October 10, 2006,
L.S. asks from Austin, TX on August 14, 2006
Hi everyone, I am 33 weeks and getting ready for labor. Since this is my first pregnancy I have so many questions :). Do you recommend childbirth classes? what do I really need to take to the hospital for me and the baby? How much of NewBorn size clothing is recommendable to buy? Which feeding bottles are good?
Thanks so much.
So What Happened?™
WOW !!! Thank you all for your great answers, they have really gave me a piece of mind. I want to ask about epidural, my friend had one and she told me that eventhough the pain was gone, she could not push anymore and the doctor had to use forceps to deliver the baby. Did you guys try another pain options? or epidural is the best? Do you recommend to have an enema and prepping (shaving)? I am going to deliver in Celebration.
D.P. answers from Melbourne on September 27, 2006
Congrats!! I am a mom of three boys, two I had vaginally and one I had by c-section. I had epidurals with the first two and a spinal with the third. I never needed a forceps delivery, the first was hardest to push out, not because of the epidural but because it was something I hadn't done before. The second I pushed out within 10 minutes with. As far as having an enema, I had one with my first and had an accident, and didn't have one with the second and didn't have an accident (go figure). Also, and my strongest advise I can give to any mother to be, is if you do need a c-section and they want to give you a catheter, insist that they give it to you after you get numbed, no exceptions! They will try to don't let them. I didn't let them, they had to wait and the nurse got nasty about it, but oh well. There is no reason for you to go through the discomfort or trauma when you will be numbed soon enough. A girlfriend of mine went through it and said it was awful, had her in tears. I actually told the nurse that was getting nasty with me, that I would let her give me a cath. before the spinal, if I could give her one too (I'm an Medical Asst. and know how to do one), she didn't complain too much after that! : )
I wish you all the best, and enjoy every minute!
1 mom found this helpful
C.C. answers from Orlando on September 13, 2006
Please consider natural childbirth - the epidural increases your chances of having a C-section by almost 50%. It also can interfere with breastfeeding as it DOES pass to your baby and makes them very sleepy - it stays in their systems for TWO months afterwards!
1 mom found this helpful
D. answers from Boca Raton on August 15, 2006
Hi Liliana! Not sure if you plan on breastfeeding or not. If you are, make sure you bring one of those Boppy pillows with you to the hospital. It really helped with breastfeeding the baby comfortably. Also, I would recommend writing up a short birth-plan and giving a copy to your OB and to the hosp. for your chart. Just simple stuff like if you don't want the baby to be given a pacifier, sugar water, or formula. I put those restrictions in mine because I didn't want any of those to interfere with breastfeeding. Unless you have a small baby, you'd do better to go with ssize 0-3 mo clothes instead of the NB size. Also, if you do planto breastfeed, go ahead and take a class, but most importantly, let the hospital staff know when you arrive that you want the hospital lactation specialist to come to your room as soon after the baby is born as possible. They are SUCH a BIG help with getting you and the baby latching on correctly and comfortably. Hope this helps!
1 mom found this helpful
S.D. answers from Tampa on August 20, 2006
As a Childbirth Educator, I recommend childbirth classes, but at your gestation, you probably will not be able to find a class that will finish before you deliver. Any reading you can do or web sites you can consult will help. Most people take way too much stuff to the hospital with them. You will need your regular care items (toothbrush/toothpaste/etc. and you should take along a good shower soap. Not all hospital soap is that great. Bathrobe, slippers, clothes to wear home (and remember you will probably be wearing what you wore when you were 5 mos pregnant), so don't bring those size 2 jeans you wore before getting pregnant. You can bring things for the baby to wear home, outfit, blanket. Your car seat should be properly installed in your car for the ride home. Some people want to use their own nightgowns, etc in the hospital. All of your items such as pads, will be supplied at most hospitals. If you want to bring a CD player and calming music and of course, camera or video camera. Be sure to ask about the hospital policy on photography. If you can't get classes in time, perhaps just a tour of the hospital and a review of their policies, so you won't have any big surprises. Personally, I wouldn't invest in too many newborn outfits. Babies grow very quickly, and if the birth weight is near 8 lbs probably won't get more than a few weeks, if that much. Some babies have outgrown newborn sizes when they are born, so birth weight is certainly a consideration. I always recommend waiting until the baby is born to take off tags and wash the items (just in case you can't use them), then they can be returned for bigger sizes or gender changes. (Yes, there are sometimes surprises).
Since I am a breastfeeding fanatic, I can't recommend bottles for you, since I am not familiar with any of the newer brands.
Hopefully someone else can help you there.
1 mom found this helpful
M.O. answers from Sarasota on August 14, 2006
I would ABSOLUTELY take a childbirth class if you can. They answer all of these questions. I had a caesarean, so what I needed was much different than what you'll need. Also, each situation is different. One friend told me to take tons of outfits for my son because she ran out, but I only ended up using his going home outfit. The hospital gave him t-shirts and he was wrapped up in a blanket the rest of the time. His cord was too much in the way for him to wear much of anything else. I only wore nightgowns because of my scar and I only wore one or two of those because the hospital one was easier for me. I wouldn't buy more than 7 days' worth of newborn clothes in case your child doesn't fit in them. Dr. Brown's bottles are the absolute best!
M.A. answers from Jacksonville on August 16, 2006
I took a childbirth class which was very educational but in the end I didnt use any techniques that they taught me. I would say you could get the same info from any book.
I pack tons of stuff for the hospital and didnt touch half of it! You really only need clothes for you and the baby. Cameras. Toothbrush, hairbrush, shampoo and conditioner. I also brought my own pillow which i would highly recommend.
My son was 9 lbs when he was born so he grew out of the 200 newborn ouotfits within 2 weeks, I would sugguest 10 outfits if you think you are going to have a big baby.
The bottles are a tough one, dont buy 20 of the same brand maybe only have 1-3 bottles at home till you see which your baby works well with. The playtex Vent Aire bottles are horrible! My son does well with the Dr. Browns, he also had a horrible spitting up problem so they really help reduce his air in take while eating.
Hope all of my info was helpful and good luck with you delivery and new baby!
T.M. answers from Tampa on August 15, 2006
Congrats, 1st of all. 2nd, the fact that you have so many questions indicates that you would benefit from a childbirth class. Call around in your area. Bradley classes are usually 10-12 classes each a week apart. They feature relaxation breathing and listening to your instincts. Lamaze classes may feature relaxation breathing (lamaze institute) or patterned breathing (lamaze international) and distracting yourself from the discomforts of labor. Hospital classes are usually a mix of the methods. No matter which class you take you will be informed of the pros and cons of the medications that are available and what choices you have at your local hospital. Tv programs frequently show only medicated births so are not an accurate picture of all labors. Do not expect your nurses to do more than check on you once hourly during monitoring of the baby, most cannot spend much time with you due to their patient load.
M.F. answers from Fort Myers on September 26, 2006
Hi L.! My name is M.. I am also a first time mom! I'm a new member of mamasource so I just read your request. I know that you've had a beautiful baby by now and I hope that your experience was a wonderful one. I read a response just now where someone reccomended not taking childbirth classes because she had delivered all of her babies through c-section. I certainly understand her saying that but for me I still benefited from the classes. I had preeclampsia and ended up with a c-section after 7 hours of labor. Although I was confined to the bed the breathing exercises that we learned really helped during the time that I was in labor. Also, birthing classes are an excellent education for dads to understand what is happening with your body during all the stages of pregnancy. The classes also cover different conditions you can have in your pregnancy such as preeclampsia (the symptoms of preeclampsia that we covered in class alerted me to my condition). They also cover nutrition and breastfeeding! There are so many benefits to birthing classes that I hope other soon-to-be moms who read this will not be discouraged from signing up for classes just because they might have with a c-section! Good luck to all of the new moms!
J.I. answers from Sarasota on August 14, 2006
Hi L. :)
My son is 7 months old and I could not have asked for a better labor and delivery. I did not take childbirth classes - instead I opted for an epidural. The OBGYN tells you when to breath and push and I did not have any time to think about anything else. If you are going to breastfeed make sure to take your boppy to the hospital! It made a huge difference during the difficult learning process. My baby boy did not last long in newborn clothing. He was 8.9 lbs at birth and now weighs 24 lbs at 7 months. I have newborn clothes with the tags still on them. I would opt for the 0-3 months - they are cuter a little big on a newborn and you will get a lot more time out of them. I use Avent bottles and love them -but I heard that the Dr. Brown bottles are the best. Best of luck to you - it is a fantastic experience.
