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Top tips for labour, birth and looking after your new baby

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A lot of the time when talking to friends new to the world of pregnancy and parenting, I find myself sharing things I wish I'd known beforehand but learnt along the way. So I've decided to share a few of these in the hope that they may help some of you. A lot may seem pretty obvious, or you may already know, but just in case...
 
Morning Sickness - I found the best cure for my morning sickness was to eat. Anything was good, although cereal seemed to help the most!
 
Getting Comfortable - When pregnant, getting comfortable can be difficult. Sleep with a pillow between your knees and under your bump, and sit with a pillow behind your back.
 
Backache - Strangely enough, squeezing my bum cheeks together when standing alleviated the pain! So did putting a pillow behind my back when sitting.
 
Labour - It hurts but its what we were designed to do. Your entire body is designed to get baby out. If it was that bad women wouldn't repeatedly do it. We can cope with it because we are women, simple. Please don't let horror stories scare you.
 
Pushing - When actually pushing baby out, the sting is similar to opening your mouth wide and pulling at the sides. This only lasts a short time though, it passes very quickly. When pushing babies head out, don't push. Pant and let your body do the work. This helps to stretch below so your less likely to tear, or tear badly. Once babies head is out (this is freaky) the head has to turn before the rest of the body comes out. Strange huh! Oh, and when pushing, it feels like baby keeps slipping back up. To some extent it does - its like taking 2 steps forward and 1 back. Once babies head comes out it feels like its gunna go back in. It wont, I promise!
 
Pooing - Alot of women poo during labour. You really won't care and neither will your midwife!
 
Placenta - If you have to push the placenta out you cannot feel yourself pushing! Its really strange.
 
Bleeding - After giving birth you bleed a lot! I was certain I was hemorrhaging when in fact it was entirely normal. I wish I'd known beforehand, to save the panic!
 
Maternity Pads - Don't bother. Night-time pads are much cheaper, and do the same job!
 
Breast Pads - Buy lots, regardless of whether or not you want to breastfeed. You will need them! Leaky boobs are a huge embarrassment in public. However, I'd recommend putting vaseline on your nipples. Sometimes, breast pads stick to your nipples, and pulling them off is downright painful! Vaseline does affect some of the absorbency, but when compared to ripping skin from one of the most sensitive areas on your body, its worth it! If they do get stuck, soak in water before removing. On the plus side, I found a great extra use for breast pads - I'd put one over my sons privates when changing his nappy so if he wee'd it wouldn't get me... :D
 
Breastfeeding - A lot of people get put off breatfeeding because your told it wont hurt unless your doing it wrong. It does hurt, regardless, so stick with it. When feeding on one breast the other doest leak, it pours. Put a tea towel underneath and dont be suprised if it soaks through. Before you begin to feed, make sure you have a drink, the TV remote, your phone and anything else you would need to get up to get beside you. Sods law is the phone will go when you've just sat down! Oh, and remember a hot water bottle! Breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract, causing similar pains to contractions. Hot water bottle helps. So does remembering that breastfeeding helps you to get your figure back!
 
Sleeping - Remember, baby will have to sleep eventually. Repeating this to myself over and over saved my life. If LO wont stop screaming, your tired, and it feels like it never ends then remember, baby will got to sleep eventually, and so can you. Make sure you do sleep when baby sleeps. Scrap all else - sleeping, eating and taking care of baby are all that matters. Housework can wait till your up to it!
 
Holding Baby - When holding baby for long periods (feeding etc) put a pillow on your lap and rest your arm on it. That way, you are still holding baby to you, they way you are meant to bond, but you don't take the full weight. Babies cause pins and needles :(
 
Bed-time Routine - I found having a bed-time routine got my son sleeping through the night. It was simple... bath, bottle, bed. Started so he had his 10pm bottle and for bed then slowly brought it down - at 5 weeks he started sleeping through the night and form 9 weeks it was 8pm-8am every night.
 
Tantrums - Applies more to toddlers and is especially handy in public! When darling LO starts to throw an almighty tantrum, talk calmly and softly to them. 9 times out of 10, curiosity wins out and they shut up to hear what your saying! Staying calm is especially important. Getting agitated and embarrassed will only impact on them, and make it worse.
 
