Having babies!

Emilie is due to have her second baby any day now, so we thought this was the perfect timing to share some of our tips on a smooth delivery with you! The kind of tips you won’t find in the gazillion books out there…

Now – we have 7, soon to be 8 children between the 4 of us. Five of them were born the natural way, 2 of them by c-section. We’ve spent over 200 hours having contractions: Emilie 48, Esther 19, Michela 0 (she had the C-sections), and Courtney 145 – hell no, life ain’t fair.

We’ve had 4 epidurals, used 4 tanks of gas&air, were in the hospital for over 2 weeks, breastfed for a gazillion hours, had to recover from tears, cuts & stitches, cracks and engorgement… hell no, life ain’t pretty!

So, this begins our first week-long series: a series of all our best tips on having babies! Now, since (unlike having babies) we’ve never done this before, we would really, really like to hear your feedback and criticism! And if you are planning to never, ever have babies but like our site nonetheless – please bear with us! We’ll be back to normal by the weekend!

We would also like to hear YOUR experiences and advice on having babies –so please feel free to leave comments! Help Emilie have a smooth delivery!

Anyway, here’s my first tip…

ShortiesFor starters, go to a place where you can get decently priced, good underwear of the cotton sort (I got mine in the UK at Marks & Spencer, but Figleaves also has good ones; in the Netherlands Hema will do) and get yourself some cute shorts (or briefs, whatever they are called). You can get lacy ones if you want, but make sure they have the little legs. Get one size up from your usual, unpregnant size, and get them in black (better at disguising any unavoidable stains)! You will need these shorts for after the baby is born — if you haven’t seen them by now, those bandages are HUGE! A string is not going to keep them in place, I promise!

You should get at least 3. You can use one of those throw-away thingies for the first hours, but after you shower it’s just nice to wear something cotton and cute!

When you’re at Hema or M&S or the like, you might as well get yourself a couple of cotton vests with stretchable spaghetti straps. Check if you can pull the vest under your breast. This is GREAT for breastfeeding. Michela wrote about it after the birth of her second baby. Unmissable. Get black to match the shorts :-).

xxx Esther




Comments (19)

March 16, 2008

You are writing up this “birthing” advice just in time. I’m due in 6 weeks am becoming quite anxious at what this will be like…thank you! I look forward to reading this week.

March 16, 2008

This is such great advice. When I had my son I had been given lots of information about being pregnant , going into labor, pain medications during birth, caring for a newborn, etc. However, no one told me what happens right after the baby is born, the huge pad you have to wear, all the bleeding (sorry if this is TMI). These underwear sound perfect and will at least make you feel like some part of you is cute since your stomach looks pretty “loose.” I am looking forward to reading the blog this week!

March 17, 2008

I am due to have my first in about 4 weeks so I am looking forward to all the advice this week!

March 17, 2008

I’m 25 & still a few years away from having my first baby, but I’m really looking forward to reading your tips. I’m a major planner, so I’d really like to have a good idea of how things go. Great first tip! Those disposable hospital briefs are definitely not capable of making someone feel cute in the slightest.

March 17, 2008

Those briefs are quite nice also as pregnancy underwear… they’re low waist enoough to accomodate a growing belly!
Oh and by the way… you need the big pads also if you have a c-section!

March 17, 2008

Good luck, Emilie!

I don’t have much advice for the actual labor and delivery itself. In a way, it’s kind of a “To each her own” kind of thing. As for the first week post-partum, I wish I’d known about:

1. The constipation! I don’t think I pooped for three days after delivery. I should have stocked up on high-fiber cereal at home before I went into labor. I also wish I’d known how tasty prunes are!

2. That my WHOLE BODY would be tired and achy for days after delivery – not just my hoo-ha. Labor and delivery is a total body workout.

3. That the best remedy for “traumatized nipples” from breastfeeding is to go shirtless and braless. Just close the curtains at your house and let the ladies hang out to air dry and heal. I wish I had learned this BEFORE my in-laws arrived for a weeklong visit!

March 17, 2008

The best tip I had for during the birth was have a straw so you don’t have to move when you need a drink! I used gas and air and it dried my throat out so I sipped on water throughout but once you have found a semi comfortable position you don’t want to move to have a drink which is where the straw and the person holding the drink comes in handy :o)
After the birth I used to have a bath filled with normal table salt and lavender drops.

March 17, 2008

I found out that 2 kiwis at night is what I needed for constipation.
I had a c-section and things went smoothly. No advice there, a lot of pain after that, but you are so busy with the small one you don’t think about it.
Breastfeading painfull, good for the baby if you can keep it up. You meed to be calm and eat properly, I was so streessed I lost all of my milk within 4 weeks!

No matter what the delivery is , the outcome is what matters. Your little baby makes you forget everything.

Good luck Emilie!

March 17, 2008

I didn’t know you’re still bleeding after a c-section!?! But I guess it makes sense…
Yeah – the constipation… I found that drinking a big glass of luke-warm water was very helpfull.
I forgot about the dry throat you get from gas and air. Water with a straw is a great tip – it’s true you don’t want to move an inch once you’ve found a position that ‘works’!!!

