Labor and Childbirth

There are good stories, there are bad stories and there are very scary stories… Of course, the passage of time helps to flourish the memory and anyone who tells a story adds something extra and if there is something a mother always likes to tell is her childbirth story (no matter if it’s a good or bad memory).

Until I was a mother for the first time, I always enjoyed listening to those stories but I always kept that doubt of… hum … will this be how they tell it will?

gravida
@ freeimages.com

After being a mother, I began to give another kind of attention to these stories and began to find a common denominator in the worst stories: lack of preparation!

It is not called labor to childbirth by coincidence. Mother and child have to collaborate in the most delicate, sensitive and abrupt work of their lives.

And now tell me: what is the likelihood of a job being well done if the person is not prepared for it? The baby comes pre-programmed and even then it doesn’t always go well … what if the mother doesn’t help? And what if the mother thought that the preparation for childbirth was just uninteresting? And what if at the time when the baby needs to relax, the mother strengthens and compresses it? What if, when the baby needs well-oxygenated blood, the mother is busy screaming? And what if when the baby needs that extra help to get out the mother, she is spending her energy clinging (to something: bed, father’s hand, etc …) with all the strength she has instead of channelling it to the pelvic muscles?

And for those who think that in the second child we already know what we are going to, I have not yet heard two birth stories of exactly the same. Did you?

Preparation is NEVER too much!

Maternity Hospital Bag

All Hospitals have the famous list of “what to pack to a hospital birth”. And if it is true that we should always consult the specific list of where we intend to have our child(ren), it is also true that many of these lists need to be properly filtered. Things like knowing whether they supply or we need to bring bath towels, baby sheets, clothing/gown to the birth room, are important to avoid carrying unnecessary items.

However, products like “silicone nipples”, “pacifiers”, “abdominal binder”, which are unnecessary should not even come on the famous lists. However, there is some advice that is not essential at all, but I usually give in my training on the subject and that I share here with you today. 😊

There is a cosmetic product that should be part of every hospital list for birth but that is often overlooked … the “anti-dark circles”. In the hospital, the ex-pregnant/new mom spends the first of many sleepless nights. Whether it is a labor that occurs and/or lingers through the night, or through alternating and/or simultaneous interminable crying of all babies (including our own) or the cocktail of released hormones they leave you on the alert for any sigh whose volume is higher than the sound of a feather to fall, or simply because we are in contemplation of all the details of our latest masterpiece of art. And, in Motherhood, every day is photo “to remember later” day, so we do not want to remember also the dark circles and the proof of difficult nights.

And speaking of photographic moments, it never hurts to remember that battery chargers, extra batteries, memory cards and the various accessories needed for proper recording of the time should never be forgotten.

Blood collection kits and/or umbilical cord, if they have made that decision, can not be forgotten. It is from those things that there is only a single moment to be used and there is no return to give in case of forgetfulness.

Food & Beverage. The truth is that “hospital food” is “hospital food” … it is usually insipid and has fixed times (there is no buffet 24/7). However, we have not yet figured out how to schedule (small) birth hours. Therefore, we can even spend several hours in labor and not eating, which does not mean that we will have all the meals that we skipped waiting for us when we go to the hospital room (postpartum). Therefore, speak the voice of experience, take some snacks in the bag, some crackers/cereal bars, some juice/milk and a bottle of water.

Magazines and/or non-maternity books because if it is true that many pregnant women have already “devoured” all the thematic literature existing during pregnancy, it is also true that those first days can give a bump in the impact of becoming a mother and responsible for a new Being that we put in the world. So, to have something that we can use that allows us to remember that we are equal (but different) to what we were before being mothers. Something that allows us to take a break from the intensive world of motherhood is something that I consider important.

