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First time pregnant, if you could give me one piece of advice?!?(109 Posts)
I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby and wondered if you could give me one piece of advice on labour/ babies/ new borns etc what would it be??
Learn to smile and nod and ignore people.
Remember the phrase "this too shall pass".
Enjoy having a wee and a poo in peace because it's the last time you will for about the next four years unless you have someone babysitting.
Congrats. My advice:
1) Trust your body to deliver the baby, but be ready for a different experience to what you hoped/wanted. In the scheme of things a healthy baby and mum is all that matters, the how less so.
2) Trust your instincts. It doesn't matter if the HV/Dr think you are fussing over nothing.
3) I found routine books unhelpful (but there are those that did) but I loved What to expect in the first year. It is more of a reference book than manual. Helps you work out why they are now doing x. DH also enjoyed learning about development stages.
I picked up the tip from the book that warm bottles are a matter of taste and if you don't give warm bottles they don't expect them. DS was fixed fed for 9 weeks then bottle fed, seemed ok with non warmed bottles.
4) Get out once you are ready. A trip to the shops can be enough of an outing, just good to get back to normal things.
5) Try to find some "mummy friends" (yes i know that phrase isn't liked on mn), you don't need loads in common and you'll be surprised how many hours you can while away etc.
6) Accept/ask for help.
7) Sleep when they do. Most women I met didn't, but I did and it really did help.
8) Enjoy it. It goes really quickly.
For the first six weeks of your baby's life do nothing but feed and gaze, feed an gaze.
Try to shower and do your teeth, but go back to feeding and gazing. Maybe go for a stroll.
Buy some nice, comfy new 'loungewear'. Several pairs.
We are all in too much of a rush to get back to 'normal'. Your new normal will be nothing like your old normal. Give yourself time to adjust and make no demands on yourself.
Buy Avent breast cups - both the ones with air holes in and the ones without. Try are brilliant. Don't bend over when wearing the ventilated ones.
Savoy cabbage leaves are amazing for engorgement.
Don't worry about anything to do with pregnancy, birth or looking after your baby. It will always be the things that you never knew you had to worry about that will get you.
Don't read any baby books, go with what your baby wants and that makes for a happy mummy and baby.
Everything is a phase. Never get too despondent or too smug.
Very cheap pyjamas are a false economy.
Yes, labour matters, but what happens afterwards matters more. Don't put lots of pressure on yourself to be "up and about" 5 minutes (or 5 days or 5 weeks) after your baby is born. It's fine to stay at home and cuddle him/her, whatever other people tell you that they/others do/did.
There are many ways to nurture a baby, how you feed them is just one of them.
In the early weeks, you'll do little else other than feed, change, wind and rock your baby. Enjoy this rare opportunity to sit down, watch crap TV and eat nice food.
Ignore other parents who tell you they have perfect routines and sleeping through the night babies- they're lying.
It's normal to sob uncontrollably and two minutes later be overwhelmed with joy.
In the early days the sleep deprivation can be utter hell. Night and day blend into one. It will get easier.
You can't spoil a baby.
Stuff the housework.
Get a tumble dryer.
Don't buy a nursing bra until your milk comes in.
You WILL leave the house again, I promise.
Get a Kari me and wear your newborn. That way your hands are free to make lunch/go to the loo/read MN.
Change into clean PJs before bed. Much nicer.
Your first poo after giving birth may feel scary.
Relax! Applies to during labour - less painful if you can keep the rest of your body relaxed, when your baby cries- the more relaxed you can be helps the baby calm down, don't worry about schedules, what books, or other people say/ what other people's babies are doing, just relax and do what feels right for you and your baby - trust yourself to know better than anyone else what's right for you and your baby. In fact it's probably best to start practising now - I'd put your feet up with a if I was you! x
Remember to take loads of videos on your iphone - even 20 seconds when you are with your baby on the first night - its incredible how fast they change and to look at a video brings it all back!
You will feel anxious and overwhelmed and you might fight with your partner like you have never fought before - remember its normal and it does end (usually when the baby starts sleeping longer at night )
People whose babies 'sleep through the night' are just lucky b*****s and aren't doing anything better than you - we did Gina Ford to the letter (stupid and unnecessarily stressful) and he didnt sleep ever (he's 15 months). Our friends' baby slept through at 2 weeks - they didn't follow any book or system - its just the way they are born.
Congratulate yourself every day on the fact that you are coping and you are doing it - and you as parents know whats best for your child, even when you feel you haven't a clue what to do next. You'll learn together.