I'm sure I could probably think of lots more, and will add to this if I remember them! If anyone else has any tips please do share them!

comments

(90)

  • Great advice some of it completely new to me :)

    by Fran920 7 December 2012

  • really helpful xx

    by teenmummy2be 4 November 2012

  • Great advice thanks!

    by xHannah18x 30 October 2012

  • Good advice!

    by Medinaax 19 October 2012

  • helpful :)

    by Georgia_xxx 26 September 2012

  • very informative, thankyou bubbalicious :)

    by Summerrain 26 August 2012

  • I think the pillow wen your sitting down is a great idea! It helps alot! xxx

    by rosem94 4 August 2012

  • Some useful tip :) Making me feel more relaxed about labour.. abit :D x

    by KellyEliza 8 July 2012

  • Helped me alot !! Great XD

    by Gem117 4 July 2012

  • great advice xxxx

    by georgieo 31 May 2012

  • Hahaha! This is an awesome blog!!!! Thanks :D xxxx

    by amy22 20 May 2012

  • Very useful, I wish i saw this before i had my baby!

    by Raychel17 8 March 2012

  • Very good advice, I wasnt given any when I was pregnant, my midwife was rubbish and none of my friends had had babies at this point! x

    by Charley_F 5 March 2012

  • Such good advice. I wasn't told anything when I was pregnant with my little boy x

    by MummyOfTwo 7 February 2012

  • These type of advice will help me alot! x

    by LilyMamma12 19 January 2012

  • These type of advice will help me alot! x

    by LilyMamma12 19 January 2012

  • This is so usful....didnt know half of the stuff you've mentioned defo gonna try what you have recommended. thanks xx

    by Holliebea 5 January 2012

  • Found this very useful, will deffo report back to it nearer my due date! The bit you put about labour seems especially useful :D

    by Gemma_ 21 December 2011

  • This is all useful :) may sound weird but I can not wait to go into labour cause I know I will finally be meeting my ittle girl =) x

    by NicoleLepage 15 November 2011

  • all this was very useful and very good on following plans and routines :) x

    by angel123 10 August 2011

  • this was so helpful! thank you so much and also made giggle a little bit! ", I found a great extra use for breast pads - I'd put one over my sons privates when changing his nappy so if he wee'd it wouldn't get me... :D" haha thought that was funny and clever!

    by JLFx3 31 July 2011

  • useful :) x

    by kayley-ray 20 July 2011

  • These are helpful tips (: thanks x

    by bbydollfifi 13 June 2011

  • As of mom of 2 already with another on the way, I think your advice list is amazing. :) Especially the advice about sleeping when baby sleeps. I didn't when my son was born, but learned my lesson by the time my daughter came around.

    by makexaxwish 6 June 2011

  • I feel better reading some of that :) xx

    by Jade_x 5 June 2011

  • Great advice really helpful thanks (: x

    by bbydollfifi 28 April 2011

  • loved reading this soo helpful

    by Char_x 19 February 2011

  • fantastic advice! thanks! xx

    by xxSarahJanex 18 February 2011

  • great advice

    by Shants 25 January 2011

  • this is very helpful

    by nicki 15 December 2010

  • One thing I never knew was that breast feeding helps get your figure back!! I shall bear that in mind when my LO arrives. Thanks for all the great tips :) xxx

    by mummy-devey 9 September 2010

  • good adviceeee :)

    by ChanTella 9 September 2010

  • VERY Helpful (:

    by Stacey_Jayne 19 August 2010

  • found this really helpful :) thank u xx

    by x-hannah-x 17 August 2010

  • that info was so helpful! thank you ! :) xxx

    by lauralicious 16 August 2010

  • good advice! :) thanks

    by zoey12 13 August 2010

  • good info, thanks for the advice :)

    by GeorginaA 4 August 2010

  • this info has helped me loads thankyou xx

    by mum2bemma 4 August 2010

  • thanks for the advice x

    by Lisa-x 18 June 2010

  • I had extremely bad backache but i never knew that doing that would help

    by katheriiine 17 June 2010

  • Gr8 info alot of stuff people wud not even think of! Xxx

    by Laura-Jade 11 June 2010

  • Thanksss ! xx

    by xlove_mex 9 June 2010

  • Ye I definitely agree with getting as much rest as you can while baby sleeps, forget about the washing, the dishes and the tidying it can all wait, I had an emergency c-section with my LO so I could not move properly for the first 2 weeks anyway so I guess I had an excuse but if you have a normal birth you still need to give yourself plenty of time to rest and heal. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    by Yummimummi 8 June 2010

  • very useful thanks x

    by jay-17 7 June 2010

  • Great list! I agree though, a lot of things written nobody ever told me! Def think more should be done to make mums-to-be more aware of the changes they will go through throughout pregnancy! xx

    by KellyJ 7 June 2010

  • This was really useful thanks!

