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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??
Don't have any expectations of labour.
The first few weeks with your baby, you will feel like you've been hit by a truck. You will feel like you're living on a different planet and that the rest of the world cannot possibly exist any more. Like everything else, this passes. You will feel normal again. At some point, you will suddenly think "Oh! This is ok! I can do this!"
Breastfeeding can be really hard. If it's something you want to do, ask for help at the hospital and do not let them discharge you until this is established.
Accept help from family and friends of they are nearby!
Don't have any expectations of how you will feel after giving birth- you might feel elated, disappointed or nothing. You might fall in love with your baby instantly or it might grow gradually. All of these are fine and normal.
Drink plenty during labour! I forgot and for terribly dehydrated which meant my blood pressure dropped quite dramatically.
Enjoy these last few weeks before you have your baby. Have nice singers, go to the cinema, relish a good night's sleep, have sex. Of course your life isn't over when you have a baby, it's just beginning- but you will miss these simple pleasures as it does get a bit harder to be spontaneous.
I know everyone seems to be saying don't read books and I didn't - however this time round I flicked through the baby whisperer and thought the bits about 'reading' babies cries and body language could be useful, especially to a first time Mum. I'd read that chapter in a passing library rather than buy it though!
Everyone says you know your baby and follow your instincts, but sometimes people can feel helplessly bewildered by the language of this little stranger who feels more like an alien has landed and taken over your world than someone you 'know'. It can take a bit of time to get to learn the cries and read the signs, so don't be afraid if you feel a failure for not automatically knowing. You're not failing, you're just completely normal! And it does get clearer and more obvious as you get to know your baby's little personality.
My baby would only sleep on me and I spent a looong time trying to get him to sleep elsewhere, convinced he would be 14 and still sleeping on me and he just grew out of it. If I could go back I'd have just enjoyed the time I was tied to the sofa with a sleeping baby instead of fretting about it.
Also if you notice a reddy colour in a newborn nappy tell the midwife, it may mean they're not getting enough milk from you and that isn't the end of the world and doesn't mean your hopes for breastfeeding will be dashed, it just means you need some help getting your milk in. I still remember sobbing all over the midwife like it was the end of the world but happily breastfed to 14 months in the end.
During labour try to relax and do what your body tells you. Made it so much easier.
Get a doula. Mine made a big difference to my childbirth experience.
dont pull tags out straight away of any presents you have been bought! i did and ended up with about seven of those small teddies holding a blanket which are used to comfort babies. think i stopped pulling the tags out after the fourth one and ended up taking them back to the shop to exchange for something useful instead! obviously dont ask whoever has bought them for the receipt! plus the same with clothes you may think something looks cute at first when its been bought for you but try them on the baby first before pulling tags out as you may not like your baby in it once its on! plus when u are finally out and about you will see loads of lovely clothes for your baby which you will want to see them in instead. i know it sounds harsh but why waste the opportunity of exchanging it for something you really like! most shops will exchange items without a receipt! i did this with quite a few items of clothing we got as presents and ended up with about £40 to re spend in next!!
I am a first time mom to be with a due date of August 8. I was looking online for some of the common problems during pregnancy and found this article extremely helpful. Thank you mommies for all of your submissions.
Oh and after babies born (don't do it yet as you might get a bit scraed) google 'wonder weeks' it's a series of developmental leaps babies go through in 1st 2 years and when to expect them. I don't know if I saw the so called leaps as they describe them, but DEFINITELY corresponded with the fussy periods, and totally gave me reassurance that it was something normal and that it would pass soon.
It's totally normal if your baby only wants to sleep on you, just go with the flow. You'll actually be quit upset when they
eventually decide they want to sleep by themselves.
