As you may know, we’ve recently had a baby boy, but before that I was pregnant (funny that…) and the the internet is just full of bat shit insane and down right dangerous / terrifying information for mums to be. In this sea of chaos was an oasis of sense – /r/babybumps – well, sense and an inordinate number of watermelon related posts.
Anyway, 6 weeks post-birth I returned to thank them for their help and to offer my own tips, the lovely people of Reddit agreed with my tips so I’m blogging them for prosperity.
(NB the american redditors were a little baffled by the focus on tea and toast in my post-birth life, but as you know, that’s exactly how a brit copes with everything and anything)
Here we go:
As I have now been a mother for almost 6 whole weeks, I’m fully qualified to pass on some tips 😉 I know you’re all covered on the usual stuff (lip balm – yes!) but here are my top slightly off wall tips.
Full disclosure: I’m a technical project manager and I’ve suffered from a chronic fatigue syndrome so I’m good at being organised whilst being a tired zombie- that training helped, but may explain some of the odder tips below…
But first, advice – nothing will go as planned, it’s bloody hard and you can do it. Make sure you and your birth partner know the options, make it clear to the midwives that yes, you will be asking for the pros and cons of everything but if you’re informed you can make choices there and then and know you’re doing the best in that situation, this gives great peace of mind. Also as we both knew the plan, I could delegate choices to my hubby when I just couldn’t cope – he was amazing, asked all the right questions and made the right things happen 🙂
Anyway, our top tips:
- Water bottle. Go and buy a large good one NOW, you will need it during labour, you need it now to keep yourself hydrated and dear god you will need it when breast feeding. You will be soooo dehydrated. Get a decent one!
- Get one for your partner too! Put it in their hospital bag and tell them to drink. Labour takes forever, when your sidekick gives you water, they should drink a swing too. The midwives went to get the hubby a cuppa at one point but my bp dropped so there was a flurry and it was about an hour later before we looked over to him and saw him fading! Make sure your man can keep hydrated.
- Make sure he eats something. Yes I know you’re the main player here but you’ll need him later – I stuck harribo and chocolate in his bag, he forgot about it and looked very very pale after about 24 hours. Dread to think how I looked! Actually I took a photo, I looked terrible. I couldn’t eat as I was at risk of cesarean – the darling baby wasn’t looking the right way which was…inconvenient! Anyway, once the beloved had had some sugar he looked much better.
- 3m long phone charging cables. You may be stuck in hospital for some time, being able to sit in bed on charge was great – you know how long those beds are and how far away from the wall sockets they can be, 3m was awesome. Also get your home set up now, you will be sat for hours all over the place feeding, decent length cables can trail over the backs of sofas etc. I used these, a couple of quid and they are fab. Order now!http://s.aliexpress.com/aQRBrM3q
- You’re going to feed horrid, get some really really nice shower gel and face wash, I know it sounds daft but decent face wash and really nice shower gel will make you feel human. You’ve already spent a small fortune getting ready for the baby, this is a drop in the ocean. You deserve it. Plus middle of the night, washing your face can give you a new burst of energy.
- Go to Costco and buy breakfast bars (their own brand are yummy!) and some small chocolate bars or something similar. This is what you will live on the first couple of days, and that’s ok 🙂 we have a rule that if you do a night feed, you totally can have a caramel freddo bar! We also bought a tray of tins of bakes beans, anyone can make beans on toast with one hand whilst calming a screaming baby.
- Get a milkman! Do they have those in America? We’ve signed up with Milk and More here in the UK. So once a week we get milk and bread delivered – you can do anything as long as you can make tea and toast.
- Get a shopping basket, we have an old fashioned wicker one. Why? You will spend your life going from room to room and floor to floor in your house with one hand carrying the baby, a basket will allow you to move more than one thing. You can also use it to clear out all the mugs that will end up all over your house. Trust me on this one! It’ll save you a lot of effort 🙂
- Pyjamas with pockets. You will be doing a lot of walking around with a baby in your arms – you need to be able to put your phone somewhere, or store a bottle etc. Chaps too.
- If nights are hell, get a thermos flask, a hot cup of tea or coffee may just recapture your sanity at 4am after an hour of being screamed at. It’s rather civilised!
- Remember this – both you and your partner are perfectly capable, no don’t fall for any of that crap about ditsy dads, apart from breast feeding there is nothing the chaps can’t do, do it all together, yes things will change when one or both of you are back at work but that first week is a team effort, you’ll be fantastic.
Everyone is different, but hopefully some of this will help. Good luck, you’re going to kick arse.