Any tips you can supply before giving birth or during pregnancy?

Joyce - posted on 06/06/2012 ( 135 moms have responded )

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List of things that should not be forgotten before giving birth like what to carry in the hospital, what to buy, baby stuffs, how to keep calm, what to eat (if theres any), what to wear, what to do, etc etc.
*this is for newly moms like me.

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Gemma - posted on 06/12/2012

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Never forget your vitamins or nutritional supplements. A healthy pregnancy & delivery & a healthy baby is more important than any other consideration. Then, trust GOD. He gave the gift of Motherhood to you. It's the most beautiful gift of all.

Orla - posted on 06/12/2012

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Also good to remember is only use water wipes
Or cotton wool with water to clean baby's bum. Once you
Start off well you will not have any problems with
Nappy rash or anything like that.
I also only used natural non fragranced products
On my skin for the first few weeks as baby doesn't
Like all these new smells!
Bring arnica tablets - helps with healing.
Best of luck and trust your instincts about breastfeeding etc.
Its a wonderful time - enjoy!

Kylie - posted on 06/10/2012

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I got this advice from a lady I knew who'd had 16 kids......WALK DURING YOUR LABOUR.
I have had 8 babies myself and this was the best advice I was given. Being upright and moving means the baby's weight is pushing down on the cervix and labor progresses faster. Walk around for as long as you can, in later stage, usually once you lay down, you won't feel like getting up again, so keep going if you can.

Katy - posted on 06/10/2012

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Not sure if someone said this or not but I ended up having my husband bring some jammies for my son to wear. By the 3rd day we were there they said we could put him in easy access clothes.

Lisa - posted on 06/10/2012

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Best advice I have ever received was to gauge the situation by the baby's reaction....in other words, when you are panicked about somthing that seems emergent, but your baby is alert and happy (normal), then everything is probably fine!

Oh and if it is an emergency, don't drive your baby to the hospital, call the paramedics!

Susan - posted on 06/10/2012

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This may not apply to you, but: I'm diabetic. I grabbed my meter, short-term insulin and needles, forgot my long-term insulin. As we were adjusting insulin levels post-partum, I was able to do so with my meals and just tell the nurses how much I took so they could note my blood sugar level before meal, how much insulin I took and what my blood sugar level was two hours after eating. They supplied my long-term insulin (taken once a day, usually at bedtime). I should have taken my own with me or asked my husband to bring it to me. Anytime I needed to adjust the level, they had to call my MD, who had to approve it, then they had to order the new amount from the hospital pharmacy. The pharmacy didn't send them a bottle of insulin and syringes - they sent a preloaded syringe with exactly the amount ordered.

I talked to my endocrinologist a few weeks after I got out the hospital. She told me to always take my own medications to ensure I could take care of myself and just do as I did - advise staff of my sugar levels and how much insulin I took.

Yesenia - posted on 06/10/2012

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BREATHE when the contractions come!! Try to bring something to keep you busy during pre-labor like ipod,radio,book.. Pack some outfits for your baby like Onesies,Pants,Socks,Mittens,Hats i took 10 and she was left with 2 lol..Bring a Take A Home Outfit . Bring for yourself a comfortable outfit to be in and head home in after the baby is born..Shampoo,toothbrush,toothpaste,brush,and etc..Pack some Snackes for after the birth because you will be hungry lol and a camera.. Hope this helps!!! I just did this a week ago lol

Susan - posted on 06/10/2012

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Bring snacks but I disagree with Wendy. It's probably OK to have a light snack but the reason you can't eat while in labor is that in the unlikely event that you or baby goes into distress and they have to put you under, you can asphyxiate. Once you deliver and they finish all the clean up (which can take 45mins to an hour depending on stitching required) then you can eat. Bring plenty of snacks in case it's the middle of the night and the cafeteria is closed.

If you want to pack light, the hospitals shampoo/soap is fine but bring deodorant. You can also just wear the gowns so you don't need pajamas. The nurses will be checking you frequently to make sure everything looks OK anyway so whatever you have on needs to have easy access. No, there is no shame left after having a baby! My hospital also had a hair dryer so I didn't even need that. Definitely go on a tour. I almost forgot, a lot of people mentioned the heavy flow pads but also have Tucks pads at home. You can get a big container of them cheapest at a place like Walmart or Target. They really help cool you down there is you had an episiotomy and/or tearing. I had both.

At home, have clothes at go on/off baby easily. I loved the side snap shirts because we didn't have to squeeze them over baby's head. I always used baby nail files instead of clippers for the first several months to a year as well as it's easy to cut a baby's fingers. Make sure you have diapers, wipes, and a for baby to sleep safely. Bassinets are wonderful so baby can be in the room with you.

I understand if you dont want an epi. I had my first with it and my 2nd was all natural but not by choice. He just came too fast. I also do not recommend the alternative drugs to an epi as they generally just make you feel out of it and groggy but don't help the pain that much. I have heard great things about the use of gas in delivery though.

Good luck!

