Parenting, Pregnancy & Labour

What I’ll Be Doing Differently Next Time I Give Birth

I’m not having another quite yet – I want to be able to enjoy Molly at this age and focus on her rather than spending my days with my head down the toilet. Morning sickness is brutal!!! There will come a point in which I will feel ready for another and when that time comes I plan to do things differently. I doubt it’ll be for a couple of years yet though. Throughout my pregnancy with Molly I was full of anxiety – mainly the apprehension of the unknown. Some would say that’s a blessing in disguise as when you know what to expect it can make you feel worse! I guess it depends on the experience you’re basing those feelings on. I am someone that copes a lot better knowing what to expect, even if it’s pretty awful! Therefore, I hope next time around I can be more relaxed. The main things I worried about were other people! It’s ridiculous really as pregnancy and birth should purely center around mum and baby, but most of the time it doesn’t.

I spent the last 8 weeks of pregnancy worrying immensely about the prospect of people just turning up at the hospital, people wanting to hold my baby all the time, people not giving me privacy to establish breastfeeding, people wanting to bombard my space etc… the list went on and on! It was all about other people. Unfortunately a couple of those things did happen – I did have a lot of visitors within the first few weeks and they all wanted to hold Molly. I’m sure many of you can relate to the feelings of utter indignation when someone wakes a sleeping baby! That moment when you’ve just got your baby to sleep and someone takes them off you for a cuddle. Not only is this infuriating because you spent ages getting them to settle, but you actually want to bond with your newborn baby! It’s well known that babies shouldn’t be passed around when they’re newborn because they feel safe and comforted by their mum (and dad). It’s so important for bonding. As a new mum, I felt very protective and I just wanted Molly all to myself. Is that too much to ask after growing her for 9 months inside of me, and then the trauma and sheer exhaustion of delivering her?  No, of course it’s not! I think people should be more respectful of mums that have just given birth or had a C-section, it’s exhausting – emotionally and physically.

My point is – mum’s should have the final say as to whether they want visitors and for how long. I think a lot of people forget about the mum when they see a newborn baby. All they see is this adorable little baby and just want to squeeze them! Of course this is completely natural, but it’s not always what the mum wants. I sat in my pyjamas for about two weeks after having Molly. Some days I didn’t brush my teeth or even comb my hair. When you’re breastfeeding it’s particularly hard to find time to do these things to start with. I remember just crying because I wanted to be on my own with Molly. There’s nothing like the support of your mum though and I know I’m very blessed that I have such a supportive mum. She helped me a lot, as did Chris.

So what would I do differently next time I give birth?

I will put my feelings first. I speak to so many mums who say they worry about upsetting other people by turning them away or asking them to come another time. Don’t!!! You really do need to focus on YOU and the baby. Next time I give birth I will be making sure that everyone knows they can’t come until 1 day after I’ve been at home and that when they do come it’ll be just for an hour. I will also be making it clear that the baby will not be passed around for the first week. No one will be waking a sleeping baby!!! I feel like I should have worn a T-shirt saying, ‘If you dare wake the sleeping baby’. I think our husbands/partners get caught up in the excitement of having a new baby and sometimes neglect to consider how we might be feeling. Obviously they have no way of relating to the pain, emotions or exhaustion of giving birth, so it’s difficult to get them to understand. However, I do think it’s really important to talk and share how you’re feeling.

If you’re currently pregnant and worrying about visitors or anything like that then make it clear to everyone how you feel. Put your own feelings first – it’ll make you more relaxed knowing that everyone is aware of your wishes. I know it’s easier said than done, but I promise you you’ll be glad you’ve addressed before actually giving birth.

Big love x

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