I recently did a birth session, and in talking with the mom (who was patiently waiting to progress so that is was go time) I found myself giving some advice, and bringing to her attention and the attention of her husband the things that she needed right away. Now, I wasn’t being a know it all, just casually recalling the things I wanted and needed, so I thought I would share here because I get a lot of pregnant mommas coming to my page because well, I do newborn photographyAnd if you find your self reading this and your pregnant, I hope you will write this down and remember to request some or all of these thingsSo lets get to it…
1. The meal of your choice
If you have to be induced or are having a scheduled c-section, you will have to go your entire day and labor without food and you will only be allowed little sips of water or ice chips. And on top of that you will have to go through the most intense physical pain of your life (epidurals are amazing, but not everyone wants one) on an empty stomach. Of course your adrenaline is at its highest, and you will manage and get through it, and to be honest you’ll only really be starving when you’re in the waiting stage of waiting to dilate so you can have that baby. That’s when you’ll think that if you don’t eat right then you just might die. But again, you get through it with your eye on the prize. But even if you just had dinner and your water breaks and its time to head up to the hospital. You will still go a period of time without food, and after having your baby you will have worked up an intense appetite. Here is where you deserve whatever you want to eat. I don’t care if its Cheesecake Factory, Pappas Bros Steakhouse, or Whataburger…make sure someone makes a run to get you ( and your husband) the meal that you have requested. You deserve it! You just brought a human into the world. It was hard work, and after that initial high of love, admiration and adrenaline for that tiny little human that you’ve been wondering all about for 9 months wears off, your body will tell you to eat and eat now! So its better to prepared so that you aren’t nauseous from starvation. Maybe bring some snacks with you to hold you off until your meal gets there, but the point I’m trying to make is that you deserve to eat whatever you want, and you should eat whatever you want. Find out before you have your baby who is willing to go on that food run for you! Now don’t laugh but for me, I wanted Wendy’s because I had a huge craving for chocolate frosty’s and thats what I wanted (for 3 out of 5 of my kids) thinking back I could have really stepped up my request for something more…but like I said before…request what YOU want to eat!
2. Friends and Visitors but also space
After I had my 3rd baby, my husband had a friend come visit who also brought his girlfriend with him that I had met a couple of times. She asked me if she could hold my son, I thought ok, this should only take a few minutes, and being the nice person I am, I handed over my brand new, day old baby to a kind of stranger. I am not kidding when I tell you that she proceeded to hold him for 5 hours (ok, it was more like 30 minutes, but totally felt like 5 hours) still, 30 minutes is waaaaay too long to be holding my baby when you are not my husband, or a grandparent or someone else very very close to me. All I could think was “GIVE ME MY BABY BACK!!!” and she just sat there talking and smiling and telling everyone how much she loved babies. I’m a non confrontational person, and that is why I didn’t say anything because I know she didn’t mean harm, but lets use some common sense. All of this rant and past experience is let you know that if you go and visit a new mom in the hospital (and new meaning she just had a baby not just a first time mom) don’t hog her brand new baby. Yes, if they offer to let you hold the baby, then by all means hold and adore that brand new miracle, but give the baby back after a couple of minutes. There are a range of emotions and hormones going on with the mom, and we tend to go into protective mode, and we become anxious or stressed. You don’t want to be the cause of that, so just give the baby back. Oh, and don’t forget to mention that he/she is the most beautiful baby you have ever seen, and that momma did very good!
You will be hungry in the middle of the night, and there won’t be any restaurants or cafeteria’s open, so it is best to bring snacks. I was incredibly blessed with a great nursing staff with my last baby. They would bring me sandwich’s and chocolate! They do have those in their fridge so just ask for them, but snacks are really good to have as well!
4. Bring your iPad or laptop
You will most likely not sleep while you are at the hospital. I think its a combination of nursing staff coming in every couple of hours to take your blood pressure etc.., your own desires to stare at your new baby every second and marvel at the fact that he is finally here and that you made him! And then there is feeding every 2 hours. The beds, oh the beds are not very comfortable. Bring extra pillows to provide extra comfort, but back to no sleep. You just won’t get any sleep or very little at that. So might as well stream netflix, or watch a movie. Who knows, it may help you doze off, and keep you from boredom
5. A nice ride home from the hospital
Ok, you’re probably thinking huh? well duh! But when I had my last baby, our suburban had an exhaust leak (it was an older suburban without a car payment) It was not pleasant riding home with my new baby and the smell of exhaust. I was worried sick that he would inhale that smell but thank God he was just fine. If we would have had time to get that fixed before me going into labor then that would have been great. And if I would have known, I would have arranged for a different car to take me home. So make sure that ride home is peaceful and stress free, because its kind of the start of your life together with your new baby in the real world, and yes I may have cried on the way home. Those darn hormones. We want everything to be perfect don’t we?
And here is another small tip. If you have kids already, then you should definitely arrange for a babysitter. The hospital is no place for kids to hang out for long periods of time. They will become very bored, and you will become stressed, just sayingThe goal is always to remain stress free. You and baby depend on you not being stressed out.
Now, start planning your first delicious meal after giving birth!