The Dirt on Preparing for Labor, Delivery and Postpartum
If you don't nurse, holy crud, your boobs will HURT. The worst of it only lasts a day or two. Buy small ice packs and put them in your bra, it will feel nice. Also, wear two bras at the same time (sports bras are nice). Buy nursing pads ahead so you don't leak all over your clothes.
When you are preparing for labor and packing your hospital bag, don't pack white socks—even the nurses said this. The first time I stood up, I got blood all over the floor and down my leg, ruining said white socks. Or just take them off before you get up, and wear flip-flops.
Be sure you keep drinking PLENTY of fluids afterwards. Being constipated is no fun, and it doesn't get any more pleasant now! If you are really worried about that, the doctor told me they recommend Colace or Milk of Magnesia.
Boppys work great in place of a doughnut to sit on. My SO laughed at me but I was too sore to sit in a chair for a few days after (and I only had one stitch!).
I didn't know about the whole bathroom thing ... not sure how other hospitals do it but all the ones around here do this: It will hurt too much to wipe so they gave me a squirt bottle I put warm water in each time. Sounds gross but it will feel so good. Be gentle when you pat it dry—I caught my stitch once and cried. They also gave me Tucks, which are little cold, wet, round pads to put in your underwear. These feel extremely nice, too. I went out and bought more after I was discharged.
You can pass clots the size of half dollars and they won't be too concerned. Mine came about two weeks after birth. **Always check with your doctor though!!!**
YOU know when something is wrong, so don't let anyone tell you differently! So be a b***h! You have to remember that these nurses and doctors deal with cranky, whiney pregnant women all day every day, and will think that you are just another one unless you push your way in.
When you're preparing for labor, cut your nails! I had nice long pregnant nails and in the first few days I accidentally scratched my baby :( I cut them shorter but not completely off, which I thought worked until last night ... when I got poop under one of them. Now they are completely gone!
The BP checks every few hours were nice for me, but that's only because I got induced due to high BP. So that stupid machine took my BP every 15 minutes until after I had him (so 22 hours on that machine). Don't be afraid to ask the nurse to turn the sound off of it. It sounds an alarm every time it's high, which was every single time for me.
Take an extra pillow or two. The beds at the hospital, since they can move the head/feet up and down, had a bar in the middle of it which jammed into my back every night. A pillow made it more tolerable.
When they push on your stomach afterwards, it HURTS. The doctor was the roughest. It took everything in me not to yell. And then he told me to just relax my stomach! Well, stop trying to squeeze my uterus out and maybe I will! :D
I had a hard time pushing right so the nurse tried something else. She held one end of a towel and I held the other, and had me pull on it as hard as I could. It must have worked—I only pushed for 16 minutes! You might try it out when you're preparing for labor and see which muscles it uses in your abdomen. If I ever have another baby, I'll definitely use this method instead. Be prepared though: My hands ached for a little while after.