How to handle newborn clothes

The newborn’s clothing should be washed with hypoallergenic (unscented) detergents. It must be rinsed with clean water after washing (in the machine, choose the program with more rinses). It must be dry to the sun, the sun rays disinfect. It should not be left to dry on windy days, it accumulates dust.

roupas
Alan de Souza, via freeimages.com

It must be completely ironed on both sides (reverse and right) to disinfect. The complete seedlings should be stored in closed bags as they are taken to the maternity ward so that it is more practical to access (do not go to the drawer to get the body, to the shelf to get the pants, to the chest of drawers to look for the babygrow …).

Finally, it should be organized by sizes. Measure the parts for each other and not rely on the labels (there are big differences between brands for supposedly equal sizes). In the early days, everything that saves time is extremely valuable. The previous organization saves a looooooooooooooooot of time!

Diapers… Diapers…

The universe of diapers is something that can not be missed by any new family. Starting with the quantity, types, models, environmental and economic impact, something as simple as a diaper, can take hours of sleep and rest to the future parents and have a real impact on the health and well-being of the baby.

Let’s go, step by step…

fralda

Foto via freeimages.com

Amount:
A newborn can need between 8 and 12 diapers a day.
Further forward decreases slightly but never drops more than 5 a day until about 2/3 years.

Types and Models:
There are disposable (use and throw away after it) diapers and reusable (wear, wash and reuse) diapers.
In the disposables there are those of fast absorption, those of great capacity for longer periods (ex: night), the ones of absorption by the fibers (less effective to keep your baby dry), the ones of polymers (better at isolate the humidity), the biodegradable ones, the specific ones to use in water (ex: swimming pool, sea), the diapers of adhesives and pull-ups like underwear (that help in the transition to leave the diapers).
In the reusable ones there are the one-size adjustable ones (accompanying the child’s growth), the traditional ones in various sizes, the pocket ones (they have absorbents that are inserted in an inner pocket), those integrated with bathing suits for use in water (ex: pool, sea, …), etc …

Environmental and Economic Impact:
Obviously, non-biodegradable disposables are the ones which increase the most our ecological footprint by far. The practicality is paid with environmental impact. Halfway there are biodegradable disposables that, while not 100% degradable, always relieve our ecological conscience.
The footprint gets smaller with reusable ones, of course. However, we must not forget the necessary washes, the pollution of water with detergents, the consumption of electricity, etc … right?
Economically speaking, every option has a big impact on the family budget. The reusable ones require a higher initial investment that is monetized later (and especially when the second child arrives), the disposables require a regular and more or less constant expenditure over 2 to 3 years.

And myths related with diapers… Do you know some? Look up for our next post… 😉

Pacifier: yes or no?

Many parents face this doubt and, like much other life’s issues, you have to make a decision. You should not offer only because… Does every baby need a pacifier? There are a bunch of them who never have touch one and “survived”.

It’s not mandatory to use a pacifier. It was invented in 1680 and, as we can still assume by its name, it was created to soothe babies. And, we must tell you, it’s very effective!

The sucking reflex is innate, that is, the (full-term) baby is born with the ability to suck whatever is placed in its mouth. This ability is what allows the baby to feed itself outside of the womb, that is, to nurse. And it’s precisely this fact that can cause problems when introducing a pacifier too early. It activates the reflex that allows the baby to feed itself by not feeding it … Therefore, the pacifier should not be introduced before the proper establishment of breastfeeding. It is only when the mother and baby are perfectly comfortable with breastfeeding and this is happening without any associated difficulties that you should consider to introduce (or not) the pacifier.

Pros:
It helps to soothe the baby when it is sleepy or having a tantrum.
There is some evidence that shows some protection from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when used during the night after the 1st month of life (till 6th months).

Cons:
It’s an addition. They will (probably) need our help to deal with it in future.
Can cause allergies (to latéx, to drool, etc.)
It’s easily a source of microbes (virus, bacterias, etc.)
Less hygienic.

There are only a few things in life there are “all or nothing” but like everything else in life, it’s a decision that has to be made and this one should be discussed by both parents.