Megan - posted on 06/10/2012

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All hospitals usually carry everything you need as far as a tooth, brush, soap, diapers, wipes,breast pads, pacifiers etc I have two kids and I had them in two different hospitals. I would make sure you bring a comfy outfit to go home in. Some moms dress while still staying in the hospital but I would not suggest it considering it is easier for the nurses to make sure everything to going back to normal down there. Some hospitals do not suggest dressing the baby while they are still in the hospital either so a nice cute outfit and blanket to bring the baby home in. If you are breast feeding, might be wise to bring a nursing pillow to get used to it if you are using one. Also do not forget a camera, this moment is going to be a moment you will never want to forget, except the pain of course. The hospital usually gives you ice pops while you are there because you would not want to eat anything heavy but if you are getting any pain medication I would suggest eating anything after getting the medication even an ice pop if you do not want to get sick while pushing. You are going to get very annoyed with some people while in labor this is normal and pretty sure no one is going to take offense to it. The only person I would allow near me is my mother. I would bring games, books anything to keep your mind distracted from the pain. Hope this helped and good luck!!

Margarita - posted on 06/09/2012

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I'm back =)

I agree on the organic products for baby and on stretching before birth. Keggels help a lot, as does exercising like you used to (just don't overdo it, but stay active).

The other thing I just thought of is that this is the perfect time to start interviewing pediatricians. You can start by asking any friends and relatives who live nearby, and if you don't have any or want a bigger pool, check your insurance company website to see who the nearest peds are. Some schedule pre-natal visits with several weeks notice, though some will do it with less. Some (but it is rare) will charge for the visit since you're technically not a patient (your baby will be after birth), but will usually discount it from future co-pays. I interviewed 4, but you can see as few or as many as you wish. Most practices will have quite a few doctors so they can take turns being on call for emergencies, but you can usually gauge what the practice is like from the doc you meet and the office staff who you will definitely get to know! Depending on where you live, you will probably need to take baby in about 3 or 4 days after birth for their first check-up, and you certainly don't want to be hunting for a ped while you are recovering from labor or a c-section.

Take care =)

Siobhan - posted on 06/09/2012

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The number one item I would recommend is Arnica in the strength 200c. This is a homeopathic remedy that you start taking after baby is born. It helps to speed up healing on the inside and reduces swelling and bruising. You may need to go to a homeopath or if you can't, I got mine from Helios online (I actually got a whole pregnancy/labour/afterbirth kit). I would advise talking to a homeopath about how to take it correctly so it works for you but it doesn't harm or affect you/baby/other meds (although food, drink and meds affect homeopathic stuff so you need to know when to take it). When I had my 2nd child I took it every time I felt pain, which was as much as every 20 mins at first but my pain went away sooooo much faster than with my first that I was forgetting to take them by the 3rd day (this was because the pain was so much less). I tell every pregnant friend/relative/stranger who'll listen about arnica :) you can use it in everyday life too but don't usually need the 200c strength. I think you can get 6c and 30c in most pharmacies but the 200c is necessary for after pregnancy. Also if I remember correctly don't start taking it before the birth. I really would advise researching this and talking to a homeopath if you can

Doreen - posted on 06/09/2012

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I have read about the teeth happening at birth. Sometimes they are pulled promptly. I think it makes breast feeding more comfortable for the mom it the teeth are not there in the beginning.

Kumiko - posted on 06/09/2012

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Tell your partner to wear a shirt he won't mind seeing in the photos. If you will be on a shared ward at any time during labour, bring an eyemask and ear plugs.

Linda - posted on 06/08/2012

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All the above advice is good. I read many of them. I am not sure if they added a hairdryer and some makeup if you wear this, vanity I know but it often makes, you feel perkier!

To do during the pregnancy, as well as birthing classes, either ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association) or something similiar if in another country or Lactation Consultant to do a few breastffeeding classes, as once you have birthed it is all about the feeding. Babies have very small stomachs, so often need feeding frequently. It is normal for babies to feed up to 8 - 12 feeds in a 24 hour period and feeds may last up to one hour. So some previous practice and advice, education about latching baby with a professional can be invaluable as after the birth it is all go. The nurses at the hospital are often very busy!

Also get used to stretching on a fit ball (safely) as this may help considerably with labour and dilation of the cervix, stay as upright during labour as is safe and practicable to use gravity to assist with labour

Enjoy your little one when the day finally comes around!!!!!

Annie - posted on 06/08/2012

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If ur planning on breastfeeding, asleep someone to bring something stodgy + sweet. My sister brought me honey cake ~ it was exactly what I needed! Also get some nipple sheilds in case it hurts to feed initially, I assumed id take to it like a pro, but it was quite painful for the 1st 2 weeks & finding somewhere that sold them was a real mission just a couple of days after birth. If u don't have to use them, then great; if u do, u'll be pleased u have them!!!

Ki - posted on 06/08/2012

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The only tip i have is trust yourself, we all started somewhere, you have to crawl before you can walk.Read a book as suggestive information only, everything does not work for everyone.Relax, enjoy your prgnancy and pray for a healthy baby.

Frené - posted on 06/08/2012

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Hi Joyce, congratulations on your pregnancy!

As you know, all pregnancies, all labours, all births and all hospitals are different.