    by 6 June 2010

  • great list

  • thanks this has helped alot..also my partner found it useful x

    by LiilMumma 5 June 2010

  • great info on here xx

    by Lexies_mummy 1 June 2010

  • could have used some of this 9 months ago xx

    by SkyesMummy 26 May 2010

  • if only i new all that when i went straigh into labour.. i never talked about ANY of that!

    by BabyChandler 20 May 2010

  • i'm not pregnant anymore but if i would have had that advice i would've deffinately been more prepared, and probably been a little less scared, even though i found it to be a really scary yet amazing feeling x

  • this helped a lot thanks xxx

    by LoveMyLottie 16 May 2010

  • Thank you for all your lovely comments :D xxx

    by 14 May 2010

  • Thanks for the advice :) I shall follow some when I get my princess home =]

    by Kirshti 13 May 2010

  • Thanks for the advice :) I shall follow some when I get my princess home =]

    by Kirshti 13 May 2010

  • that helped me thanks

    by jay-17 11 May 2010

  • thanks that helped alot, and about the pineapple i ate it from day1 and still do x

    by sade_b 5 May 2010

  • This Helps Alot

    by saramoss 25 April 2010

  • thats all really helped me thanks

    by zazziiboo 22 April 2010

  • i was just really tired when i was pregnant towards the end one min i cud be sitting there talking next minute id be outters

    by XkirstyX 17 April 2010

  • i found a lot of this helpful even though ive had my daughter i know it will help with bumpy! the cereal really helped me too :)

    by KeeKee 16 April 2010

  • Go in with an open mind :) Thats all i have to say

    by DarceyMyLove 16 April 2010

  • i had a epidural with my boi and forceps and a vacum i wud so have it again it was no pain what so ever it does hurt afterwards but i think every birth does i was breastfeading but gave it up scared i wasent giveing the baby enough milk but wudnt change my birth what so ever love kirsty

    by XkirstyX 14 April 2010

  • even though i've already got a 2 year old, this is really helpful for my little boy i'm pregnant with at the moment! thanks

    by rosiealford 13 April 2010

  • sleeping helps me alot :)

    by mummygemmerx 10 April 2010

  • @sassy_1992 - Just so you dont confuse anyone, thats not the only reason for a c-section. @KittyBoo - Strangely enough I was with a friend of mine and her 2 day old baby 2day :D and we were discussing that! I didnt have an awful lot of visitors so its hard for me to remember but she was saying it's when it really hits home that you have a baby. She said when her partner popped to Tescos and she had no visitors she was like 'Sh!t sh!t sh!t'... It was scary! Its a bit overwhelming and it'll take you a few days to a week to get used to it, but it'll take alot longer than that till your mind stops thinking ur babysitting and someone will be back to take your baby.... lol xxxx

    by 3 April 2010

  • I haven't had baby yet so this might sound stupid - but when you get home with baby, and your visitors have gone - how do you feel? Like reference baby not being there one minute and then no bump and baby being there? xx

    by KittyBoo 2 April 2010

  • Well i had an emergency C section, for those who don't know what this is its where u don't dilate much further so they take you down to theartre to get cut open lol you dont feel anything you are too out of this world up on cloud nine as some of you may say lol soo before u know it ur in nd out lol with ur new baby. just try resting if you have one of these get the men to do it all lol because ur cnt walk about for 6 weeks.

    by Sassy_1992 2 April 2010

  • Lol I actually ment ** the ickle things that come with pregnancy not labour but yes insomniaaaa! grrrr it dont half make me angry lol.. But yes @Ryansmummyuk Im with you on that one.. I silence everything just cos I know if im woken then I'll be dead annoyed whoever it is will know about it lol

    by alisha-x 2 April 2010

  • @Kerry and @LittleMumma - Must admit I thought that 2 when I read it. Mind u, I was never told I couldnt eat it during pregnancy and I read every pregnancy related thing possible, and my mums a midwife so at 9 I could tell you the 3 stages of labour! Strange... totally agree though, when also reading some of the other posts on here, I think all health proffesionals need to sort it out as some seem to be giving very dangerous advice!!! xxx

    by 2 April 2010

  • @LittleMumma- Omg! i dnt no that! I was told about it to bring on labour but dnt mo it could cause misscarriage!!! I was told this by another mum who told me that her doctor advised it as she suffered badly with morning sickness, i dit get a bit confused wen she told me as i new it would bring on labour! Sometimes i really wish health proffessionals would all sit down together or get their training udated all the time so that they all no the same things an not all recommend different things! xx

