Christmas time is a time for lots of family and friends to visit. Having a baby brings even more reasons for visitors as everyone wants to meet your new arrival, plus you want to show off the new tiny, beautiful human that you’ve created.
It’s one of those things though that looking back, Mums often say that they wish they took it slower or managed visitors a bit better. So here’s some of my top tips for managing visitors. I’ve put a Christmas spin on it as everything is better with a festive twist.
Be clear on times and who. Mary would have been sat there trying to get to know the baby she’s just birthed and in walked 3 Kings. Now I don’t know about you but in the presence of kings I would be worried about whether I would be leaking blood through my PJ bottoms or if my nipples were on show in front of a King. Both highly likely scenarios after having a baby. When you want to sit their with your boobs out trying to figure out breastfeeding, stay in your PJs all day with a disheveled mum bun or when you want to just have a nap when baby is sleeping, it’s good to know exactly who’s coming over, what time and when they’re leaving too.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for things. Lots of people when planning their visit ask to see if you need anything. Rather than being polite and saying no and then ending up with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh., ask for a certain size of baby clothes that you need, or ask for a lasagne if you’re struggling to find the time to cook. I bet Mary wished that she had an easy meal to cook for the next few weeks rather than some Frankincense to carry home on her donkey.
3. Let people do the things… You’ve just had a baby. You’re job is to enjoy your baby, get to know your baby, feed, cuddle your baby and rest up. This comes first over entertaining 3 wise men. It shouldn’t be up to you to be making the teas and baking the cakes. Get your friend and family to make the tea and more so, Mums and Mother In Laws are always happy to put the washing away or unload the dishwasher!
4. Make use of the visitors too. If your family is coming over for the morning and you know they’re going to want to cuddle the baby, don’t be afraid of using this time to take a shower, get yourself dressed or even take a nap. You can’t pour from an empty cup after all so looking after no. 1 is important.
5. If it all becomes a little overwhelming have a safe space in your house where you can go with your baby. You could always take the baby upstairs to feed so you can get a little time out or space. Having a baby is busy and over Christmas especially it can be that bit more hectic.
6. Don’t be afraid to say no. Even if your guests are Kings, Wise and are from afar. You and your baby are the most important beings at this moment and if you don’t want someone visiting or holding the baby, then it’s ok to say no!
Have a conversation with your other half before baby arrives to see if you’re on the same page when it comes to visitors. It’s one less thing to think about when baby gets here.
Poor Mary on her donkey trying to find a nice place to have her precious baby, only to be showed to a stable filled with animals. If this was to happen nowadays we’d all be fuming that we didn’t get to our hospital room with a bed, warm water and a midwife.
But I want to share with you why I think Mary’s stable birth wasn’t as bad as we once thought.
1. When Mary was in labour, she set off on her donkey to find somewhere to give birth. She would have been upright sat on that donkey with her legs straddled wide, her open pelvis would have meant plenty of room for baby Jesus to travel down and this would have meant lots of pressure on her cervix to help it dilate.
2. Notice on her very long search for a place to birth she didn’t just accidentally have her baby on the pavement outside the local pub. That wouldn’t have made a very biblical story now would it?? You see our bodies have this funny way of having our backs. If adrenaline is high and we are stressed (for example being told a big fat, “No room at the inn” several times) our bodies can stall labour. Only when she found a safe place to birth did her labour crack on (that stable would have been nesting at its best!)
3. There was no bed in that stable. Beds are not always our friends in labour yet lots of birth rooms make the bed the centre point. Having no bed in the centre of the stable would have meant that Mary would have needed to walk, kneel, lean, squat, go on all fours to get into a comfortable position. This would have meant that baby Jesus would have been able to navigate through the pelvis a lot easier than if Mary saw a bed and then got on it.
4. It was dark. It was night time and there would have been no lights to just switch on in the stable. A dim lantern would have been the only light (and the North Star of course) meaning that melatonin (the darkness hormone) would have been at its highest. Melatonin acts on the uterus to increase contractions meaning a smoother labour.
5. There were no onlookers. Her mother didn’t just pop in to see if she was ok. Her other children weren’t demanding snacks or needing picking up from the school run. There was no midwife, no doctors, no change of staff, no staff just popping in to take equipment or check the resus. There’s a theory called the Fear Of Observeration. Whilst we may not consciously realise this, having people watching us in birth can make us behave differently and this can interfere with birth. I’m not for one minute suggesting that Mary shouldn’t have had a midwife there but, I think limiting her birth partner to just Joseph was a good idea.
So before you rush out to book the nearest Inn complete with stables and animals for your birth, notice that these 5 Top Tips for birth can be transferred to any birth scenario. Meaning that you can boss your birth like Mary, in all birth settings minus the straw and hay in your manger.
Want to know more about how you can help get the birth you want? Read a real life birth story and how she stacked the odds in her favour- Gayles Birth Story here.
