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Old 03-15-2013, 10:14 PM   #1
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Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

One of my good friends is nearly 39 weeks with her first baby. Very exciting! This is my 4th, and I feel obligated to fill her in on some things that I felt utterly unprepared for and no one told me about, especially about post-partum type things.
Such as...
The nurse will push on your lower abdomen to check your uterus afterward, and it really doesn't feel nice. Even if you have a c-section.
Two words: sitz bath.
If everything is ok, they don't have to take baby away from you right away (or at all).
Your boobs, vag, and eyes may all leak at the same time, and that is perfectly normal and expected.
COLACE. Yes.
Don't be a hero; if you need the pain killers on a schedule for awhile, do it. It will keep you better relaxed, and that helps with nursing since babies can smell fear.
Vag ice packs are the best thing ever!

So, hit me. Good, bad, funny, icky. What do you wish someone had told you, besides the above?

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Old 03-16-2013, 08:16 AM   #2
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Have Daddy accompany the baby to the nursery for weight checks and baths. At my hospital, the night staff always comes to take the babies to the nursery for all of that kind of thing. With my first, I was by myself (husband went home at night) and DS1 was gone for HOURS. With my next two, DH stayed with me practically every minute and went to the nursery with the babies. He was back in 15 minutes. Turns out that they gather ALL the babies up, then do their checks, then take them all back, so they sit in the nursery in the middle of the night under fluourescent lights in their bassinets (and sleep or cry) for a long time.

Don't be afraid to hold your newborn just for the sake of holding him/her. You can even sleep with baby. If the hospital staff gives you grief about it, you were nursing lying down.

Baby's tummy is TINY for the first week. We're talking smaller than a quarter, so don't worry if there's not a lot of milk/colostrum going in, there's no where for it to go!

Not every baby has read the books on nursing, so don't go by how often they nurse, how long they nurse, if they take both sides, etc. A record of output (wet and soiled diapers) was more helpful to me to ensure baby was getting enough to eat for the first few weeks.

Witch hazel pads for your perineum. Just put them there and pull up your undies. When you use the toilet next, it will fall in and you can flush it.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

On the flip side of pp, if you want baby to go to the nursery at night feel free! I had a csection after a very long labor and was incredibly exhausted. I felt like a terrible mother but I needed it. They brought them to me whenever he was fussy or every three hours for breast feeding. My hospital had the nursery lights turned way down at night and the nurses were wonderful!

Also, DO NOT feel bad telling your visitors that you need space. My hospital had quiet hours from 2-4pm where no visitors were allowed. Jack and I took some much needed naps together. It was awesome!
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Oh and be prepared for the second night crazies. Something about the second night babies are out in the world, they don't sleep or want to eat. They just want to cry. The nurses said it happens to 90% of babies.

Also nipple confusion isn't real for most babies.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

I had super intense cramping with nursing and horrible night sweats for a couple days after delivery.. No one told me that would happen.

And pp bleeding in NOT like your period... It is gross, lumpy and towards the end starts to have an odor...blood that's been hanging out for months... Not yummy
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Oy, agree with the lochia comment above! Also, be prepared for the "ugly sibling" a day or two after birth. Ow.

If you have to have a c-section, STAY IN THE HOSPITAL. For as long as your insurance/hospital policy allows. We were anxious to get home, but my first day home was appallingly bad, and I wish we had taken advantage of another 24 hours of being taken care of.

I am not a fan of hospitals, in fact am trying for a HBAC this time, but you just had major abdominal surgery. Don't be a hero.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Despite what many experts and books say, some babies just NEED a pacifier. Bring one to the hospital just in case because some won't give them out. My boys were/are EXCELLENT at nursing and both just needed that paci from the get go. No nipple confusion whatsoever with either and both eat/gain like champs. Don't feel guilty if you need one. Mom knows her baby best.

With my first I didn't know just HOW MUCH bleeding happens afterward. Wish someone had clued me in...

Don't be embarrassed to ask questions...like a billion of them...about everything. Once you go home, you don't have a nurse to reference for every weird thing that pops up with you or your baby. :-)
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Despite what the books say, even with babies that nurse like a champ and have a great latch, nursing always hurts me for about a week. The latch on hurts and my boobs hurt. We get over it within about a week. So, push through. Ask for help to be sure (ESP that first time) the latch on is "right" but if it hurts, don't think it will always be that way. My 6th baby is now three weeks old and it doesn't hurt anymore, but it can sure hurt that first week and it doesn't necessarily mean a single thing is wrong.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Use the bathroom often during labor. Pushing a baby out with a full bladder can/will stretch your bladder opening and it will take a few weeks for it to repair itself. (lesson learned with my #1 baby-still wondering why stupid nurse wouldn't mention that). I thought I'd have problems forever. Luckily, problem went away.

Sidenote--I got up to pee with last baby, sat down, and almost had her right then and there. Waited for a contraction, ran back to the bed, and she was in my arms 4 minutes later. Best birth ever, though. (delivered by a great nurse.)
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:10 PM   #10
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Re: Help me out - Name something you wish you had known

Your boobs will leak (A LOT) and be tender for a while...if you can tough it out nursing gets easier and more comfortable - make 1 month your goal. Buy disposable nursing pads for that first month and a good sports or nursing bra or nursing tanks.

You will not be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants in the hospital so don't even try - it will be depressing .

Don't over do it - let stuff go for a while...laundry, dishes...

Accept the help people offer and have a list for them to go from - laundry, dishes, vacuum, take out trash - etc. so you can hold the baby.
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