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Things you wish people had told you before your first birth!



  • Fairythalia, spot on hun!

    I found incompentent midwives lol.

    I too have never tore or needed stitches and my two were 7lb 13 and 8lb 10. Just the grazing, but I found if I held tissue over it when going for a wee it was fine image
  • I think a lot of it is just genetic - to do with elasticity. Same with stretch marks - you'll either get them or you won't regardless of creams and lotions. If your mum had them, most likely you will too. If your mum is mark free you probably will be. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

    My Mum didn't tear either! Also I read it's a good idea to soften the perineum in the last weeks with regular applications of moisturising emollient to stretch the skin and make it supple. (Although I didn't do this - it's supposed to help)

    Also when it was time to push, I listened really carefully to the MW and tried to push when she told me too and stop when she said stop - although this is really hard to do! x
  • Ooops - Double post

    [Modified by: Fairythalia on July 07, 2010 03:46 PM]

  • what miosturiser can you use down there??
  • epaderm ointment (not cream) or palmers cocoa butter or olive butter should all be fine!
  • its all veeery fresh in my mind being a new mum so here goes!!

    1 how utterly disheartening it is to hear you're only 1 cm, but still in a world of pain! ( i had a very easy labour after that though, so can;t really complain!)
    2. the pain of contractions was worse than pushing for me as i didn't know when it would stop, at least with pushing i was nearing the end.
    3. tensing up with contractions can slow your dilation.
    4. make a birth plan about pain relief by all means but be prepared for it to go out of the window once you're in labour!
    5. being in pain in very tiring, don't be afraid to ask for pethadine etc in the early stages if you're in for a long labour as a rest will help and make you stronger for what's to come.
    6. when pushing you may feel like you can't do it, i did whail " i can't do it!!.." blah blah blah, but i had very little choice really
    7. gas and air can be handy for stitches if you didn't have it before!
    8. if they suspect a posterior tear, they will stick their finger up your bum to check the thickness of the vaginal wall inside. but to be honest.... after the birth, i felt it but really didn't care!!
    9. i was sick when i got up for a bath after the birth much you bleed afterwards..., i had 2 pads disposable kickers and big granny pants on to feel secure on the first day after birth. the pads are comfy for stiches though!
    11. breastfeeing is bloody hard work and can be so painful.... bleeing nips, cracked nips.... a good latch and positioning is key.
    12. not all midwives give good advice on positionning and latch... ask to see a lactation consultant or similar at the hopsital if you aren't happy, better than a bad latch and a lot of pain.
    13.lansinoh is a lifesaver for breastfeeding mums
    14. expressing can stop you from giving up bf completely.
    15 how utterly wonderful it is to be a mum, and how your life will change beyond comprehension!!

  • p.s little girls sometimes bleed from the vagina in the first few days, something to do with withdrawing from the hormones in the womb i think? can be scary seeing blood in the nappy! x
  • hi ladies, i've not read all the posts so apologies if i'm repeating anything. I gave birth 3 weeks ago, i wish i had known the following:

    - you can try every herbal remedy/old wives tale/whatever to try to get baby to come out - it will only come when its ready! (13 days late in my case)
    - that just because its your first baby doesn't mean it will be a long labour - and if you feel that baby is on the way and you need to go to hospital, just go!
    - how elated/petrified i would feel whe i got to the hospital and they told me i was already 9 1/2 cm's and the baby is coming now!!
    - that you can spend ages writing a birth plan and it can go straight out of the window when labour actually starts.
    - that you can spend weeks preparing your hospital bag and not need any of it - i barely had time to whip my knickers off!
    - that you can give birth without pain relief, and survive. (although i would have given anything for an epidural at the time!)
    - how much pain i'd be in aftewards thanks to the tearing, and how being stitched up was the worst part of the whole experience.
    - how good the tea and toast tastes after you've given birth.
    - how much you bleed and how long for - 3 weeks on its still going.
    - how hard breastfeeding is.
    - how amazing it is to see my hubby holding our daughter for the first time, and how good he is with her. it melts my heart.
    - how overwhelming it is when you bring baby home. i read every baby book i could find while on maternity leave - nothing can prepare you for when they are actually here.
    - how amazng it is to look at your little one and know they are yours xxx

