What I wish I had known - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has there already been a thread like this? I was just thinking that those of us that have had a baby already could share somethings we wish we had known for the new Mommies. Not horror stories, just useful information.

 

Sorry if it is TMI, but I really wish I have known...

 

Something I had no clue about that totally freaked me out was peeing after birth. I had no bladder control for a couple days (it went longer, but the worst was the first couple days). The first time I got up to pee I could not get the muscles to work. I could not release urine. It was not as bad with #1, but #2 I pushed for hours and things were just a bit more traumatized down there. I could not pee (even though I was super hydrated) before the MW left and she gave me a time limit that if I did not pee I needed to call her, I think I finally peed right before I was about to call her. It was so weird. It took a few days to get the sensation that my bladder was full and to be able to get to the toilet before I was already going, I just had no feeling!!! It is all normal now, but those first few days were scary, I thought my bladder and muscles were broken! After talking to other Mom's i know I am not the only one to experience this!

 

More TMI...

I used laxatives the first few days too, hard bowel movements don't feel too good when things are tender.

 

It was all worth it for the cute little babe though!


 


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#2 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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What a great thread!
 

I wish I would have prepared more for breast soreness.  My first had a lot of trouble getting a decent latch and I had blistered nipples.  A pack of Soothies gel pads is such a lifesaver, as is having an experienced friend (or midwife, doula, lactation consultant, or LLL leader) on speed dial.  

I wish I had taken it easier.  I was so excited as a new mom that I know I over-did it quite a lot at first, and my recovery was harder.

I wish we'd had more food stashed away (like freezer lasagnas) because we ate a lot of take-out those first weeks!

I wish I had slept with my baby from the beginning, because I was so exhausted from getting up to nurse him all the time---the second time around we coslept from the start and I felt like a different person, because even though my sleep was interrupted, it was much easier to feel rested if I was in bed with him.

 

I definitely recommend a stool softener (like docusate/Colace) for a few days after birth, especially if there's perineal trauma involved.  As the survivor of an episiotomy/nearly 4th degree tear, I can say it's a lifesaver!  You can get them over the counter and they are safe to take while breastfeeding.  So much nicer to have something softer down there, especially since constipation occurs a lot after birth.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah2881 View Post

 

More TMI...

I used laxatives the first few days too, hard bowel movements don't feel too good when things are tender.

 

 

 



 


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#3 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
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#4 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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This is awesome advice! Thank you so much for sharing, no such thing as TMI when it comes to pregnancy & birth!  thanks.gif


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#5 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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     Quote:

Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post

I wish I had known it was all going to be ok in the end.

It will be. Really. smile.gif

Some days that's hard to believe, so it's nice to hear every once in a while!  It's easy to over stress when it comes to something so important to you.

 

Also I agree there's no such thing as TMI especially when were all about to experience it, so be honest!  I hate when people try to sugarcoat things.
 


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#6 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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I'm sure I'll come back and add to this several times as I think of things. I know one big surprise for me was how time consuming breastfeeding is during the first few weeks. It will seem like all you do all day is breastfeed (especially if you have a "lazy" nurser like I did) but it won't last forever and it's an important step in establishing a good milk supply. It can be overwhelming.

 

Also, there will be a TON of unwanted advice that you are given. It took me years to be confident enough in my choices to not care when someone criticized them. Other people might not agree with every choice that you make, but the important part is that you are confident you are doing the right thing for your baby.


 


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#7 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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This may be obvious to some people, but I didn't know! When you have your baby, you will still look about 6 months pregnant. This didn't happen to me the first time, but it did all the rest and I was surprised!

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#8 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agatha_Ann View Post

This may be obvious to some people, but I didn't know! When you have your baby, you will still look about 6 months pregnant. This didn't happen to me the first time, but it did all the rest and I was surprised!



True, but it is hollow and squishy, not hard like when you are PG! And I could nearly feel my insides moving back into place the first day or two!

