My daughter's teacher is about to have a baby. I offered to send her some tips and resources (without being overwhelming). This is what I sent her. (I didn't mention the fact that I fractured my coccyx during childbirth because no-one caught the baby during a fast delivery - first babies usually aren't fast deliveries.) What advice would you give to someone who was about to have her first baby?
My birth tip - take laxatives to hospital and take one each day until you no longer need to.
Don’t forget the placenta - it could take up to 45 mins to deliver the placenta, so you don’t want to invite people in just after the birth of the baby - you might not be finished and cleaned up yet (not very presentable when holding a baby, hovering over slops with the umbilical cord, with scissors on the end, hanging out of you.)
If you need help with breastfeeding, ask. Keep asking. Never poke or restrict your breasts - you’ll get mastitis. Learn about mastitis now so you know what to look out for.
summer pouch (I also liked hug-a-bub wrap sling)
Online forums - you can ask questions, have a chat, get help
Calming a baby
Singing to baby is to keep the mum calm
Wrap - keep wrapping
Try to have the baby self settle before s/he can move around too much, ie, before 6 months, put baby in cot to sleep (not holding or feeding to sleep). After six months it is much harder to teach babies to self settle (when they are standing up in the cot.) By 6 months, have a routine.
Mum blogs here
Be with other mums
Join the mothers group, playgroup etc, go to everything where you meet other mums with babies the same age. Network.
Accept any help offered.
You don’t have to sign up to any prescriptive method. You can do a bit of attachment parenting, a bit of Gina Ford, a bit of any style that works for you. Do what you are comfortable doing. You probably don't need and won't use most of the baby stuff in the shops.
Nothing is ever the baby’s fault.
Sometimes you will feel like it is.
The beginning is just about bodies.
Yours as well as the baby's. Eat. Sleep. Poo. The basics of life. Stay well. Then exercise, play, and some stimulation, (as well as eat, sleep poo) for you as well as the baby.
Good luck, and feel free to ask me anything. I'm here.
I should have added it is good to work out a policy for when to give panadol, go to the doctor's and go to hospital. It took a while to work that out, and having a sick baby is rather frightening...