Saturday, March 10, 2007

Things I would want to know-UPDATED

Here are a few tips for you soon-to-be mums. Some of this was advice from other recently-new-mums and some of it is mine.

Rest as much as you can. Because you won't after your baby is born.

Pat your tummy and try to bond with the baby. I was still terrified my baby would die or something drastic would go wrong, that I missed out on *really* enjoying the last days of pregnancy.

Get some sort of massage tool like one of those plastic octopus types they sell in chemists. Your partner's knuckles will thank you. Put some lollies in your hospital bag (like jelly snakes). My hospital gave me nothing during labour except apple juice and water, and you need some sugar.

The pain from your contractions may *not* go away completely, even in early labour, especially if you have a 'back' or posterior labour. This was a total suprise to me; I thought the pain always went away between contractions. Not so.

Nitrous Oxide. Love it.

Epidural. Looooooove it.

Stay as long as you can in hospital. Many private hospitals in Australia make their money from obstetrics, so they will try to turf you out in five days (they get the same money if you stay 5 or 7 days). Stay the whole seven; get as much mileage out of someone else doing the washing, cooking and cleaning for you, as well as the services of the lactation consultant.

At my hospital you were expected to buzz for the nurse every time (in the first few days) that the little nipper wanted some boobie. No-one told us this so they all 'expected' I was coping with the breast feeds (I wasn't). You are not a failure if you want them to look after the baby for an hour or two to get some sleep, but don't expect them to offer.

Buy the hugest, fattest maternity pads you can find. Just don't bother with the 'slim' ones. They *won't* cut it. You will need about 3 packets (ie about 30 pads). You will probably go through your first pack in the first 24 hours (yes, really). Get yourself some enormous, comfy granny knickers (Cottontails) in black. Plan on leaking lochia through everything you wear on your bottom half. I hate nighties, so I made myself four enormous pairs of stretchy shorts to wear in hospital.

Get some 'nursing pads' (ie pads to soak up breast milk). Say hello to bodily fluids. (Leaky boobs, lochia and tears, plus baby poo and wee). Bring a pack to hospital. If you are like me and hate wearing a bra to bed, get yourself (or resurrect) a stretchy 'crop top' type sports bra-top to wear to bed to keep your breast pads in place.

Make sure you have a change table/area set up. Because the first thing that baby will do as you leave hospital is poo.

Buy a breast pump. (The lactation consultants love the Medela Harmony. They *don't* like the Avent Isis). Why? Because 80% of women have trouble with breastfeeding. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

God will forgive you for using disposables for the first few weeks. It's one less thing to stress about (there are enough, trust me). (Maybe you can buy carbon credits?). Keep your eyes out for specials on the large boxes of newborn nappies (like the Huggies 108's).

Stock up on essential items like poo tickets (toilet paper) and easy to cook meals (hellooo Filled Pasta and Sauce). Your life will not leave the house for a week.

Wraps. Lots of them. (Amazing how a squalling neonate can wee and poo over everything in sight.).


PS I forgot to say: you can use zip-lock bags for storing expressed breast milk. Get the smaller size (9cm or so) which will fit about 200mL. They don't need to be 'sterilised' as such (we have that on the say-so of an immunologist), just 'clean' (ie straight from the box).


Anonymous J-Le said...


This is seriously helpful.

11/3/07 14:07  

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