I know, I know, but I started school and can’t be on top of everything in life. Trying to get back into the swing of things after break has been really hard, and my body has decided at this great moment to refuse to sleep. I’ve never had a problem sleeping whenever I want, and in fact we usually call it my super power and so the lack of good sleep is something I don’t know how to deal with. So, I’m taking the easy way out with a post and I’m just going to add a list of behind the scenes birth tips I’ve recently created. I have several friends who have just given birth or are about to, and I’ve come up with a list of things that most people don’t think about or know about the process. I know that this doesn’t quite jive with the theme of my blog, but I think it could be informative for someone without a nursing friend!
1. Steal the schwag: The nurse will restock your room after you leave and if it is open she will throw it out, so you might as well take it. Baby wipes, clothing, hats, diapers, and blankets, bring a bag and take it with you.
2. Pack a bunch of clothes options because most people want to ditch the hospital gown the minute they deliver, its not like you’re sick. I’ve seem some very classy outfits made by folding over the gown and using it as a skirt, paired with a nice t-shirt or tank top for pictures. If you have seen any of those post birth photos, those gowns do nothing for you so I suggest bringing a few shirt styles and you can decide what will be the most comfortable after the fact.
3. Bring your own shampoo, lotion, soap etc in travel size containers, and don’t forget a brush. They have all these products but their really really bad.
4. If you are going to breast feed, you need to decide what you want to do about your baby in the nursery. If you are sleeping or the baby is hungry in the nursery, they will feed your baby a bottle. This can make breast feeding later harder, because he’s figured out there is an easier way to get food and he is not going to latch as well. You can either always keep him in the room, instruct no bottles under penalty of death or you can just understand its going to be a little harder and don’t freak out about it… its your choice!
5. It may feel weird sharing this moment with another person, but having a student nurse is always good if you have the option. It means that you have two nurses instead of one, and everyone always appreciates the extra attention.
6. It’s a weird one, but ask to check out the placenta, its really cool and its nice to see what kept your baby alive for 9 months.
7. Just something to keep in mind, some hospitals do not have a NICU, so if something happens during delivery and your baby needs some extra help with life they will transport him to another hospital. You will need to stay at the hospital for a minimum of 12 hours, so make sure that your husband’s clothes and things are packed in a different bag so he can go with the baby and make any medical decisions. I also suggest calling a friend or family member with a cool head if this happens to come stay with you. It’s hard to be alone and you should have an advocate with you at all times who can go into the hall and find you help if you need it.
8. The C-section rate is on the rise, so it is always something you need to be prepared for. Don’t freak out if it does happen, but know the after care is different. You want whatever anti-nausea meds they offer. There is nothing worst than dry heaving once the pain meds start to wear off, so while it will make you a little sleepy, that can be a blessing. Also, ask to wait for the catheter until after the epidural. It is a necessary part of the procedure but not much fun and it is better if you don’t feel it.
9. Your baby’s first bath is a great moment. You get to really see what color hair your baby has, and unwrapping all the little parts is magic. Ask to see it, or if they are going to do it in the nursery send your husband with the camera.
10. Oh, and about the pain meds after delivery, always take them even if you don’t hurt at the moment. Many people wait until they feel pain to ask for more medication, and being in pain slows down your ability to heal. They can offer them before the previous meds have worn off and this keeps you from feel it, which I am a big fan of! (Also, ice packs in the shapes of pads are supposedly amazing!)
11. Even if you don’t have any special dietary considerations (vegetarian, allergies) but especially if you do, I always suggest packing menus of favorite restaurants that deliver. Pizza, Chinese, or wings, a lot of moms want a specific food right after delivery and hospital food isn’t going to cut it. It is also a good idea if you are going to have a lot of family visit and you want to have a little party! Side note: I had a mom ordering pizza from her cell while still in the stirrups while she was being stitched up. It is perfectly acceptable.
I’ll be back to actually write and tell about all the upcoming fun once I get my life back on track!