L.D. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
You've gotten some very honest replies, which is great, but as a childbirth educator, myself, of course I am going to be biased in wanting everyone to take classes, especially for a first birth experience. However, there are MANY different kinds of classes and many different kinds of instructors. Not all instructors fit all parents, that's for sure. Being that you are so far into your pregnancy, you might want to check out private instructors in your area. These teachers will usually come to you or offer a quiet, private place to do the teaching/learning. After 10 years of teaching privately and in the hospital systems, I have found that I am not the "typical" hee-hee-hoo-hoo type of instructor, but more a teacher of relaxation, massage, and learning to breathe in a way that is more natural for the person. The other benefit of taking classes is learning about interventions (epidurals, inductions, etc..), what to expect upon hospital admission, and role the nurses and physicians/midwives will play once you are there. You will not find ANY hospitals, at least in Central Florida where I am, where the nurses are by your side from the beginning to the end of your birth..... and depending on where you plan to have your baby, you could possibly only see your nurse once an hour until you get closer to pushing. Even for moms with epidurals, learning how to relax is VERY helpful and a technique that you can continue to use in other parts of your life.
Good luck and happy birthing!
L. Dana, LCCE, CPCE, CD(DONA)
Birth Options: Education and Doula Services
J.P. answers from Jacksonville on August 15, 2006
Hello. I'm new to this group, but I just wanted to say Congratulations. If you ever have any questions please email me. I have a 3 year old daughter,a 1 year old son and I'm pregnant with our third child. Feel free to email me anything. About what to take to the hospital...Take extra underwear for you, extra comfortable clothing,your hygine products. For the baby. Take a couple of outfits. They should provide you with the diapers and formuala but I took extra with me. Take some blankets and some sock. Also you might want to get the little mitten things that go on their hands so they don't scratch their faces. You also might want to take your own pillow and blanket that you are comfortable with. Don't forget a list of people you want to call when your in labor. That always helps to have a list. Don't forget if you have the baby book to take it so you can fill it out and they can get the footprints in there for you. If I think of anything else I will email you. Hope all is well.
M.H. answers from Sarasota on August 15, 2006
I am the mom of a 16 month old boy and I was TERRIFIED about what delivery would be like! I definately recommend a class on delevery and breast feeding if you can get into one in time. The breastfeeding class was the biggest help to me because you jump into that right after the delivery! As for what to bring, that will be dependant on if you are planning on an epideral or not. If you are (i did too) than the only thing I would recommend for the actual delivery is a pillow from home. This really helped me get more comfortable during my 12 hours there. I had brought a ton of stuff with me! An exercise ball, soothing music, massage lotion and even photographs of family. You don't need any of that stuff if you are getting the epideral. Get it as soon as you start feeling pain that is more than a normal cramp. Active labor comes quickly and it is just easier to get it while you aren't in too much pain yet. After I got the epideral, I slept! If you are planning on going natural, bring the things I mentioned and anything else you find soothing or think will help you get distracted. After delivery, just the basics. Stuff to shower, brush your hair, lotion... that kind of thing. I really, really loved having two of my own nursing gowns and highly recomend getting some, the hopital gowns are horrible. Get a cute newborn outfit that is simple to put on, not with tons of seperate pieces. I know people usually say not to buy too many newborn size cloths, but I would say to buy several onsies and PJ's. They grow fast, but not that fast! The less you have, the more laundry you will have to do while you should be sleeping!! Just don't spend a lot of money on it. I would also recommend the little mittens they sell for newborns. My son would really scratch himself up if I didn't trim his nails everyday! I know I have said a lot, but I will end with this. I knew NOTHING about babies and the experience I was going to go through. I can say the same as everyone else now, you will adapt really quickly. No matter what classes you take or what you bring, you will do fine. You will know your baby better than any doctor could by day 2! Good luck!
T.T. answers from Jacksonville on September 18, 2006
Hi L.! Welcome to Motherhood...you'll find no more rewarding a job as this one!
Okay, are you planning on a "natural" childbirth...meaning no drugs? If this is the case, I would have to say yes, take the class...what can it hurt? They can probably teach you lots of ways to focus on your baby and not on the pain. As for experience, I had both of my children vaginally, but opted for pain medication. It really boils down to if you are someone that can focus on the delivery and not on the pain. One HUGE piece of advice that I can give you...DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THE HOSPITAL STAFF. They are there to help YOU. Don't be afraid to ask for something, no matter how small or petty. If it will help you get through childbirth, you ought to have it!
As for stuff to take to the hospital, I say, you can NEVER be overprepared. If you are someone who likes having "your stuff" around you, take it. Having a baby is hard enough without having your favorite stuff. I recommend anything that you might use in your daily life toiletry-wise. Take your pillow(s)...they're 10 times better than the hospital ones. If you're a reader, take a book or magazine, a deck of cards...anything to pass the time. There are lots of sources to find a "List of what to bring"...if it's on the list,I recommend taking it...if you don't need it, you're not out anything.
As for the baby, I recommend at least 2 sets of clothing for the baby...sleepers, onesies, socks, and a blanket. DO NOT BUY LOT'S OF NEWBORN CLOTHING...1) You will more than likely receive many items as presents...2) They will outgrow it faster than they can wear it. I recommend 6-10 sleepers MAX. Don't forget to buy some onesies...they will stretch and give and your baby will use them longer than other clothing. My son was born here in Florida and he wore onesies all the time in lieu of sleepers. He was a very hot-blooded baby and could work up a sweat in no time. My daughter, on the other hand, was born in IL in October, so she required a bit more clothing. I also recommend the lightweight knit sleepers over the heavier versions. Again, you live in FL and your baby will more than likely not need them.
As for bottles, I used the Platex version with the collapsable liners. It was SO easy to keep these clean. If you opt for the old fashioned all plastic bottles, invest in a bottle brush...there's nothing worse than the smell of spoiled formula/breastmilk.
Hope this helps, please don't be afraid to ask more questions if you need to.
D.L. answers from Pensacola on August 14, 2006
Hi Lillian, my name is D. and I have a 16 month old daughter. I, unfortunatly, didn't get to take but one of my childbirth classes before I went into labor but the nurses in the hospital all know what to tell you to do so it wasn't such a big deal. I'd recommend for you: slippers, comfortable night gowns (you'll want gowns because of the diaper like pads you'll be wearing for a few days after the birth), of course a camera, some maternity clothes to go home in, your tooth brush (don't laugh, I had to send my husband back for mine), your brush, and your pillow (it's so much more comfy than the ones in the hospital). For the baby: you really don't need diapers, the hospital will give you some, if you're planning on breastfeeding you won't need formula either, you'll want some caps for the baby's head, some onesies, a picture outfit (for the announcement pictures), and baby wipes. That's all I can think of right now for items to bring. As for how much newborn clothes to buy, it really depends on how fast you baby gains weight. You really can't have too much in my oppinion though because the baby will spit up on them or get them meey in some way where you'll need to change your baby. For bottles, I'd recommend Playtex Vent Air bottles. I hope I was helpful.
L. answers from Tampa on August 16, 2006
First, congratulations! You are about to embark on the most amazing part of your life.
I am a first time mom, my daughter is 8 months now. I did not take any child birth classes, only a breastfeeding class. I figured that I would not remember anything I learned in the class. In addition, there is so much information on the web and in the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book, you really can self educate. Also, your nurses will coach you every step of the way, they will tell you exact what to do.
I had an epidural and I was so glad that I did. I was able to feel the pressure of the baby, but I did not have any pain. At the end of the day, you have to do what is most comfortable for you. Try to relax and enjoy the experience and know that the rewards at the end are so worth the labor and delivery!
Best of luck to you.
N.B. answers from Fort Myers on August 15, 2006
It seems like you have already received an abundance of great advice from the other moms.
I took the class, thought it was informative, but forgot everything they told me the minute my water broke (a week early), which meant my partner had to run back home (TWICE!)to get me my things, but he didn't mind :) Word of advice, pack your bag now, I always have travel size items of my favorite toiletries. Believe it or not your toiletries will make you feel more human, being able to take a shower with your own soap/shampoo was soo nice, and to brush your teeth! I ended up being there from Tuesday (2am) to Friday (5pm), so the shower was a welcome break back to some sort of normalcy, while you're stuck in the hospital.
I do recommend Dr. Brown bottles, I had tried Avent with our daughter (thats what I had registered for), but besides them occassionally leaking out the side she was too gassy with those, but as soon as we switched to Dr. Browns it went away.