March 17, 2008

I remember in the hospital in Singapore where both mine were born, they had a chart to log every time the baby breastfed (Left or Right and how many minutes), when they had a nappy change and what was in it and when they napped.

I carried this on at home as to be honest days and nights blurred into one another. When you are looking for patterns in terms of feeding, or trying to remember which breast last, or you need to check how many nappies they have got through in a day to ensure they are not dehydrated etc – having it written down was the only way for me. Helped me cope with all the searching questions from the health visitors, doctors, in-laws and interested passers by! I think it was enough for me just to remember my own name, my baby’s name and to put my breasts away after use in public – no room for anything else in the memory banks.

March 17, 2008

The best thing for me that I didn’t know before delivering was to have a breast pump, even if it’s a manual one. Being my first time nursing, I developed huge sores from the irritation and the strong suction from my always-hungry daughter. When I finally got the breast pump, it gave my breasts a chance to start healing and gave me a much needed break. Also, when you become engorged that first week, you can store up large stores of milk and freeze it for later outings without baby.

March 17, 2008

Great tips.
As I am recovering from my 2nd C-section of less than 2 weeks ago, I unfortunately cannot give any tips on natural birth (weird feeling btw not knowing how that feels, but as my obstetrician commented when he saw my dissappointment when announcing my 2nd boy would have to be delivered by C-section again: natural birth is highly overrated and reading your comments he might have been right;-))

As I have been lucky enough to have C-sections privately, I spoke about my bad experiences of the 1st emeregencey C-section to my obstetrician. Morfine makes you nausious and very sleepy, so ask for an alternative! Don’t lay down when they put in the epidural, sit up (just ask for it!) Also this time around I asked for minimal amount of aenestetics (no top up afterwards) and could get out of bed within 2.5 hours. Maybe it is my Dutchness, but I prefer to have a bit more pain and being able to care for my baby myself asap. If you have the option, leave your baby at night in the nursery and ask them to bring him/her when they need feeding. The more rest you get the quicker you can go home. And yes, Esther, you do bleed a lot also after C-section, don’t think of bringing your white linen/silk pyjama’s to hospital! Start moving around asap, eventhough it might be painfull, you recover much quicker. Painkillers (Paracetamol) you take home: take them before your pain gets too much, as it takes time for them to work and if you plan to have a busy day, take them prefentitive.
Good luck Emily!

March 17, 2008

Oh yeh, for C-sections, buy a bit higher underware as lower ones might irritate your stiches and all cotton as your stiches need to stay dry (might not turn out to be as nice looking as the ones above, but it will be for only 2 weeks and then you can wear some more sexy ones again.)

March 17, 2008

I wish someone had told me to bring a boppy or similar donut pillow *to* the hospital for the ride home. After a natural birth to a 9 pounder (and forceps!) I really could have use a little cushion for the car ride home!

March 17, 2008

Great tips! I’m due with my first in August so I have no tips of my own. This is very helpful information!!!

March 18, 2008

What a great topic! For moms planning to breastfeed, the essentials (in my opinion) are a My Brest Friend nursing pillow and a tube of Lansinoh pure lanolin. Oh – and a big jug of icy drinking water at your side 24 hours a day!

March 19, 2008

I had an emergency csection with my first daughter after being induced 10 days overdue. I had to change OB’s for my second daughter and told him I wanted a natural delivery if at all possible and he assured me it was. He advised that, in his opinion, I wasn’t “ripe” (don’t you love that term) to deliver and if I’d been left I wouldn’t have had the problems I did.

I have no problems with csections, despite the terror of the emergency our first daughter arrived healthy and gorgeous. The after was not so good – being left in the theatre while they were mopping the floor, no baby, just a bit of chaos. The care was great, but the experience wasn’t.

My second daughter, honestly without being cheesey, it was the single most amazing thing I’ve done in my life. Leila was born 10 days early, naturally, after full on labour of only 5 hours. I felt so proud of myself, I really really loved it. I had the corney love rush they talked about, I was supported by amazing people – it was great, a completely different experience but with an equally as gorgeous babe.

Differences – csection no “mess” afterwards so you don’t have to bother with surfboard pads. I remember the constipation and stress of trying to poop with a natural delivery, them asking every time the midwife would come in “have you pooped yet?” – honestly the pressure was crazy.

Sorry, getting back to the first point Esther, I wholeheartedly agree, big cumfy low cut knickers are essential – I even wore my husbands briefs at times – soft, well worn and roomy!

March 22, 2008

After my delivery the hospital gave me stool softeners because it’s the pain medicines that make you constipated. I used the disposable underwear for urinary problems for about four days after delivery so I didn’t have to worry about any leaks at all or messing up my panties. I found them to be very comfortable, although I did fold them over to be a little more like a “bikini” fit. It was nice not to worry if there was blood going down my butt crack and on my pajamas or sheets. Great advise everyone and I just discovered this site and looking forward to all the posts.

October 4, 2012

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