You have been given some very good advice, and it is for you and your husband to decide what advice to take at heart and what not.

I would like to reiterate the fact that you must check with your hospital what to bring and their hospital rules and regulations, as I gave birth in the UK and absolutely NOTHING was provided. We were even told to contact the hospital when I go into labour as it is a new hospital and they might not even have a mattress, pillows, linen. I had monthly check-ups with my mid-wife/ves and we attended a pregnancy/labour/birth course where we were also provided with items to take with and suggestions of what to do/eat/drink/excercises, etc. This, together with info I got from my sister, whom at the tme had a 3 year old and a 4 month old, and from the info we got form reading, watching videos, etc, we drew up a list of items to take. However, a few hours after birth I pushed my son in to NICU where he spent 7 days, and immediately the hospital provided everything for him, clothing, nappies, blankets and I was given a private room. They also supplied me with bottles and the hospital's pump to pump milk and have it frozen in their fridge. I could not breast feed for the first couple of days as he was connected to so many machines and put in an incubator I could only for very short periods touch him through the holes. He was given bottle milk as he had not fed since birth for a couple of hours and then fed intraveniously. They even supplied me and my husband with food, paid for his parking and refunded the parking he paid on the night of delivery! I visited my son every 2 hours, and in-between pumped my milk for when he was taken off the ID, so yes, I was exhausted but at the same time thrilled!

My midwife said I won't be able to eat during labour and suggested that I take some barley water. We had a stretched out dinner whereby I ate a good deal the night I went in to labour, so by 12h40 when it started, I was not hungry, but exhausted as I'd only gotton in to bed 15 minutes prior. I refused to have an epidural and any form of meds, and wrote in my birth plan that I wanted a general aneasthetic should they need to do a c-section. I requested a birth tub but by the time I got to the hospital I opted to use the TENS machine I had ordered privately for labour pains - this had worked wonderfully! I also didn't lie on a bed or was strapped to a chair, but was hanging from the side of the bed on my arms, thereby gravity assisted with the birth. I had no tears, no stitches, and there was hardly a mess as the midwife had put some brown plastic/paper on the floor which she replaced very regularly, and even after my bowel movement, I didn't see the mess. I was adamant that I wasn't going to scream or shout or make a noise, so I just bit on the towel I brought with over my wet hair (couldn't leave the house without having my hair washed first!!!). After the birth my son and I got into the birth tub and spent some wonderful time bonding. I was just me, my husband and the midwife in the room and the curtains were drawn and lights dimmed - I could only hear the birds, no other noise, so that calmed me a lot as well! I had discussed my birth plan with all my midwives at the clinic, and handed it to her when we entered the room, so she knew what we wanted and did it accordingly, so again I was calm and I never took anything to calm me. Around 6h30 the midwife opened the curtains and shortly after the sun starting rising and as the first light broke through the London clouds, my son was born at 6H55 - how special! Also, in hind-sight, I recall how calm I had become during the day, which was also noted by some of the people at dinner and I guess that was a natural calming down to ease with the birth. English is not my first language and I was scared I might not remember how to speak during labour, and also the only midwife I didn't understand so well because of her lisp and foreign accent, ended up delivering my baby and I couldn't have asked for a better midwife!

We hardly used any of the items taken to hospital due to our circumstances, but had it have been different, I probably would have used most if not all of it! Due to our lengthy stay, my husband did have to bring me clean pj's and underwear, though!

We went home after 8 days and it was wonderful to have my mom there whom had flown out for the birth and the much needed help and advice. We had planned to relocate and the move was scheduled for the day I went in to labour (murphy's law), so by the time we got home, my house was unpacked and I felt very special, brand new mom, brand new home! Due to the move, I could not do frozen dishes, but fortunately mom was there and did a lot of cooking that we froze and hubby loves cooking, but we also entertained a lot, so daily walks to the shops was the norm. I breastfed for 15 months, never had sore nipples, cracked nipples, or cleaned in any special way, my son also never got thrush. Oh, and I also didn't get any stretchmarks, even though I didn't use any special creams.

Ito baby products, clothing etc, you might want to look in to organic items as it contains no chemicals or anything harmful to be absorbed through the skin. You get disposable diapers that does not contain plastic and is also bio-degradable, so not only is it good for baby, it's good for the environment as well. You also get cloth nappies made from bamboo, organic cotton, corn starch, etc. My son didn't get nappy rash, not even while teething.

I did not change my eating habits or got cravings during pregnacy, but even before I did the pregnancy test, I had lost my appetite for alcohol. Breastfeeding assisted me in regaining my body back and I also walked where ever I could, I even lost more weight than what I had put on!

All in all, the birth went way much better than I thought it could/would be and afterwards I realised that I worried / was concerned way too much...but that's me.

Wish you all the best during the rest of your pregnancy, labour and birth and may your child bring you the most blessings and love for years to come!

