Because I terrified a bunch of my almost due friends with last week’s post I thought I would try be a little helpful with this week’s entry… Hopefully this is Less scary?!
I feel that a lot of the information that is found online is a little less than helpful in preparing for birth and those first days at home with baby. The best advice I received was from moms I knew that had gone through it. They were able to help my brain sort through the mounds of “You NEED to do this” and let me know what worked for them and what didn’t. Of course everyone is different and every birth and every baby is different, so take all of this with a grain of salt and use what you want and trash the rest.
PS – Show this to your significant others (SO) – they need to be in the know here too!!!
- As you near your due date, buy some waterproof bed pads and put one in your car, one on your couch and one in your bed. You never know when or where your water may break and these three places are very hard to clean! Having a pad in place just in case will hopefully take care of any inconvenient spills. I used these – these – and after the birth I used what I had leftover on the baby’s changing table.
- Buy a pack of Depends or Adult diapers. You will get some very SEXY panties with GIANT liners from the hospital but they can get annoying and sometimes I just found the Depends easier. Don’t get me wrong I did take all the extras that the hospital was offering and I did use them but I was also one of those unfortunate people that bled for 12 weeks. Don’t worry – my doctor said that it is VERY rare to bleed for that long…
- After you have the baby, the nurses and doctor will come press on your belly to help get it back down to size and get the muscles working. It hurts. Enough said.
- Bring your own socks or slippers. Hospitals are COLD and they will make you get up and walk around.
- Bring your pillows and maybe even your own towels and soap. Hospitals are not known for their luxurious amenities.
- At the hospital and at home – your significant other is responsible for making sure you ALWAYS have a full cup of water. Neither of you have any idea how thirsty you will be. A helpful hint is to leave a case of water next to your feeding chair. I received a great gift of a YETI “sippy cup” so I made sure it was constantly filled with ice and water
- Remember to pee before every feeding. You will probably be stuck in that chair for a good 30 minutes and with the amount of water you will be drinking you will need to pee. It’s no fun being held hostage under a nursing or sleeping baby while your bladder is screaming for relief.
- The nipple pain from breastfeeding is comparable to some form of medieval torture. It will last a couple of weeks and you will want to cry or scream or both EVERY time the baby latches. Get something to bite, grab or kick. A pillow, a blanket, your arm or your significant other. The good news is that it does get easier. You won’t realize it but one day it will just be better. I promise!
- You cannot spoil an infant. Hold your baby as much as you want in the hospital and when you get home. Sleep with your baby on your bare chest, it is the best most beautiful bond you will ever have.
- Don’t feel guilty about sending your baby to the hospital nursery at night. The nurses will bring them to you every two hours to feed. But don’t feel bad about asking them to take the baby back, especially during the night. You need your sleep and once you get home there will be no more sleep (ever) so take advantage of this while you can!
- You will probably poop during delivery. Most people do. Even though I had a C-section, I pushed for 3 hours so I probably pooped, but I’m not sure – I’ve been too scared to ask.
- Start pumping early. I waited until too close to when I went back to work to start and am still worried about using up my very limited freezer stash.
- Prepare yourself for baby’s first poop (Meconium). This is mentioned briefly in childbirth classes but nothing really warns you about this tar like substance. Luckily I was unable to stand or walk because of my epidural so when time came to take care of this initial diaper it was all on hubby. I will forever remember his face though. Priceless.
- Strongly consider taking advantage of the hospital photographers. Or rather, consider letting the hospital photographers take advantage of you. Yes the pictures may be expensive but those first moments are adorable and you’ll want to capture them. I didn’t and I still wish I had.
- Your milk doesn’t come in immediately, or for a couple of days. Don’t worry, your baby is not going to starve. Your colostrum is exactly what your baby needs for those first few days.
** A huge thanks to my friends and family for the advice that I am now able to pass on!!!