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Do's and Don't's for First-Timers - Page 2

post #21 of 39

 If people offer to tell you the scary birth story of their own, their wife, cousin, sister, etc. don't feel afraid to politely decline. Just say, I'm focusing on the positive but I appreciate you wanting to share.

 

Exercise, even if it's just walking every day. Good for you and baby. My co-worker is 38 weeks and she is still riding her bike to work every day!

 

Use Midwives. There is no comparison to OB's, they are so much more relaxing and gentle to be around.

 

Have a good postpartum plan ready. Friends to bring over food, family that wants to come to HELP (not oggle the baby) and cook and freeze some food. If your DH is not a great cook or not so great at cleaning, teach him now. For the first 3 weeks after the baby all you should be doing is nursing, sleeping and eating. No housework, it's your babymoon.

 

Take photos and/or journal the next 8 months. It goes by SO fast (truly, my kids are much older, I wish I had a better record of both my pregnancies with them)

 

 

post #22 of 39

Everything said is so true.  You don't need most of the baby supplies in stores.  Diapers, some onesies and sleepers, a few baby blankets, and somewhere for them to sleep is enough to get started.

 

Take a good childbirth and breastfeeding class if you can. 

 

Trust yourself!  Only YOU know what type of birth is right for you.  You know what is best for your baby, too. 

 

Avoid the baby shows - the majority of deliveries are uncomplicated and are nothing like the high risk deliveries on the shows.  Drama gets ratings.  Aside from the drama, they can turn you into a weepy mess.

 

If you're nursing, try to avoid keeping formula samples in the house, especially the first few weeks.  It can be tempting to have Dad give the baby a bottle when you haven't slept in days.  Remember that it is a learning process for both mom and baby when it comes to breastfeeding.  Give yourself time for that.

 

If you can see a midwife, I highly recommend it.  Many practices have a certified nurse midwife on staff now.  I felt that the midwife took much more time to take care of me, explain what was going on, and reassure me than the doctors ever did.  Their appointment times are often 30-60 minutes instead of 10 minutes with an OB. 

 

Do your best to eat well and get exercise.  If you feel like crud, get down what you can for now. 

 

 

 

post #23 of 39

(from the perspective of a mother of 3)

rest. Eat what you won't have to see again.

Take more belly pictures than you think you'll ever want.

Do a belly cast (but buy supplies early because if you do what I did and plan to wait until 39 weeks to do the belly cast, you'll do what I did and go into labor at 38 weeks and never do the belly cast).

Go to a birthing class and make your husband/partner come with you. He won't necessary automatically know how to support you, so give him the tools he needs so he can learn how.

Bring two going home outfits to the hospital for your baby. If you only bring one your baby will poop on it.

RELAX and enjoy your pregnancy. Believe it or not, you'll miss this when it's over.

 

(from the perspective of a L&D nurse)

Drink more water than you think you handle.

(If you are having a hospital birth) See a midwife, not an OB. OBs are surgeons and they assume all pregnant women are high-risk until proven low-risk and treat you accordingly. Midwives assume all pregnant women are low-risk until proven high-risk and treat you accordingly. It matters.

If you write a birth plan keep it short, flexible, and polite. Nobody will read it or attempt to follow it if it's 4 pages long, iron-clad, and rude/condescending. That saying about catching more flies with honey really does apply to the hospital.

Do not be afraid to say NO, or ask for a second opinion, or ask for more time to make decisions you're faced with during pregnancy and birth. There are no do-overs so make sure you stand up for yourself and what you need.

post #24 of 39


So true!  Spaghetti is a bad idea if you're going to be bent over the toilet later.  :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeanSprout Mama View Post

(from the perspective of a mother of 3)

rest. Eat what you won't have to see again.

post #25 of 39

Remember that babies are MUCH easier to take care of inside than outside. The end of pregnancy sucks, but it's worth it to give your little one every single day you can.

 

Make sure you educate your dh/partner get them on board with your decision and tell him that if zie sides with the dr/ob/nurse/random person over you zie is in DEEP TROUBLE! :) (seriously, hearing too many stories about scared dh's being manipulated by medpros into acting against their partners & even holding the woman down during procedures she refused) Get them The Birth Partner and make sure it gets read.

 

Read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth"

 

Research everything. There are very few situations where you won't have time to do some research about whatever it is your care provider thinks you should do. This goes especially for "low fluid", "overdue" & "big baby"

 

There's very little a newborn needs, loving arms, diapers (& even those are optional for some people :) ), food,  & clothes. It's much easier to go out and buy what you decide you need after the little one is here than to try to return a bunch of overpriced stuff you discovered you didn't need. The one caveat to this is a good baby carrier; a woven wrap or a MT are great for newborns and can still be used when the baby gets bigger, unlike a stretchy wrap. Especially if you have a high needs baby and once you can wear them on your back, you will wonder how the heck anyone manages without one.