Christina - posted on 06/08/2012

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I've never in my life heard of anyone cleaning their nipples with alcohol before breastfeeding! When my daughter was born, I nursed her right away and continued nursing for just over a year. Before and after she was born, I read dozens of books about breastfeeding, and after she was born I worked with a lactation consultant. I also read numerous online boards about the topic, and not once did I ever hear anyone mention cleaning the nipples beforehand! In the year that I breastfed, I never cleaned my nipples beforehand, and I never had a single problem.....neither did my daughter! I would definitely consult a lactation consultant before doing such a thing, as I would be concerned that using alcohol on your nipples could dry them out, leading to painful breastfeeding as well as a breast infection.

Margarita - posted on 06/08/2012

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Hello again=)

I realized I forgot to mention to bring reading material for the actual stay, in case you can't sleep once you've put baby bed. If you're into scrap booking or keep a diary, you may want to bring some paper to write or your diary. It won't be long before the whole thing becomes a blur, so it will be good to write the details down for yourself and perhaps for baby if he/she asks one day. My mother's story of my birth has changed immensely over the years, which may or may not matter, but for some it does.

Odd thing we discovered at our hospital is that there is such a thing as dry baby wipes. Our hospital prefers them to the kind you usually buy in the store. Hubby and I were very confused when it came time to change her diaper and all we could find were the dry ones and didn't think that we should be using the alcohol pads. Anywhoo, if you end up getting that kind, all you have to do is wet them with the water from the sink, tepid to warm, not hot or ice cold.

There's been a whole different thread on breastfeeding and the subject of cleaning your nipples before breastfeeding. I know at one point cleaning them with alcohol was recommended to prevent thrush, but the current recommendation is leaving them alone to prevent them from drying and cracking. Don't use soap on them in the shower, and use a little lanolin nipple cream if they start feeling dry. If you are allergic to lanolin, you can look for alternatives, I think there are one or two out there that are lanolin free. To prevent thrush, you need to keep them dry. If you use cloth breast pads, change them as soon as you leak and change your bra as well. Pat them with a clean burp cloth or let them air dry after nursing before you hook your bra cup back. If you use breast shells, keep a close eye on them and empty them as you may leak into them and will want to empty them ASAP. That should prevent thrush. You can always talk to a lactation consultant for more info on the subject. Take care, and again, congrats.

Rosaline - posted on 06/08/2012

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The easiest way to pack mindfully is to lay out all of the items you think baby will need on your bed, and take a good, hard look at how much you're packing. Are there items that seem extra or unnecessary? If you really want to be sure, invite a friend over to take a look, then toss aside any items beyond the bare minimum: clothes, diapers, and nail scissors.

Clothes

Pack at least two gowns that are open at the bottom or that have a pull string, as well as one going-home outfit. By now, you should have lots to choose from. Decide what you want to dress the baby in for its first pictures, since Dad will probably take several shots of you leaving the hospital. Bring a light or heavy blanket, depending on the climate or the time of year.

Finally, if it's winter and you live in a cold climate, pack a snowsuit. The hospital may give you a cap for baby, but pack one anyway because your newborn's head needs to be covered when you walk out the door, no matter what season it is.

Diapers

If you are planning to shy away from disposables, bring four or five cloth diapers, and be sure to include a waterproof diaper cover to catch any diaper leakage. The hospital will provide all the disposable diapers you will need.

I hope this is of help Joyce.
www.mumsforum.eu

Diana - posted on 06/07/2012

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I was not too far into labor and terribly constipated when my water broke. So then I had to have an enema. Bare feet on cold bathroom floor, nothing to read. So bring slippers and a book! And your glasses if you need them, and your favorite lip stuff. Good luck, Mama!

Leslie - posted on 06/07/2012

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Dear Joyce,
Your questions bring back such memories! Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I applaud your willingness to face your anxieties and ask questions. Being prepared is half the battle. I have had 4 sons; labor was so much work, and was like having really bad cramps. But your body is meant for this process, and you can be confident that you can do this. You will find that the nurses in labor and delivery are positive, encouraging, and lots of help. Everyone wants your baby to be born healthy and well, and they will help you and your husband through labor and delivery. Everyone ahead of me has given you good lists for what you and the baby need.

Walk daily, eat healthfully, drink water, milk and fruit juices. Sleep well, and enjoy the little things now that help you feel calm, confident and relaxed. Freezing food ahead and keeping up with household stuff helps. Rest when you need to, and enjoy as much time with your husband as you can. You are doing this together, and time spent together now will be a good memory to have when the baby comes and you are both busy taking care of his needs.

Friends and family will offer help; accept it! Let them bring a meal, run errands, fold clean clothes, run the vacuum. For me this was very difficult, but tFallry to do it. That will allow you and your husband to not be overly tired, and spend extra time with the baby, and each other.

May God bless you and your family. This special time goes so quickly.

Pamela - posted on 06/07/2012

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You didn't say if you will be at a hospital or home. But from your question I guess you are going to a hospital. for the hospital, your own personal hygiene items (soap, night wear, tooth brush, comb, brush, etc,) Everything else will be provided.

