Ten Things All Pregnant Women Should Know
1. Don’t Bother to Wash New Baby Clothes.
If you are buying new baby clothes- guess what? They are already clean! You do NOT need to spend your last few, precious baby-free days washing, drying and ironing tiny babygros and vests. Spend your maternity leave more wisely – do the things you have been meaning to do for ages…finish that photo album…start Game of Thrones…or just sleep! You are going to have laundry coming out of your ears when the baby has arrived so don’t peak too soon!
p.s. don’t open packets of babygros etc and make sure you keep the receipts…you might be surprised by the size and sex of your baby and you may need to make some returns!
2. Don’t Spend £££ on Baby Stuff
New babies need very little. Borrow things or buy second hand – People are always wanting to get rid of bouncers, baby baths, playmates, buggies, moses baskets, baby monitors etc and there is no shame in using second hand things!
Join your local Facebook Mum Group- just type in your postcode into the search bar on Facebook and one should pop up. Gumtree and Ebay are great too! We know very wealthy and smart mums who haven’t spent more than a few hundred quid!
Check out our Online Antenatal Classes and get hold of our list of what you need to buy and what you definitely don’t!
3. You Cannot Make Your Baby Come Quicker
As your due date approaches- don’t get yourself into a tizz about trying to induce your labour. Many people now believe that it is infact the BABY who brings on labour! When he or she is ready to be born they send a signal that brings about a hormonal change in the mother’s body which sends the body into labour.
We have heard of all kinds of weird and wonderful attempts to induce labour- including ladies giving themselves a sweep!!!!
There is no evidence that these things work
- Pineapple – absolutely zero evidence but delicious and healthy!
- Curry – you do not want this reappearing during labour!
- Raspberry Leaf Tea – not likely to bring on labour.
- Castor Oil – will make you nauseous and give you diarrhoea.
If you want to try acupuncture or having sex then go for it (as long as your doctor or midwife says it is ok) they are harmless but there is no evidence to support the efficacy of either. Read more about this here.
4. Get a Maternity Exemption Certificate
If you are suffering from piles or indigestion, or both, then you may be racking up a big bill in your local Chemist! A Maternity Exemption Certificate can be a real help if the cost of Gaviscon and Anusol are breaking the bank – you are entitled to free prescriptions for your pregnancy and a year after giving birth.
5. Do Your Pelvic Floor Exercises NOW!
If you don’t want to wet yourself every time you sneeze, cough, laugh, run or jump – or have your bowel pop out through your vagina one day (a prolapse) then start doing your pelvic floor exercises now and stop only to give birth! Start again as soon as you have given birth and do them religiously for ever and ever amen!
Do them every time you wash your hands, change a nappy or stop a red traffic light! We hope you are getting the gist!
You need your pelvic floor muscles to keep your bladder, uterus and bowel in place and pregnancy/childbirth can damage these muscles. Having a C Section does not make you exempt as pregnancy alone can weaken these muscles.
6. Having an Epidural or a C Section does not mean you have Failed at Giving Birth.
You should not beat yourself up if you did not get the drug-free, Hypnobirthing, Water Birth that you wanted. Using pain relief during labour or having a C Section are most definitely not things to be ashamed of or disappointed by. Labour is a complicated business and many things about it are unpredictable. It is still possible to have a brilliant birth with a wonderful outcome by C Section or with an Epidural.
An epidural can be a lifesaver if you are in terrible pain. It can help you to relax and regain control of the situation and if managed well, an epidural can be part of a very satisfying and painless delivery. You must listen to your midwife or doctor’s advice about top-ups in the second stage of labour as they will encourage you to let the epidural wear off a little so that you can feel just enough to push the baby out effectively and without assistance (forceps or ventouse).
Likewise, a sympathetic Obstetrician and an understanding of the process can really help a C Section to be every bit as special as a natural birth. Read about Natural Caesarean Sections.
7. A Contraction Will Not Last Longer than approx 60 Seconds.
This is such a good thing for you and your partner to understand when you are in labour. The pain may be hideous beyond belief, but as long as you know that it WILL end and you WILL get a break before the next one- that can really help. Having someone with a phone or watch, count down the seconds and letting you know that the contraction is about to finish can do wonders for your pain management.
8. There Are Two Poos! But They are not too bad!
The Two Poos! The one DURING labour and the one AFTER the birth are probably the poos you will worry about most in your life!
- During Labour
Try not to worry too much about doing a poo during labour. The midwives have seen it all before and the chances are if you do one, you may not even notice. If you do do one, you honestly will not care and the Midwife will clear it up quick as a flash.
If you still feel worried about doing a poo and want to use a preventative measure -you can get a Glycerol Suppository over the counter, which you push up your bottom when you are in early labour. This will make you do a poo immediately, meaning you can go into the hospital confident that you will not poo during labour! (check with your midwife first).
- After The Birth
This can also be a source of great worry for new mothers but it is actually never as bad as you might think. They key is to make sure that your stools (poos) are soft. We really recommend a couple of kiwi fruit and drinking lots of water when you have given birth – Kiwis act as a natural and mild laxative and should help things along.
9. Go out for a Meal With Your Partner ASAP!
Well not the same day you give birth – the woman next to me in the post natal ward went off to Carluccios for Lunch and left her baby behind without telling the Midwives! They almost called social services!
We suggest you really try and go for a meal or a drink with your partner in the first few weeks. If you have a willing granny or babysitter who can watch a just-fed baby for an hour or so whilst you pop down the road for a quick glass of wine or a pizza – that can be amazing! If you really don’t feel comfortable leaving the baby behind, then take him or her with you in the pram or car seat. It is really important for your relationship to try and maintain some sense of normality despite the huge changes that will have occurred – and a simple outing can feel really good.
10. My Baby Doesn’t Like His Moses Basket!!
This is NOT true! This is the best bit of advice I got when my first baby was born. You always hear mothers proclaiming “he doesn’t like his moses basket”…”he hates his car seat”…and this is normally followed by a 3am spending frenzy on Amazon, ordering something expensive to try and rectify the situation!
The reality is, your baby is too little to have an proper opinion about the vessel in which he is carried or the kind of mattress he is put to sleep on! The chances are there is something else that is upsetting him, so run through a small check list;
Is he hungry? Tired? Restless? Overwhelmed? Hot? Cold? Is there a label from his vest poking in his neck? Or does he just want to be held? The chances are it is one of those things making him yell- and not his dislike of your choice of wallpaper in his nursery. If your baby just wants to be held- a sling/baby carrier can be a life-saver!
And a Bonus One!
11. You Don’t Always Fall in Love with Your Baby Immediately.
Do not panic if you are holding your baby and sitting there looking into his eyes or his scrunched up screaming face and you feel….errr…not much! It is completely NORMAL! Some mothers are lucky enough to fall deeply and madly in love with their baby as soon as they are born- but for others it can take days, weeks or even months. A difficult birth, a hard time feeding, post natal issues, lack of sleep and hormones can all be to blame – so do not panic – that feeling will come soon.
For more excellent information for Pregnancy and beyond you should check out our Online Antenatal Classes.