    by kerry 2 April 2010

  • @kerry I was told you shouldn't eat pineapple until the end of your pregnancy when you're trying to start your labour off as it can induce a natural miscarriage/abortion. Rather disturbing but thats what my midi said. If you do at pineapple then make sure it's small amounts. I even googled it and loads of pages about natural miscarriage/abortion came up...scary huh, that a fruit could do this, something we are told is good for us! x

    by LittleMumma 2 April 2010

  • @ryansmummy uk I was totally same with sleep - usually really sensitive and light sleeper but during first and third trimester I could sleep through anything and anywhen - day or night! Love it guess I'm just gonna make the most of it while I can! I'm virtually nocturnal as my partner does nights so I stay up and do the housework! xx

    by KittyBoo 1 April 2010

  • i agree to littleMumma yeah i dont get much sleep but when my baby falls aleep i try and take a nap it may not be much sleep but it does help x

    by hannahbabes 1 April 2010

  • @Kerry - Pineapple... thats kinda disturbing lol! I couldnt stand ginger in early pregnancy, made me feel really sick! @alisha-x I was the same, insomnia during my pregnancy and before I had Ryan Id have never been able to sleep during the day, but suddenly I could! It was great. I recommend turning ur doorbell off if you can though lol and your phone, sods law is someone always comes round/calls just as you've drifted off!!! xxx

    by 1 April 2010

  • I can FINALLY read this one :) im dead happy that I can, as its a good'n.. I deffo agree with the sleeping one, I shall be doing that most definately. Im a big fan ov my sleep! im not happy that atm I seem to be suffering with insomniaaa I can only sleep for a couple hours now, which is aload of poo :( I spend so much ov my time lying there, trying to get comfy with half a dozen pillows being knocked about then I need the loo.. Ahh the lovely ickle things that come along with labour lol.

    by alisha-x 1 April 2010

  • very handy tips, i especially like the one bout using breastpads to stop LO from weeing on you! lol! I found that eating a ginger biscuit as soon as i got up helped the sickey feeling to go away.... tbh tho i dnt really suffer that much with morning sickness. Apparently pineapple is a good one for thos who suffer badly with morning sickness, as it tastes the same coming up as it did going down! lol! thats a true one i dnt make that up! x

    by kerry 31 March 2010

  • Haha @KittyBoo !!!! Honestly tho, that feels stingy now, but when you've just been in labour for god knows how many hours its nothing!!!! xxxx

    by 30 March 2010

  • Thank you - very helpful! Made me laugh about the poo bit! And you had me and my partner opening our mothes and pulling at the sides!! xxx

    by KittyBoo 29 March 2010

  • @Shshsh your welcome :D xxx

    by 29 March 2010

  • Brilliant list, thank you!! :)

    by shshsh 29 March 2010

  • *Tip, not time! Talk about baby brain, always doing stuff like that! x

    by 29 March 2010

  • Got another tip - Due Date - Dont mentally prepare yourself for baby to come on your due date. Expect baby to come at 42 weeks not 40. That way, you wont be dissapointed :D xxx

    by 29 March 2010

  • Got another time - Due Date - Dont mentally prepare yourself for baby to come on your due date. Expect baby to come at 42 weeks not 40. That way, you wont be dissapointed :D xxx

    by 29 March 2010

  • Lol @LittleMumma just realised only some of the blogs are now working for me! Thinks theres 4/5 more after breastfeeding lol xxx @Bubbalicious - I was wrong, they r still playing up :( xxx

    by 29 March 2010

  • @ryansmummyuk Apparently my blogs weren't working as well as i thought they were bcause before i didn't see anything after breastfeeding!!!! sorry about that! xx

    by LittleMumma 29 March 2010

  • @LittleMumma - did mention sleeping when baby does, under 'Sleeping' lol. Extremely important, so many new mums dont but you really need to! xxx

    by 29 March 2010

  • I don't know if its just me..but I found when pushing it didn't sting at all. Just a lot of pressure. I think I blocked out the pain because I was so knackered! Its the contractions that hurt most for me. But yeah..for morning sickness I had cereal but with no milk! And lots of crackers or bread. :-) Grace, xox

    by Grace-xo 26 March 2010

  • Good idea babe, these are some very "minor" yet missable things that I'm sure will be very helpful. Only thing I would add is sleep whenever your baby does, everything else can wait. Your body needs the resting time to heal! xxx

    by LittleMumma 25 March 2010