For home, if you are breastfeeding, please get two glass jars with glass lids that have the rubber seal. Fill them with 100% cotton (not polyester) balls. In one cover the balls with alcohol. In the other cover the balls with FILTERED water. When you breast feed, cleanse each nipple (right before use) with the alcohol swab and then the water swab to remove the alcohol taste. This will prevent thrush, which the baby would get on it's tongue rom unclean nipples!

As far as clothes for the baby....no toys etc. in the hospital....newborns mostly sleep for the first 3 days.....and then some!

The highest and best to you and your family!

Joyce - posted on 06/07/2012

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ooohh, like, the moment I was out the womb, i had them.. yes, they were rooted. but they fell off when i was 6 or 7. when I started to lose my baby teeth.

Amidy - posted on 06/07/2012

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They are called milk teeth and nothing to worry about. They can be caused by lots of calcium. You just need to have they dentist check if they are rooted or not. If they are not rooted then they can fall out and become a choking hazard.

Susan - posted on 06/07/2012

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I want to second Christina's suggestion about the flip flops. I was barely able to stuff my feet in to my shoes the day we went to the hospital. I had a collapsed lung during my c-section and ended up on saline IVs twice a day for 5 days with antibiotics in them. If I thought my feet were swollen before, I was amazed at how big they got after all that saline solution! I left the hospital in my slippers.

BTW, if no one has mentioned it (I haven't read the whole thread through), you pee and sweat a lot in the days and weeks after birth. I was thankful I bought slippers that could go in the washer, because they smelled pretty bad by the time I got out of the hospital. I washed them, stuffed them with crumpled paper towels, and left them in the sun to dry. They were nice and clean after that.

Joyce - posted on 06/07/2012

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THANK YOU MOMS!
I always read your posts, like everyday, so I don't forget things. LOL! And this encourages me a lot, especially right now, im getting anxieties. KEEP ON POSTING. Anyone who would like to share experiences or give more tips, YOU ARE WELCOME! PLEASE POST IT.

Let me have a little detour on the topic... I just wanna ask:

When I was born, I already have 2 teeth. The doctors and nurses were amazed. What's the explanation behind that? Too much calcium?

Christina - posted on 06/07/2012

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I would recommend cheap underwear in a size smaller than what you were wearing right before you gave birth, and flip flops! I always bring flip flops whenever I go anywhere for the night, so I was lucky that I had them because after I gave birth, my feet swelled so much that I couldn't fit them into my sneakers! I wore the flip flops home in the beginning of January but at least I had something to put on my feet! Good luck!

P.S. Don't stress too much about epidural or no epidural. I had one and it was amazing, and I don't regret it for a minute. When the time comes, you'll make the right decision for you and your child. It may not be what you thought you would do, but it'll be fine either way!

Megan - posted on 06/07/2012

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I was always worried that if I had to have an emergency c-section it would take to long to get an epidural but as I found out with my last baby they can putt you to sleep really fast. I have had three kids one with an epidural, one without, and one emergency. In all three I ended up witb a healthy baby. Do what you are comfortable with. If you want to try without meds go for it. You can always change your mind during labor. Every pregnancy is different and every labor is different. You can also tell the anesthesiologist how much you want to feel. They don't have to make you so numb that you can't move your legs but they can if you need to rest. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctors. Oh yea bring food for your hubby. He will be there for a while.

Summer - posted on 06/07/2012

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I was on my own by the time I had my son, though I told his dad he could be there for the birth as it was his child too, so planning, packing etc was all on me n there probably would not be anyone to run out n get anything I forgot! What to take depends on several things, the main thing being are you coming home again that day or Will you have to stay in for a couple of days, and you may not know this until after the birth. I went in on Thursday night to be induced as I was 11 days overdue at that point and though I had my son at midday on the Friday, we didn't go home again until Monday afternoon as my son got a little jaundice.
Things I took included twice the amount of underwear I thought I would need, lots of socks, pads for in your bra, as well as the obvious other type of pads, cos when your milk comes in you can start leaking a little (or a lot like a friend of mine). A book and a couple of magazines, those because sometimes its hard to concentrate on a book when there are lots of things going on around you, nurses poping in to take your blood pressure, contractions, another laboring woman screaming her head off down the corridor (always the quiet ones!), magazine articles are nice n short. Plenty of snacks as labour doesn't run to anyone's timetable, but hospital canteens do, and change for vending machines. Good snacks to have are dried and fresh fruit, breakfast cereal bars, crisps if you like them (though avoid salty ones), sports drinks (still ones, not the time for trapped gas cos of sparkling drinks!), that kind of thing. a comfortable going home outfit. one thing to think about, as well as packing a baby bag, nappies, formula if you plan to use it, baby's clothes, etc, and your bag, is maybe an extra bag with more clothes and supplies should you have to stay in longer you won't need to send someone with a list, you can just get them to pick up your extra bag.

after the birth grab the chance for any rest you can get, if someone offers to change a happy or make you a cuppa, take them up on it! Don't be shy about asking for things you need, your friends and family are there to help!! I wish you lots of luck!

