If you are pregnant and reading this, my first advice is RELAX!!!! Yep, just relax...it will be very beneficial for you once baby comes if you sleep as much as humanly possible now. Why, you ask? Because most, not all, but most babies don't sleep for very long stretches at a time. Which can be very stressful and tiring for a new mom and dad. Also, by relaxing, you can help get you body into maximum position for birthing...stressing over pains, due date, childbirth and anything else is not optimal for you or baby.
I want you to get on your computer and "Google" peaceful homebirths. Now, you may not be planning a homebirth, but, these are the best videos of calm, non screaming, non scary, unmedicated births I have ever seen for great examples of how it can be. You can also watch "The Business Of Being Born".Envision your own birth in this way. Do NOT watch anything about birth on tv. No "Baby Story", no "one Born Every Minute"...NOT AT ALL!!! Those are over-sensationalized for ratings.
I want you to make a birth plan. Bear in mind that your birth may not go like you plan, but, if you have taken the time to write out a detailed plan, then, I know that you have researched and know all of your options. The more you know, the better you do. I also fully believe that the more you know, the more confident you will be going in and less likely to just cave or follow blindly. Hire a Doula to help you stay focused and she can also concentrate just on you and help you to stay in charge of your birth. Research non -medicated pain relief options to try out. You'd be surprised how much you can endure if your mind is in the right place and you stay in charge.
This birth plan should include:
- Whether or not you want to be able to move around while in labor. ( Which helps with pain relief and to facilitate baby in coming out)
- Whether or not you want them to offer meds or wait on you to ask.
- Who you want in the room.
- Whether or not you want babies cord cut immediately or delay until it receives all of the precious cord blood.
- Whether you want baby placed directly on your chest or allowed to be cleaned and wrapped first.
- Whether or not you want baby to be allowed to breastfeed immediately.
- Whether or not you want baby to room in with you or go to the nursery.
- Do you want to avoid an episiotomy?
- Do you want to be allowed to push when you feel the urge instead of being coached to "Purple Push".
- Whether you want to avoid induction or get a second opinion when doc wants to induce.
- Do you want to avoid vaccines or eye goo while there?
Now, let's talk about baby. Keep in mind, babies stomach is the size of a marble until about 3 days old. A marble. That is 5-7mL, NOT even a half of an ounce...and that is true for ALL babies. It doesn't matter if they were 16lbs 4oz or 10oz , the smaller baby has a smaller stomach, but, the larger baby does NOT have a larger stomach. It is a myth that babies need 2, 3 or 4 oz bottles from birth. Or that they need supplement if your milk isn't in the next day. As your baby grows, it's stomach capacity will expand slightly, but, never more than their fist if no one has been overfeeding. Babies are designed by nature to take small amounts of milk often. Not to take large volumes every 3 or 4 hours. So, if you are nursing, BM digests VERY easily and colostrum(the first milk) if VERY high in calories and fat and baby will eat very often. The more baby is put directly to breast, the more likely you will make enough for baby. The minute you replace a nursing session with a formula bottle, that signals the breast to make one bottle less milk. It's all supply and demand. Yes, you WILL nurse a lot at first, but, around 6+weeks, baby should be slowing some after a major growth spurt and feeding frenzy. If you are formula feeding, do NOT start out with more than an ounce. Feed that bottle slowly mimicking BF in order to ensure baby doesn't gulp it all down before his stomach has a chance to register fullness. Feed tiny amounts often.
Invest in a wrap or wide seated carrier and wear baby soon and often. This not only will help you calm baby, but, baby will feel involved and secure. You can nurse in the wrap/carrier and baby can develop core muscles through being worn. Wearing baby most of the time instead of having baby lay flat on it's back is also a great deterrent for "flat head syndrome".
Look into a convertible carseat that rearfaces to a high weight and height. Kids are safer and able to rearface until past age two if possible. "One and 20" is a very minimum and "Two and 30" is recommended at the very least. Sweden rearfaces until age 5. There are very few car deaths of kids under age 5 there.
This is one of a series...please stay tuned for more posts.