7 Things They Don't Tell you in Baby Birthing Class
If you've signed up for a baby birthing class through your birthing center, hospital or community center, here are 7 things the don't tell you in baby birthing class that you should know going in the adventure of labor and delivery. By no means am I suggesting anyone is holding important information back, but these are tips and ideas to keep in mind as you pack your hospital bag and draft your birth plan. Above all, listen to your instincts, Mom.
1. Order food whenever you're hungry or even think of food. I believe that's your body's way of telling you that you better get some calories and nutrients at hand for milk development. Pray they have grilled cheese and chocolate shakes on the menu!
2. If now's not a good time, say so to anyone: doctors, nurses, parents, siblings, best friends, well wishing acquaintances. Other than at the movie Beaches and our wedding night when my husband and I shared pizza over my blistered feet (not near my feet really) and tear-streaked face due to wedding exhaustion, I've never been as emotional as I was during delivery and the days to follow. The expectation is that you'll be so delighted and adrenalin stoked that you'll have the capacity to interact (positively!) with whatever comes your way. If one moment you can't stand the thought of having baby's foot needle pricked for the next test, say so. Ask the nurse to come back in an hour after you've had a little cuddle time. If Nana and Pop want to hang around in the recovering room and you're just not feeling it, be kind, but let them know you're going to catch up on sleep and cuddles.
3. Those hospital socks are better than you expect. Here's what, they have those little rubber treads on the sole so that you don't slip. You can absolutely plan to bring slippers and wear your own socks with them, but the free hospital ones are great. When you've just birthed a baby, the fewer times you have to bend over, the better. Example: free socks (2 bends - 1 for each foot); your own socks and slippers (2-4 bends). Easy math. Confession: I still wear mine on the weekends.
4. Even if you have a plan, prepare to divert from it. Besides being handed my babies and looking into my husband's eyes when it was all over and we knew everyone was healthy, the most vivid memory of my first delivery was screaming at my husband, 'WE DON'T HAVE A PLAN!!' Of course, this was not true as like many first time parents we had plenty of typed pages and handwritten notes that our birthing class instructor had insisted we distribute to our Family Doc, OBGYN, Pediatrician, delivery nurses, our parents, the mailman, etc. The point is that even the best laid plans can go right out the window when you're in the moment. Embrace the change and go with it. Which leads me to...
5. It's okay to change your mind. In spite of the fact that you and your partner have spent 10 months planning for every conceivable (or even half of them!) outcome regarding your delivery and the decisions you've planned for let yourself act and react to the moment. regarding everything from cord blood storage and cicumscion or not to what sweet baby will wear coming home from the hospital, the only constant needs to be your bonding with baby, the rest is important, but not as monumental as you might have thought.
6. Be as gentle with yourself and your partner as you are with baby. So much focus goes into ensuring a safe delivery for baby and the moments that follow, I feel that if partners go into the adventure with kid gloves on for each other an incredible foundation for partnering and care can be set.
7. Even baby's name could change! For me, day 9 of life for our second child was spent in tears on the couch as I contemplated the life little miss would have now that we gave her the WRONG name. Good to know that in fact we DID choose the right name, but you couldn't have convinced me then.
BONUS! Be very careful with your playlist. Remember that the tunes you play during labor will stick with you your entire life. So, easy on the Pop and mix in a little Classic Rock!