Tips for friends of a newborn mum

Everyone loves a newborn.  Who can resist those tiny hands and that brand new smell.

It’s even more exciting when it’s a baby of a friend or family member.  

You can impose yourself as soon as the baby is born, then hand baby back when he starts crying…perfect!……if you want to piss off and send your friend into a stressy mess!

When i had the twins 10 years ago, i was clueless.

I was trying to take everything in. Learning to make bottles, change nappies, the art of winding, and all this while trying to bond with my new babies.

Aswell as the babies to care for, i still had a house to try and keep on top of.

When i arrived home from the hospital our first visitors were waiting on the sofa for us to get back.

It was flattering to know people care so much and were getting so excited over our babies but i found it quite overwhelming.

They told me to go and have a lay down and they would look after the babies.

At 24, and a new mum, i did as i was told.

Their intentions were great.  The realitly is, i wanted to be laying down with the babies.

The first couple of weeks visitors poured in with generous gifts and lots of love but if im honest, i hated it.

I heard alot of..

‘Dont worry about the babies, ill watch them, you get on with what you need to do’
Who wants to do housework after you have nurtured a pregnant belly for nine months and squeezed a human out if you?

What i really wanted was to chill out with my babies!
So…4 more babies later and a tonne more confidence, i’m going to tell you what works for me.
When you hear your friend has had their baby, these are my tips (because they wont tell you)
-Send your congratulations text and ask them to text you when THEY are ready for a visit.

No one knows what effect the birth has had on mum.   There is nothing worse than sitting on the sofa, scared to get up infront of your guest because you have leaked through your pad!

It took me a couple of weeks to even leave the house with the twins.  When George (number five) was born, i was out, digging into a tapas the next day!

-Take them round a diner, whether it is a M&S £10 meal deal or a homemade lasagne, it will be seriously appriciated!

-When you visit, after you have coo’d over the new bundle of gorgeousness, do a bit of housework.  

Make new mum a cuppa, load the dishwasher or offer to hang the washing out.

It will make her day! 
-Tell her how fab she looks after having a baby.  She will probably look like crap but its always nice to hear!

-If they are a new mum and breastfeeding, be sensitive.  Depending on your relationship and how close you are, it can be daunting….and embaressing.

The subtle breast latch, when you can start feeding your baby within seconds and with barely any boob showing is a talent that takes practice.

The first few days it is more of a undignified game of squashing your boob and nipple into all sorts of positions to try and encourage baby to ‘latch on’.

When you have an audience this can turn a already stressfull experience into a total meltdown.

If they look like they are not confident with feeding, either offer to help (if you know how to) or use that time to make a cuppa.

I asked some fellow bloggers if they had any tips, heres what they suggest:
Lisa at Mum and dad plus 4:

Don’t wake the baby if sleeping, don’t kiss baby, offer to make a brew and ask if they need help with anything pots, watching baby while they have a quick shower, making feeds feeding baby. Let them have a sleep if needed.  Go to help not be waited on. 

Http://Mumdadplus4.co.uk
Lisa at Baremother:

Do: bring cake or food (but check that mum isn’t lactose intolerant first), offer to hold baby so mum can shower, be the one to make tea/coffee, offer to help tidy or put a load of washing on. Don’t: touch baby without permission, kiss baby, overstay your welcome (an hour is plenty long enough), offer un-asked-for advice. 

www.baremother.com
Jen at Justanaveragejen:

Don’t insist on taking photos of the baby crying – my sons paternal grandmother did this and it broke my heart. She is not in his life anymore (not due to that) but it was weird and I am sure no one else would do it but you never know! And dont comment on how mum is feeding the baby, as long as the baby is being fed it isn’t your business! 

www.justaveragejen.com
Faye at Glossytots:

Take food and ask before you pick up baby 

www.glossytots.co.uk


Emily at emilyandindiana:

Make sure to focus on how mum is doing, just as much as the baby. And if they have any siblings, make sure to include them too, so they don’t feel left out! 

www.emilyandindiana.com


Natasha at itsatashathing:

Do take a little present for mum and baby. For mum some food and maybe some relaxing bath or shower stuff. Don’t tell her how to do stuff with the baby and sound patronising! Don’t pick the baby up without asking, especially if the baby is sleeping! 

www.itsatashathing.blogspot.co.uk/
Vikki at familytravelwithellie:

Thinking back to what I wanted from my visitors …. keep the visits short, never arrive unannounced, arrive with delicious selection of easy to cook food for new mum and dad to enjoy that night  ( m and s meals are a winner ) offer to help with any chores ( washing / dishes etc ) . Ask about mum and how she’s doing . Tell her she’s doing amazing. Tell her she has a beautiful baby . Tell her you won’t stay long this time but you would love to come back whenever she needs a little help , support, shower …. 

www.familytravelwithellie.com
Arabella at exeterbabyactivities:

Make a constructive but simple offer of help.  I see you are busy feeding baby,  – can I fold the washing for you?  Looks like baby needs a mummy cuddle, can I make a cup of tea for you?  Oh you are changing a nappy, shall I put the dishes away while you are doing that?