 

Another thing I thought of... engorgement! I had no clue that it would be so painful when my milk came in. I used cabbage leafs on my breasts (not on the nipple) to help. I have read you have to be careful because prolonged use can be harmful to supply??? but the relief was great and my supply did not suffer. I guess it is just something to be aware of, I did not use them for more then 4 hour stretches and would take long breaks between. I also had 4 bags of peas to rotate in the freezer to help too. I am also a beer lover, but I would get seriously engorged when i had beer for months, I could not even drink half of one!


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#9 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 10:44 PM
 
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My breasts were so tender after birth that I had to shower backwards for weeks (the water hitting them was unbearable). 

 

Babies can shoot poo across the room during the first few weeks of life.  My daughter did it once at the hospital (about day 5) and once at home.  At the hospital it shot across the room, thankfully I was able to jump out of the way!  It was crazy funny, especially since I didn't have to clean it up. ;)

 

I was so euphoric after my non-medicated birth that I didn't want to sleep for hours!  I had so much energy and couldn't stop smiling.  It was the best feeling ever!


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#10 of 49 Old 04-26-2011, 10:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tea_time View Post

My breasts were so tender after birth that I had to shower backwards for weeks (the water hitting them was unbearable). 

 

Babies can shoot poo across the room during the first few weeks of life.  My daughter did it once at the hospital (about day 5) and once at home.  At the hospital it shot across the room, thankfully I was able to jump out of the way!  It was crazy funny, especially since I didn't have to clean it up. ;)

 

I was so euphoric after my non-medicated birth that I didn't want to sleep for hours!  I had so much energy and couldn't stop smiling.  It was the best feeling ever!

 

This leads to the question that must be asked: Did you ever try to aim the baby? Poo fight! Too funny :D
 

 


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#11 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 05:13 AM
 
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Ooh, great thread idea!  

 

I wish I had known...

 

- that somedays after the baby comes, you're going to cry all the time, whether you're happy or sad.  

- somedays you're just going to be sad, and it's normal and ok.  

- if you're REALLY sad or feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it's also ok to TALK to someone about it.  I didn't and regret keeping my depression/blues issues bottled up.  I think I could have enjoyed everything much more if someone knew what I was feeling.

- asking for help is hard.  Really hard.

- sidelying nursing saved my life, my sleep, and probably my marriage!  Learn this position!

- it really does go by SO FAST.  Take it all in.  Just live in it.  Time FLIES.

 

 

 


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#12 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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I wish I had known the signs and symptoms of a breast infection.  First time mamas/breastfeeders, this will save you from getting really sick, really fast:

 

sore area on breast that may/may not appear red.  Will likely feel warm to the touch as well.  Also, engorgement.

 

**breast feed right through the pain** you can possibly unblock the duct that is causing the mastitis, eliminating the need for antibiotics.  Also, warm compresses and massage the area that is engorged.

 

Experienced moms, please correct me/add to this if I am wrong.  But knowing the s/s of mastitis would have saved me from having some serious infections that needed prompt antibiotics.

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#13 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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Yes, so good to know!

 

My other breast infection recommendations:
A good warm compress is microwaving a damp washcloth in a Ziplock bag for 30 seconds.  Apply over a layer of clothes and remove it if it gets too hot.  A rice sock is another nice option.

Also, a shot glass full of apple cider vinegar often clears it right up.  You can mix it in a glass of water and add some honey to make it more palatable.  

 

I found that plugged ducts (often a precurser to full-blown breast infections) were much more likely for me if I wore an underwire bra or a very restrictive top.  Some women are sensitive to this, so before you stock up on underwire nursing bras, consider that!

If you get achy, feverish, and feel generally run-down, call your provider immediately.  Pretty much the worst I've ever felt in my life was mastitis----it's HORRIBLE.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama579 View Post

I wish I had known the signs and symptoms of a breast infection.  First time mamas/breastfeeders, this will save you from getting really sick, really fast:

 

sore area on breast that may/may not appear red.  Will likely feel warm to the touch as well.  Also, engorgement.

 

**breast feed right through the pain** you can possibly unblock the duct that is causing the mastitis, eliminating the need for antibiotics.  Also, warm compresses and massage the area that is engorged.

 

Experienced moms, please correct me/add to this if I am wrong.  But knowing the s/s of mastitis would have saved me from having some serious infections that needed prompt antibiotics.