[deleted account]

#1Take childbirth classes ( learn all you can before hand)
#2 Hire a Doula (whether you you give birth home, hospital or birthing center and not matter or who will be with you, you will benefit immensely from a doula)
#3. Repeat one and two and it will cover all your questions, help calm your nerves and have a better birthing experience all around!
#4 keep the number of people at your birth down to only those you need for emotional and physical support. Remember this is YOUR birth, YOUR body YOUR baby. Save a family festival and celebration for later, DURING labor and birth you women tend to do better in a smaller setting to get into what we loving call "Laborland" a place most women can get to in the right setting, with few interruptions and folks who are respectful and understand the birth process, rather than make your birth about their experiences. I will save the rest for your childbirth classes and doula to help you understand! You can thank me later for tips 1 and 2 ( must do both for optinum results.


And TRUST your body! your body grew this baby and will birth this baby just fine! Be Well!

Susan - posted on 06/07/2012

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I had one child in one hospital, the second one in another hospital due to moving to a different state. Different hospitals, even within a city, will provide different things. If you haven't done a tour of the maternity ward, you might want to call and ask what they provide.

I packed, based on the lists I was given by the hospital, the books, and my friends. I ended up using almost none of it. Neither hospital provided toiletries, so I brought my own, including springing for a nice bar of soap each time to give myself a little pick-me-up. My girls were born 7 years apart, so I bought nice, new slippers each time.

Essentials for me - we won't be doing it again, but if we did: nightie and robe, my pillow (in a brightly colored/patterned pillow case), a baby pillow/boppy/newborn nest, a blanket for baby (for in the car on the way home), a coming home outfit for the baby, baby nail clippers, camera, cloth pads, and extra undies for me. I found having my own pillow comforting.

I hated the feel of the net undies - couldn't stand them. I use cloth pads for my period. I used the hospital-supplied disposable pads and got a rash, possibly due to something in them that I have a contact allergy to? I actually started using cloth pads because I was getting rashes and infections despite changing tampons and pads frequently, so with each birth I had a quick and very uncomfortable reminder of why I stopped using the disposable items in the first place. BTW - I've had two c-sections, one vertical and one horizontal. The big "granny pants" that go over your belly button were really comfortable because they didn't touch my incision either time.

Emma - posted on 06/07/2012

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1. remember its not pain, its labour, its just hard work - do some relaxation preparation like Hypnobirthing and/or Yoga.
2, give dad some jobs to do so that he has something to whilst you labour, there is nothing worse than a bloke sat looking at you. Let your body do what comes naturally and know that he is feeling useful too
3. take extras of everything, including drinks, snacks etc. You may not need it all but better that than being starving at 5 in the morning.
4, make yourself feel fabulous beforehand, get waxed, manied/pedied, etc etc
5. ultimately enjoy every minute, once baby arrives hormones kick in that mean you will forget a lot of it (i did a photo diary, bit thorough but great to look back on)
Have a wonderful birth x

Nicola - posted on 06/07/2012

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I would suggest not buying too much before the baby's born, otherwise you will probably end up spending a whole bunch of money on stuff you never end up using. We found that the baby needed very little in the first few weeks.

Personally, I tried eating just before active labour started with our first child and ended bringing it back up during active labour, so if you have any signs that labour might be starting, eat earlier so the food has time to digest and give you energy. I found a labour-aid drink (can find recepie on internet) was very helpful). I also found that after the birth, my husband and I were very hungry and some form of trail mix or dry cereal and nut mix was perfect as we could just take a few bites as and when time permitted.

I actually found the hospital gown to be the best thing to wear, although a breatfeeding top and dressing gown were useful.

As for getting through the birth, I found that anyone talking during a contraction took away from my concentration and made it much harder to cope, so don't be shy about telling people to stop talking. Also, what worked well for me was counting (starting at number one) during the contractions as it gave me something to focus on and helped me know how much longer the contraction was going to last. Knowing it's only likely to last another couple of seconds ,rather than having no idea, gives you the strength to carry on. I'm sure it was for this reason that I managed to have a natural birth without medication.

Best of luck.

Korinn - posted on 06/07/2012

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bring your own toilet paper, big cushy 3-ply stuff. it makes all the difference in the world!

[deleted account]

Take the drugs. My son's birth was very traumatic for me due to the intense pain for 40 hours. And I was home for most of it, walking, taking baths, having my husband do the back pressure thing. NOthing helped. By hour 30, he insisted we go to the hospital where I suffered another 4 hours of excrutiating pain. I finally then agreed to a shot of nubaine. It only kept me from further hysteria but did NOTHING for the pain of crowning.

Never again. Even if I could have another baby - I'd be numb from the nose down.

Take as many of the ice-laden maxi pads you can get your hands on. They're awesome! Wear whatever you are most comfortable in , regardless of how it looks. bring a toothbrush for yourself.

Kerrie - posted on 06/07/2012

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I unfortuately went to the hospital with very little, my washer had broke, so I washed most of My son's stuff by hand.



Most important if you can't eat before going to the hospital get glucose sweets (you can normally get these from the chemist) I went into labour at 3am and had my boy at 11.51am but 36hrs without sleep takes it toll and I wished I had something to give me energy (didn't have the sweets).



just remember anything you forget your birthing partner can collect it for you :)



I took 2 nighties, 2 nursing bras and 3 baby grows/onies plus disposable underwear and big maternity pads (got them from asda in the baby isle) :)



Hope this helps.