This lets mum and dad know you are thinking of them without offering any judgement on how they are coping.

www.exeterbabyactivities.co.uk
Emma at readyfreddiego:

I have a nine week old and although the offers of tidying etc were nice they made me feel a bit awkward so I would have loved someone  to send me off to have my hair done and make me feel a bit more me!

www.readyfreddiego.com
Abi at somethingaboutbaby:

I often hear people say to help new mums by doing some chores but I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable with my friends doing that – especially in the early days, my husband was at home so he was managing all that.  I really just wanted to know that my friends were there for me, and interested in my new baby – that they wanted cuddles, and to take photos and feel involved in this little persons life.  I  also wanted that contact to continue – for them to continue checking up to make sure I was ok, and baby was ok.  As a new mum it meant the world to me that so many people cared about us. 

www.somethingaboutbaby.co.uk


Vivienne at themothersroom:

Bring a useful gift – healthy food, a lidded thermal mug, a voucher for a sling consultation so they can get to grips with babywearing, an Amazon voucher so she can load up her kindle for those multiple night feeds –  new outfits and teddies often go unused! Make hot drinks for everyone and if you do get a cuddle, don’t hog the baby!  

(As an aside, don’t invite anyone round in the first few weeks of motherhood if you wouldn’t be comfortable sitting with them in your pyjamas – if they aren’t that close, they aren’t close enough to intrude on such a special time)

www.themothersroom.co.uk
Claire at mumsymidwife:

Please do not bring your children if they have colds. I had this and my 12 day old daughter was admitted to hospital because of it. Do bring along something for Mum, as she is often forgotten. 

www.mumsymidwife.com

Terry-Ann at notaneffingfairytaleblog:

Make the visit a short one, call just before to make sure its still okay to visit as things can change so fast with tiredness etc and don’t ask to hold the baby – the mum might not want even her closes friends to hold it yet 

www.notaneffingfairytaleblog.com
Stacey at onesmallhuman:

Bring a treat for Mum. One of my friends brought me a vanilla latte from Costa (my favourite) and it was brilliant! It had felt like ages since I’d had anything like that. Add to that the fact I felt like I hadn’t slept in days and that sweet caffeine hit was just fantastic.
And the other thing? Once you’ve met baby and had your cuddles, ask about Mum! And have a conversation about something not baby related – office gossip, something on the telly. Remind Mum she’s still a human being! 

https://www.onesmallhuman.co.uk

Nikki at yorkshirewonders:

Take Just Eat vouchers!  I would have loved this when mine were born.  It’s nice to take them food, but I would rather just have a nice visit then a Dominos delivery afterwards! 

www.yorkshirewonders.co.uk

Chantel at twoheartsoneroof:

Great tips above, but don’t forget Dad!! I think Dad’s often get totally forgotten when it comes to new babies. Mums get all the attention and dad is often left feeling like a loose part. Ask him how he is doing too, and if your bringing coffee or something for mum get it for dad too! Baby will alter both of their lives majorly!! 

www.twoheartsoneroof.com

Jodie at maidenheadmum:

I took ‘Pub grub’ for my friend and her husband in their first week at home. I went and bought some premium burgers, posh cheese and the best chips I could find along with a beer for Dad and something tasty for mum as she was breastfeeding. I then cooked it for them so they felt like they were having a treat, even though they were still at home! 

www.maidenheadmum.co.uk

I’d love to hear what your experiences were.  Do you have any do’s or dont’s for visitors?

Please share this with your friends

Lots of love peps
Kate

Xxxx

Baby Six Birth Story

After what felt like the longest third trimester ever I finally gave birth to my 2017 baby boy in the early hours of 29th April.

I apologise for the lack of birth photos, this is for two reasons…..

1) I struggle enough to remenber to take photos when I’m blogging about dinner or a day out,  let alone while panting through contractions. 

2) If Mike had started clicking away at me at my grimmest he probably would have spent a few hours in a different part of the hospital! 
So, the birth,  let me fill you in first at the lead up.

I have previously had a twin birth in hospital,  two home births and a planned homebirth that turned into a hospital (birthing suite/ water birth)  due to no homebirth midwives available that afternoon. 

This makes me..  As I have been reminded many times in the last eight months, ‘para 5’.  

This term refers to the amount of  pregnancies carried to term,  and what tends to follow the phrase around like a bad smell is ‘high risk’.

I have never considered myself high risk.  

