I hope you are having a lovely start to 2018, filled with good food, solid laughing sessions, and resolutions to boot! or if you’re like me, then just a couple resolutions...to eat delicious healthy food with chocolate in moderation, hang out more with friends, family, and my puppy, and do lots of yoga and self cleansing through actively telling myself what I love about myself. There needs to be more self praise in this life, am I right? I’d love to hear what you love about yourself in the comments below. #selflovegeneration
So last week, I had some pregnant ladies tell me that they need more information about what they should do to get ready for their baby! I decided that this is probably a question many of you have. If you are a pregnant person, a partner, or just a curious individual, please read below for some things to start doing or thinking about prior to the birth of your upcoming human! This post is part one to this question. In this post, I will be talking to the pregnant person.
First things first, if you have a partner and you are choosing to parent together, it is most important that you both are on the same wavelength. Right now while mama is pregnant, it is necessary for you two to have a plan for what will happen when the baby is born! Who will help you both when you come home from the hospital/birth center/ or after your homebirth? What about when your baby won’t sleep? Or needs help breastfeeding? Who will help you make meals? Are there family members nearby who can help out? Should you hire a postpartum doula? At this point you may want to sit down and talk about how certain household chores/duties will be handled once baby is in the picture. I do not believe in using the scare tactic to tell new parents how much their life will change once they have a child, but let’s just put it this way, you can no longer netflix and chill if you are sick and you will be grateful for every hour of sleep you get that is uninterrupted. Parents without sleep = no fun for parents or baby. So it is important at this stage to have realistic expectations about what life will be like in the postpartum. Emotions are bountiful, meals need to be prepped ahead of time and frozen, family needs to book visits, and napping when the baby naps are just a few tidbits of information that people find useful.
Secondly, if you haven’t taken a childbirth education class already, I highly recommend taking one! Reading books and watching youtube videos can be very helpful, but there is something to be said for being present with your partner (or without your partner - whichever parenting method you have chosen) in class with other future parents learning about the process of birth, infant CPR, and newborn care. I have found that my clients who go to childbirth education classes tend to be more prepared for labor, more relaxed during contractions, and generally more knowledgeable about what to expect during late pregnancy, labor, and the immediate postpartum. If you need recommendations for good #childbirtheducation classes in the Bay Area, please message me.
Funny story time- when my husband and I first started dating (I’ve known him my whole life so what i’m about to tell you is not so strange), he asked me if his mother who used to be a lactation consultant, could be in the labor room with us when we have our baby. I remember looking at him and without a second going by, flat out saying “No, that is not happening, the only people in the labor room with us would be you, me, and our doula”. Though we haven’t had kids yet, I can assure you I still feel the same way, though I really love his mom. This conversation needs to happen for every couple. Who you want to be with you in the labor room should reflect both partner’s feelings. It is very important to listen to the pregnant person’s opinion first, and then discuss both opinions. If you’re like me and have a big Jewish family, then its two people, six opinions. Just make sure, you both decide before you get to that room.
So now you're starting to feel some labor pains. When you’re starting to see that your contractions are following the 5-1-1 pattern of contractions being 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute, for 1 hour, it is time to head to the hospital! Or birth center. If you are at home, grab a water bottle and get ready for this journey :) At this point many (unprepared) couples begin to panic wondering what should I bring with me to labor? It is a good idea to ask this question about a month before the due date. In fact, the earlier the better. Pack beforehand. Know where that important bag is. My best tip is to bring a pillow with pillow cover that has a different color than white, so you know it’s yours and helps you feel at home wherever you are. If you need a great list of what to pack in labor, message me.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where I go over finding a doctor, talking to experienced moms, and purchasing the best stuff for the postpartum period!
Much love <3 and baby bump bellies,