run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Thursday 2 July 2015

What I WISH I'd known .. pregnancy and labour

On the first night of our baby boy's life, he lay in his little, see-through hospital crib and peacefully slept the whole night long. I didn't, of course, waking up every half hour or so to check on him and because I was feeling so high as well as the after-effects of the long experience that had bought him into that crib... But he did, slumbering quietly. Next morning, we hopefully wondered if we'd had a miracle babe who slept right through From The Very First Night.

Nope, turns out dazed-n-confused brand new babies usually do sleep through their first 24 hours out of the womb. 

The next night - our first at home - tiny man Would. Not. Sleep. At. All. 

We were feeling pretty desperate. Next morning I asked our NCT Whatsapp group for tips. They included rolling up a towel in the Moses basket to make it more cosy and womb-like, using a gro-bag rather than blanket, and using a night light instead of switching the light on for night feeds. 

I don't know WHICH one helped - because I did them all and nights since have been so much better that I've kept them all up as a result.

But what I realised was the amazing collective wisdom of other mums. That's what inspired this series of posts: parents (mostly mums) reveal The One Thing I Wish I'd Known. If you're pregnant or a struggling new parent, I hope this helps you as much as those fellow mums helped (and continue to help) me. 

The one thing I wish I'd known, by the way, is that after going through labour, everything hurts going back to place. It's not excruciating, but it does hurt: however you birth, your body has gone through a lot. So don't be surprised (as I was) that it can take a few weeks before you're walking totally normally (rather than a ski-like-shuffle), or if you need to send someone out for a soft ring cushion to sit on. Stock up on moist toilet roll for those first few days - and the sexiest drink in the world: prune juice. Don't ask, just guzzle... Over to the other mums:

Pregnancy and relationships

Try to go on holiday with your other half before the arrival - nothing tests a relationship like sleep deprivation and a new baby! 

Make as much food pre-baby as possible. ( I thought I went into early labour, and was crying. The midwife asked me if I was worried - I said 'no it's because I haven't filled me freezer' and she thought I was nuts!

NCT isn't so much about the learning, but the meeting of amazing people who are going through the exact same thing as you are at exactly the same time. I definitely wouldn't have coped without seven very very special people in my life.

Spend more time reading baby books than pregnancy books. There will not be any time once baby is here. This will help with preparing for extra tough times such as growth spurts.

Google is not your friend. Don't Google everything, you can just end up scaring yourself.

Don't rush the time away..... They are only newborns for such a short time that even when it's really hard try to cherish the moments .... They'll be walking and talking before you know it!

Always ask for help if you need it and take each day at a time! And enjoy the cuddles because maternity leave flies by..


Have a changing mat upstairs and downstairs. 

Get a baby bath like a tippy toes to avoid back pain when bathing baby. 

Stock up on 'snuffle babe' for when bubs has a cold, Don't always go with the gro bag guidelines as my daughter was born last September and I followed the guidelines only to realise after several unsettled nights that she was cold! 

Stock up on all non perishables from tins and pasta to detergent and toiletries. I found it helpful not to have to worry about any shopping other than some fresh stuff!

Always have spare nappies, wipes and a change of clothes in the car just in case you forget to replenish your changing bag!

Buy soap that comes in a pump bottle, babies are slippery and it's much easier. Set up online grocery shopping if you don't already shop online.

Get a dual breast pump with a bra that attaches so that your hands are free. Get a sling and use it. 


My hubby would have liked to have known that it's not unusual for women to be sick during labour.

That you can't rule out C-section- if you have one, remember you will need to recover from major surgery and look after s new born- in which case- plan to get help- have a plan ready in case unplanned of c- section.

An epidural is not something to be ashamed of. No medals being handed out for enduring childbirth without pain relief..

 Don't be bullied during labour, listen to your body and speak up if you are not happy with how things are going or how you are being treated.


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