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Stupid questions about being in labour

(31 Posts)
louise182 Wed 18-Dec-13 09:51:08

My due date is fast approaching and although i am excited about labour and meeting my baby, i am a bit nervous about silly things and have nobody to ask itrw!

Im thinking about these sorts of things not because i am a prude or don't want people seeing my bits! But more because i know there will be a lot of prodding and poking and peering down 'there' and don't want to be restrictive or make things difficult for mw's needing to do internals and things. I just want to be comfy and at ease with what I'm wearing.

When i am in hospital, they have asked that i take nighties/long T-shirts. Do i have to wear these the whole time, or can i wear comfy pjs/jogging bottoms until the pushing stage?

If i have to wear a nightie do i keep my knickers on or off? With a maternity pad if my waters have already gone?

I don't particularly want my ass/nunny hanging out unnecessarily, or be leaking all over the place if i want to wander about or use a birthing ball....

After the birth and time with baby (if straightforward obviously) do i just hop off the bed and go clean myself up if i am able to, and get dressed, or will a midwife help me with that?

Might sound daft or irrational to some, but I've never done this before and just want to know what to expect! smile

Pinkbell123 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:11:58

Just marking place - my first as well

TheWanderingUterus Wed 18-Dec-13 10:20:24

I wore a pad until I needed to be naked and all my clothes came off both times and I gave birth nude. Midwives have absorbent pads that they put under you if you want to sit down or kneel on the floor etc.

In the early stages I was at home and walking around so I was wearing maternity clothes and ended up wearing them until I felt I needed to get naked. My second was born at home and I just wore a dressing gown and pants.

After birth you get tea and toast and then I had a quick shower. I had to leave the door unlocked in case I fainted and the midwife came in and out to check. They like to check your bladder is ok so you have to wee in little cardboard hats to check your urine output.

Rockchick1984 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:22:52

I'd suggest nighties are better - means your bits are covered from sight but are easily accessible. I certainly didn't want to have to faff around with getting changed etc once in established labour! Take knickers along, I had a fairly fast labour and didn't wear any but that way you have the choice if you want them on the day.

After the birth my midwife ran me a bath, DH helped me with it and with getting back into a (clean) nightie, was then wheeled to postnatal ward in a wheelchair as its a fairly long walk at my hospital, and obviously you're bleeding quite a bit at this stage. Bath etc was more than an hour since the birth however, as once DS was out I fed him, cuddles him, stitches done etc.

Pjs would probably have been fine postnatally, I went for a nightie again personally. Just be aware that if you needed a c section then it would need to be nightie or tshirt coz of catheter.

Hope that helps!

TheWanderingUterus Wed 18-Dec-13 10:25:43

These aren't really things you can decide now, it depends on how you labour, I couldn't bear to be touched by anything after a certain point, my clothes just kept getting in the way. It also depends on the speed of your labour, what pain relief you choose e.g I took my trousers off for pethidene and couldn't bear the thought of struggling back into them. My top kept getting in the way of the cables for the Tens machine so that came off too.

In the hospital I got naked later than at home because I was a bit more self-conscious, but once the contractions kicked in a brass band could have circled the bed and I wouldn't have noticed.

AndWHOOSHTheyWereGone Wed 18-Dec-13 10:27:52

Take in a big nightie, that'd be my advice. You will probably feel comfortable with some knickers on in the early stages but with both of min, once I got to a certain stage all I could focus on was breathing through the contractions and just didn't care about putting knickers back on after the last internal. I physically didn't have the headspace if that makes sense. You have a hard enough time getting the internal don't in between contractions once things really get going and as soon as the mw took her hand out I'd grabbed the gas and air and was braced for the next contraction. I'd have been in agony fancying about trying to get knickers back on.

Also they don't prod and poke, but they will have a look fairly often once things really hot up. Just literally lift nightie and have a quick look. Once nearing pushing stage they need to be able to see as it's obvious when baby is about to make an appearance. And you really won't be aware of whether knickers are on or not, the contractions consume you, your only focus is on them.

As for afterwards grin you won't be "hopping" off anything! While you do skin to skin and once the placenta is delivered the mw will tell you that she's going to have a look to see if you have any tears. She will clean the area with warm water and have a look (have a big drag on the gas and air before she does this) and will then stitch anything that needs stitching.

You will normally be offered that tea and toast at this point and while they are off doing that they will ask you to try and do a wee. This is important and they won't let you have a shower until you've done one because they need to collect the urine and check its a certain amount (to check bladder working properly after labour). This can take a few mins as you can't really feel the urge to wee straight afterwards. A mw will usually help you to the loo and stay in the room (outside the toilet) as you may feel fairly wobbly. There will probably be someone around anyway checking baby over and giving them a little clean.

Once you've done that you will just want to crash on the bed for a bit. They will have used the time you were in the loo to change sheets and bring in your tea and toast and this is when, if you haven't already, they will help you feed baby. After that you will normally be encouraged to hand the baby to your birthing partner etc and have a shower. Then it's normally time to move to the post natal ward.

Hope that is useful. smile

louise182 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:35:37

All really really helpful - thank you !!

ginmakesitallok Wed 18-Dec-13 10:41:54

With dd1 I had a bath when I arrived at hospital, then progressed really quickly, so just wore a hospital gown to give birth in (and only because the nurses shoved one on me, I'd have happily wandered hospital corridors naked at that point). With dd2 I was in leggings and a t shirt until about 15 minutes before I had her, and was lucky to get leggings/knickers off in time....

dats Wed 18-Dec-13 10:42:23

Can I change my mind, please!!!!! fshock


dats 22+1

ginmakesitallok Wed 18-Dec-13 10:44:58

Days, no you can't! But I thought giving birth was fabulous, would do it again in a second (moor for the gas and air than the baby!)

