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Thursday, May 21, 2009

For Parents To Be

My cousin who is due with twins in December has lately been asking my sister and I tips, advice, etc., She is not close enough with some women to ask delicate questions and none of her friends are in that stage of life where they are having kids. I hesitated at first because I hated the bombardment of advice other people gave me when I didn't ask or would over explain a million times over then necessary if I did. Obviously what works for one Mom will not work for another Mom, but here are my tips.

During Your Pregnancy
  • Take extra time for yourself, because in a few months you really won't have the time or desire to do so. Sleep as much as possible too...if you can.
  • Don't bother registering for stuff other then clothes for far in the future necessities (like when they are no longer infants anymore. Both my sister and found what we thought worked for us pre-baby did not work for us once we gained some experience being parents.
  • Certainly tour the hospital where you are staying. Have a plan in place in case your water breaks on who is taking care of your dogs, other children and driving you whether you are at work or home.
  • If you can (and you like to) get yourself a pedicure before you are due to give birth. Sometimes you will feel like complete yuck after you give birth but at least your toes look awesome.
  • Read plenty of pregnancy books and things online. DON'T read far into it and become overly paranoid with dooms day people. Other people may make you paranoid as well and some are not the most educated people (those people really do suck). If you are worried or concerned about anything then ask your doctor.
  • Buy both good sports bras and nursing bras. You'll need them.
  • Purchase nursing pads even if you are not breastfeeding. I needed them before I even gave birth.
  • Buy plenty of pads for your house (both heavy and light). One friend liked putting hers in the freezer, but that wasn't my thing.
Right After Birth
  • Okay people did NOT tell me I had to pee right after I got into my postpartum room. Then you get to wear these mesh underwear, a ginormous pad, a cooling pad (those are great), witch hazel pads and lastly you spray yourself. You sort of feel like you're wearing a really cold diaper.
  • Speaking of mesh underwear, take packs of these home with you from the hospital. If you mess up those underwear, you can easily throw them away. If you mess up your underwear then you have to clean them.
  • Get a few of those bottles you clean yourself after using the bathroom. Its nice having one for each bathroom so you don't have to worry about it once you get home. Obviously clean them if they get dirty, but they are also great for bath time for babies because for me it made it easier to spray down a soapy baby's head.
Once You Arrived Home
  • If you are engorged and you don't have time for a shower, then buy a head of cabbage. Literally they are the best thing ever to put on engorged breast. Yes you smell like cabbage but they fit perfectly and it cools you down for a while.
  • If people ask how they can help, then tell them to bring food that can easily be heated up. There is nothing like getting free food and food that you can easily prepare instead of having to cook everything.
  • Get plenty of rest and if people are over then just excuse yourself for a nap if you are tired. In order for you to take care of your baby, you also need to take care of yourself.


Erin said...

I have a couple things to add:
1. After birth your uterus has to contract to get back to size. These contractions are more pronounced when breastfeeding (as if learning how to breastfeed isanAkt hard enough!). Definitely take the motrin, and have some tylenol ready at home. They only take a few days to stop, but they are uncomfortable, so be prepared!

2. The cabbage thing is only if you are formula feeding and need to dry up your milk. If you are breastfeeding, you need a pump. Buy it before you have your baby - there are tons of reviews out there, so do your research. If you are going back to work and will be pumping, you need a double electric. If you are staying at home, or will be able to nurse during the day, you will be good with a manual. Use it if you are getting engorged and to build up a frozen supply incase you want a night out or need to go on medication you don't want to pass to the baby.

NOVAParenting said...

Great adds Erin! Thank you!