After 4 m/c, our is here!
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.
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!
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!
Me= crunchy mama to one rambunctious toddler, born on October 1, 2009. And one sweet little baby born January 19, 2012.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
mom to all boys B: 08/01, C: 07/05 , N: 03/09 , M: 01/12 and far too many lost ones
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. . .