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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Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2012

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If I got the chance to do it all again, I would definitely go the Bradley Method again. I don't know what you are planning, and this is non-medicated. The main focus is to educate you about your body, what on earth it is doing, why it just did that weird thing, and how to work WITH it instead of against it.

I can also recommend taking a doula with you.

If you do choose the non-medicated route, know that it doesn't always pan out like you expect. Choose an "I really changed my mind" word. Something simple, but immediately recognizable. Work out a few simple hand gestures beforehand too. (meaningful ones! lol)

While considering what snacks to pack for him, try to avoid those with strong odors such as peanut butter or anything else you find annoying. You don't need a stinky-breath distraction.

Also, what HE wears can be important too. Not only for comfort, but for your visual sanity. Let me tell you from experience, I made my husband strip when his horizontal-striped shirt made me sick. LOL

Most of all, try to look at this as a great adventure. This will be the coolest thing you've ever done! Trust me. :)

Holly - posted on 06/06/2012

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Congratulations. I think the ladies on here have done a wonderful job of giving you advice. As you can see, labor is different for everyone and can be differen for each kid (I have 4 - 9, 8, 5, and 2 and each was a little different.) Things to remember.

1. Have a plan and make sure you hubby knows. He'll be your biggest advocate. For example, we had decided to try and do it naturally but if I needed drugs, I would have an epidural as I react to demerol and other drugs. It was great to have my husband "fight" for me when I wanted an epidural and the nurse wanted to give me demerol. Took a lot of pressure of me. (I've had 2 natural and 2 with an epidural . . . do what you need to do)

2. Your contractions are DONE as soon as the baby comes out! So when its time to push, push for all your worth because the end of the pain is near!


3. Bring your brush and toothbrush, slip on shoes and something to read or listen to in case you are there for awhile.



Good luck! You'll do great and soon you'll be able to hold that little one you can feel.

Daisy - posted on 06/06/2012

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Good point with the cell phone charger ... may want to bring ipod with some of your tunes?

I just want to make a point about birth plans and how easy it is to influence a mom in labor while in L&D. It's nice to be educated and know what to expect, but "in the trenches" may burst your bubble a bit. Yes, those rest periods between contractions seem to be shortlived and the contractions are rough, sometimes painful. I got lucky with my vbac because I kept blowing my IV, but I kept asking for water so my midwives said as long as I was drinking, they were fine with me being off the IV - yes! One less tether to the bed! Say that you "need a bathroom break" as often as you can - no one will deny you a trip to the toilet - and here's the best part ... the walking helps ... and the gravity helps too! It's going to suck ... but some of my favorite parts of labor (is there such a thing?) was that my husband was by my side the entire time on a bathroom trip, and anytime there was a contraction, I could "hug his neck" and go through a set of contractions "with him". I never felt hungry, to be honest. From the moment I had labor pains, I had zero appetite. But those freezy things sound awesome ... I wish I would have had those!! They will have that hospital room down to 60 degrees and you will still feel like you are hot. Best of luck to you and congratz on your new baby! It will be here and gone before you know it.

Doreen - posted on 06/06/2012

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Since we use our cell phone chargers regularly at home they were not prepacked to go with us to the hospital. And everyone wants to call and hear about the news. It was inconvenient to have the phones die while at the hospital.
This was my experience, I hope it helps you.

Kellie - posted on 06/06/2012

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Hi Joyce,

I am not going to tell you that giving birth is painless or a piece of cake, it is neither. But it is one of the best things you will ever do in your life. This is what women and only women were built to do.....give life.

It has been 29 years since I gave birth to my last one.....I had twins first and they were a breeze because the labor was short and I didn't know what was going on! I was in labor with the 29 yr old for 12 hours, the last 2 being the worst. But you know what, Joyce? After they are born, you really do forget it all when you hold that little one in your arms.