 


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#14 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
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#15 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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That it is normal to feel a bit panicky the very first time you are completely alone with the baby at home.

 

My parents had come over from Scotland for the birth of DS last year. After the unexpected hospital birth/c-section and then hospital stay, my mum being there at home felt great those first few days. We got home from the hospital on the Friday and then on the Monday evening DH had to drive my parents to the airport. He was gone for nearly 5 hours, and it was the first time I was truly alone with just the baby. Even though I'd looked after other peoples babies it felt different knowing I was completely responsible for this little life, and that DH would be back at work full-time every day leaving me alone to care for this helpless little baby. I got used to it quickly, but I never expected to feel the panic that I did that first time.

 

Also despite what the Pedi said, having a lazy eater did mean nursing on one side for an hour, then half an hour later him wanting to nurse on the other side for just as long. The first few weeks did feel like I was constantly nursing, but we were both learning how to do this. The Pedi told me I needed to limit DS to no more than 20 min, but that just wouldn't work for DS, so go with your instincts, and don't be surprised if the early weeks have long nursing sessions with only short breaks in between.


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I wish I had known to bypass the doctor for most health issues and go directly to a licensed naturopathic physician who is adept with homeopathy AND herbs. If your naturopath thinks your child needs M.D. medical care, or if it's an emergency, they will know to send you to an M.D. and won't hesitate to do so. However, if you go to an MD first, they won't admit that you would be better off with a naturopath, even though it will be true 99.9% of the time.

I wish I'd known that little boys WILL pee the moment exposed to air. have a cloth handy. Immediately. Unless you like pee in your face.

I wish I'd known that I shouldn't feel guilty for having a messy house. Studies indicate that children who grow up in a reasonable amount of clutter actually have higher I.Q.'s. Of course, it may be that parents with high I.Q's tend to be cluttered...so.....you never really know what the causation is when dealing with correlation.

I wish I'd known that bubble baths can cause UTI's in little ones. (and in big ones.)

I wish I'd known about onion/mustard compresses to deal with mastitis. I also wish I'd known that over tiring oneself in the first few months after having a baby can LEAD to mastitis.

And not to be scary, but, I honestly wish I'd known that stillbirth was something that could happen to anyone. I wish I'd known that.

I wish I'd known how much love and support could be out there...if only you asked. joy.gif


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#17 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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Oh gosh, I knew NOTHING about anything postpartum, and had zero help with it!  Things I wish I'd known:

 

*that breastfeeding is NOT just peas and carrots, that you and baby actually have to LEARN it.  And it hurts like a son of a gun.

*That my vajayjay would be in SO much pain after.  I knew birth would hurt, but I had NO CLUE how much it would hurt after!

*That hormones postpartum would be completely out of control and make pregnancy look like a walk in the park lol!

*After my second was born, I'd wish I'd been prepared for afterpains.  OH MY GOD mamas, those hurt worse than labor!  Now that I'm on my fourth, I come prepared with the big guns!


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#18 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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We had DD at home and I wish I had known how hard it as to get up from the floor (I was squating when she was born and then sat on the floor after) after she was born.  Cosleeping and sidelying nursing were a blessing, but it was easier for a while to sit up and nurse because my breast were so large that I had to hold them up when lying down so the DD could get a good latch.  That I would spend days watching bad TV and nursing and still feel exhausted even though I hardly got off the couch.                                                                                

 

How much I would love just being home with DD and had absolutely no desire to work.  This one I am a little worried about because I am currently working part-time and plan on returning work 12 weeks post-partum.


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#19 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agatha_Ann View Post

This may be obvious to some people, but I didn't know! When you have your baby, you will still look about 6 months pregnant. This didn't happen to me the first time, but it did all the rest and I was surprised!


This was totally crazy - I tell everyone about it now - how you'll be by yourself in the hospital room (unless you've been able to deliver at a birthing center) and it'll be the middle of the night and you'll come to the realization that you have this squishy mass where your baby used to be!! It too goes away but at 41 I think I'll always have loose skin there now.

 

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#20 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybeans View Post

Oh gosh, I knew NOTHING about anything postpartum, and had zero help with it!  Things I wish I'd known:

 

*that breastfeeding is NOT just peas and carrots, that you and baby actually have to LEARN it.  And it hurts like a son of a gun.

