Saturday, 1 August 2009

Third Trimester Solicited Advice - Part 3

More replies from my friends all over the world…

My questions were:
What are the 5 lifesaver items you took to the hospital?
What are the 5 most important things to have ready for the newborn at home?
What have we probably not thought of or not been told?


What are the 5 lifesaver items you took to the hospital?

Nikki (South Africa)

  1. Lip Ice
  2. Slippers (slightly large ones 'cos your feet might swell up - mine did!)
  3. Juice
  4. My own breakfast cereal (maybe your hospital food is better than ours)
  5. Muslin burping cloth for baby


Shane (South Africa)
  1. DUMMY/PACIFIER
  2. Moetie for baby's cramps
  3. Nice gown for yourself & slippers so you can feel a bit glam (this made Milord laugh – "That is SO Shane" he said)
  4. Moetie for your nipples so they don't get chafed /cracked if you're breastfeeding (bloody sore when that happens)
  5. Ummm...


Kate (UK)
  1. Birth plan highlighting EPIDURAL as a must
  2. Sanitary pads - super dooper absorbency and lots of them


Tara (UK)
In hosp bag I only needed pads (lots), nightie shower gel and glucose tablets and food for after. All rest was just a mission to carry in so didn't bother second time round.

Mel (Australia)
Well am sure you know everybody's experiences will be different as no two
seem the same! As you know I was placed on a monitor from the arrival at
hospital so couldn't move at all so everything I took to the hospital
didn't even make it out of the bag - scented candles, massage oils, music
to relax in the bath with! Guess you will have to take what you want to
and hope you get the opportunity to use! Also once epidural in you will be
bed bound (and unable to eat after) so don't get too early or leave too
late ....I can't comment on labouring as such but understand this is very
tiring and you get really thirsty ....I used Gas & Air for about 6 hours
which was manageable until the epidural went in ... Bliss.....

Heidi (New Zealand)
  1. Water
  2. Wheat bag
  3. If you are going to have epidural (highly recommended) take some cards, as you may pretty much lie there for hours waiting to dilate - and yes C and I played cards
  4. Baggy PJs / dressing gown, you won’t feel like wearing much and comfort is most important.
  5. Glucose sweets (nothing too big or rich)


Bronwyn (UK)
Have you been learning how to breathe, see if you can find classes that teach this, it really helped, I went without any painkillers, almost till the end and then ended up having gas and air. To me it felt like I was really drunk, I sobered up again at the end, just before she arrived.
Something nice for baby to wear, lots of pads and cheap panties that you can throw away(disposable knickers if you prefer, but I found these terribly uncomfortable), I was lucky I didn't bleed too much, but we are all different and it is better to be prepared.

Tracey (South Africa)
  1. It is good to have linen savers, for you bed and portable changing stations.
  2. Take big comfy panties, I had stretchy maternity panties - we're going for comfort, not sexy.
  3. Also, I found cotton knit pajamas good, and a nice big t-shirt that doesn't pull anywhere and covers the boobs nicely.
  4. Breast pads, of course.
  5. Lip ice, and drink lots of water - I was so thirsty. The hospital aircon added to that.

What are the 5 most important things to have ready for the newborn at home?

Nikki (South Africa)
  1. I'm sure you'll have everything at home for baby - don't think we forgot anything.
  2. Maybe a nightlight...
  3. Comfy chair for breastfeeding (if you are planning to breastfeed)


Shane (South Africa)
  1. Cot, blankies, mobile, clothes
  2. Nappies, wipes, good bum cream!
  3. Patience
  4. Endurance
  5. love....


Kate (UK)
  1. Portable bed eg. Moses basket
  2. Tiny nappies
  3. Baby play mat/gym
  4. calpol (infant paracetamol) - and I guess some kind of colic medicine too - eg. infacol.


