In this weeks diary of a mum to be, the baby is almost the size of a pineapple! His brain and nervous system are fully developed. I have noticed that his movements feel different, maybe due to the lack of space in there, but I still find it quite amazing to watch him move inside of me. His movements are strong and he has been very active all week. Seeing my belly stick out in all shapes and directions is fascinating. Although I know I will have him here soon and enjoying all the amazing new babiness, I cant help but think how ill miss the feeling of having my little man grow inside me.
I have noticed my belly has grown, a lot this week. My wardrobe choices have started to minimise again and I just feel so heavy. The commute to work is difficult, part of me wonders how I will keep doing that journey for another 5 weeks! I have small elephant feet, possibly due to water retention and the weight I am carrying. I moan and groan when I get out of bed or stand up, and I have never spent so much time going to the toilet. Pregnancy does make you feel your body has aged 20 years in some ways. My legs feel like they are going to go into cramp at any minute. I really do miss that spring in my step especially when I am trying to dodge the London Commuters. We all know they hate anyone who walks slow, pregnant or not!
My ‘replacement’ was found this week, and I have to say I am actually pretty excited as I know she will do a good job. Thankfully no real life replay of the BBC drama will be happening!
It was all about labour interventions, complications and pain relief. I felt some of the information contradicted some of the hypnobirthing we have been practising and I am hoping that if I can get hypnobirthing right, it wont get to that point. However, I am also the type of person who likes to know everything, so I feel it’s important to be aware and know about all possibilities.
It was interesting, just to hear the other mum to be views. Someone was saying that everyone at her work was telling her to get an epidural and another Mum to be was quite clearly panicking about any kind of pain and honestly looked so scared. I found it quite sad. Not that I am judging anyone who opts for a different birth option other than a natural one, as I respect that sometimes people don’t even have a choice other than to have to a caesarean. I also completely understand why people would choose all the pain relief options as why put yourself through pain if you don’t need to? There are debates for all.
What I found sad, was that it was really apparent that as women we have been brought up to think and believe that giving birth is the single most painful thing we will ever experience. To the point that it clearly terrifies some mum to be’s which I don’t think is healthy for their body and mind or the baby’s.
The midwife, even though had to discuss all options and scenarios, was still very encouraging for us to try everything we possibly could so we don’t end up having an emergency caesarean. That way, if that does end up happening, we can look at each other and say we did all we could.
We attended a breastfeeding workshop this week. We have been told that the area we live in is one of the best areas for breast feeding support and we have the option for free home visits after the birth for check ups and advice!
I have also heard that breast feeding is hard, especially for the first few weeks. I have already written off my first two weeks as a new Mum to just sitting with my baby, skin to skin contact and trying to feed.
Breast feeding is hard to start with but using formula is even harder down the line. It does seem like a no-brainer, your boobies are there and designed to produce the best nutrients for your baby. Babies want to feed roughly every 2 hours especially through the night, so when they wake it does seem like the easiest option to latch the baby onto your milkshakes rather than having to make bottles up that could take up to 15 minutes. I think some of the Mum to be’s at the session were hoping that the dads would play that role of doing night feeds, but it was pointed out that by the time the dad had made the bottle, you would most likely be wide awake due to the baby crying. Also, the cost of formula seems slightly ridiculous to me.
Babies digest breast milk a lot quicker than formula. A new-borns stomach is around the size of your thumb nail growing to maybe the size of a walnut. So, as you can tell they don’t need a lot but as they digest much quicker, they do need feeding more often. Formula contains more fat and is harder for them to process. I think the common worry is with breast fed babies is if the baby is getting enough. Babies probably gain more weight with formula, but actually that doesn’t mean a healthier baby. The easiest way to tell if the baby is healthy and getting enough food… the poo! I will spare you the details but we have pictures to use a guide so if you are interested, please let me know!
Throw away your watch and let time go out the window. Based on the above, we were advised to not time or pay attention to how long the baby feeds. You can never over feed a breast fed baby. She said for the first few weeks, just sit and bond with the baby, feeding. Get your box sets set up and supplies ready!
Something else I took away from this class. How lucky I am to have a partner that is so engaged. If you read my very first pregnancy post you will know that this baby was very unexpected and it took some time for Michael (and some others close to us) to get their head around and embrace it. It was a difficult time, but I couldn’t wish for a better support now. There were other dads there, clearly just there because they’d been told too. I sat and watched some of them on their phones, not listening as they looked bored and fed up. Just because you cant physically breastfeed dads, you still have a massive part to play!
As I sit and write this post, Michael is setting up the baby bed and decorating the babies space in our room. I think he has genuinely enjoyed learning and is so excited! I know he is going to be such an amazing support for me and our little man.
I would love to hear about any breast feeding hints and tips, your experiences… please leave any comments below xx