 

If you're having trouble nursing, get help A.S.A.P. One way that seems to help avoid major latch issues is to allow the baby to self attach after birth. If the baby has a tongue or lip tie that is interfering, get it clipped, even if you have to contact a lot of different people to find one willing to do it.

 

Watch UC videos on youtube. When you know what normal birth looks and sounds like, it's easier to know when something isn't normal. Get your partner to watch too. It will probably help them be more relaxed. If you would like the link to my UC video from ds3 (although we just caught a bit of transition and the actual birth) please pm me.

 

Have fun! There are some sucky parts about pregnancy, but there's lots of fun and exciting stuff too.

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post

 

If you're having trouble nursing, get help A.S.A.P. One way that seems to help avoid major latch issues is to allow the baby to self attach after birth.

 

 



I will second, third and fourth this!!!  Even if you think you'll be able to handle it, the slightest amount of stress can affect your breastfeeding, not to mention your sanity.  I would add that if you're having a hospital birth, be weary of hospital-selected "lactation consultants".  Don't get me wrong, some are great and have the mother's best interests in mind.  Unfortunately, some will side more with doctors or are stretched so thin between all the mothers they have to see that they don't spend the time needed with each mother.  For me, the hospital's LC hurridly checked out my chest, told me I'd most likely not produce milk, due to the distance between my breasts, showed me how to latch ONCE and then shoved a formula sample pack into my arms.  Hire an LC that you trust and interview them before you have the kid.  Assume you're going to have issues and be proactive.  Breastfeeding is HARD!  One of the the best things you can experience, but HARD!

 

post #27 of 39
DDC crashing - I eat lots of sushi, and I'm pregnant. Rules are for generalities - we're all individuals, with different risk tolerances.
post #28 of 39

also ddc crashing but i could be a january as late december : ) babies like to stay warm ha

 

i loved what bean sprout said about eat what you dont have to see again.  that is def my eating philosophy at 13 weeks cereal is my best friend

post #29 of 39

 

Do's : Drink fruit juice such as pomegranate,cranberry and pear

 

Don't : Eat processed food

 

Do's : Go outside, breathe fresh air, relax and do mild exercise such as walking or stretching

 

Don't : Sleep the whole day or just sitiing the whole day, you will feel weak

 

 

 

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post #30 of 39

My theory is that if you're good to your body it will be good to you...so sushi is fine whereas cocaine is not.  Caffeine won't kill you, but 100 ounces a day isn't helping!

 

Another thing that I'd really suggest as it worked well for me is to involve your partner in the birthing plans.  I was soooo caught up in having the birth I wanted that allowing my partner in was a second thought.  Luckily we took a crunchy childbirth class and he realized what I wanted v. what I needed.  When you're in the late stages of labor and actually delivering your physical and emotional senses are in another place.  You will want an advocate - why not have it be your partner?  Besides, it's pretty common when going through transition to have a "WTF was I thinking?!?" moment and that person, if prepared, can help empower you to pull through it.

post #31 of 39
It IS so individual. I'd consider Fruit Juice to be a "no, not very often" thing and sushi to be a "yep, as much as you want of the low mercury varieties" but people in this very thread feel differently.
post #32 of 39

These are all great suggestions. 

 

Especially agree with all the PPs who emphasize not letting yourself get strong-armed into anything! Scare tactics work really well when the threat of doing or not doing something is harm to your unborn child. 


A good, funny, and anti-alarmist resource for what is safe during pregnancy is Pregnant Chicken.

post #33 of 39

There's a lot of great advice here!

 

I agree to do a lot of research on natural birth.  However, even when you prepare for a natural birth, it's not uncommon for things to unfold differently from how you planned or expected.  That's why it's important to be educated, so you can have a say about how things are handled in different situations.  Prepare all you can but keep an open mind going into it.  This was the best advice I got when going into birth, and I wish I took that advice better!

 

Second, as mentioned above, you don't need all that baby stuff.  We got a crib and ended up co-sleeping until she moved into her own bed!  Luckily the crib converted into a double bed, and that's the only way we've ever used it.  And that's just one example.

 

I DON'T take really hot showers when pregnant.  I know mine raise my body temperature too high, because after a really nice, long, hot shower I come out lightheaded and sweating.  I think you can judge when your body temperature is rising and just be reasonable about it and you'll be fine.

 

One I haven't seen mentioned, which is especially relevant to me and my recent sandwich shop cravings, is to microwave sliced meat until it's steaming before you eat it.  You can cool it back down, but it would kill any Listeria that may possibly be lurking on it. There was a Listeria outbreak shortly after I had my daughter, so even though it sounds unlikely I would rather be safe than sorry. 

 

Sprouts are another no-no, and I looked this one up in detail because I want them, but I'm going to avoid them as well, because they can be contaminated with bacteria and there isn't a good way to ensure they're not, even if you grow your own.

 

Most of all, enjoy this time in your life!  It's such a special time and it will go by so fast! 

post #34 of 39

I agree with so much here so I won't bother repeated most of it, but I did want to reiterate to enjoy this time! Especially towards the last couple months, you get so antsy for the next step, but the next step is hard (amazing and worth it, but hard)!  So rest, spend time with your partner, go to the movies, etc and enjoy the last days before you have a baby that needs you 24/7.