Pinkbell123 Wed 18-Dec-13 10:45:23

Thanks all! One more q (sorry for any thread hijack op). How do you know when to go into hospital? I don't want to be sent home, but don't want to have the baby on the way!!

And when should I call DH back from work, he's a teacher so don't want to call him home if its nothing!

emblosion Wed 18-Dec-13 10:51:49

Hehe ^ all of the above. Fwiw I'm a bit of a prude but once I was in active labour you could have marched a brass band into the room and I would not have given too hoots about whether my pants were on or off.

I was in a hospital gown for my first and normal top/no bottoms for ds2 as he was so quick. I took pjs and a vest top for after.

good luck - you'll be grand!

emblosion Wed 18-Dec-13 10:52:32

two hoots that should be!

emblosion Wed 18-Dec-13 10:55:08

Oh and re hospital, the guidelines we were given were I think when contracting 3 in ten mins or when pain too much to cope with. It differs a bit between hospitals I think but they'll advise you when you call to say you're in labour.

JemR234 Wed 18-Dec-13 11:02:02

I wore leggings and a long vest, hospitals are very warm so I didn't want to be too hot but wanted to be able to wander around without feeling too conspicuous. Whipped off the leggings and put on a nightie once things started ramping up and I knew I wouldn't be leaving the room.

As far as when to go in, I think going when you feel you need something for the pain is more reliable than waiting for your contractions to be 3 mins apart, because it doesn't always work that way. When you phone the midwife will probably want to speak to you during a contraction to assess how you sound, so don't try and be a hero and sound fine! Staying at home as long as possible is definitely advisable - with my first everything stopped as soon as I got to hospital and I'm convinced I would have progressed better if I'd stayed in my own environment.

Geneticsbunny Wed 18-Dec-13 11:02:24

Aw good luck op. I had my 3rd four weeks ago and it was a lovely experience. I wore a vest top, it can be really hot in hospitals and giving birth is pretty hot work. Nightie is a good plan if you want a bit more privacy but as everyone has said you won't care. When I first met my midwife I was bent over a chair with my naked bum pointed at her! Hardly flattering but they have all seen worse i am sure.

lovelilies Wed 18-Dec-13 11:13:34

Thanks for this thread op, this is dc 2 for me but dd was born 8 years ago so I've forgotten everything! And I'm also concerned about flashing the fanjo inappropriately, have got a cheap night shirt from matalan in a big size so can get away with no undercrackers grin

louise182 Wed 18-Dec-13 17:04:40

Thanks again everyone, very useful!!!! I will probably just suffer the ugly oversized nightie i purchased!!
Defo wouldn't have got myself in this situation wearing the bloody thing ha ha!!

summerbaby2014 Wed 18-Dec-13 19:28:37

Jeez. Quite eye opening but very useful!

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 18-Dec-13 19:47:08

All your hospital about when to go in - if I'd waited until I wanted something for the pain both of mine would have been born at home with just DP in attendance.

WeeTeaJenny Wed 18-Dec-13 21:59:39

It totally depends how your labour goes ... I had really quick labours and had went into hospital in leggings and long vest so ended up just delivering in the vest ... plus I got really hot too so I think I would have been too warm with a nighty on ... as a few posters have already said , when you are actually in the midst of labour and mega contractions you probably won't care what body parts are on display , I know I certainly didnt ! I remember asking the midwife to unclip my bra as it was digging in but I never actually got a chance to take it off , so it was kind of hanging loose out of the vest ! It's just anything that makes you feel comfy smile

Afterwards , again it depends on the birth , but with my natural delivery I was up and had a shower within two hours and back home within 6 hours x totally different with my ceaserean though , no shower til next day due to catheter !
I took leggings and loose vest tops for both hospital stays rather than pyjamas as I wanted to look a bit more 'normal' for visitors ( I know , that sounds a bit crazy but that's just me x ) I also took my make up bag too smile

WeeTeaJenny Wed 18-Dec-13 22:12:14

in answer to the question does the midwife help you shower , that's up to you too , they asked me if I wanted a hand , I said no I would be okay and if I needed a hand I would press the button ... it just depends how you are feeling , the girl opposite me in the ward was a little unsteady and took two nurses in the shower room with her , so there is defo help If you need it . They check your first pee , I had to sit on the toilet and pee into a cardboard bed pan .. not sure what that's for though ?? They will also provide you with good thick maternity pads but Always ultra night time towels with wings are great plus much thinner , the hospital ones, although good are very thick x

Shellywelly1973 Wed 18-Dec-13 22:12:54

I've given birth 5 times but never naked. Im deeply private so with the last 2 I gave birth in pools. Much better! I've also had few internals whilst in labour. With dc2 none at all before or after.

With dd2 I used a karge nightie but don't remember t as king my knickers off but obviously must have done!

What happens after depends on how you are. 4 out of my 5 I've been in a shower within an hour or so.

Good luck!

MisguidedHamwidge Thu 19-Dec-13 08:56:37

Just to add, you can still wear baggy PJ bottoms/maternity leggings if you have a catheter in. You just kind of pull the tube up so it comes out the top first - or in the unlikely event that you had to have it in for several days then you get one that can be attached to your leg with a Velcro strap. Nice to have bottoms that cover it then!

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 19-Dec-13 12:22:20

I got in birthing pool naked, then got out as pain got so bad.

When on labour ward I wore the hospital gown with nighty under, no knickers.

I was in so much pain I really didn't care if people were looking at my bits, I became very zoned out and just concentrated on my body and what was happening.

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