My biggest piece of advice, to echo what other ladies have already said, accept help!! Whether that's an offer to drop in groceries, help you tidy house, mind the baby while you have a shower or a nap, anything at all that will make your life easier during first few weeks while you are getting a feeding pattern established and recovering from delivery if you end up needing stitches or losing blood or anything like that.
I have no advice for labour except to try and keep calm (because I was not good at that!), remember it's more like a marathon than a sprint so be prepared for it to go on for a bloody long time and just have an open mind - no matter what is in your birth plan, the way things go on the day might be different than anything you had expected so you have to just go with the flow, use whatever pain relief you need and remember that the best outcome is a healthy baby, however they end up being delivered.
Good luck and enjoy
Sleep whilst you still can.
Then when your baby is here, sleep when he does even if its during the day.
Don't listen to advice!
Or at least, don't take any notice of anyone who advises anything against your natural instincts.
If something doesn't feel right to you, then its not right for you and your baby.
(Nearly 4 kids and I'm still learning!)
There's one thing about the birth that I regret not doing (although there's no way on this earth I would have taken pictures/video during the birth)
BUT I do wish I had told DH to take a picture of DS lying on the bed seconds after he'd been born. All I have now is a memory, which will fade in time, but every time I think back to that moment, my heart swells and I wish the image was clearer in my head!
Don't compare your baby to other babies of the same age, it will only make you stress out. And don't try and plan your day, you will be disappointed...go with the flow and you will be pleasantly surprised! Good luck and enjoy your baby.
Don't compare you or your baby to anyone else. We're all different and noone else has exactly your combination of personalities, lifestyle, character, partner, homelife. Forget about all the perfect mummy crap that's out there and just trust that you're doing it right and good enough without all the pressure of having to be absolutely perfect.
buy a flask mug or two. the sort that seals tight shut.
Back away from the baby books! When you have your baby, everyone will have an opinion. Smile sweetly, say "really, how interesting" and go with your own instincts. Throw the books in the bin, especially the more dogmatic ones (baby whisperer, contended little baby etc I am looking at you), they'll just make you feel like you're doing something wrong. If you're feeding the baby when they're hungry (ie practically all the time!) giving them lots and lots of cuddles and they're sleeping now and again - that's as good as it gets. You've nailed it. Don't stress out.
if you end up with a c section, tie a dressing gown cord to end of bed to help hoist yourself up ( though nurse friend said one hospitals have some sort of similar thing to help - mine didn't and I had to express and feed 3 hourly - it was hell on my tummy and I think hampered healing at first.
Oh, so many pieces of advice!
1) Don't focus too much on the kind of birth you will have - the baby is the important thing. If you have intervention it's for good reason, don't sweat it. First births, especially if you're older (ie in your 30's) have a higher proportion of interventions than other births. Having a completely natural birth does not make you 'better'.
2) In the early days, breastfeeding hurts. It does pass, and personally I love the closeness that comes with it. Don't believe anyone who says that if the baby is latched on properly it won't hurt - but equally try to get the latch right as it will be less painful. Make use of breastfeeding support from people like the NCT or La Leche League, especially if the support in hospital isn't up to much.
3) If you formula feed, for whatever reason, that's absolutely fine. Don't worry yourself silly about bf v ff. It doesn't matter.
4) If anyone you know has a young baby, ask to hold it a couple of times before you give birth. Even better, change a nappy. It will remove some of the fear!
5) You need more muslins than you think you do.
6) Take loads of photos.
Buy a sling. I got my first one ( a mai tai) when dd was 7 months and it changed my life. She had her naps and bf all snuggled into me and I had my hands free to read or book or do the hoovering or rest and have a cuppa. Much better than battling with putting her down and her waking up.
Now 10weeks pg with dc2 and definitely going to buy an elastic wrap as soon as I've had my scan!
I found it very hard work and that surprised me as I love babies and have lots of younger sisters but the happy snuggles make it all worth it.
Good luck x
Just make it up as you go along, you and the baby will be fine I promise!
2 best pieces of advice from trusted friends:
1- It's your baby, you know your baby, you know what's right and if she's ok or not (i.e trust your own instinct as a mother)
2 - pick her up and cuddle her as much as you want - soon enough she'll be too big/ too grown up / not want to be picked up and cuddled
And my own - lots of people say don't read the baby books; i did and gleaned a certain amount from them, even if it was just to snort and say what a load of shite. Just don't expect your babyu to have read them
enjoy the pregnancy and enjoy the baby
BettyFlutterbly - pardon my newbieness... what's an elastic wrap?
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