Tara (UK)
  1. For home: they don't need much.
  2. Saline nose drops for sniffily babes. Easy to give just before feeds and helps clear gunk so can feed more easily.
  3. Basket with water bottle muslin remote etc you can pick up for feeds and have with you. You get very thirsty when breastfeeding.
  4. Comfy chair for feeds. If breastfeed evening cluster feeds can last forever.
  5. Lots of babygrows as shit leaks. Napisan for putting in with poop covered clothes.
  6. Lots of muslins.
  7. Breast feeding cushion helps.


Mel (Australia)
Gory bits .........sorry
Make sure you have lots of maternity (surfboard size) pads in abundance for
home, you may well need these for many weeks (up to 8 is not uncommon - I
was almost 10 ..) ...... also makes taking a bath a no-no/and or messy for
a while .......if breast feeding the nipples get very sore probably and
may even bleed - Lucy suggested paw paw lotion which did work but I found
the Lansinoh brand better ... also the soap free hand washes are really
useful and convenient as you will be constantly washing your hands prior to
and after picking up bub. IF you have an episiotomy don't sit down too
quickly - ice packs do help to numb but are weird to wear as cold and
wet ... the healing takes a while too (you can try perineal massage from
now onwards if you want to avoid this - can't guarantee will work though).
In hospital you may get conflicting advice from midwives - this is quite
common - just stick to what you think works for you as they can get bossy

Heidi (New Zealand)
  1. Bassinet or cot
  2. Change table
  3. Cotton wraps (10)
  4. Old fashioned square cloth nappies which you use for spills (from breasts or babies mouth) you go through lots of those.
  5. Disposable nappies. I wouldn’t worry about any other kind of nappies in the first few weeks, disposables are easiest when you are tired.


Bronwyn (UK)
  • When you get home, it is good to have some essential oils waiting for your bath to help you heal in case you get cut or tear, lavender oil - calming and soothing, tea tree oil and course sea salt, mix altogether with a table spoon of milk and put into your bath, this helps with the healing process. I had a bath in the morning and evening to start with and it really helped. Get somebody to help you the first couple of times as it is a bit uncomfortable and a little sore getting into the bath, but it really does work. The one thing I learnt having a baby, is there is no longer any shame, embarrassment about the way you look goes completely out of the window...
  • When Baby gets home, we had a Moses Basket in our room, and a v-shaped pillow for breast feeding. Do yourself a favour, get a 2nd hand electrical breast pump, I was completely against buying certain things 2nd hand to start with but you sometimes use these things a couple of times and buying new is so expensive. They all get washed and sterilised so it isn't too bad.


Tracey (South Africa)
  • Once home, I'm sure you have your cot, changing table, baby bath, baby clothes and nappies. I went through so many nappies. I would have just changed D, and he would present me with a new "nappy situation" as we call it. So, I've learned to wait a bit, a wet nappy is not such a big deal, and then change when necessary, or the nappy gets really wet and mommy reflex action kicks in.
  • I didn't need a monitor, we get so tuned in to baby sounds that I wake up when I hear a baby murmur. And then, I sometimes don't even hear Dave get up to take a shower!
  • There is so much stuff that we don't really need, but are nice to have. So don't worry too much. I insisted on a proper changing table, that had to be the right height, drawers etc, which we bought. And now I'm not even using it with D.
  • Baby wipes are good, but I usually clean baby's bum with water and cotton wool as well. It helps prevent nappy rash.

What have we probably not thought of or not been told?

Nikki (South Africa)
The NUMBER ONE most important item that I could not have done without was copies of both 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' and 'What to Expect in the First Year'. Take these to hospital with you, absolute lifesaver when everyone knows better & you get conflicting advice from everyone ranging from Mom to friends to the neighbour to your hairdresser's assistant to the random stranger that stops you in the street!!

Shane (South Africa)
Heck, I don't know. Baby needs to Sleep, Eat and answer the call of nature. Burping is a biggy too! Cramps are horrible things

Kate (UK)
Breastfeeding is not necessarily going to happen easily - my nipples were ripped to shreds the first time round. Lansinoh nipple cream and a breast pump (and whale's support) got me through!

