* Don’t buy more than one blanket as most likely you will get loads as presents. We got more than TEN for our daughter as presents! I didn’t buy any new ones for my second and we have already received five as presents most of which I have exchanged as I don’t know what to do with them.

* Don’t buy lots of newborn clothes because they grow so fast, you don’t know what size your baby will be and people will give you so many presents for a newborn. My daughter was too big for several of the newborn things or had outgrown them in a week or two.

* H&M and also Polarn o Pyret (often referred to as POP) have great baby clothes with buttons at the front so you don’t have to pull the clothes over the baby’s head. When they are newborns it makes life so much easier and as a new mother you are often quite anxious about their neck. Below is a link so you can see a photo of what it looks like.

* Don’t buy more than one nursing bra to begin with as you don’t know how big your breasts will be. It often takes up to two to four weeks for the milk production to get established and your breast size can change in that time. Therefore, wait with getting more bras until you know exactly what size you will be. I have always got measured at John Lewis and found them very good.

* If you want to use a TENS machine during labour, there are places you can rent them from. If you use the Boots one, you collect advantage card points at the same time.

* If you are on a budget, and let’s face it, having a child is an expensive affair, there are many groups on Facebook for instance where you can buy pretty much anything from other parents. The only thing I wouldn’t get, unless it were from someone I knew and trusted, is an infant car seat. Here is a link to the NW8-mums Buy & Sell Group. There is now also a Buy & Sell WhatsApp group. Please email me on NW8mums@gmail.com if you would like to join it.

* Join Boots Parenting Club and get extra points on purchases.

* For labour, pack snacks like energy bars or something you take little bites from for you AND for your birthing partner. You don’t want them to go off for a snack and miss it all. Sometimes things can happen suddenly and fast.

* If you would like a water birth, make sure your birthing partner brings swim gear should they wish to come into the pool with you.

* If you end up having a C-section and you know about it beforehand, I would get waxed as otherwise the midwife/doctor will do it for you in hospital. I got myself waxed just in case towards the end of my pregnancy. Waxing during pregnancy hurts a lot more by the way.

* Bring straws to drink from for labour. It is hard to drink from a bottle or cup when you are having constant contractions.

* Pour warm water over your belly when you wee after you have had your baby, or wee in the shower. You will feel uncomfortable; it might even hurt a lot and the warm water makes it sting less and makes it less uncomfortable.

* The first poo after having your baby is usually very scary as it hurts. If you have had any tearing and/or stitches (or if you have had a C-section), you push in the same way/place as where you push to give birth. You honestly feel like you will break your stitches or tears and it is actually quite horrible.

* The first time/s you have sex after baby is also usually not very comfortable or even enjoyable. Everything changes internally and again if you have had stitches or tearing, you hurt. It can hurt for quite a while. For many couples, the first time/s are more to do it to get it done with, and that is completely normal and ok.

* 2-4 days after you give birth, your milk starts coming in and your hormones go crazy. You might be completely overwhelmed, can’t stop crying, feel you can’t cope, might feel like ‘what have we done?’ etc. It is completely normal and usually passes after a while (days or sometimes weeks).

* Your hair often starts falling out at some point after you have had your baby. It is completely normal and often starts happening once you start reducing the breast feeding or stop it.

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