From the time a woman gets pregnant, most likely she was inundated with stories from other moms about their experience giving birth — and royal mommy-to-be Kate Middleton is likely no exception
I remember hearing stories that helped me get excited while others I could have lived without. Before I had my daughter, there were a few things friends and family confided in me that helped me embrace the whole birthing process.
So while the world waits for the royal baby's arrival, Katie Bugbee, managing editor of Care.com and mother of two preschoolers, provided nine things Kate Middleton should know before heading to the hospital, through her own personal experience. If you have an idea for a Parent Talk blog post, please send me an email.
Here are nine lessons learned from the delivery room:
1. You will lose all sense of pride. "I remember trying to cover up in front of the nurses," said Bugbee. "But by the second day you’ve been poked, prodded and looked at by every doctor, nurse and orderly in the building. I think the food crew even saw my bum. And as the prudest person in the U.S., I couldn’t have cared less."
2. All the planning you’ve done, might go out the window. "I spent an entire weekend in couples’ Lamaze class," she said. "I had a birth plan paired with birthing music. My pantry and freezer were stocked with Popsicles and carb-filled foods to fuel me (and cool me) for the hours spent in labor before we headed to the hospital. And then, two weeks before my due date, I woke up feeling funny. I went to the emergency room and found out I had a rare form of pre-eclampsia and I needed an emergency c-section. No Popsicles. And no Beyoncé.
3. Screaming at your husband/partner will help. "It really will, and here’s the secret: Anything you say during labor cannot be held against you," said Bugbee. "This also applies to the first year of birth. Anything said between the hours of 12-4 a.m. can't be brought up the next day."
4. Breast-feeding might be harder than anything you’ve ever done. "This is what my husband tells any pregnant woman he knows," said Bugbee. "It took machines, lactation consultants, a devoted husband and at least four hands to get my first baby to eat. After the fifth day and still using pumps, massage techniques, gels and creams, I looked at my husband and said 'When we met freshman year of college, did you ever imagine you’d be handling my boobs this way?!' But honestly, you should let people help you. It will bring you closer than you ever thought possible. And, once it happens, you’ll find your groove."
5. It’s OK for the baby to sleep in the hospital nursery. "So many moms will tell you that their baby slept next to them every night in the hospital," she said. "Well, good for them. But I bet they didn’t sleep one wink. You will hear every gurgle your future prince or princess makes. Let a nurse take him or her to a nursery for the night, and bring you your baby when it’s time to eat. You’re going to have this baby for the next 60 or more years. You might as well nap now."
6. Ask for help. Truly. "Maybe women used to do this all by themselves back in the day and 'yay' for them," said Bugbee. "But if you have the opportunity to have night nurses, nannies and loving family help you with this newborn — take it. You are still in charge (or, the baby is). Once you feel like they are intruding more than helping, you can start cutting back their hours."
7. Find a new-mom friend. "A friend will help you break out of the comfort zone of your sweatpants and jammies," said Bugbee. "Make a goal to get out of the house for at least an hour each day, breast-feed in a public area (gasp!) or talk through concerns — with someone. Even if it's your Mum or Pippa."
8. Don’t let Harry and his smartphone camera anywhere near your birth. "We’ve seen the Vegas pics. Enough said."
9. You’re the Queen for the day. "Don’t worry about anyone else, the schedules or the media," she said. "This day is about you, your husband and your baby. And once this beautiful bundle is born, make sure everyone takes precious care of you — while you care for your new addition."