Things I wish someone had told me before Giving Birth
Every Monday for a few weeks I am giving my website over to my wonderful friend Becky. She has very recently given birth to her first beautiful baba and has written some brilliant content for you readers on some of her recent learnings. I have known Bec since we were 11, we joined secondary school together and were in same form class H2. We have stayed solid friends for nearly 30 years now and have been there for each other through thick and thin, birth, death, relationship breakups, everything. Bec has always been an amazing writer and now I get to share her work with you.
Baba Bu is now 4 months old
The Baba bu is now four months old which is truly, truly unbelievable.
It’s such a cliché but I really think there’s truth in the fact that nothing can really prepare you for motherhood.
In those early bliss-filled crazy hazy days of not knowing what the hell was going on my partner and I found ourselves constantly updating our catalogue of things we wish we’d been told before we had her, a scrawled version of which I just recently came across in my journal. The Baba bu was about 2 weeks old when I wrote this list, which goes to show just how quickly you become an expert!
So if you’re preggers with your first and you’re wondering what else there is to do now the hospital bag is packed, your freezer is full of home-cooked lovely meals and all the windows in your house have been windowlened (this last one might just’ve been my own weird nesting activity) then this list might be useful to you….
1. Start maternity leave 1 week earlier than you think you want to/need to
When the Baba bu decided she was ready to meet us at 39 weeks I felt I’d hardly had time to change gear and really relax, much less get bored of being on maternity leave.
2. Get an emergency feeding kit together BEFORE your baby is born
You and your baby may take to breastfeeding straightaway but if you don’t chances are your crisis point will strike at 3am on a Sunday morning when everything everywhere is shut. So I’d recommend pulling together a kit that includes:
- a breast milk expressing pump;
- a pack of nipple shields (I used medela ones because they are supposedly most like feeding direct from the nipple for the baby);
- a box of emergency formula,
- Bottles for feeding baba with expressed milk.
- Also get a cupboards worth of lansinoh, because breast feeding = ouch! Especially in the beginning.
3. Buy a pack of new born baby grows (e.g. up to 1 month sized)
0-3 months is HUGE, especially if your baby is less than 8lbs or so. Keep the receipt if you’re worried about wasting money!
4. Buy blankets before you give birth
Lots of them. Or ask friends and family to buy them for you. We just didn’t think about them and were super lucky that Mrs Mummypenny had included some in the vast bundle of lovely baby goodies she’d given us. It just wasn’t on our radar when we were prepping the hospital bag/nursery….
5. Work out your visitor ‘exit strategy’ in advance with your partner
Visitors are wonderful, kind and lovely people. You want to see them. But you have no idea until it happens just how exhausting it is having people come over. Discuss and agree in advance how many visitors you want to have (and whatever your number is, halve that figure!), for how long (and halve the number again) and what your strategy is for getting them to leave. It sounds crazy but I say again, it is wonderful but also EXHAUSTING to have visitors.
6. Buy at least one nursing bra (ideally 2 -3 ) and a few nursing tops BEFORE you have the baby
I refer you back to point one. I thought I had more time available than I did to go shopping ‘for me’ and so I spent a miserable first 8 or 9 days mostly braless, in vest tops feeling as though I was constantly getting my boobs out in the least dignified way possible. Few things in the normal course of life will rob you of dignity quite so fully as pregnancy and giving birth but you want to feel the best you can afterwards. Things like having the right clothes to feed your baby and feel relatively covered up at the same time are a small but important part of this.
Bravissimo have a great range with lots in the sale at the moment.
7. Go to a local breastfeeding group before you give birth
Breast feeding is hard. For some people it’s really straightforward but most mums I’ve talked to had issues at least in the beginning and in addition to the kit I mentioned in point two know what support is available locally and connect with groups before you give birth. It will make turning up easier at a point when you need everything to be easier.
As I said, I really don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you for what happens when your baby turns up – either the magical moments and feelings you have or the omigod ones – but I’d really love it if I could help just one person a little bit with this list of my top 7 things I wish I’d known before the Baba bu arrived!
Next week its ‘Revealed:What really happens at the magic 3 month point
This post contain affiliate links to the recommended products all available at Amazon, Boots and Bravissimo.