Btw I luckily had my mam or aunt around me as I was prone to fainting before birth, they continued after for a while until I felt they were overbearing, I asked them politely to have a holiday from me :D



Now I see them once a fortnight to once a week depending on circumstances.



I see my son's father about once or twice a month again depending on circumstances.

Margarita - posted on 06/07/2012

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Joyce, if you don't gain too much weigh pre-baby and plan on breastfeeding, the weight will take care of itself. I was drinking whole milk up until my daughter was almost one just to get the calories. You actually need more calories to produce milk than you do while pregnant. It isn't unusual to gain too much weight pre-baby, which is what usually takes a while to lose. Just listen to your body and eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. It sounds simple, but too many women eat too much during pregnancy because they think they're supposed to and many others don't eat enough because they're worried about their weight. Just listen to your body and you will be fine. I joked that I slimmed so much because of the "one-armed diet" - basically I could only eat what I could fix and eat with one arm because it seemed like I always had a baby in the other! LOL. Exercise will be a little harder, but you can look for some mommy and me yoga classes to limber up and try to find a gym with childcare if you want to work out.

On post-partum depression, it's hard to tell whether or not you will get it. There are factors that can contribute such as family history and whether you've had a problem before. Just try to stay aware of yourself, ask for help when you need it, and if someone suggests you might have depression, try to listen objectively and see if indeed you have it. There are all sorts of options including talk therapy and even medication, but chances are you won't know if you need it until you need it. It helps to get plenty of rest as sleep deprivation can really contribute to it. It definitely helps to have a hubby that always makes you feel pretty. I remember the first time I saw myself in the mirror naked, maybe 30 hours after having my baby (I had just crashed and was exhausted) and saw all the stretch marks that had hidden underneath my belly and cried! Make sure you moisturize your belly, even underneath since you can't see any stretch marks that might be hiding there. There's a product called Bio Oil that's supposed to be really good for that, but really any good moisturizer and the act of massaging your skin should help.

On the nanny, if you can afford one, go for it. Ideally you'll want someone that's a "mother's helper," especially in the beginning when you'll need someone to help with cooking and cleaning and laundry. Later you'll need someone to watch the baby so you can eat and shower and maybe take that exercise class.

Good luck!

Margarita - posted on 06/07/2012

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You'll want to check with the hospital on items such as pillows (the nurse in our class warned us that sometimes they run low, so hubby might not get one if he spends the night. I brought my own and used the one they gave me between my knees (at home I use a body pillow, but knew it would get all yucky - between the blood and loss of bladder control, though the diapers and disposable underwear take care of that).

You'll want to pack an extra set of underwear and a couple of extra absorbent pads (as many mentioned) for the trip home (you probably won't want to come home in the mesh undies). You'll want to eat on your way to the hospital, nothing too heavy, but something with a little protein 'cause once you go into the delivery room, they won't let you eat in case you need to have an emergency C-section. Some nurses are nice and will let you suck on throat drops or something if it looks like it's going naturally, but most won't even allow water to avoid the risks, just the ice chips. If you want to go natural, just tell the nurses once you go in the room. They may roll their eyes, but usually won't nag you about it unless it looks like you really need it (the nurses talked a friend of mine into it because she looked like she was ready to pass out). You can change your mind up until the baby crowns, so there's plenty of time. For the record, if you have a low pain threshold (it sounds like you might since you're worried about the pain), be prepared to change your mind. To give you an idea of the pain, I had to have an episiotomy, and didn't even realize it until after the fact when the doctor told me right before he gave me a local for the stitches. It isn't uncommon not to realize you have an episiotomy because labor usually hurts more. Having said that, if you have a high pain tolerance, it may be worth it as the epidural will slow labor. I was done in 2 hours, so to me it was worth it, plus I have had a bunch of back issues, so I didn't really want a catheter in my spine. Still, these are trained anesthesiologists that do these all the time, so chances are you'll be fine. Oh, and mouthwash may be a good idea in case you throw up (some moms do, some urinate, some defecate, the docs and nurses have seen it all, so don't even worry about it or think about holding it in during contractions as it will keep you from pushing correctly). One nurse suggested, and I agree, that it's a good idea to bring a separate small bag for the labor room (the mouthwash, playing cards or something similar and small to kill time in case you're stuck waiting - a friend of mine had to get induced and was so grateful to have games on her iphone, etc) and one for the room that you can leave in the car until you're done so hubby's not stuck carrying everything around from room to room.

If you can't sleep with too much noise, you might want to get some earplugs as hospitals can get quite noisy. Then again, you might be tired enough to zonk out, unless the adrenaline high keeps you awake (seriously, once it's all passed sometimes you get a second wind and think you can do anything, I actually thought I could come home and clean the house and meet my SIL for lunch two days later, the crash was rough!). Also check on the nursery policy. Some just assume you want to send the baby to the nursery and bottle feed them and you'll have to keep reminding the nurses at every shift change if you plan on nursing. Having said that, it's not a bad idea to take advantage of that nursery and get some sleep. Just make sure you tell the nurses to bring the baby if they need feeding if you plan to nurse.