 

And yes, be cautious and be educated, but no need to stress overly much about the do and don't like how much caffeine and which cheese is okay, etc.

 

As far as baby stuff, I agree less is more. . .but some sort of baby carrier is a necessity!  A Moby wrap or linen wrap would be my suggestion.  I didn't have one til my first was about 4 wks old and my life suddenly changed. . .I had my hands free again!  My ds would *not* be put down the first two months of his life (he had to be held or he'd be screaming), so having a carrier saved me.

 

For pg, labor and delivery my #1 comment is: trust your body, it was meant to do this. 

 

Prepare for BFing more than you think you need too! Have a support system set-up, you do not want to be searching for phone numbers of someone to call at 4am when your baby is 3days old. Find that person now!

post #35 of 39
Do: exercise every day.

Do: research 'standard' interventions (vitamin k, eye drops, etc) and write wishes down

Do: read 'Birthing From Within'

do: trust your body

Do: accept all offers of help

Do: post a note on your door asking visitors to remain briefly, and respect your need for family time.

Don't: allow yourself to be stationary during birth. It is a dynamic process, you need to move

Don't: measure every contraction and wonder if you're in labour. Rest. Trust your body to tell you when you're going to give birth. This is important for first time moms. I wore myself out with excitement, phone calls, timing contractions, sleeplessness...it was a disaster for me. Rest until you can't.
post #36 of 39

I just got what I think is a great bit of advice from a veteran mom:

 

Before buying maternity clothes (now that we're getting wider around the waist), buy a few "normal person" clothes that are a couple of sizes larger than what you have in your closet.  This way, after you give birth, you can get back into "normal person" clothes and not have to keep wearing the maternity clothes you're sick of. 

post #37 of 39

What I have learned: Do not tell anyone but those you MUST that you are in labor. For me those people will be those who are watching my children, and my husband (and midwife of course lol) This cuts down on the phone calls and questions and lets you focus on the task at hand. After the baby is born, rest, get cleaned up, bond, take a nap THEN make calls. You will feel much more up to the questions this way. I personally feel its no ones business when I go in to labor. No one needs to know how dilated I am and what the midwife is thinking. This is a personal time for my husband and I and all they need to know is later there is a healthy baby who is adorable :)

post #38 of 39

Last night I thought of one very cool thing we did with ds3 that others might be interested in. When you can easily feel the baby moving from the outside, lie belly to belly with your partner when baby is active. They can get a vague idea what it feels like for you & it's just cool. I think I was about 40 wks when we tried it, but you could probably do it by 36.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post

Remember that babies are MUCH easier to take care of inside than outside. The end of pregnancy sucks, but it's worth it to give your little one every single day you can.

 

Make sure you educate your dh/partner get them on board with your decision and tell him that if zie sides with the dr/ob/nurse/random person over you zie is in DEEP TROUBLE! :) (seriously, hearing too many stories about scared dh's being manipulated by medpros into acting against their partners & even holding the woman down during procedures she refused) Get them The Birth Partner and make sure it gets read.

 

Read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth"

 

Research everything. There are very few situations where you won't have time to do some research about whatever it is your care provider thinks you should do. This goes especially for "low fluid", "overdue" & "big baby"

 

There's very little a newborn needs, loving arms, diapers (& even those are optional for some people :) ), food,  & clothes. It's much easier to go out and buy what you decide you need after the little one is here than to try to return a bunch of overpriced stuff you discovered you didn't need. The one caveat to this is a good baby carrier; a woven wrap or a MT are great for newborns and can still be used when the baby gets bigger, unlike a stretchy wrap. Especially if you have a high needs baby and once you can wear them on your back, you will wonder how the heck anyone manages without one.

 

If you're having trouble nursing, get help A.S.A.P. One way that seems to help avoid major latch issues is to allow the baby to self attach after birth. If the baby has a tongue or lip tie that is interfering, get it clipped, even if you have to contact a lot of different people to find one willing to do it.

 

Watch UC videos on youtube. When you know what normal birth looks and sounds like, it's easier to know when something isn't normal. Get your partner to watch too. It will probably help them be more relaxed. If you would like the link to my UC video from ds3 (although we just caught a bit of transition and the actual birth) please pm me.

 

Have fun! There are some sucky parts about pregnancy, but there's lots of fun and exciting stuff too.



 

post #39 of 39

 

Really great tips, noeonend!

 

This will be my first child -- so it's all brand new for me too.

 

I live in Europe, so "what's normal or standard" for pre-natal care, birth, (and of course, parenting) varies so much from place to place (and person to person).

Ina May Gaskin's books helped me to talk about birth practices with my family back in the US (I ordered copies for my mom and my sister).

 

And watching those films started a real dialogue between my boyfriend and I about the kind of birth we hoped for. . .

 

 

 

 

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