T.F. answers from San Francisco on August 14, 2006
Hi, congrats! Classes are a really good idea for the reasons others have mentioned. You'll feel more informed (but probably not less nervous). Ask for a hospital tour. Honestly, I brought one pair of pj's but I never wore them, I just used the hospital's gowns. Bring a robe though for sure! I brought a small cd player so I could listen to music that I like. You want to be in a happy place. My hospital provided EVERYTHING else. They even gave me everything I would need at home for the first few days (pads, spray bottle, waterproof pads for the bed, etc) You may want to call your hospital and ask them what's provided. Believe me if you forget anything they'll have it. Bring different clothes for yourself to go home in. You won't want to wear what you arrived in. Bring some snacks or hard candies that you like. Although if have an epidural you won't be able to eat anymore. You'll be starving after delivery, once the drugs wear off.
If you're uncomfortable with the "poop possibility" while pushing ask for an enema right away. There's no need to have a lot of newborn outfits. Just comfy easy things like snap shirts and onsies. Hope this helps. You'll be fine :-)
A.D. answers from Fort Myers on September 29, 2006
D.G. answers from Fort Myers on August 15, 2006
Congrats! How exciting for you! I just had my 4th boy 7 wks ago. Been there! LOl You should as a 1st time mom to be go to the classes. I found them to be useful especially for the DAD!
And when I did have my 1st, and was not sure I was in labor, I remembered that they said not everyone's water gushes like the movies, and it could just drip, which is the baby's head is blocking the way for the water to gush. And that happened to me! Don't buy too many newborn outfits/preemies etc. Unless you know that the baby is coming earlier/ complications, etc.
My 4th son was 6lb, 12oz when born and on his 1mth visit he was already 10lbs, so the newborn stuff already did not fit.
I bought those 4-6 pk newborn outfits that just snap at the bottom, much easier especially at night! Buy a pack of cloth diapers, they are great burping and spit up cloths.
Bottles, that is hard, b/c each one of my 4 boys wanted something different. If you are going to breast feed at first,then just get maybe 1-3 different kinds of bottles to test out, the same with pacifiers..
The hospital, bring your own slippers,socks, extra large pads,
they do give you some , but in case, then you have some for when you go home too. All your personal stuff. makeup, wash stuff, etc. lip gloss, chap stick-a must when you are breathing like a horse and your lips are dry.
A little outfit for you and your baby when you go home.
A robe to cover your self when you walk around.
I hope this helps a little and was not too long here!
Good luck and enjoy your baby when they come. The dishes and laundry will always be there, so take a nap when the baby naps!
N. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
If you plan to go natural for your labor, birthing classes will help, but not always needed. Your labor nurse should be able to help and teach you breathing techniques also. The hospitals supply all diapers,blankets, wipes and formula, they even have baby t-shirts. So you can bring any outfits you wish for the baby to wear, but don't have to if you dont wish to.I wouldn't purchase to much newborn, most baby are 7-8lbs and dont fit that well or long in them, try 0-3mths for the first outfits. I personally like the avent bottles.
H.Z. answers from Boca Raton on October 10, 2006
Hi L., I just had my first baby a month ago. You will truly love it! My husband and i took Lamaze classes at Wellington. I definitley recommend it! Bring lipbalm, snacks (more for your spouse you won't be able to eat or drink anything unfortunately)I have lots of onsies 0-3 I change him sometimes twice a day. Depends if he spits up or leaks thru his diaper. So i guess at least 10 is good. Also have long sleeves for the AC. I breastfeed, but will begin giving my baby a bottle soon to get him used to the nipple. I bought Avent bottles and Dr. Browns bottles I heard are very good. I H. this helps!
J.J. answers from Lakeland on August 21, 2006
Child birth classes are helpful. It seems like a waste of time at first, but you will feel more comfortable once in labor (comfortable mentally not physically of course).
When packing for the hospital remember:
Pajamas that are comfortable and button up so easier to breast feed if this is your choice.
A book you've read before but enjoyed to help with boredom because who ever is in the room before you deliver can read it to you.
Hair brush, deoderant, lipstick (you'd be surprised how much better you feel after having a baby when you have lipstick when people come to see you and baby).
2 outfits different sizes for when you go home.
2 outfits different sizes.
a hat ( if not with outfit)
a pacifier if you will use one
When buying baby clothes choose three outfits each size, do not remove the tags. You might think you are having a 6lb baby and end up with a 10lb or vise versa. Same with diapers also buy 2 different brands just in case baby has a reaction. Keep your receipts, you can always return later. If you don't have anyone who can go to the store for you then buy 10 of everything (not diapers) that way you don't have to worry about washing so often.
Bottles, I can only say we preferred the bottles that were angled, seemed the boys had less gas that way!
Congrats and Best of Luck
S.L. answers from Melbourne on September 23, 2006
If you have any question about childbirth, I went to a class and learned alot. My husband also learned alot. Some people do not like it. When it came down to it I knew what was going to happen next. There is also a qualified person there to answer all your questions. From what happens to what to pack. Plus you get free stuff. I went to the one sponsered by Holmes Regional and with my insurance it was at no charge.
C.J. answers from Tampa on August 15, 2006
I am a mother of almost three children...you are a brave woman to ask so many mothers for advice. :) Here's mine:
Childbirth classes - My husband and I took them for my first pregnancy. They were helpful in the sense that they gave us some nice relaxation techniques to try while we progressed through my pregnancy. Once I was in labor, however, my natural instinct took over and I labored and dealt with the pain in my own natural way: I wanted to be alone without anyone hovering over me telling me how to breathe. My second child was over ten pounds and I delivered her vaginally. I can tell you from this harrowing experience that even more importantly than counting your exhales, you need to REST as much as humanly possible while your laboring.
Overnight Bag - You should bring the following:
*Toiletry bag (include some make-up for when you receive visitors)
*Good-sized pads with wings...the ones they give you at the hospital are never adequate. Not sure if you realized that you'd be bleeding for days post-delivery.
*A change of loose-fitting clothing. Also, include some comfortable underwear and don't forget your nursing bra and lactating pads. Even if you're not breast-feeding, you may have some leakage for the first few days. Bring a couple of extra shirts just in case the baby spits up. Dad should do the same.
*A good, comfortable pillow and a nice fleece throw...these are comfort items that you will appreciate when your body hits that cold hospital bed. Also, bring some comfy socks or slippers.
*A portable CD player with your favorite soothing CDs. I labored and delivered to Bob Marley the first time...it was so cool and so relaxing.
*You don't have to bring a lot of baby things other than maybe a special onesie that you may want him/her to wear home...the hospital will most likely swaddle your baby before you go home. They'll also give you a few diapers, receiving blankets, and even a couple of ready-made bottles if you're not breastfeeding. I am bringing a few swaddler pampers and some wipes. The hospital will provide everything else.
Newborn clothing - Just buy onesies for now...you'll be surprised how small your baby is when you first hold him/her. Invest in some comfy swaddling blankets so that your baby will stay warm and feel safe. Wait for others to buy your baby's nicer clothes...once he's/she's born you'll get tons of clothes. We never spent a dime on baby clothes.
Feeding bottles - The bottles aren't as important as the nipples. Get the Nuk brand nipples if you can. If you decide to use a pacifier, get a Nuk brand too. For the first month or so, you're going to be feeding your baby 4 - 6 oz. and thus not a whole bottle. MAKE SURE TO BURP HIM/HER AFTER FEEDING! You'll regret it if you don't.
Blessings to you on this exciting new time! I'm due in six more weeks myself! :)
S.L. answers from Jacksonville on August 15, 2006
This is the contact letter I pretty mych send my inquiring clients, if you are in the Jacksonville area I can email you a resource list...I think the worst advice you can take is don't worry about it the nurses will help you...this is your baby your birth your responsibility. Also breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life is what the American Academey of Pediatrics recommend...I hope you find all your looking for in your search.
Dear So and So,
First let me say congratulations! I think you are doing a wonderful thing for yourself and family by researching all the aspects of pregnancy and childbirth especially if you have underlying medical conditions. Not knowing what those are its hard for me to elaborate or suggest a route best suited for you, but I will try and I just ask that you make sure anything you are doing that you make well informed decisions. And two months is not too early, how long did/would you spend planning your wedding? You only get 40 weeks to plan for the birth of your child...its important to start early so you have time to make all the best decisions for your family. And I'm not talking about what color the nursery will be...hee hee!