I was almost 19 when my twins were born and 20 when the last one was born.....they were 20 months apart. I was young and dumb...LOL

As for food, you can eat what you want but when you get down to the transistion? Ice chips are all you will get. So eat before you go, definitely....unless told differently by your doctor. As for nail color? They don't give a damn what they look like. Remember, childbirth, unless you are having a planned c-section, is not on a timetable. It could happen a month early or a month late and there is no way to plan to have your nails clean before it happens.

Good Luck!

Kellie - posted on 06/06/2012

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Wow, Erin! I wish I knew that 29 year ago! What a wonderful way to give birth!

Joyce - posted on 06/06/2012

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I am soooo nervous right now. I hope to go on natural birth though. Is there any restrictions n what to eat? I remember when i had an appendectomy, I am not allowed to eat anything after operation.. not even allowed to take water for a day. And nails should be cleaned, nail colors arent allowed before operation. Is it the same with birth (when its not natural) ?

Joyce - posted on 06/06/2012

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I am 6.I am just from CA. I am due on sept 21.

I am really glad to be here. I am planning to get in to birthing classes soon. My husband really wants me to stay at home, he doesn't like it when I go out that much.. He's more paranoid than me. LOL! He wants to make sure I am always safe and he makes sure he has his eyes on me every now and then.

I know this is stupid to ask but how painful is it? You know, giving birth. I am really curious how painful it'll get.

Sarah - posted on 06/06/2012

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take freezies to the hospital- nobody tells you that you can't eat while in labour (up to 40 hours sometimes) mine was 9 & I was lucky!!! My husband thought of this- freezies are just frozen water with some sugar & food colouring,but they sure do the trick when you're thirsty & starving!!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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Seriously? You asked a labor and delivery ward to be quiet? Yeah...good luck with that one.

Sherri - posted on 06/06/2012

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Get a lot of rest! LOL
But seriously...I suggest you give the house a thorough cleaning. Get the babies room/area prepared and organized. Set aside a couple of kitchen cabinets just for the baby products. Everything should have a place so that you don't have to search. Make a chart now so that you can keep up with the babies activities like; feedings, bowel moments etc. You won't have time to create one after the baby comes home. That's about sums it up. Best of Luck to you!

Carrissa - posted on 06/06/2012

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Really surprised no one has mentioned this - your BIRTH PLAN! Don't forget it. We used hypnobabies for our natural births and also brought a sign for the door that said to be quiet as we were practicing hypnosis for childbirth.

Laurie - posted on 06/06/2012

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If you are a working mom, line up child care now. It is one of the hardest things you will ever "shop around" for!

Joy - posted on 06/06/2012

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I would also add a change of clothes for dad, especially if you live farther away from the hospital. And I brought an mp3 player so I could listen to music of my choice during labor. Also bring something for dad to do in down time, ie a book /magazine or games, if you have a long labor he will appreciate having something to do as it can get "boring" if you don't need them doing stuff for you.

Wendy - posted on 06/06/2012

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EAT!!! When I had my first little one, I went to Fetal Diagnotics in the early am and just figured I would eat after my appt. They decided in that appt that they needed to induce labor. 25hrs later, I had my daughter and hospital food does not work so well for me. I came close to licking my husbands shirt when he spilled part of his panini on it. DEFINITELY EAT!

