

Otherwise; eat when you can. Sleep if you can. Breathe deep and slow (until the ring of fire when you need to do the opposite) and listen to your body, it knows what to do. Good luck!!

stargirl1701 Mon 29-Oct-12 23:25:37

Make sure the midwife has plenty of local anaesthetic if you need stitches.

Being stitched after it stopped working was worse than the labour and birth by a factor of a million! sad

sleepneeded Mon 29-Oct-12 23:23:12

Oh.. and do your pelvic floor exercises!!!!!

sleepneeded Mon 29-Oct-12 23:22:31

Love some of these tips.

Before labour:

-Rest, eat, sleep and chill out.
-Try get house as ready as it can be for the new baby.
-Educate yourself about pain relief and labour but plan for a positive experience.
-Get your partner to be your advocate and talk through your birth plan.
- Pack your hospital bag - i would avoid disposable underpants and just buy a bag or two or primark or cheap cotton packs from M&S

When in labour:
In early stages, rest but stay mobile as others have said stay at home as long as you can do so.

If going to hospital:
-Remember your contractions may slow going to hospital or a different environment for a bit - so this is to be expected.
-No need to be fobbed off by staff telling you you are a first timer, but try avoid going into hospital until contractions are regular and close together.
-Expect pain but remember you do get (hopefully) a break between contractions. As made as it sounds try to enjoy the time in between contractions.
- Try make the environment work for you. The labour room, the staff, the pool - it is all there for you!
- If you have relaxation music take it.
- Take lots of fluids/ drinks.
- Don't listen to scare or war stories.

Positive Affirmations:
- Tell yourself you can do it - and think through some positive affirmations.
- I remember a friend just wishing me a safe yet quick labour and assuring me that I and my baby was safe and well - and it helped me as it was one of the last comments I had before labour started and it was positive and lovely comment.
- Another friend just happened to tell me that I'd be fine no matter what.
- Your body is amazing it really is - you deliver your baby!
- Don't be afraid to vocalise through the pain if that helps you!

Post birth tips:
- If you can have the baby to cuddle straight after then do it! Don't let those first precious moments be taken by medical staff (if at all possible).
- Rest after the birth.
- Get help with breastfeeding, proper help. And use that cream - lanisoh? Drink lots of fluids after birth.
- Try get your house sorted so you are not doing housework etc when you get home but if not just concentrate on you and the baby.
- Really cherish the first few weeks with your new born - try phone off the hook and for you and your partner to muddle through if possible.
- Post baby blues might be a rush of hormones that can make you feel down but that is to be expected and may be coupled with an overwhelming sense of responsibility - but again that is expected. (Obviously if you need help get it - or are feeling overwhelmed then get help).


ChocChipCookieMuncher Mon 29-Oct-12 21:35:36

Take in a familiar duvet cover or similar from home (probably not a white one!) to put over the bed/beanbag/floor (wherever you are birthing)
This was a tip someone gave me and it did help. Much nicer as I was bearing down leaning my head and face against a hospital plastic beanbag to have something that looked and smelt more familiar and homely than hospital plastic!

EugenesAxe Mon 29-Oct-12 21:33:25

Oh yes - if you tear (I second that you don't feel much at all at the time), do make sure you do pelvic floor pulling up exercises. Also dab on a saltwater wash with every wee.

The exercises get oxygen to the wound and really help with the healing.

easytiger12 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:44:22

1. If it's possible, don't tell anyone you're in labour. Mine started around 10pm then DS was born around 6am. The hour we then spent with him as the only people who knew he had been born was beautiful, and making the "guess what happened last night..." phonecalls was so fun!
2. Shout, scream and swear if it helps; no-one minds!
3. I know everyone says you should kind of 'hibernate' for a week or so after birth and limit visitors, but we had a constant stream of visitors and even did a BBQ for 10 when DS was only 5 days old and personally, I absolutely loved the celebratory air around the house and sharing the joy with people I cared about and who cared about us

LaCiccolina Mon 29-Oct-12 20:40:45

Argh the worst! The lack of dignity! Nurses randomly grabbing ur knickers to view ur pad. Still gives me chills!

lostinwonderland Mon 29-Oct-12 20:36:15

Stop reading mumsnet and go to the movies and stay there until the baby comes!
In fact do anything not remotely baby related and dress is large baggy clothes so you don't have to have those pre baby conversations with strangers who then tell you their terrible story!

LaCiccolina Mon 29-Oct-12 20:23:26

Don't read any books by people with theories on how to bring up kids. They truly don't know more than ur dotty aunt mable. Trust urself above all others. Every time I've worried about something it's because of what someone else said or I read. If I'd done what I thought might b best and just got on with it everything would b smoother...

That and for gawds sake use mumsnet. Saved my sanity on more than many occasions!

SkyBlueSky Mon 29-Oct-12 20:19:26

Lavender gel/oil on the maternity pads really helped me, plus a TENS for early contraction distraction. I remember getting bollocked constantly by the midwives too, which I wasn't prepared for. Yy to comfy slippers and nice pjs. Yy to being prepared to bleed for a good while after birth. That really shocked me. Good luck OP!

Xenia Mon 29-Oct-12 20:01:42

Take your own estimate of how long the first labour will be and double or treble it.

I also rather liked hiring a private midwife as I felt more in control but I could not have afforded it for the first few births.

Study legal case law - you can refuse anything. You are in charge. You decide what happens when. Even in labour the law has determined you take the choice. You need do nothing you don't want to do.

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 29-Oct-12 17:59:42

Make sure you're lady garden is suitably trimmed. If you do require an emergency c-section being dry shaved and the regrowth is far worse than anything the operation and post op throws at you.

anklebitersmum Mon 29-Oct-12 17:51:22

Waterbirth is brill..should have done it with all 4, not just last one.

Gas and air is grrrrrreat-but you have to start using it at the very first inkling of the contraction and keep breathing it throughout whole contraction (you'll see/feel what I mean when you're there).

Last but definately NOT least is this little gem;

If they ask can the junior midwife monitor you say yes..they come with Mrs "utterly unflappable" Midwife. Trust me, Mrs Unflappable is worth having grin

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