By SHAUNA ANDERSON
When I had my first baby I was busy. I was working an “important job in TV land.” I was dedicated, I was committed, and I was focused.
Pregnancy was just a sideline.
Morning sickness – I could overcome. Pre-natal classes – you must be kidding I was too busy… I had Prime Ministers offices to call. Midwife appointments were barely just attended when I could make them. And a C-section was scheduled to optimise time.
What a bloody idiot I was!
Of course things went awry. My baby was breech and wasn’t growing properly and I had an early C-section at 36 weeks to avoid any problems.
Breastfeeding was a disaster which took weeks to sort out. And no one prepared me for the fact a baby was coming after the whole birth bit.
I managed to battle through, but I tell you things were completely different for the second and the third pregnancy.
I was a model patient.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Pigeon. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
Looking back I wish I had just spoken to a midwife like Nicolette Chapman. She has been in the baby game for over 15 years. Listening to someone like her would have saved a lot of tears. (Oh and a pile of broadband usage consulting YouTube “how-to’s”)
Here’s the top things I wish I knew before I had a baby.
Nicolette is a big fan of education. She says most first time mums get completely fixated on the labor bit and are unprepared for what comes after – er, actually having a living breathing person with needs you have to tend to.
Education, antenatal classes and familiarising yourself with what happens during birth are the key to minimising fears.
2. Stay active.
After witnessing hundreds of births Nicolette says the better prepared physically you are the easier things are going to be.
“Stay as active as possible during the pregnancy – then your body is able to cope better with labour,” she says. She suggests activities such as swimming and aqua aerobics.
3. Pelvic floor exercises.
I know, I know I should have. I wish I did.
There is nothing better to help with labor itself, the actual birth and the recovery.
4. Keep an open mind.
Pregnancy is such an overwhelming time and when things like labour don’t go exactly according to plan it can be extremely disappointing for both women and their partners.
Nicolette says to always keep an open mind and have a flexible birth plan so that things can be tweaked during labour. “Know your caregiver is trying to do the best thing for you,” she says.