Maren - posted on 06/06/2012

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With both of my kids I was all about not having to use my own stuff at the hospital.
THey have almost everything you need. If you walk in with only the clothes on your back they have SO many supplies they will be able to take care of you.
With both of mine I did not take pjs or a robe, I just used the hospital gown. THey give you two at all times so you can use one as a gown and the other as a robe. Anytime you can ask for a new one and they will bring it.
They give you a few pillows and blankets, but if you need more they will bring them.
You don't need extra underware as the hospital will give you these net like underware that are super strechy and are so much easier to get on than your own. (It sounds weird but it they are great.) They also provide your pads and diapers for the baby. IF you would rather bring your own and use them you can. Same goes for shampoo and bodywash, and they even have pre-pasted toothbrushes ( the toothbrush is probably the only thing of my own that I used).
Slippers (I just used flipflops), socks w/ rubber on the bottom
It is a good idea to have a book or magazines "just in case" (I never really used them, but I always bring so I have if I want).
You will want a camera, an outfit, and blanket for baby to go home. THe hospital will provide blankets and caps for the baby while in the hospital.
When I went hope from the hospital I just wore the same pants I went in wearing, but I had a second top to wear.
Have two nursing bras, (I usually wear one in and out and have a second sleep bra to wear while in the hospital, I have to use underwire normally and that is not comfy to sleep in or lay around in all day).
If it applies to you glasses and contact solution.
If you need lotion or breast cream they have it for you.
I used pretty much everything the hospital had and provided (I figured that I am paying the hospital sooo much $ to be there and if they provide it I am already paying for its use, so why should I pay for and bring my own. I also don't want have any of my things get damaged, or have to do the laundry when I have just gotten home from the hospital.)
I use 1 backpack and am able to get everything I need for myself and the baby.
One bit of advice I will give is if you have an IV and do not have an epidural, get up and use the restroom every 1-1.5 hours. After about 2 hrs with my 2nd I started feeling a really bad pain and after about 30 min I was talking to my nurse suggested I use the bathroom, and boy did I have to go. After that the pain went away and I was fine once again.
I hope this helps.
Good Luck

Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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Another thing to add would be a comfy robe & slippers. If you are going to walk the halls to keep your labor progressing, you don't want to do that with your tush hanging out of a hospital gown =) Also if your labor slows or stalls, you will definitely want to do the walking before you let them give you pitocin.

Amidy - posted on 06/06/2012

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I always brought something small and brightly colored to focus on during contractions. It helped to shut out everyone and everything and let me maintain my breathing. Also nobody has said it yet so I will. If you wear it regularly, bring your make up. After getting sweaty and gross you will want a shower and look decent for guests. But don't make my mistake and put it on before. I have the worst raccoon eyes in the first pictures! :D

Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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An alternate to the epidural that worked for me was a really hot bath. Once I got in the tub of hot water, my pain went away. I didn't feel any contractions after that or my transition labor. In fact, I was so relaxed that when I felt some movement around my tummy, I looked down and my daughter was crowning. There was no pain or pushing involed.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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Good call on shoes...but do make sure they are slip on. I had crocs. I did not want to bend over after my c section nor my vbac.

Beth - posted on 06/06/2012

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I packed this huge suitcase with all the stuff they recommend you have in the hospital. The only things I used were my going home outfit and baby's going home outfit. Don't psych yourself out thinking you will forget something or be unprepared. Hospitals are pretty prepared for most situations. The hospital where I gave birth fed me in my room, but not my husband, and it was the weekend so the cafeteria was closed. He ate a lot of Burger King in those two days. I would recommend he have some snacks. I went into labor at night, so I was in my pajamas already, but I would say change into something comfortable for the ride to the hospital, but something you don't care about because it will likely get bloody. Then just use the hospital gowns, they're comfy and you don't have to clean them. The hospital even has this comfy mesh underwear you can use and toss, I loved them. Good luck and try not to stress too much!

Julie - posted on 06/06/2012

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Clean Socks!! First kid I forgot them and had to go have someone buy me a pack. I went from my college class to my doctor straight to the hospital. Since she was a month early we didn't have anything packed. WIth my other two we were more prepared.

I would recommend:

At least two changes of very comfy clothes
a comfy nightgown or two
Extra underwear
Extra clean socks
Slippers or comfy shoes
nursing bras if you're planning on nursing or stretchy bras since your boobs get bigger with milk
Hair stuff (barrettes, rubber bands, brush, etc.)
Your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. (I sprung for some fancy soap)
Lots of large maxi pads

Baby doesn't need much
A couple of onsies (I prefered onsies to T shirts)
A couple of zip up feetie pajamas
A cute picture outfit
Special blanket
Carseat (you have to have one to leave the hospital)

Congrats and good luck.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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A lot of the times during birthing classes, they recommend using alternative painkillers tinstead of an epidural....to ward it off and give you a bit of relief. They are suppose to work for about 4 hours, but I do NOT recommend getting it. I had it, and it did not last even and hour. My contractions came back two fold, like they were trying to catch up. I was in a lot more pain, and my contractions were every 3 minutes. The nurse didn't believe me. Oh my, I cannot even express how much more painful they were. I ended up begging for an epidural just so those contractions would stop. Comparing those contractions to my all natural birth with my daughter, they were way worse. But labor hurts no doubt. I would just recommend if you cannot handle the pain, get the epi. Don't go for the other drugs that are suppose to last for a while. You will regret it.