I agree with packing a change of clothes for hubby, including shoes. If he's going to be in the labor room, they might get messy. You'll also want to bring some change for the vending machines in case you go into labor past the cafeteria hours and hubby (or you once labor's over) need a snack. You can check with the hospital to see if hubby can eat at the hospital. Ours allowed us to order food for him and charge it to the room. Keep those phone chargers handy, especially if yours double as your camera. You'll get a million requests for photos and in the Facebook age, folks expect them yesterday.

If you're planning to nurse, I'd hold off on buying too many nursing bras until after your milk comes in and some of the engorgement stage has come down (about a week after delivery), to insure they continue to fit (they will change, and then again when you're done nursing). Pre-baby, you can buy a couple of nursing sleep bras and maybe a nursing sports bra (they are really just shaped like sports bras, but I doubt you could get much exercise in them) or two since both kinds have a lot more leeway in fit.

Above all, remember to sleep every time the baby sleeps. They do so for very short stretches in the beginning, so you'll have to get it in spurts, just like your LO. You probably won't fall asleep as quickly as the munchkin, so you'll need all the brakes you can get.

Good luck, and congrats!!!

PS: on books and other sources of info, it depends on the kind of person you are. Some folks can get dizzy with information overload, and others get upset when their baby doesn't fit any of the examples they read or when what you read in one place contradicts what you read in another (not unusual since medical recommendations change like the wind). Still, some prefer having all the information they can get so they can feel they'll be more prepared (you never are, but you'll feel like you are and that comfort alone can be worth it). It's all up to you. I was too tired during my pregnancy to do much of anything, so I read A LOT, and I felt better for it, but a friend of mine was quite annoyed at a book she was reading because some of the info was already outdated. Definitely try to take all advice with a grain of salt as every pregnancy, delivery, and child are different.

Joyce - posted on 06/07/2012

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That's very encouraging. I hope I can keep up with my old self. Is it a good thing to have a nanny right away?

Lika - posted on 06/07/2012

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Well, if you feel comfortable breast feeding, that's supposed to help you lose weight back down to your pre-pregnancy weight.

You may end up bustier and curvier, and if so, enjoy the new look! You're going to be your own worst critic, and while some people do get some of that post syndrome, I had no problem with it. You're right that your husband can make a very positive impact on their wives.

I just ended up enjoying being a mom, that I went out with the stroller, and walked a lot, as well as trying to eat right. Please don't forget to keep in touch with friends, and keep up as many hobbies as possible. That way, you still hold your own identity while still being able to brag about your new baby.

Johnson - posted on 06/07/2012

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Wao it's normal for a first time mum to be desperate and prepare for the unexpected. just follow your mind and remember to pray always because this stage you are is only God that can see you through, be mindful of some advice and weigh them before considering it.

Joyce - posted on 06/07/2012

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I am also a bit concerned with my body... I mean, after giving birth, How do I maintain my body? I am petite since I am Asian. And I am very and always concerned about my body being in shape. I have gained a few pounds right now, but I am not really huge. Just more bustier. LOL!
And I heard there's this they call "Post Natal Syndrome" - did I get it right? I am not sure. I forgot what they really call it. Anyways, it occurs after labor.. it is when the woman (mom) feels negative about herself, like how she looks, her body, her smell. She becomes depressed more often. They say its the moment when the mom would feel alone, ignored, abandoned, or ugly, fat, etc etc... does it occur to every mom? or not all? They say, its the best time for husbands to make their wives feel beautiful and happy.

im just curious if any of you experienced it... I would wanna be prepared if majority had undergone such. :)

Lika - posted on 06/06/2012

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Aside from the big stuff, crib, changing table, diapers, etc...

For Baby:
Have a car seat installed in the back seat.
Pack a baby or diaper bag with your baby's first outfit, diapers, wipes, powder, receiving blanket, socks/slippers, and a digital camera.

For Mom:
Wear comfortable clothing, and something comfy to come home in. You should have some kind of pad, in case of extra bleeding, and just try to relax.

As for eating, it depends on if you plan on getting anesthetics or not. With epidurals or demerols, a heavy meal can make you vomit. Miso soup with tofu usually is an excellent choice, because it's hearty, and it's easy to digest, so you can eat w/o getting nauseated. If going natural birth w/o drugs, keep it to a medium meal, you don't want to starve, but you'll want sustenance, so a hearty salad with chicken would be good.

Let everyone wait on you while you're going through the birthing process. Let it be all about you, because once you have that baby, it's all about the baby, until they get married! (Then it's all bout them because you're mom, and they're still your baby). Trust your instincts. I've had so many people end up telling me so many things, and occasionally when I took their advice, it was not helpful at all. Maternal instinct usually drives you straight with your child.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy. And when you're tired, and grandma offers to baby sit? Take her up on it, and then go take a bubble bath, or a nap, or go shopping, or have a mocha with friends... Don't forget your friends.

Relax, you'll do fine. :) I have faith in you.

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