    also - i saw someone mentioned fybogel. that stuff has been a flippin godsend. i suffered a 4th degree perrenial (sp) tear, plus a few other tears. i am still taking fybogel now - health visitor said i have to be brave enough to stop takng it sometime soon! eek!
  • I was planning a home water bith for the firsst time and spent 6 blissful hours in the pool at home but when it came to pushing things did not happen and I ended up having a c-section, if you want a water birth and things are all ok I woukd say go for it.
  • that you should wake your baby for feeds especially if the weather is very warm. mine ended up very dehydrated partly because i left him sleeping for six hours and partly because he wasn't feeding from the breast correctly and i refused to allow him formula.
    You will pass BIG clots that feel way too big to be right!
    I cried and cried for no reason at all when we got home, just felt all wierd and wrong.
    everyone tells you different about the number of layers to put on baby, i ended up buying a thermometer to check the temperature myself i got so fed up!
    Night feeds are lonely. I bought loads of cheep mags, one's with short true stories in to keep me amused. Keep them with drinks and snacks down the side of your feeding chair perminently.
    Going out is difficult. It was very scary for me to trust myself to deal with baby if he cried whilst i was out. Everything WILL be fine though.
    Oh, i couldn't have cared less about baby when he was born. I was so shocked that i didn't know what was going on. Soon came round though. My love for him started when he was born and has grown every week. I never had that rush of mother love that some ladies have. I can tell you though that he is 13months now and my best friend image
  • lovely advice ladies!! I think nothing can prepare you for how your labour and birth will be, what might happen as its totally unpredictable and personal to every mother and baby, and what happens when baby comes home!!

    I am just trying to keep as open minded as possible and not take anything for granted, and let go of the control freak in me!! XX
  • I wish I'd know lots of things...

    i wish I'd known that pressure on my bowel was a sign of labour - I just thought I had trapped wind! On the plus side, arrived at hospital 9cms dilated, having fully expected to be sent home.

    Related to this, in my experience, contractions didn't have me doubled up in pain which I had expected- downside was that contractions disappeared when I was at pushing stage so had to push on my own really and ended up with small episotomy.

    Also, that complications can happen immediately after the birth. Everything focuses on the labour and giving birth and I didn't know how important placenta delivery was. I didn't get any contractions after the birth and after an hour, as we were still gazing at our gorgeous daughter, I was suddenly whipped off to theatre to have the placenta manually removed.

    Also found that every midwife I saw in the hospital gave me different advice about breast feeding. Left me very confused!

    Also wish someone had told that it would take so long to arrange a shower for me and a bath for baby in hospital. I was left for over 24 hrs in the gown I'd had on in theatre and I was covered in blood. Turned out that someone just had to assess that I could stand up properly after having a spinal block in theatre. We managed to give baby a bath after asking 5 times for it on day 2.

    But all these things stop mattering the minute you start to bond with baby (again I echo what others have said about it not always happening straight away).

  • that sometimes you don't need an epidural because you can't cope with the pain.

    i was coping fine with the pain of my back to back labour, using heat and painkillers... i had gas and air when they put a clip on babies head, and would have been fine with that i was okay with the pain, i needed an epidural because i was falling asleep between contractions. the intentiopn was it would let me sleep so they could rest me for pushing... ha! by the time they'd put it in i was 10cm and ready to push!
  • ok, so going completely against the grain here but these are the things that I wish I had been told before my first labour/birth!
    1. Contractions don't slowly start decreasing eg starting at 20 mins ans slowly getting closer together. They can start at every 10 minutes, drop to every eight mins two hours later and drop again to every 3 mins within about 4 8 min contractions! And you still get to hospital to only be 1cm dilated, and they can then carry on at every 1.5-1 min for another 7 hours!
    2. Gas and Air is the best invention EVER!!
    3. for me pushing didn't actually hurt - it was the best part of the labour!
    4. It doesn't neccessarily register that pushing is what you are doing and that it can be completely involuntary
    5. sometimes pushing doesn't actually feel like you are pooing yourself (never felt like that for me)
    6. The pushing stage can be much quicker than anticipated (With 1st lo it was 18 mins, 2nd lo it was 8 mins!)
    7. Having a really nice MW pour cold water over your bits whilst baby is crowning actually feels like bliss!
    8. You don't always have to have stitches (only grazed with both lo's)
    9. You can give birth with your legs closed (I was on my right hand side curled up in the fetal position and there was no way I was moving for anyone!)
    10. have to agree with the other ladies that 1st wee is soooooo painful, I was quiet all through labour and actually screamed when I went for that 1st wee, I packed my own jug when I went in second time
    11. You can actually experience no after pains with 1st lo, but still require gas and air with the second!
    12. You can have no pain whatsoever down there and still walk like a cross between John Wayne and an old lady as you have pulled all the muscles in your back pushing so hard
    13. It doesn't always hurt going for a poo after giving birth, never had any probs when going after either births, but did hold a wad of toilet paper over my bits and felt that it did help, as it does feel like everything is going to fall out!!
    14. That labour can be the most positive thing about a whole pregnancy and you can feel ready to go through it all again within 6 hours!
    Needless to say, both of my labours have been very straight forward and a great experience (hence why I'm doing it for a third time!) I hope that all the other ladies on here can also experience a labour as good as mione have been.
    H. (13+4) xxx
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