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