*That my vajayjay would be in SO much pain after.  I knew birth would hurt, but I had NO CLUE how much it would hurt after!

*That hormones postpartum would be completely out of control and make pregnancy look like a walk in the park lol!

*After my second was born, I'd wish I'd been prepared for afterpains.  OH MY GOD mamas, those hurt worse than labor!  Now that I'm on my fourth, I come prepared with the big guns!



What are afterpains?

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#21 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireflyx View Post





What are afterpains?


They are the pains you get after the baby is born. Almost like contractions, you get them for days (weeks?). Its your uterus shrinking back down to size.

 

I wish someone would have told me about how much you are going to bleed after birth! I had no idea!! I stood up at one point and had blood rushing down my legs. Not fun.
 

 


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#22 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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How about a kinda funny one? My sister told me this before my first was born, and it is true!

 

On your first car trip with the baby (ours was coming home from the hospital) it seems like EVERY other driver is out to kill you! All of a sudden you become hyper aware to others reckless driving!


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#23 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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How about a kinda funny one? My sister told me this before my first was born, and it is true!

 

On your first car trip with the baby (ours was coming home from the hospital) it seems like EVERY other driver is out to kill you! All of a sudden you become hyper aware to others reckless driving!

 

EDIT: DONT KNOW WHY THIS POSTED TWICE, AND I DONT KNOW HOW TO DELETE THIS ONE?


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#24 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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I wish I had learned how to nurse side-lying right away.  It took me about 2 weeks to figure it out and feel at ease doing it.  I could have been so much better rested if I have learned this from the beginning. 

 

I wish I had know it was ok to tell my mom and MIL to shut-up when they started telling stories about tragedies involving babies 3 days after I brought DS home from the hospital.  No new mama should have to listen to horror stories when they are an emotional post-partum basket case (or ever, for that matter).

 

I wish I had gotten assistance from an IBCLC right away!  It took five weeks before I realized that DS and I weren't getting breastfeeding exactly right.  My supply and DS's growth really suffered for it.

 

I wish I had known years ago, before I even got married, that I would have such a strong desire to be a SAHM.  I would have made VERY different choices about my finances and career choices if I had any idea how much I want to just be home with my babies.  Instead, we have a huge mortgage on a home that is now worth half of what we owe and my income is absolutely essential to our household.  I'm hoping to cut my work hours a little to be able to have one full weekday off per week after I go back to work at 12 wks pp guilty.gif

 

I wish I had known that not all women lose all the baby weight from breastfeeding alone.  I had to work long and hard to get anywhere near my pre-baby weight.  The pounds don't just melt off like magic for me.

 

I'm sure I'll think of more...


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#25 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egmaranian View Post

I wish I had learned how to nurse side-lying right away.  It took me about 2 weeks to figure it out and feel at ease doing it.  I could have been so much better rested if I have learned this from the beginning.


Ooooh, ditto to that.  But I think this is pretty common across the board -- that it's not a position that "clicks" right away.  But man, once you've got it, it's a lifesaver!!


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#26 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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Thank you all so much for this advice! I love this DDC.

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#27 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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I thought of more:

 

You will probably have a muffin top for awhile if you never have before.  You'll also need to wear your maternity clothes for awhile, and probably buy some in-between clothes since it takes awhile to get down to your prior size (but maternity will be too big).

 

For mastitis (I had it 4 times) don't wait to call the dr, they'll probably call in a prescription for you (I always got the fever/shakes at night or on a weekend) w/out having to see you.  You need to feed on the infected side as much as possible even though it will hurt like hell.  Try the same birthing techniques (moaning, breathing, etc) to help with the pain.  

 

Save the peri bottle from the hospital (or get one) and keep it by the toilet as you may need the water for awhile if you have tearing/episiotomy.  It feels SO much better to go to the bathroom with the peri bottle (full of lukewarm water).  Stock up on witch hazel pads so you're ready in case of hemmoroid issues (many moms don't have any of these until after birth).

 

This wasn't the case for me but I've had friends who didn't get any stretch marks until after they delivered.  