As I tell anyone who contacts me, your best chance at having the birth you want is to carefully select a care provider. If your pregnancy is low risk healthy my suggestion would be to seek out a direct entry midwife and have a home or birth center birth. And that could mean even having a water birth.. ( I am attaching a complete resource packet so you can look through that...) If you feel you need the care of a OBGYN or Certified Nurse Midwife, there are also local providers which support normal birth. When I say normal birth I am talking about birth a a normal healthy aspect without all the many interventions our western medicine claims "helps"...once you become educated on natural childbirth I think you will understand some of the reasons so much intervention is NOT necessary in childbirth.
Secondly I would recommend education, (spend your money here not on the 30 outfits the baby probably won't wear anyway..or a crib..most find a bassinet or co-sleeping works much better the first months anyway..hee hee!) there are a list of books on my website that I highly recommend, once you read one or two of these then I think you will understand the importance of having a supportive care provider and a doula. Then of course I would suggest childbirth education courses which you could take privately with me or take a Bradley course (see attached local childbirth educators). Depending what you think you would like or need we can discuss a fee...I usually do 3 three hour private classes with the six week manual, after the couple has read and decided what they want me to focus on; for $, I come to you...so you may want to consider that as an option.
You will also want to take a breastfeeding class at this point and possibly start attending the local La Leche League for information and resources regarding breastfeeding. I think a lot of women under estimate how difficult and challenging nursing a child can be and that they may need a great support group to help them with questions and some of the hurdles that may arise. I can say though, births with little or no intervention give you a head start there, unmedicated babies seldom have a hard time latching right after birth. Again many of the books on my website will site this as one of the benefits of a natural birth.
Finally, after you have consumed all this great pregnancy info... ohh I'd say around 7-8 months you would want to start interviewing doulas, (see attached resource list) you can do it sooner, then the doula would be available to you 24 hours a day with questions and concerns, most people usually hire us around the 32 week mark, I think the prenatal visits with a doula are more effective once you have an idea what it is you want...the doula is an advocate for what you want, so its important you have some idea what you may want before meeting her...remembering birth is unpredictable and everyone's journey is different but at least having an idea of how you want to labor, what sort of interventions you are comfortable with and ones you are not and knowing your care provider and support system well before you go into labor will make the journey easier and you will be prepared for childbirth, as unpredictable as it may be...hee hee! Generally, a good doula will respect all of your decisions even if it may not coincide with her general birth philosophy...some doulas will not attend hospital births, or epidural births, so you will want to make sure you find out how the doula you are interviewing works, if she has back-up and "what if" her on some senarios that are important to you.....I think you can usually accomplish this on the phone and then meet the one or two final ones before signing a contract. I charge $ for labor doula services which usually consists of 2 prenatal visits and one postnatal visit. I also will take digital photos and make a "Birth Day" movie for an additional $.
You may also want to look at some of our other resources, such as postpartum doulas to help after the baby has arrived especially if dad, family or friends won't be readily available....cloth diapering, slings, chiropractic care and prenatal massage are also wonderful during pregnancy.
I hope I have answered some of your first questions, and I hope this can get you started on the track to the birth that you are hoping for...it really should be a memory not a medical event. I would love to be part of your journey, please contact me if you have any questions or wonderings. Many, many wishes!! S.
S. Lovett (DONA, ALACE)
First Coast Doulas
L.H. answers from Tampa on August 15, 2006
Hi! My name is L. and I have a 3 month old son. I took everything that I read in books to the hospital. Never opened the bag. They pretty much provide you with everything you need. As far as feeding bottles......I don't like any of them. I just buy cheap bottles now and throw away the nipples that come with them and buy replacement nipples. I buy Nuk nipples. They are great! My baby (Orion-boy) likes them so much better than any other bottle that we tried. They give him less gas and they are better for babies mouthes. They seem to fit better. It's very inexpensive that way too. However, if that is more than you want to do, I can suggest the Playtex (drop-ins) nurser bottles. They have a similar nipple to the Nuk. I didn't like the fact that I had to keep buying bags to drop into the bottle. It get expensive after a while. Let me know if you have any other questions. I will be glad to answe them as best as I can!
P.M. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
Dont forget to buy new born diapers, everyone always does and the hospital pretty much has alot of things there for you and the baby.. Bring something very comfortable for you to wear.. as believe it or not you will be cranky!! Are you married or going to be a single mom? And no class can really tell you all you need to know about a baby as not one person who writes a book has had all the things people go through happen to them...But a class to have the basics is good to start.. Parenting is a life time thing.. even when they are all grown up you are still there mother.. any other questions you can email me at ____@____.com.. I am a single mom to five children and I have seen alot.. my youngest is now almost 14.. So hang in there and good luck..
C.J. answers from Tallahassee on August 15, 2006
I never took the child birth classes with any of my children. I did not really feel they were necessary. It is really your own perfernce and how you feel. I have friends that took them and did not feel any more prepared than I was, so I think that is up to you. If you are going to be nursing definitly take a gown made for nursing. So much better than the hospital gowns and is much easier to nurse in a nursing gown than a hospital gown. Take your own personal things that make you feel refreshed and relaxed. Take a take home outfit for the baby and car seat. When I quit nursing I used Platex disposable bottles. Hope this helps some.
C.W. answers from Tampa on August 17, 2006
From my expierence as a mom of 3 and a photographer that specializes in Labor & Delivery I would say that YOU CAN count on hospital staff to help. Nurses in labor & delivery are there b/c they LOVE what they do. They are comforting and help you through the whole process. The nurse is the one that helps you with breathing and pushing in addition to your partner (if they are willing too or if you allow them too)I say this b/c Laboring moms sometimes want help and other times not. The doctor comes in minutes before you deliver. I have worked in Brandon Hospital, St.Josephs, Mortan Plant, etc.. and i must say that I have had an excellent expierence with all the nurses. One time there was a cranky one and that was easy to handle. You let them know you are not comfortable working with them and want someone else. However, after 100's of deliveries that i have expierenced with my work I have only had one cranky nurse. Count on your nurse she is there to Help YOU! Believe you will Love her when u are done. I can't imagine u wont'. I wish you the best!! By the way my daughter just delivered in Brandon on Aug. 6 and we had a wonderful expierence with the staff.
S.J. answers from Tampa on August 14, 2006
I knew I was having a c-section so I can't comment on the classes. As for the clothes, again probably a different experience w/ surgery, but some comfy pants or a nightgown will do. I wouldn't stock up on newborn clothes as they grow so fast! And they tend to shrink a lot so my girls grew out of them after just a few washes. I always buy at least one size bigger then what they are in now. Lot's of onsies and pjs is really all you'll need.
I SWEAR by Dr. Brown's bottles. No bubbles, no gas! They are by far the BEST out there. Hands down. Worth every penny.
Best of luck to you!!
J.T. answers from Pensacola on September 20, 2006
Hi L.! I highly recommend getting an epidural. If I ever have another child I will definately have one again! I had a very easy delivery, thank god! I was induced at 10:00am. Around 12:30 I started feeling some strong contractions and asked for some meds. They said that it was going to be a while before they could give me the epi due to the fact that Katrina evacuees were here having babies too so they were pretty busy in labor and delivery that day! Instead they gave me some kind of pain meds in my IV. That helped ease the pain tremendously and helped me relax. Around 2 they came in and gave me the epi. I was afraid it was going to hurt really bad, but I was surprised when she said all done! I was very fast! Not very long after that I started to go numb. At 5:00 the nurse checked and said that I was ready so she called the Dr. The Dr. came in and we started pushing at 5:15. I could feel absolutely NOTHING, so they told me when to push and I did. I had no clue if I was actually pushing or not because I couldn't feel. They had to tell me to stop after my second push! I had the baby after 2 1/2 pushes! She was born at 5:21 pm! I will also say that my hubby and I didn't take any birthing classes. NONE! I was a little scared because we didn't but when I got in there, my labor and delivery nurse was wonderful! She told me how to breath to ease the pain of the contractions and how to breath when I was pushing. They will help you, I promise! Goodluck and welcome to motherhood!
A.D. answers from Lakeland on August 15, 2006
First of all, congratulations on your upcoming arrival!!! Having your first baby is such a wonderful blessing. It won't be the easiest thing you ever do, but it will prob be one of the most rewarding.
Anyway, to your questions...Childbirth classes will not hurt, even if you don't find them useful in the end, and I'm sure you will learn something! If money is an issue, look around. There are organizations that do childbirth education for free or relatively inexpensive. When I was preg with my first, I was out of the country and classes were not available but I read like crazy and somehow was able to keep myself calm enough during labor to remember what to do. With my second, I was too busy during my pregnancy to worry about the upcoming delivery and I figured that I didn't need classes since I had done it before. Turned out that I was a nervous wreck during the delivery and had a very hard time focusing. Don't count on the hospital staff! They are there to monitor you, not coach you. You might get lucky and get someone super helpful, but don't count on it. The best thing you can do is be prepared. I would highly recommend getting a doula if you plan to go natural and a good read is "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina Mae Gaskin. It is very inspiring. It was written in the early 70's so the language is a little antiquated but it is a great book. She also wrote another one in 2003 (can't remember the name).
