What I Wish I Knew BEFORE Pregnancy and Giving Birth

Just because someone has had several babies does not mean they are an expert. Every baby is different.

Sign up for the Nestle Baby Program. They mail you free stuff and coupons during pregnancy and after baby is born.

Register for as much baby stuff as you can at Sears. If your baby is actually born on your due date, you get everything on your registry for free!

You may NOT want to have sex after the sickness of the first trimester is gone. It’s hard to feel horny when you have a balloon for a belly.

Don’t over pack for the hospital. Seriously – like you are going to have time to read, watch a movie, play cards and deliver/take care of a baby? Pack some snacks instead for you and hubby (if you’re allowed!) to avoid that crazy expensive hospital food!

Rest when baby rests – Yeah right! If it’s your first baby you will not want to miss a moment. Your adrenaline will be in high gear. Plus, you are not at the hospital for rest. There are tests and nurses coming in and out of the room. Family and friends come to visit and, oh yeah – there is a newborn who poops, likes to cry and needs to be fed every 3 hours.

Breastfeeding is hard – You have no idea what you’re doing and neither does baby. Just because it is natural does not mean that it will be easy. You have not worked together before and it will take a while to get into a routine.

That you will feel empty inside – no more kicking and movement, which you have gotten used to for months. So weird.

You don’t have to hold the baby as soon as it comes out – there is no shame having them clean up baby before you hold him/her. I had mine cleaned first!

You will bleed a lot. During birth and for at least a week afterwards. Your period comes back with a vengeance! Either bring really old underwear, or ask the nurse for an extra pair of granny panties. You will also need Tens pads. No – not your regular pad, but the extra heavy duty ones.

Labour is not the hardest part. It is the aching, bleeding and recovery AFTER pushing that baby out. Your southern regions will look like Edward Scissorhands had his way with you… it is not pretty and I don’t recommend looking. You will not want to walk or move at all… take tylenol….Take a pad, pour some water in it and freeze it BEFORE you have the baby… it may sound strange but frozen pads in your underwear will be better than sex in the first few days after delivery

Advocate for your baby. Sometimes nurses are busy and may not be around to help you. I was completely ignored with my first two. My third was delivered at a different hospital and only then did they check in every once in a while to make sure I was okay.

Take the advice you get from others (including your doctor) about how your child should be developing with a grain of salt. You will know your child best. Don’t rush them for fear that they are not developing at the rate that they should. Again, every child is different.

The second birth will be much different. You need to make arrangements for someone to watch your first child. Dad probably won’t stay with you at the hospital afterwards, and with second baby you will be more on your own that the first.

After you deliver… you will still look pregnant… for a while – unless you are one of those women who shrink so fast that a week later you fit into pre pregnancy clothing…. but be warned… the life span of these women is affected, they tend not to live as long – due to murder from the majority of women who have to WORK to lose the baby weight. Also… it will not be a “pretty and taught” baby belly… it will look like you have let the air out of a month old balloon… shrived and saggy…. do not expect to leave the hospital in your pre pregnancy clothes…. bring sweat pants… stretchy ones….

Pacifiers are NOT your worse enemy. I thought they were and I swore my kids would not need a soother. Bring one just in case. If you still choose not to use it – all the power to you. But really, they`re not that expensive and it`s always better to be prepared.

Don`t know how to soothe baby? Turn on your hair dryer and step back about four feet and ‘dry’ your baby. The heat combined with the white noise is magic!

Sometimes babies cry just to cry. There may be a reason, or there may not. Don`t stress and don`t feel guilty if you need to put baby down safely and just walk away for a moment. You need to take care of you as well. If you are worked up, baby will be too and it`s a vicious cycle. Go back when you are feeling calmer and more in control.

Steam up the bathroom before stripping baby for his/her bath. Baby will be much happier if they are warm. And it makes for much cuter pictures when they are not screaming!

Every phase has a challenge and everything is just a phase. They will grow out of it and nothing lasts forever. Chant this mantra in your head when your little angel is driving you berserk.

Your breasts will leak. All the time. You will have to do laundry when you ‘milk the bed’, because your breast pads shifted and didn’t cover your nipple.

Your boob size will constantly be changing. Don’t both buying too many of one size, or go for a bras that will stretch with you. Your boobs will look amazing in the first week after you deliver because your milk is coming in. They will perk up and sit exactly where they used to, when you were 15. Don’t get too excited though- because they will be so unbelievably tender that you will come to despise anyone who tries to hug you as they congratulate you on the new baby. Then the best part…. as you breastfeed – you will wonder where these voluptuous boobs have gone and why you are left with deflated balloons in their place.

Babysitters are gold. Don`t have one lined up. But have 2 or even 3 if you are that lucky. Rotate thru them, so that baby/kids don’t make strange!

Love thy husband. You may think you love your husband/partner before having their baby…. but that love will grow exponentially when you see them hold your child for the first time… It will blow your mind….

Lose those last 10 pounds? Yeah – it’s going to be a lot harder than it was before kids to loose weight. I swear your DNA changes and decides to store everything!

Drink lots of water and take your stool softener… you DO NOT want to get constipated after delivery… even the thought of pooping may bring you to tears… but let me tell you… if things get plugged up… the first time you DO go… the pain will lead you to feel like you have just delivered a second child… albeit.. one the size of a timbit… you are still healing around there… ESPECIALLY if you got stitches…. keep hydrated and keep things moving….

You will be STARVING at first…. your body still needs lots of extra calories to not only sustain you, but produce milk for your child…. eat up and enjoy!

Have a network of female friends that you can socialize and vent your feelings with. This should include women who have had children, as well as older women that have been in your position and possess the wisdom of having raised children. It takes a village to raise a child (or at least keep you sane!)

Anger is okay. You will be emotional. You will get angry and frustrated. Make sure you have an outlet for your feelings. This goes hand in hand with having a network of friends. Don’t allow yourself to use your children or your husband as a scapegoat.

No one is perfect. Don’t beat yourself up if parenting doesn’t go the way you want/expect it to. Anyone who looks like they have it together doesn’t. Trust me. Do your best and be comforted that your baby will love you unconditionally.

While it may not happen instantly… you will have a moment when are hit with this crippling love for your child that causes you to put all of their needs above your own. It will also bring out an insanely protective instinct where you can go from nice to Mama Bear in no time at all.

All the reading and research in the world will not prepare you or make you a better mother. It is also about trial and error. You will do your best and you will learn as you go. Have faith in yourself 🙂


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