I have been fortunate enough to deliver all my babies naturally without medication and have bounced back after labour straight away. 

Earlier on in my pregnancy I was referred to a consultant due to me being ‘high risk’. Apparently, hemorrhaging after birth Is more common the more babies you have had.

Because of this he decided not to back me for a homebirth.   

He explained he couldn’t stop me of I really wanted one but he strongly recommended I have baby at hospital.   

He reassured me that if I agreed to this I could use the hospital birthing suite and pool.

I’m not going to lie, being told what I can and can’t do when giving birth didn’t sit well with me.   

I champion womens choice during birth, whether you want a home birth,  drugs or a c section, I think it is important for a women to feel in control of her birth plan (taking into account any problems during pregnancy).

I argued for the sake of arguing, but in the back of my mind was Mike and the kids.   Do I really have the right to take any chances? I have a family that need me and if the Dr is saying there is a risk (no matter how small I think it is)  I have a responsibility to my family to listen to him. 

Fast forward to my due date. 

At my midwife appointment I was told the hospital was so busy that if I went into labour that night the hospital might ask me to go somewhere else due to lack of bed space (104 births in four days!)

I asked if a homebirth would be a better option as I didn’t want to get caught in a position where I would have to find another hospital while I was in labour, she agreed.

We decided that as long as everything was progressing well during labour I would stay at home and call someone out.
At that appointment I was 2cm dilated, and baby was quite high (not engaged).   This was my first baby to hang on till 40 weeks.

For about a week before the birth I was having contractions,  sometimes every hour,  sometimes not for 5 hours, sometimes 5 in an hour! I put it down to strong Braxton hicks.
Finally, Friday night,  3 days past my due date,  I woke up at midnight with bad Contractions.

I tried to get back to sleep and started timing the Contractions in between sleeping.   

After fifteen minutes I couldn’t sleep anymore so I got up and looked at my Contraction timing app.
They were barely 2 minutes apart!

I grabbed my tens machine and strapped it to my back then dug out the delivery suite number. 
The midwife on call explained that she didn’t feel comfortable coming out to me when she hasn’t been too or house before (to carry out risk assessment etc) before so I agreed to come into hospital.

I woke Mike up,  called my mother in law and started getting my bits ready.

I wish I had taken photos of Mike.  His face, everytime I had a Contraction on the way to the hospital was classic.  

They were coming a minute apart and I couldn’t talk through them by that stage so after watching four births, he knew it wouldn’t be long. 

He told me after the birth that he thought he would have to deliver baby in the back of his truck down a pitch black country lane! 

When we arrived at the hospital the midwife examined me.  I was 8cm dilated.

Then came the blow….she told me that the doctor on duty would not allow me to use the birthing suite because of me being ‘para 5, high risk ‘

I told her that the consultant had put on my notes that I could have a water birth but she told me,  because he hadn’t wrote it in the right place, I absolutly couldn’t use the birthing suite or pool.
I was heart broken (and a little scared)  my last two births were water births and the pain relief in water is great! 

By this stage I didn’t have time to argue, I asked her to just take me to wherever I was suppose to deliver the baby. 
She led us into a room which was everything I hated about giving birth!  A delivery suite with a bed and….. Well, nothing else!!!!  Just a bed! 
I asked where I was supposed push.   By now my humour was fading and I was starting to feel pissed off,  So when the midwife answered ‘ you should know that by baby six’ i flashed a look at her that said it all. 
Then they insisted on putting a canuler in my hand,  just incase I started bleeding after the birth and needed a blood transfusion.   I agreed because I was so busy focusing on each Contraction. 
I told my midwife I couldn’t push laying down so she moved the bed in a position so that the top of the bed was vertical.  I was on my knees with my head over the top of the bed ( a very comfortable position to birth in). 

After I jumped in that position Arthur John was born in the next three contractions.

Labor had been under three hours from when I woke up to Arthur flying out at 3.05am.  

He was born a heavyweight at 9lb 1oz, the biggest of our babes. 

What a scrumpy little bundle!!!  He came out screaming but after warming up and latching onto my boob he settled down. 
I didn’t have any unusual bleeding post birth.  In fact, the midwife said there was very little blood lose during delivery.

This was my first birth that I didn’t tear and I’d like a little high five from you mums who can appreciate the feeling of going to the loo on day 2! 😉🎊🎉

His timing was great,  I enjoyed a glass if prosecco during the Anthony Joshua fight that night! 

Dispite none of my birth going to plan, we both got through it and it all seems like a dream now. 

And now here we are,  a family of eight!



The other children adore him,  well,  the older ones anyway.   

George doesn’t really know what to make of him,  he just finds it handy that when he can’t find his dummy he can go and take Arthurs! 

Tell me about your labours, I’m not the only one who’s birth plan went out the window am I!?