I also recommend reading some books on what to do with the baby once you have her/him. I was so cought up in reading books on preg and childbirth (the first time) that once the baby got home it was like OHMYGOSH, and at that point you will not have that much time on your hands to read.
Bring thick socks to the hospital. During delivery you may get cold and you will be glad you had them. Also bring some sucking candy to keep your mouth wet, ice chips may be fine for you but you may want them. Bring your own comfortable pillow from home and bring socks for the baby too.
I would recommend 0-3 months, not newborn clothes. And as for bottles, no idea. my kids never used them. Good luck and best wishes!!!
B.B. answers from Jacksonville on August 16, 2006
I would definately take a child birth class whether you plan on getting pain medication or not. I was determined not to use pain medication when I gave birth to my daughter last year. Without the techniques from the class I would have never made it. It was also very informative on the different pain options available, how they are administered, what to bring to the hospital, and various other things about newborns that I was not aware of being a first time mother. When you go to the hospital make sure you bring anything that will make your stay more comfortable (i.e. pillow, tooth brush, PJs, slippers, clothes to wear when you go home, shampoo and conditioner). I never bought many newborn clothes because if your child is born in the 8Lbs range then most of them wont fit. When it comes to bottles make sure you get a started kit that provides a lot of different nipples. I had to go through numerous nipples to find the only one my daughter would drink with. it was really frustrating and costed me a lot of money because I at the time I never knew they sold starter kits that came with a variety of nipples I ended up buying each one separate. Congratulations on the baby!
N.W. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
When I had my daughter 18 months ago I was one of the first time moms that thought she needed EVERYTHING on the market. When I registered I selected everything in the baby section and only used/needed about half of that. My advice is, if you plan on not taking anything for the pain and having a natural delivery with no drugs, go ahead and take the class. You learn alot. I took it and once the contractions came I forgot about evertything I was taught in Lamaze class. For the hospital the most important things are 2 outfits for the baby, socks/slippers for your feet ( the floors will be cold), toothbrush toothpaste deodorant, a towel, your insurance card, chapstick, dont bring sleep clothes as the hospital will provide gowns...no need to mess up your good clothes, whatever you need to help you relax.Money for parking and change for vending machines. An outfit to go home with, you will still have a belly so maybe an outfit with an elastic waist or a dress. Nothing tight. A camera.I brought playing card for me and my husband to pass time but I didnt even tocuh then nor think about them once the contractions started. All I was thinking about is where were the darn drugs. The hospital will provide everything for the baby, hats, diapers, blankets, formula, etc. I would say to just bring a homecoming outfit for the baby. You will surely need to bring the carseat, you cant take the baby home without one. Babies grow very fast so dont buy too much Newborn clothing. I actually had no Newborn clothing only clothes starting 0-3 months and had to end up shopping for NB clothes. But the NB clothes only lasted 1-2 weeks with my daughter. So dont over do it. Avent bottles worked best for me. I did reaserch on them and found alot of good things.
Good Luck with everything :-)
D. answers from Jacksonville on August 15, 2006
Wow, what a lot of advice, so I won't add too much. At this stage, you should have some sort of childbirth class so you know what you can expect, although, childbirth itself you will not be prepared for because this is your first experience. Each person's experience is her own and no one can tell you how you will respond, react emtionally, and even physically. The best is just to be knowledgable about all the things that could happen so if something comes up, you are not freaked out. For example, you may find that you have to have a c-section. This is not taboo or something to be freaked about, it just might be a reality. For me, who knew that a large-build 5'7" woman would have a tiny pelic bone inside? - try that with a 10 1/2 lb child! But I was prepared.
Plus, a class should tell you at this stage (excuse my bluntness) that you should not be having any nipple stimulation at this point - hubby stay away. At this stage, it could cause pre-mature labor and the baby's lungs are not fully developed yet. Same for UNPROTECTED sex.
Hospital - something large and comfortable and preferably one-piece (jumper, dress) just in case you do end up with any sort of "complications" (tearing, c-section, etc.). Take your toiletries. Take socks for your feet/slippers too if you want. Your own pillow and or blanket. For the baby, the hospital should give you enough diapers to get home, but pack NOW (for both of you if you can)diapers, a blanket, hat and gloves/mittens if it is cold, outfit to take newborn first professional pix if your hospital does and an outfit for home with undershirts. Undershirts for newborns should not be onesies, but be 1/2 shirts with cross snaps until the umbilical cord falls off. Oh, and a pacifier if you plan on trying that route.
Nipples, I would go with anything silicone since it lasts longer. If you go with a silicone nipple, then get a silicone pacifier. Some of the best bottles are Dr. Brown? to help prevent gas. But ultimately, your baby will decide the bottle he/she likes and doesn't, same with pacifier. You may have to try a few different ones.
Ultimately, you have to decide what makes you comfortable. Don't let anyone talk you into anything you are not comfortable with, or pressure you because they know better. Advice is great, but in the end, that is all it is. Good luck and enjoy your new baby. I'm sure we'll be hearing back from you in a few months LOL
S. answers from Port St. Lucie on August 14, 2006
Epidural..........It is a wonderful thing! My fist child I had one too late, the second none at all and my third I was older and wiser....My third was the most wonderful experience. We laughed, chatted and had all of our friends there. Don't worry, the nurses do everything anyway except catch. They won't let you suffer unnecessarily. Good luck and relax. You can take childbirth classes if it makes you feel more in control but in the end it will not matter because your body knows what to do.
R. answers from Tampa on August 17, 2006
You have received good advice! Everyone is correct to tell you not to count on the hospital staff for help. Definately take the breastfeeding class and childbirth class. I have two children. The first one they gave me potosin to start labor. I don't recommend it! It makes your contractions more intense and painful. They also gave me an epidural after just as my body started pushing. This was done to slow my labor as they could not find the doctor. I to could not feel me pushing, what helped with that was asking for a mirror so I could see what I was doing. They said the baby's head was there but I couldn't feel it. The mirror is VERY helpful. The second birth, I decided to curtail the hospital as they are too invasive. I went natural and it was a fantastic experience. I had a doula the first time and HIGHLY recommend hiring one. They cost about an average of $400 (I know alot of money) it was worth every penny!!!! They know what is happening to your body and the different stages you are entering into. Also if your baby is turns out to be a fussy baby and just seems inconsolable. I recommend reading the Happiest Baby on the Block. It saved my sanity on the second baby. (6 weeks old now). Some one recommended Ina May's book, I recomend that too. The first part of the book is birth stories, because you are so close to the end of your pregnancy I recomend reading the second half. I also like the book "Birthing from Within" again read the second half. Both books give you the true facts of child birth and the effects of medication. May you have a speedy and easy birth. One other thing, do not be surprised if you don't connect with your baby immediately. Every friend I have has had the same experience. After it is all said and done and the excitement wears off, your laying in your hospital bed and look at your baby and say "I had a baby? This is my baby? I'm a mother?" It just doesn't seem real or feel real some times. Don't feel bad if you don't feel connected...it will come over time. My love for my first baby grew stronger and stronger as each day passed to the point it was almost over whelming. My second just seemed like she was always there. Your second delivery is usually eaiser and the recovery is too. Something to look forward too :) Congratulations on your first baby, it's truley the most exciting and wonderful time in your life!!!!
T.M. answers from Melbourne on August 15, 2006
Hi Liliana. My friend just named her newborn daughter Liliana - a beautiful name!
My advise as mother of 2 1/2 year old and 4 month old daughters... Since you are so eager to learn and have so many questions, I would definitely take the childbirth classes. It's quicker than reading and most adults retain more information with the hands on approach. If you don't plan on having an epidural or are undecided, the childbirth classes are especially helpful to learn and practice breathing techniques.
I would pack lightly for the hospital. They really provide you with everything the baby needs (except a take home outfit). I would pack for yourself: bathrobe, slippers/socks, your toiletries like toothbrush, shampoo/conditioner, hair brush, make-up, hair ties, etc. Don't bother bringing pads because they provide you with plenty at the hospital, but definitely have pads and stool softners at home ready for you. I wouldn't bother bringing any clothes except a going home outfit for yourself (unless you want blood stains on your clothes). In a normal delivery you're only there for 2 days so I just lounged around in my hospital gown and bathrobe until I went home. Your milk probably won't come in until you get home since it's your first baby so you probably won't even need the nursing bra. I always like wearing the tank tops with bra support. Remember, lots of people will probably buy small newborn/0-3 month clothes for you either at a baby shower or once the baby is born, so don't go buying a bunch of clothes yourself (save $$!). It depends on how big your baby is when it's born. My first only wore newborn clothes for the first week, but my second was 5 weeks premature and wore premie and newborn clothes for the first month.