I don’t know if this was the result of too much gas and air at this point or one of Robs cracking jokes but either way it looks like we’re having a grand old time! Anyone who’s been through labour knows that it’s not all shits and giggles, but a solid birth partner that can bring the funnies goes a long way for those oxytocin levels.
So to all the birth partners out there, who don’t just want to be sat in the corner with their popcorn, remember you’ll be the biggest source of oxytocin in that birth room. Never underestimate your role 💪🏻✨
You may be surprised to know that this is all part of hypnobirthing. It’s not all relaxation and breathing, it’s about learning ways to make you feel great during labour. For me that was this man right there ❤️ some gas and air 👌🏼 and I was on to a winner.
Did you have an awesome birth partner at your birth? What did you find most helpful?
Why is it you get home with your newborn baby and for the first few days/weeks they sleep? This is easy as pie, you think 💭 feeling smug, I have struck gold with a “sleeper”. Then as the weeks tick by your baby tends to turn into a baby that no longer knows how to sleep. Then you think 💭 I’ve broke my baby 🤷🏼♀️.
So I learnt from lovely, fellow Mum Helen that there’s a reason for this madness…
MELATONIN – the hormone that makes us sleep. A baby doesn’t start to produce this hormone till about 8 weeks. When a baby is born they have their mothers melatonin in their system making them often sleep beautifully until it starts to run out. They then have to build it up again from 8 weeks, hence the 8 week sleep regression 💡.
Delphi is currently coming up to 8 weeks and we’ve had a fair few sleepless nights. Knowing this nugget of info though has made me realise that I actually haven’t broke my baby at all, she’s not the real child of Voldemort (if you know you know!) and that it’s not only just normal but there’s a reason for it.
The most wonderful thing I gained from yesterday was knowing that this early on there’s nothing that you can do to control your baby’s sleep💤 SO STOP TRYING!!! What I can control though is how us as a family deal with it and accommodate this little sleep thief. It goes back to – Control the things you can, let go of the things you can’t – which is one of my favourite birth motos.
Whoever said breastfeeding was a walk in the park LIED!! Well at least for lots of women anyway.
That latch that midwives go on about sooooo much is so important because…
▪️ If the latch isn’t quite right your nipples can become sore and even cracked.
▫️ Your baby won’t be getting enough of a milk supply if the latch isn’t quite right which means that your baby may not be getting enough milk and this can also in turn reduce your supply.
Both the above can make breastfeeding VERY challenging.
Look at the way the mother in this photo is holding her baby. Just like we do when we grab a drink we tilt our head back- so the best way to hold your baby whilst feeding is by not holding the back of their head… Sounds like an alien concept though, right? Growing up we are encouraged to “hold the baby’s head!!!!” where as during breastfeeding this isn’t the case and supporting them by their shoulders and neck instead is a better way to encourage and support feeding.
We know how important feeding is to new parents and their babies, be that breast or bottle. So we’ve roped in Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife Sue to come and share her tips with you at antenatal class. You know lack of support is thought to be the biggest reasons why mothers choosing and wishing to breastfeed end up stopping, which is why we have your back ❤️ we think if you want to do it, it helps if your breastfeeding journey starts in pregnancy so it’s always included at antenatal.
Another tip for pregnant mothers is to head over to a breastfeeding support group in your area whilst you are on maternity leave before baby arrives. This is so that when you need to go there for breastfeeding support, you have already met some people there, you already know where you’re going and where to park. By doing this you’ll really be helping your sleep deprived & emotional future self.
This baby here was born ‘en caul’ which means that the baby was born still in its amniotic sac.
This is a fascinating photo and a fascinating (and rare) type of birth for the birth nerds amongst us but there’s 2 other important things to gain from looking at this photo.
1. Opposed to popular belief, this photo is evidence that waters don’t have to pop for you to be in labour. Babies can, in fact, be born with their waters still intact.
2. For most baby’s, they are not swimming in a giant balloon of amniotic fluid. If you look at the top of this baby’s head, the membranes are very close to baby’s head. If you then imagine that baby’s head tightly in a pelvis acting as a plug- you can see why some women second guess themselves on whether baby’s waters have gone or is it just a little bit of pee. Sometimes the waters trickle out, which NEVER happens in the movies, right?! Don’t always expect a flood gate and always call in if you suspect your waters have gone.
Two of my babies have been born with waters still intact when their heads were born. It was like giving birth to a little astronaut 👩🚀
Has anyone got an interesting story to share on their waters breaking?
You can read the comments and join in on the conversation here.
Winner of 🌟The Best Pregnancy Support Service in Gloucestershire 2017🌟, The Bump to Baby Chapter has something for everyone. 🌟For expectant couple wanting to know all you need to know about labour, baby and those early days we have midwife led antenatal courses.
🌟For a second or third time mother wanting to birth without fear after a negative birth experience. There’s hypnobirthing one day classes for the busy Mum.
🌟Free blogs with tips on birth and baby for all
🌟Buggy walks in Cheltenham for new mothers to bring the sisterhood in motherhood.
So whatever stage of pregnancy and whatever number baby have a look at the page, website and get involved 🌟