Ignore any advice that says 'your baby only needs to be fed every X no of hours' or 'if it's only been X no hours since their last feed, you know they aren't crying because they're hungry' . Always offer boob/bottle...you feel really mean if you've tried everything else for an hour of screaming following the above advice, only to find the poor mite is starving/wanting that comfort
EVERY BAD PATCH WILL PASS, they do amazing developmental things in the first few months and it makes them quite cranky. Just roll with it and remember the good times are just around the corner. It is sooooooo hard to do though after days of non-stop crying
by you let alone baby
If you think of questions write them down to ask your midwife at her next visit... baby brain makes you forget so much
There are millions of books out there, if you read any just pick out the bits you like and ignore the rest. They all contradict each other anyway, so do what works for you.
Labour - stay as active and upright as you can for as long as possible, gravity helps. And have a sippy bottle of water... one of those with a straw you can suck is best. And try not to get your heart set on any 1 birth method, it's very traumatic if it doesn't work out. Try to go with the flow and remember the only important outcome is a healthy baby and a healthy mum
Postpartum - huge sanitary towels, buy el cheapo ones as they don't have fancy plastic covers so are softer. Avoid wings (hell on stitches/grazes/bruising). Open up one end, put ice cubes in, seal up with elastoplast and freeze. Heaven. And don't look at or examine by hand your undercarriage for a couple of weeks it can be a bit upsetting but it improves a lot in a couple of weeks, so don't traumatise yourself!
Ask for pain meds if they don't offer, it's not a time to be tough! And Lansinoh for nipples. Better texture than the other nipple creams.
Make sure MWs give you heaps of help with BF, get them to check you're latching right etc and get them to help you with different positions, sometimes later on, only 1 will work (babies are weired) and it's much easier if you've had a go like that before
Most of all, ENJOY IT, those first few days/weeks are amazing and you'll soon wish you could have them back
sobbing with nostalgia
Buttons on a baby outfit are the work of the devil. Poppers and zips are your best friend.
Remember too that those vests etc. which have envelope necks are designed to be pulled DOWN rather than over the head. Essential for the inevitable poonami!
Buy a natural sponge for gorgeous baths, some Neals Yard Baby Barrier (miracle cream!) for help with pretty much everything, turn the computer off and live right there in the moment as much as you can.
Tell the HV to shove their advice. When I had DD1 they interfered with every single part of her first 6 months, they made me miserable because she was small (she still is) so when I had DD2 I told them to butt out and it was fine !!
Its not my advice as such - but now I am pg with DC2 this has really struck a chord with me - dont know where it's from -
I hope my baby looks back on today
and remembers a parent who had time to play
Theres years ahead for cleaning and cooking
but babies grow up while your not looking
So settle down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
Im cuddling my baby and babies dont keep
Also, but it might depend on the person, get out of the house every day. I had one day when it was snowy where I didn't, and my mood plummeted. Go to the supermarket and relish the adoring coos.
Cuddle them, snuggle them, curl up with them, gaze adoringly at them. Indulge yourself. Leave everything else, it doesn't matter.
- Look after your back. You want to be able to get down on the floor to play with your toddler, not be in agony sitting on a sofa because you were careless when they were a baby. Your joints and ligaments will still be very vulnerable as the effects of relaxin decrease slowly so practise safe manual handling and lifting when you're carting carseats, pushchairs and your lovely baby around.
- Don't buy a pram/pushchair until the baby is about 3 months old and you can test it out with the baby in it. Get a stretchy sling instead for the newborn stage. Honestly, it will save you sooo much money in the long-run because you will have a much better idea of what you want and how you will use it.