Finally, I found the MAM brand bottles to be the best. The nipple is the softest you can find and shaped more like the woman's breast. I am breastfeeding my 4 month old and she wouldn't take the bottle at first when I went back to work, but finally latched on to the MAM bottle just fine! Best of luck to you and congrats! T. M.
C.W. answers from Ocala on October 10, 2006
WOW! almost there huh? ok well all the hype about child birthing classes is a crock in my opinion. the breathing excersises dont work your just in too much pain to concentrate on them. As far as what to bring with you...tooth brush, hair brush, pj's for you, slippers for you, booties for your young one, an outfit to go home in for you and baby, a change of clothes for dad and his personals if he is staying up there with you, and extra cash for him to eat and bring you dunkin dounuts coffee and snacks cuz you will strave but what i recently learned after having my 3rd the nurses have snacks for you just ask them. As far as clothes for the baby go dont buy too many nb outfits they grow so quickly. i suggest 0-3 months to start with i know my babies were all to big for premie and nb stuff. LOL Good Luck and let us know when you have the baby!
K.B. answers from Jacksonville on August 14, 2006
Childbirth classes...no..not really...they were a waste of time for me..now taking a class on how to diaper, bathe, and the like is a good idea if you or Dad has never done it before...the classes will teach you to breathe in thru your nose and out thru your mouth...there, saved ya some time and money! lol
The hospital bag? things for you!! I would suggest pads that you like unless you dont mind wearing ones that are so thick you think you are wearing a diaper (they will provide these) YOUR OWN UNDERWEAR! they give you these net like panties that are horrible. I would bring one or two pjs if you are uncomfy wearing something that opens up. Me? I am bringing a good shirt for nursing and pj bottoms..I dont mind the blood stains.. (Im delivering on Sept. 8th) Your own shampoo/conditioner/razor/soap..now is the time to buy the pamper me things..makes you feel so human again! A comfy, stretchy outfit to wear home..you will still look about 6-7 months pregnant when you leave. Toothbrush and toothpaste..makeup, hairbrush...things you would pack if sleeping somewhere overnight. I suggest a gameboy or crossword puzzles or something to help keep your mind off things. Labor can be long for some people. Change for the vending machines for Dad to get a snack or something..If you want to eat more than ice chips, pack some popsicles (they have a freezer) or some lollipops or hard candy. Most hospitals wont let you eat anything. (Last stage of labor can make you quite queasy)
For the baby--just a cute take home outfit! I have yet to find a hospital that doesnt provide diapers, formula if you are bottle feeding, shirts for when they are there and receiving blankets for you to wrap the baby in...and I have yet to find a hospital that doesnt let you take all of it home with you..:)
Newborn size?? very few outfits! This child will grow so fast! have a small variety of 0-3 months (outgrow fast!) and nice variety of 3-6 month. I highly recommend saving some money and hitting your local consignment shop! :) I would say stocking up on onesies is a bigger thing. You will find they stay in them quite alot.
Bottles. me? I really loved the playtex VentAire bottles. My son had reflux and a bad gas problem at first. These helped soooo much! And if you are breastfeeding, there is one that is wider mouthed. If you pump, I would suggest that you just go to Wal-Mart and buy the cheapy bottles for replacements...they work just as well and you save a ton of money!
If you want to talk more, please feel free to email me...:) *hugz* and congrats!!! I wish you a delivery like my first! 3 hour labor and 3 pushes!!
J. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
For the first several hours after delivery you probally want to wear the panties and gowns from the hospital...just in case. You will not be able to shower until they send you over to the post partum hall and then those nurses have to deem you able to get on your own. So it is best to stay in the hospital gowns until them. While the baby is in the hospital he/she will wear the clothes provided by the nursery for about the first day, but make sure if you want pictures taken by the hospital you bring an outfit from home they look so cute dressed up. Now I am a labor and delivery nurse so as far a child birth classes I have seen everything, some people take them and they do no good, some people never take them and that part of what we are there for. I recommend childbirth classes if you will be able to stay focused on the task at hand, because once you lose concentration it is very hard to get it back. Most of the times patients with the revoving dor of visitors are the ones who have difficulty with concentrating. On the other hand you do not get an award for going with out pain relief. You need to remeber this is the first and last time you will ever have you first baby..make sure what ever you choose you can enjoy the whole experience and you can get what you want out of it. After hours and possibly hours more of labor without pain relief it is hard to enjoy your newborns first few hours. Newborns usually lost about 10% of their body weight after birth so as far a clothing in newborn size it depends on the estimated weight of you baby. THe best newborn items are the gowns (easy changing) and the onesies (especially in fla) for this first few week they will do nothing but eat sleep and poop. As far as bottle I bottle feed my first son and used the playtex with the inner collapsable bags makes for less air, my cousins swears by the Avent bottle especiall if you will be doing both breast and bottle. I know I wrote a book but this labor, delivery and baby stuff I feel like I know alot about. If you don't mind me asking where are you going to delivery?
A.H. answers from Miami on August 14, 2006
Congrats!!!:) I do recommend childbirth classes! I wish you would of taken it a bit earlier! Have you heard of the Miami maternity center! They give free classes on everything you need to know from relaxing and breathing technics! To everything about Breastfeeding!! I recomment bring you personal thing like shampoo,conditional all personal need:)As well a night gown!! SOme pad you would need extra! Clothes to go home in! A nice spandex underwear to keep start keeping the belly a head start on wear it should be!:) Oh some sock diffently sock it tends to get cold very cold! SOme sandals!
To by to much baby clothes they grow so fast!! Get the rest know! Sleep as much as you can! WHen yo have the baby make you you sleep when the baby is!!Thing ahead on baby clothing like the month some it would be rainnig season! And after cold so buy proper sizing for the folling monthe no to much though! Onesis are the best!! Dont but blankies in the crib!! Buy a intire outfit for night!!
On bottle I buy any just make sure you keep them clean! breastfeed is cheaper:))
B.A. answers from Tampa on August 14, 2006
Okay, now this is just from my experience and everyone is different...
Childbirth Classes... I thought it was a huge waste of money, but it would have been useful if I had a nutural childbirth. If you are going to have an epidural, you will learn just as much watching the baby shows on TLC and Discovery as you will in the class. And the TV shows are free!
Packing for the hospital... Bring lots of underwear and a few nightgowns for yourself, and a big box of Kotex. Bring your own pillows (hospital pillows are awful!). The only thing you should need to bring for baby is the going home outfit. (Check with your hospital to be sure about this though)
Newborn/preemie size clothing... I would say you shouldn't need more than 5 onseies, 3 sleep sacks, one or two cute outfits (for going home and pictures), and 3 sleepers. The baby will outgrow this stuff very quickly. Also be careful of how many newborn size diapers you stock up on. Some babies outgrow these in the first 2 weeks.
Bottles... I like the playtex bottles, but that is really personal preference. I would say buy one of each and see what you and the baby are most comfortable with. Some babies will only take certain kinds of bottles.
K.S. answers from Melbourne on August 14, 2006
You must be getting really ready to get that baby out. I was. I never took childbirth classes. I was glad to not have because I breathed how I felt most comfortable, sat in the position that allowed for me to get my child out as best as I felt possible. Other women will feel differently but that was how I did it. As for newborn clothing...you don't need much at all...they grow out of it really, really, really fast. My son didn't wear a third of his. Remember socks and hats, they get cold fast. Oh, as for bottles, the best are Dr. Brown's. They kept my son from being gassy or colicy. I would recomend them to everyone. They are at Toys R Us. Good luck and God Bless....
New Mom too-eight month old son!!!
T.H. answers from Jacksonville on September 14, 2006
The epidural is definately a personal choice. You'll figure that out on your own during labor. I personally could not imagine labor without it. I do recommend attempting to breastfeed. It came easy for me. However, it's not for everyone, so if it doesn't work for you that's ok too. I only attended one Lamaze class. That wasn't really for me either. I read alot and learned everything I needed to know from there. My son was 8lbs and 3 ozs and none of his newborn clothes even fit him until he was 2 wks old. So I brought one premie outfit and about 4 gowns or jumpers. Also, I brought my own pacifer/bottles to the hospital. I only used Avent bottles/pacifers and they were great for me. I didn't want my son to get "hooked" on the hospital pacifer. Also, since I breastfeed, I let the nurses know not to give my son any bottles without discussing it with me first. This worked out well. By the time he had his 1st bottle several weeks later, he was adjusted to breastfeeding very nicely. Best of luck to you.
