So it's been a few months since the original Pregnancy Files, and baby Halle is in the world! Have a read of what Cara-Lee has learnt in the past few months in...
The Pregnancy Files!
Part 3 - The end of The Pregnancy Files, and the start of motherhood...
Advice from a fresh new mumma (a non-physio related blog)
Even though I made a conscious effort NOT to overload myself with stories and information and advice from a million different sources leading up to my labour and the start of my motherhood journey, I came across a few common tidbits and comments in the lead up to D day (darn you creepy Instagram and somehow knowing everything that is going on in my life).
To give you an idea, some common pieces of advice for labour were things such as:
Take snacks (girl, PULEASE, like you’re going to want to eat anything during labour)
Make a calming playlist (I don’t think I recall any of the music that was played)
Don’t stress about the fact that you’re most likely naked in front of people you don’t know (legit, don’t stress- it’s the very last thing you’re going to care about – bare it all, clothes are just a hindrance).
The main advice for dealing with a newborn?
Nap when they nap (just so you know- this is near impossible. In the beginning you’re listening to every weird noise they’re making to make sure they’re ok. Later on, you’re racing around like a madwoman whilst you have two hands to eat/shower/go to the toilet/clean the house/reply to a million messages). As much as you want to nap, it’s just not that easy!
Regardless, there’s some great advice out there and some advice that just may not work for you. If you are someone trying to get your hands on as much information as you can in preparation, then I’m here to add my two cents. Take what you will and ignore the rest but this is my advice for some practical tips for labour and the first few weeks of motherhood.
*I’m not going to give you heaps of tips for actual labour –this is so different for every person. Music, essential oils, clothes/no clothes, breathing, food – whatever may work for you may not work for me/others. It’s probably not a bad idea to have everything there INCASE you may need it. We didn’t touch anything in the bag of tricks that I packed apart from the one thing I will suggest:
Order a TENS machine
This is something I nearly didn’t do as I’m not a huge fan of TENS machines in practice but BOY, am I glad I was convinced otherwise. A TENS machine basically is a form of non-medicated pain relief (works by popping a couple of electrodes on your skin which are attached to a machine that delivers small electrical pulses to the body). This may not do a thing for you, it may just work as a distraction or it may work wonders. Having this TENS machine helped me tremendously during the beginning stages of labour to the point that I didn’t want to take it off to get in the pool/shower. Regardless, it can’t hurt to have an extra tool in your toolbox to try. You can buy one or go check out blissbirth.com.au – a company that you can hire a machine from for 4 weeks for $80. They send a reminder when you’re due to return it and even include a prepaid bag to return it in. As a bonus, the machine times your contractions and how far apart they are which is very useful!
1) Buy a perineal bottle or install a bidet sprayer
(Extra handy if you’re going the reusable nappy route)
Get this organised BEFORE you get home from the hospital – getting it down a week or two later will be too late. Having a bottle or a gentle sprayer than you can use when toileting right after birth will make the whole process far more comfortable. You may even be advised to spray water as you try to urinate to help with any stinging that may occur. Let me tell you – using water rather than toilet paper to clean the downstairs area when it’s feeling very sensitive is FAR more comfortable.
2) However many maternity pads you currently have, double them
This ain't no normal period, you’ll be changing those things every couple hours.
3) Steal some blueys (bed pads) from the hospital if you can to protect your bed sheets for the first few days
4) One of the best bits of advice I got was to invest in Terry Towels
Go out and get about 3 packs of 10 now. Then put some in every room. These are amazing for stuffing in your bra/on your stomach when feeding so you don’t end up with a sopping wet bra/body; for use as a breastfeeding cover; a change mat; a butt wipe in desperate times and to put down when you want some bare bum time (the baby, not you).
5) A milk collector
Maybe wait to see how the breastfeeding journey goes for this one but if things go well and you happen to be a bit (or A LOT) leaky then my brand new favourite piece of equipment are the milk collectors from Medela.
These are circular ‘cups’ that sit over the nipple of the other breast as you breastfeed to catch any let down. I got these because I was gifted a Medela pump so figured I’d go with the brand I already had although I had heard a lot about the Haakaa breast pump. To be honest, I love the Medela ones as you can just slip them into your bra whilst feeding from the other side and it collects all the let-down without having to find space for the larger looking Haakaa pump. Amazing to not only collect extra milk without wasting it but means you don’t end up wearing it!
If you’re considering going down the reusable nappy route, I highly recommend trying The Nappy Guru. The Nappy Guru has a hire service where you can hire a variety of newborn nappies or bigger nappies if you’d like to try a heap of brands before you purchase any. Rather than buying 30+ newborn nappies just for your bub to grow out of, you pay $25/week to hire 30 and get advice on how to use them/clean them. It's a great test run to see whether going the reusable route is for you or not. *This is also where having a bidet sprayer comes in handy to help clean the nappies!
And that’s my advice for now- 3 weeks in and those are the things I’ve found most helpful! Good luck mumma – we’ve got this. Even when we think we don’t!
Do you have any aches or pains that you want to get checked out? Book in online here to see one of our Physio's today, or call us (08) 9448 2994.