Also, if you DO get the epidural, and start itching, tell your nurse. Ask for the drug to help with the itch. It is a normal reaction to painkillers, but I was about to scratch my skin off. I believe they use benadryl, injectable form.

Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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The one thing I forgot with my oldest that I made sure I had with my youngest is baby nail clippers. Both my girls had very long nails when they were born and my older one had scratched herself a lot before we left the hospital and had a chance to clip them.

Gwen - posted on 06/06/2012

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LOL! I just hate needles, so it was never an option for me. But, I understand many women opt to go that route with no problem.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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Well, way to not freak someone out about an epidural Gwen.

I have had an epidural, and had natural. Do what you need to make your birthing experience a success. If you are adamant about no epidural, the doctors and nurses may try to convince you otherwise.

Gwen - posted on 06/06/2012

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Don't read too many books. You will only end up confused and paranoid! Ask other trusted adults for advice and follow your own instincts. Take stretchy, comfy clothes to the hospital, and buy LOTS of mega-winged-overnight-super flow maxi pads! :) It's also a big help to put ice packs inside your underpants for about a day after giving birth. I know it sounds totally gross, but the nurses will get them for you and this really helps reduce swelling and discomfort. Also, don't be afraid to consider natural childbirth. The idea of having them "shove a stake in my back" (my words) for an epidural totally freaked me out more than anything about natural childbirth!! LOL :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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Joyce, how far along are you?

Taking birthing classes to prepare you when you are about 7-8 months can be really helpful. They will also take you on a tour of the hospital, but it may not be the one you are going to deliver in. It is a good idea to tour the facility you will be in. You can make a birthing plan up with your doctor to help guide you, but do not be fooled to think it will go exactly to plan. It just may help you with the end goal, a happy healthy baby.

Do you have a mid wife or a doctor? Are you in the USA or another country? When are you due?

Joyce - posted on 06/06/2012

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I am really nervous. What you all said helped a lot. We have a list on our own, Im glad I posted here coz I totally forgot some things. Wooh! This is very exciting and scary at the same time.
Anybody else wanna help out, it'll be helpful. Advices would be nice to on what to do or not, etc etc. OR even just share experiences. SO I wont get anxious on my day, I easily get scared.

Louise - posted on 06/06/2012

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In your hospital items you should also remember to bring food and drink for your partner. My first labour was 17 hours and my poor husband did not get any food or drink for 24 hours plus as he did not want to leave my side.

Also have a huge cook up and freeze meals that your husband can reheat and make for you when you get home from hospital. Also make shopping lists for him to go and shop, should you have stitches and not feel like shopping yourself.

Also ask people to come round in certain hours so you dont get stuck with a housefull of people when all you want to do is rest. If people know when they can come they tend to stick to that. Above all take life as it comes. You are learning all about your new baby and he is learning all about you. The housework can wait, all that matters is that you and baby are healthy and happy. Good luck!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/06/2012

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Hospital items

Glasses if you wear them
comfy change of cloths
nice pair of socks
chapstick
pillow
boppie (if you are going to use one to breastfeed)
camera
shampoo, face wash, conditioner (if you don't want to use the hospitals, but if you don't mind, don't bother bringing it, just more stuff)
toothbrush, toothpaste
nursing bra
car seat installed properly in car


for baby
cute change of cloths for first picture
blanket to lay on for first picture (sometimes they have a cute thing to lay on, sometimes not)
really you don't need much for baby. They supply diapers, and wipes.

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