Mel (Australia)
Sleep when you can and don't try and do everything - some things aren't
necessary and others can do what you can't, but no-one can do what you can
with the bub! Sorry if this all seems doom and gloom but hopefully useful
to know in advance so not too much of a shock and always a bonus if they
don't happen to you! Also baby will probably determine a lot of what you
do, i.e. when you shower, sleep, eat, go out - this gets better but the first
few weeks can seem a little shocking as you discover you no longer have
control ..... !

Heidi (New Zealand)
Babies don’t [have to] survive on breast milk alone. It’s absolutely fine to give them a bottle at any time. S lost 12% body weight and was basically starving and they even then could not actually say the word bottle/formula. They are Nazis here about that and I am sure they are in Aussie too. Don’t take any bullshit and give the baby formula if your milk has not come in enough - especially if bub is big.
Rotate between: feed; nappy; burping; cuddles; different position when they cry. It’s always one of the above.
Always trust your instincts even when your partner says the exact opposite and fights you on it.
Don’t panic. You do have the innate skills to deal with any motherhood situation and you find out more about yourself than you ever believed existed. It is the Best Journey you can ever take yourself on.

Paula (South Africa)
I think the best advice to give you is to find someone you respect and trust and listen to them and only them as you will get everyone and their aunt telling you what to do.

Bronwyn (UK)
You will be fine, it is in all of us, and it does come naturally, it just takes some of us a little longer, but we all get there. The best advice I can give is listen to what your heart and head say, you know what your baby wants and needs, sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but trust your instincts. Taking advice form other people can sometimes be confusing, listen to what they say and use what suits you, you will know what to do when the time comes. There is so much conflicting advice, just go with what you feel is right.
I hope I haven't confused you and scared you in any way, having a baby is the most exciting time of your life, you experience so many emotions, but remember to enjoy every minute of it, it is so special.

Tracey (South Africa)
NIPPLE CREAM, NIPPLE CREAM, NIPPLE CREAM!!!!
About a month before little one arrives, it's a good idea to rub your nipples with lanolin cream. I found Lansinoh to be the best, worth it's weight in gold, to be frank, there is quite an assault on your nipples when baby feeds. They say if baby has latched correctly it shouldn't be sore. But my goodness, there is a lot of nipple action every few hours around the clock!!! I was very sore with L for quite a while, no bleeding or anything that bad, though. I had some laser treatment in the hospital - you can ask for it - and the therapist told me that I could get some sun on them, 10 min in the morning and 10 min in the afternoon. And, well, it's not as exciting as tanning topless, but it does help!!!
Actually, it is all worth it, and something unbelievably special to be able to breastfeed. I ended up feeding L for 5 months and another 4 months after that, including 2 bottle feeds, when I went back to work. Now, with D, I was more prepared, I had a big tube of Lansinoh, and everything was fine. And I'm still breastfeeding at 6 months.

1 comment:

Doc Manette said...

Take a robe to the hospital - buy a new one - but don't buy white. You will feel like walking around or can cover up when friends visit.

The hospital should supply the pads - and the nurses will double you up in the beginning (meaning you will need to wear two pads at once)but make sure you have plenty when you get home.

Take a sitz bath several times a day at the hospital and continue at home - especially if you tear. (Sitz bath is just a warm bath on your bottom - soak for 15 or 20 minutes).

I used a crib pad to sleep on. You will have hormonal night sweats and your bads might leek in the night - was a life saver for the sheets.

You and Milord enjoy baby when you first get home. Take a nap when baby is napping - essential!

Baby may begin to turn yellow after a few days - just call doctor - who will probably advise you to put her near the window in the sun.

What no one tells you is how painful that first bowel movement will be a couple days later - take the bottle they supply at the hospital to fill up with warm water and . . . you get the idea - because it does hurt and you will be wishing for pain pills.