#1. Plan on not following the plan.
It feels great to be prepared and will give you some peace of mind to read and practice and try to envision what labor might entail, however it rarely will be like you imagine. Just go with the flow (pun-intended) and do what’s healthiest for you and your baby.
#2. Have a mini-melt down, or 2 or 3.
Giving birth is a scary thing and no matter how prepared and confidante you feel, it’s a pretty big deal. It’s okay to let it out, your entitled to have a good cry, scream, or temper tantrum, or just sheer panic- regardless of your hormones.
#3. Eat something if you can!
Uh, labor is prreeettyyy exhausting. I wish I would have done a little more research regarding snacks before labor. If you can manage, eat something before you get to the hospital, but be picky, you don’t want heartburn when you’re trying to push!
#4. You’ll still look pregnant.
After giving birth you will still look 6-8months pregnant. It WILL deflate… eventually – but it seems like having a baby changes your body composition. 5lbs of fat now looks like 15lbs of fat, try and stay healthy during your pregnancy! Eat healthy food, go for walks, and take a good look at who’s advising you to eat for two.
#5. “No Solicitors”
Is it possible to post a sign on your hospital door? I stayed in the hospital for 2 1/2 days and I think I may have gotten 3 hours max. of uninterrupted rest. Between lactation consultants, physicians, nurses, photographers, new mom support group recruiters, food delivery, family, crying purple baby videos, your OBGYN, pediatrician, birth certificate person, your baby’s first bath, being weighed, feeding and other advisers/specialist I’m surely forgetting about – you hardly get a moment to rest. The most challenging/enraging thing was trying to politely stay awake while clumsily breastfeeding and listening to some stranger ask if I’d like to have a newborn photo shoot while my boob is out and I still have not taken a shower. I repeat, I still have not taken a shower.
#6. Awful and Disgusting
Some super nasty things can happen during and after labor but they happen to us all, even the Kim Kardashian’s of the world. Just know that it’s totally normal and your doctors and nurses have seen it all, just be thankful they really don’t give a sh*t.
#7. Pain Pills
Thank God, it can be okay to take pain pills after you’ve given birth, prescribed by your OBGYN, however they do have side effects. They can cause severe stomach aches, be aware.
#8. 16+ Months
Party it up now! Drink your cocktails while you can, bleach your teeth, dye your hair, have that chemical peel before you get prego. No one reminds you that not only do you have to be extra conscious while you’re pregnant, the same rules apply while you’re breast feeding and because it’s highly recommended to breast feed for 6 months you could very well have a 16 month chemical free road ahead of you~
I absolutely wanted to have a natural birth and practiced meditation techniques before giving birth. Unfortunately, I had to be induced, which is obviously unnatural and can alter your contractions. I made it about 70% of the way through and in retro-spec, glad I did:
- I was able to gain great appreciation for having a natural birth but am SO grateful for having an epidural!
- My body started going into shock, making it incredibly difficult to relax. The epidural actually helped to speed up my labor process.
- Contrary to popular belief – my doctor did say you are able to get an epidural at any point during labor. The issue is that the anesthesiologist my not be at the hospital and it could take her awhile to make it to your room.
- If you decide to go for it, also know that your nurse should be helping you to roll around – I’ve heard so many stories of an epidural not working because it all pools in one spot if you’ve been laying in the same position for too long.
- Try and not give yourself one last blast of epi before you push (just to make sure you don’t feel a thing) I had to lay in bed for an extra 2 hours before I could feel my legs again, lol – my nurse was pissed.
- My IV hurt more then getting the epidural.
- I also had a slight allergic reaction to whatever they rub all over your back before the injection.
#10 Nipple Guards, they do exist!
If you give birth to a very hungry caterpillar who wants to eat 24/7 – breastfeeding could very well be the 2nd most painful thing you endure. After complaining that it was incredibly painful and was literally taking my breath away, my lactation nurse asked if I’d like to try a nipple guard. Where the H have you been – oh, right – finally letting me get some rest. I used nipple guards for about 8 weeks then gradually stopped using them, but they do exist for a reason!
* Best advice, don’t get overwhelmed by everyone’s advice. Just do what makes you feel the most comfortable and is healthy for you and your baby and enjoy the journey 😉