Semi-crunchy Momma to a 4 year old girl and a baby girl born in July of 2011.

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#28 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't recall the after pains being terrible after my first, it was the second that I remember them being agonizing, so don't be too freaked out if you are a first timer. I think I took one Tylenol once in a while after DD1 and it took care of most of my pains, other then the sensitive girl parts.



Also, after the birth someone will likely massage your uterus to help it go down. My midwives were much more gentle and more apt to just feel if my uterus was contracting on its own before really digging in, it was not too bad. At the hospital though they shocked me out of no where pushing on my tummy and it hurt.

 

If you are in the hospital ask lost of questions. We all prepare for the birth, but don't put much thought into after. I had an IV and they were pushing stuff in there AFTER the birth without saying anything to me and I would have to ask 10 times before anyone would tell me anything. They would also walk in and hand me pills and tell me to take them and I would have to ask several times what the pills were. They were Tylenol with codeine, which I never even asked for, I had to request they take them back and just bring me Tylenol. I can not believe they would just hand me pills and not tell me what they were, I react awful to codeine! I am sure not every hospital is like this, but it just felt like the nurses had little time for first time Moms, it was frustrating. Some of them were very nice and the lactation consultant was really sweet. Make sure you ask to see the LC even if you are feeling OK about everything because it is the easiest access you will have!

 

A good thing... All the pain of labor completely disappears when the baby comes out! I pushed for 4 awful hours with #2 and the second she was out and I saw her it was all bliss, none of it mattered. It is hard to believe in the thick of it, but it is true!

 

As far as mastitis goes for me, I had not had antibiotics in 10+ years before I got my first infection, I avoid them at all costs. My first infection was awful, I literally thought I would die. I would give birth 10 times over for one baby to avoid having a breast infection again! As awful as it was, if I felt anything beyond a plugged ducts, like any fever, run down, intense pain, redness, I went straight to the meds. Not in any way how I am in any other situation, but most of the preventative methods did not kick the infection (for me) and the way my insurance works it could take up to 12 hours to get a prescription filled so I would call right away and take them a soon as possible. One dose makes a huge difference.


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Mommy to three girls DD 6, DD 3.5,DD 8/2011 & new babe 3/2013, 2 angel.gif's 1/2008 and 8/2010

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#29 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tea_time View Post


 

For mastitis (I had it 4 times) don't wait to call the dr, they'll probably call in a prescription for you (I always got the fever/shakes at night or on a weekend) w/out having to see you.  You need to feed on the infected side as much as possible even though it will hurt like hell.  Try the same birthing techniques (moaning, breathing, etc) to help with the pain.  

 


Yes! Even with my first infection they sent the script in without seeing me, I was too sick to go in. I went in a few days later when I felt better.

 

With this baby I will use lanoline to try to prevent cracks, but once I get a crack I use a triple ointment from my doctor to prevent bacteria from breading in the crack. It moisturizes, heals and disinfects. Lanoline worked fine with my first, but the triple ointment was the only thing that ever finally helped me kick the recurrent infections with #2, so if you find yourself getting infections over and over talk to your doctor about it.

 


Sarah
Mommy to three girls DD 6, DD 3.5,DD 8/2011 & new babe 3/2013, 2 angel.gif's 1/2008 and 8/2010

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#30 of 49 Old 04-27-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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I wish someone had told me how much time I'd spend nursing at first...  That newborns take a LOOOOOOONG time to eat, and that they mostly want to be on the boob, always.  And that it's normal, and it gets better once their tummies get a little bigger.  I was just under this impression (why?) that I'd only be nursing once every hour and a half, or once every 2 hours...  And then those first 6 or 7 weeks he just needed to be nursed almost constantly.  I wasn't prepared for it...

 

I wish that I would have stock-piled sitz herbs, and made sure to have lots in the house for baths and for my peri bottle.

 

 

 

 


Wife to DH geek.gif, mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11)fly-by-nursing2.gif, and crafty and hardworking in my own right!  In my parenting journey I've  delayedvax.gif, signcirc1.gif, familybed2.gif, h20homebirth.gif, andcd.gif.  To each family their own!!

 

 

"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."

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