You might also want to know: Pregnancy doesn't just 'end' once the baby and placenta are out. You don't suddenly spring back into the same person you were before; there are hormones all over the place, your organs need to move into their settled positions, your joints are still loose from your body pumping so much relaxin into them (see above) etc. You will also be cream crackered from labour and looking after a teeny tiny, utterly dependent little person so you need to be gentle and kind to yourself. Other lovely things you might experience once your baby is here include:
- lochia (massive period) for up to six weeks;
- pain leaning over, sitting down and twisting your torso if you've had an episiotomy or tear (put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your maternity pad; it helps);
- stinging when you wee if you've had a tear or graze (wee in the shower using the shower head to dilute the urine);
- really bad, stinky wind;
- losing control over your pelvic floor for a week or so (do your pelvic floor exercises now and carry on doing them!);
- anal fissures so it feels like you have spiky poo;
- mood swings;
- spotty skin;
- seemingly insatiable thirst;
- massive sugar cravings;
- (if you're breastfeeding) milk squirting out in all directions whenever your breasts are exposed to fresh air ;
- sudden major dislike of your DH/P; and
- (around the 3-month mark) clumps of hair coming out in the shower and on your hairbrush.
I wish someone had told me that those things might happen 1) so I didn't push myself so hard after DC1 was born, 2) so that I didn't feel so much like a stinky, incontinent, piggy, moody trainwreck who wanted a divorce immediately, and 3) so that I knew it was fairly normal and would eventually end.
I had a baby who slept for only 20-30 mins at a time but you can still get a pre-sleep doze which is better than nothing so I would still stand by that advice - as someone who HAS experienced such a baby!!!!
The two best pieces of advice I stole from another thread:
1) The days are long but the years are short
2) Make their world a happy place
DH's advice is "it gets easier".
Mine is "the nhs and medical professionals are there to help. It is better to call nhs 24 than to put it off because you are worried about looking silly."
Also, if you're breastfeeding (or if like me you're always starving) lay in snacks that don't need refrigerating for the bedroom -- cereal bars, nuts, chocolate biscuits, those mini pots of fruit with a fork in the top -- also useful for labour and if you have to spend a few days in hospital. The NCT do a really useful cycling drinking bottle thing that clips to a bed rail -- much better than the NHS jug of water that they normally place just out of reach...
Get organised well before the baby arrives, because you will be tired afterwards and not being able to find things will seem like the last straw!
i) if any DIY jobs need doing, do them now, as you will be at home A LOT for the first few weeks and really notice any issues
ii) set up a couple of changing stations with everything you need in an old shoebox or basket e.g. nappies, wipes, changes of baby clothes, nappy sacks. You don't want to be trying to find that stuff at 3 in the morning. Once you find brands of nappies & wipes you like, mail order in bulk and have delivered.
iii) get the basics for bottle feeding just in case -- you can always give them away, and having the stuff in the house is a lot better than an emergency dash to the nearest 24 hour Tesco!
iv) if people have given you baby clothes for various ages separate out everything not for newborn/0-3 months and stash the rest somewhere -- also, don't take labels off and wash newborn clothes in case your baby is big and doesn't need them -- then you can return them
v) fill the freezer with food (but don't overdo it like we did necessitating a freezer defrost around week 4 when the doors got wedged...)
vi) invest in a couple of nightlights or those windup torches -- night feeds involve a lot of crashing round the house in the small hours and light helps avoid falling over furniture and waking other family members!
vii) get outside for a walk every day if you possibly can, especially if you've hardly slept -- it helps the baby tell night from day I think and makes you feel better
1) Don't go buying everything you think you'll need. Get the basics to get by and then buy what you actually need.
2) Always seek advice if you feel like there is something wrong
3) Be prepared for things to not be textbook (e.g. my DS will not sleep on his back - apologies to the official guidelines)
4) Painful as it is, labour is a magical experience. Try not to fret about it - its natural and there is an end to it with a beautiful gift to boot.
5) Everyone will tell you the best way to do everything and they will all think they're right. Nod politely, use the advice you find useful and archive the rest in the back of your brain somewhere. Your baby - your rules.
Have I bored you yet...? Good luck x
Really appreciating all your comments, It's amazing to hear good stories and helpful tips!!
Big thank you everyone!!
If in doubt, attach boob A to baby B and have a cup of tea while you're at it!
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