R.M. answers from Washington DC on August 14, 2006
I agree with most mothers who have already responded. I didn't buy any newborn clothes all i had were 0-3 months.
I also didn't take any childbirth classes...just watched a lot of discovery health channel and tlc. they're educational..lol
i wanted to try and go natural but the pain was so overwhelming i didn't know how to handle it and got the epidural. Lucky thing i did, cause i ended up getting a c-section.
The only clothes i brought with me were going home clothes...the hospital provided for my son and i was in hospital gowns the whole time, until it was time to go home.
And i suggest that your clothes to go home in be comfortable and loose.
M.L. answers from Boca Raton on August 15, 2006
L., I am a first time mom of a 10 month old boy and I was just as nervous as you are. The books tell you to bring all this different stuff to the hospital and maybe you want to but I packed as little as possible. The best thing you can bring is the shampoo and conditioner for a shower and the toothbrush. Don't forget your camera either! New born size clothing, I had a lot of it but there are some outfits that he didn't really wear. Most of the clothes are really cute but not practical so I suggest buying the practical clothes that your baby can wear around the house. Good luck! I am sure you'll buy the right clothes and bring the right stuff to the hospital!
D.R. answers from Tampa on August 15, 2006
I took the childbirth classes with my first son - that is all but the last 2, I ended up in the hospital a month early. It was beneficial for me and even though my husband had been through the experience with his first one, I think it was a good refresher for him.
Since I went to the hospital ahead of schedule, I didn't have anything packed. The one thing I was glad I had for myself was a comfortable robe and slippers. For the baby, my husband brought in one outfit for the trip home.
For baby clothes, many of the newborn ones I had never got worn or only once. They grow so fast. I loved the drawstring gowns. They were convenient for diaper changes and as he grew, I just didn't pull the draw string - so I could use them for a longer period than some of the other items. I bought most of the clothes for the first year used. Got great buys looking at garage sales and through the weekly Flyer. Many had never been taken out of the original package, but I got them for a fraction of the cost.
Sorry I can't offer anything about bottles, I breastfed mine.
C.J. answers from Lakeland on August 15, 2006
Hi, I'm a mother of two, my youngest is almost 5 months old. Forget what everyone tells you about items to take to the hospital! It's usually WAY more than you'll need or actually use. With my first, I took massage oil (for relaxation during laboring), a little make-up, music, extra clothes, slippers, a nightgown, and some other stuff for myself. Do you know how much of it I actually used? Almost none! I didn't care about any darn massage oil, I was in labor! I was more worried about how to make the contractions stop (I ended up getting an epidural and loved it). I didn't feel like getting up to put on any make-up. I'd just had a baby. People don't go to visit expecting you to look good. They don't go to see you anyway, they go to see the baby. I didn't listen to any music during labor because I couldn't concentrate on it if I had. The hospital will give you plenty of blankets if you are cold. You might want to take your own pillow because the hospital pillows aren't very soft. Do take your own pajamas because it's easier getting in and out of bed with them instead of an open-back hospital gown. Make sure it will be easy to open for nursing if you're going that route.
I do recommend taking childbirth classes if it's your first or if it's been awhile. You'll learn about different pain management options and different procedures, etc. It kind of takes the guessing out of some of your "what if this happens?" questions.
One of two things will probably happen with newborn clothing. It will either be too big or too small. My first was small. She actually could have fit into a premie outfit to come home. That didn't last long, though. She quickly moved into regular newborn onesies (but the outfits were still big) and then straight into 0-3 month stuff (which is not the same as newborn I might add). My second daughter was bigger. She fit into newborn stuff for the first week and then was into 0-3 month stuff. You'll want to put them into onesies most of the time because it's easier. They grow so fast that buying a bunch of cute outfits is almost pointless, they never wear all of them. Onesies are cheap and you don't feel so bad that they grew out of them before they could wear them all.
Most hospitals these days don't send you home with much. They send you home with the rest of the pack of diapers they gave you in the hospital, maybe some wipes, shampoo and wash for the baby, the bulb suction thingy, a pacifier, the little pink tub that they kept the stuff in, and some will give you a diaper bag with formula samples and some other stuff like that in it. Most do not give you receiving blankets anymore. I also don't know of any hospitals giving out ready-made bottles, but some might if you ask. Do not expect them to give you anything to take your child home in (onesies, blankets). This is information that they will probably give you during childbirth class. If not, ask someone who has recently delivered at your hospital.
For feeding bottles, I have tried everything. I actually found that the nipple you choose is more important than the bottles. We liked the regular Nuk orthodontic nipples with the airflow hole on top. Our daughter was very colicky/gassy until we tried that.
Remember that you'll get lots of advice. Piece it all together and come up with what works for you! Good luck!
R.H. answers from Boca Raton on August 15, 2006
I have two children and never took the childbirth classes. The nurses in the hospital will coach you on what to do, how to lay,how to breath, etc. It was pretty easy without the clases in my opinion. For the baby, just bring clothes. The hospital wil provide you with blankets and diapers for the baby. For yourself bring comfortable clothes, socks and a lot of PADS! The pads they provide you are big and uncomfortable. Although they are good for the first couple of hours after you have the baby. Your best bet is to buy and bring with you Kotex overnight pads. They are thick and work the best in my opinion. Make sure you bring extra clothes for the baby, the nurses will help you change and dress the baby. But for a few days after birth of the baby they have a tar stool and it tends to leak and get on the clothes. The hospital will provide you with little nurses bottles (they are glass) but in my experience of two children the best bottles for feeding, decreasing air was Playtex Ventair. The skinny ones. They were awsome. Best of luck to you and enjoy!
R.R. answers from Lakeland on September 21, 2006
As a mom of three and soon to be grandma I have made that trip a few times. People bring alot of stuff to the hos. I brought something compfy to wear there and a outfit to wear home. Nothing that will bind your belly. It will be sore enough as is. Bring something nice for the baby to wear home and a few diapers. Your favorite shampoo and of course lotion, As far as birth classes...Been there done that..Did me no good at all. I had all mine by c-section. Now that I have my first Grandchild on the way and my daughter in law lives with us. I have been buying stuff for the new baby. we have about 20 onsies and sleepers. give or take 20 outfits and booties and such. Just remember your baby will outgrow newborn stuff faster then you think. And as far as bottles. Platex is the best for babies belly. You know the drop in ones...No gas in the belly= less fussy baby
Hope this helps
L.W. answers from Tampa on August 15, 2006
I think the child birth classes will only prepare you. I did not take them so I don't know the benefits, but it won't hurt.
As for the hospital...take the following things.
Comfortable clothes, like a night gown. The nurses will be in there several times to check on you. You want to have easy access.
Tooth paste and brush
Deodorant and body spray-trust me. If you nurse you will sweat.
shampoo and conditioner (they provide, but it is awful)
soap or body wash (theirs is awful too)
sock or slippers
make up bag
stuff to do your hair for when company comes to visit.
camera (both types)
Always pads. the hospital provide HUGE pads. they are the worst!!!! Bring your own. But get the over night kind. You will bleed ALOT!!!
For the baby...
new born or premiee outfit. New born clothes are going to swallow the baby. They are smaller that you think when they come out.
That is really it. The diapers, wipes, and cream they provide.
New born clothes are necessary. I would really stock up on onsiees the most. Then a few special out fits when you want to show the baby off. That is it.
If you need further advice ask me. I love helping. I remember this time. It is so much fun.
A. answers from Tallahassee on August 14, 2006
Congratulations! Childbirth classes at the hospital you're delivering at are a great idea. The best thing is they usually include a tour of the delivery rooms and maternity ward. They also help to give you a good idea of what to expect at the hospital. You don't really need to take much with you. The hospital supplies everything you will need for your baby's first few days (diapers, cleaning stuff - take any leftover baby supplies home, as you will be charged for it anyway). You just need to bring bottles and pacifier (depending on how you feel about that), little t-shirts (the kind that snap and tie on the side are the easiest to adjust to before trying to insert a tiny, squirming baby into a onesie), receiving blanket and whatever going home clothes you have picked out for the baby. You should bring everything you would for yourself for a weekend away in bed! I breastfed, but eventually used advent pacifiers and bottles. Best of luck!
J.H. answers from Columbia on August 15, 2006
I delivered about 7 weeks ago at Lakewood Ranch and the hospital pretty much supplied everything. I had a huge bag of stuff packed and used almost none if it. The only items I ended using were a change of clothes and toiletries. The one thing I didn't think of that you should definately bring is hair clips. The hospital even sent use home with all kinds of diapers, formula, and many other things.
We paid for all the childbirth classes and really only benefited from the breastfeeding and cpr classes. We quit lamaze because I was bored with it and the baby basics was all common sense or things your pediatrician will tell you.
How much newborn size stuff you need depends on the size of your baby. We were told our son would be 9-10lbs and ended up having to run out for diapers because he came out 7lbs. Make sure you stock up on diapers because you go thru them fast.
We use Avent bottles, but I wouldn't buy too many of one kind until you know if your baby will like the bottle or not. We had gotten 25 of those Playtex Ventaire bottles at our shower and our son refused to take them so we did trial and error until we found the brand he liked.
D.L. answers from Sarasota on October 10, 2006
yes. I do recommend the childbirth classes... you can get some information on that at the hospital where you will have your baby.
Im taking classes on Lakewood Ranch Medical center cause is the place where my baby boy will be born soon..
The classes are great and i feel so much secure and calm now that im taking the classes..you need to focus on that and go for it right away since you dont have much more time..
M. answers from Orlando on August 15, 2006
About childbirth classes, do you want to go natural or epidural? If you go with pain medication, then the childbirth classes don't help as much. All you need is bathroom stuff for yourself and an outfit to bring baby home in. As far as newborn clothing, I would only get a few things, I bought a bunch and mine were 10lbs 6 oz and the other was 8 lbs 9oz, so they never really used newborn clothing at it was waste of money. Personally get a few items of newborn, and some 3 months. That way if they are small you are covered for a while till you can get out again, or if they are bigger you don't have any wasted clothing! Each baby is different as far as bottles, you need to see how they like them. Some babies like latex nipples while others like the silicone, also the size and shape of them differ. If you plan to breastfeed for a little while, then I used the playtex dropins with the nipples that help with breastfeeding so they don't get confused. Hope this helps.
E.M. answers from Miami on August 15, 2006
As someone very experienced at the whole delivery scene, four healthy babies, and a Post Partum Doula, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and advocate of natural childbirth, I agree with what Laura suggested. I would like to add one more, though. Have you considered breastfeeding your baby? The recommendation is for the first six months that a baby receive only breastmilk for a TON of reasons. The first being, the ultimate gift you can give to your baby. It is designed by your body specifically for your baby. It has EVERYTHING your baby needs nutritionally. Rarely do babies develop food or other allergies when on breastmilk and it boosts their immune system to prevent sickness. Also, it helps you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape more quickly as well as protecting you against breast cancer! I suggest you think of finding a La Leche League chapter close to you and find a Lactation specialist. The reason it is IMPORTANT to do this is that there is more to breastfeeding than simply putting your baby to the breast. How you position your baby and how soon you breastfeed after the baby is born are necessary things to know. Also, you can send a message to me with any questions you may have about this or other delivery related question. Blessings to you and your baby!
S.S. answers from Daytona Beach on August 14, 2006
I found that by reading "The Pregnancy Book" by Dr. Sears, and by hanging out on BabyCenter http://www.babycenter.com, especially their bulletin boards, I learned everything I needed to know. I did take the classes, but everything they taught us I had already read in the book and online. YMMV. Babycenter also has many lists about what to take to the hospital, lots of good stuff I would have not thought of myself (like fingernail clippers for baby's fingernails - our daughter scratched herself within an hour of delivery on her face and now has a slight scar - still there at 8mos old).
Now, your decision on whether to use pain meds or go au natureal is yours alone. I was induced, and was in so much pain I kept tensing up with each contraction. I knew I should relax, but it was impossible for me to do that. I finally opted for the epidural (I LOVE the epidural man! :), and I'm so glad I did. I was in labor for 5hrs, and I had only dialated 3cm. After getting the epidural, it relaxed me enough that I went from 3cm to 9cm in only 1.5hrs! So, basically, I wanted to say keep an open mind, because refusing pain meds can also delay your delivery if you find yourself unable to relax enough to allow your body to dialate.
Of course, it is all worth it, and you will forget everything else, and just remember that moment when the Dr. places your sweet baby in your arms, for the rest of your life!
S.H. answers from Tampa on August 14, 2006
You may want to check with your doctor/hospital about the classes, some "make" you take them in order to register for delivery. As for what to bring, a change of clothes to sleep in and to be up and about in, any personal shower things you want (they usually supply soap and shampoo, but if you don't want to use theirs ...) and bring a change of clothes for baby to go home in. They will keep them swaddled in a shirt and diaper while there so you only need something to go home in and maybe a blanket if they don't let you keep one, although my hospital let us keep everything our babies touched. I breastfed so no help on bottles, sorry! But I have heard lots of good things about the Advent line.
S.J. answers from Tampa on August 18, 2006
COngradulations!!!! Let me just say this there are no two child births that are the same!!! I was so afraid when I was getting ready to have mine, I never took any classes, and I will be honest with you I really didnt need to...the nurses tell you what to do..and they go off your state of mind...I never had an epidural..I wanted one but everything happened so fast that they didnt have time to give me one, and I will be honest with you it really wasnt that bad...the worst part was after you have the baby! the labor pain you will forget as soon as the put your baby in your arms, the real pain is when you have to go pee after you have had the baby..as far as your preping that is up to you...I was so big there was no shaving..I couldnt reach and realy I didnt care, they are doctors that do this daily so they really dont care eithier...I will tell you one thing I did do that they dont recomend, but I was glad I did is I went and got 2 cheeseburgers and a large french fry on the way to the hospital...you dont get to eat till after you have the baby and I knew that, so I did make sure I ate befor I went...as far as packing...lol....everything I packed I didnt need and everything I didnt pack I needed....I brest fed till she was 4 months old so I couldnt tell you what kind of bottle works best...as far as how many clothes to buy for a new born...that is a guess too...if you end up having a big baby you wont need too much if your baby is small you will...oh here is one advice I can give..I wanted my new baby in the room with me the hole time well I was there for 3 nights and by the third night they had to take her because I wouldnt sleep...I was so worried I kept checking on her constantly....and they finally took her so I would sleep..and that was the best thing they ever did!!! so if they do want to take her and you havnt slept let them!!!!!!!!!!! you will be so happy you did when you get home and find that you only get to sleep in 4 hour intervals..but it is fun and when she is 3 months old you will look back and go yeah I could do that again...lol...enjoy it though cause while you are in the hospital it will be the last time the atention is on you...after that is all about your wonderful baby as it should be!!! good luck and let us know how it went!!!
A.B. answers from Sharon on August 14, 2006
My husband & I took Limaze classes...quite honestly didn't do me any good! Whatever you do, don't eat a lot of greasy foods close to the end. Could've just been me, but I was SO sick for 17 hours during my first labor and delivery. (Probably was from the pain medicine though -- Demerol. UGH!)
As far as what to take to the hospital for you & baby - a lot of lists recommend 2-3 nightgowns...I don't think that's necessary. You won't want to wear a pretty gown the first day or two because of possible heavy bleeding after birth. Pack something comfortable for you to wear home -- lounge pants.
The only thing you will really need for the baby at the hospital (they usually provide you with formula if you bottlefeed, clothes during the stay, diapers, a binky, etc.)...so, pack a nice outfit for photos and take home outfit.
YOu may want to shop ahead for yourself & get some heavy duty pads to have at home...and witch hazel pads. They'll help alleviate any pain or itching if you get stiches 'down there.
Don't buy too many NB things -- you'll more than likely be gifted with so many gifts & they always buy newborn size. In fact, you may want to inventory and exchange some of the clothing you receive for bigger sizes! Same way with 'doubles' -- don't be afraid to return them & stock up with diapers instead!
Lastly, my favorite bottle is the Playtex nurser system with disposable liners (I prefer the Walmart plastic bags). Both of my girls had reflux as infants & these minimized the gas.
Best of luck to you -- how exciting!
M.C. answers from Orlando on August 14, 2006
I am going to tell you when no body told me. I took classes, I read 24/7. but this no one told me until it was the 2 hour of me pushing. Push like you have to go potty. I know you are probably like what the??!! but yes. put like your poop is stuck and you have to go potty. The miniut the nurse told me that my DD came out. I was in labor for 2 hrs. My second child came out in 3 pushes because I was doing that. It worked like a charm!
good luck and have a safe labor.
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