Preparing For Birth & After: What Books Don’t Usually Tell You

Whether you’re a first time mom or preparing for your nth child.. I just thought of sharing a few things that I’ve learned throughout the years.. And that’s from giving birth 12, 8 years ago and just recently, a month ago. Times have changed for sure!

Now let’s begin…

If you’re a working mom like I am, you may want to check out the SSS Maternity benefit. Your company can help process this for you and you get a cheque for about P32,000. Also have them prepare a PHILHEALTH request, where you can get a few thousands off of your hospital bill.

 

Now by this time you also may want to decide on the hospital you plan to deliver in- you can ask for rates and more or less get an idea on the budget you may need. For all 3 pregnancies, Asian Hospital was our choice simply because of the location, the staff, the rooms- well, okay that’s mostly everything. But we’ve never been disappointed. Of course 12 years ago the rates were different.. But for a normal delivery, our bill just recently came out to about 260k (For 3 nights at a Presidential Suite..) for a regular room most likely around 200k total, just so you have an idea. (Excluding the OB & Pediatrician rates, which you pay separately at their clinics).

 

And if you’re going for normal delivery, then go for an Epidural. Personally, a must! Works instantly after they insert it right by your spinal cord, so don’t move! It lasts for about 2-3 hours so wait until you can’t handle the labor pains anymore. I know it sounds scary, but you just have to get a good anaesthesiologist. The in house Dr. at Asian, Dra. Laguna was amazing! I hardly felt any discomfort. Now it’s normal to shiver and shake crazily as soon as it kicks in- but they cover you with layers of warm blankets and eventually it’ll stop then you will feel SO relaxed.

If you’re having a BOY, you may want to discuss the option with your OB on performing the circumcision. For both my boys we chose to do it before checking out of the hospital- just ’cause we don’t want to have to deal with it when he’s older. Besides, they heal within 3 days. You won’t even see blood. To care for it? Easy. Just squeeze warm water with cotton balls every time you change the diaper until the gauze eventually falls out, that’s it.

 

In your hospital bag- make sure you have maternity napkins as you will be bleeding for about a month (like period) and it’s pretty heavy right after giving birth. Don’t forget to bring a corset/binder to wear once you’ve settled in. Trust me- it will help you shrink in no time plus no loose and saggy skin. Try the ones from Wink.

Oh and one more thing, you most likely have not heard of this before but after a normal delivery you might want to bring a mini  salbabida or floatie. Why? You can sit on it to prevent the pressure on your vagina. Hehe. You won’t feel the sting! Trust me. I have used salbabidas to solve this problem thrice!  If you’ve given birth over 4 years ago, you’ve experienced the luxury of having your baby at the nursery- but sorry to burst your bubble. Now your baby must room in with you! So no more recovery hours for mama. Haha. Once you push your baby out, he’s stuck with you. So for the first time, I had absolutely zero sleep after the baby was born. So, with that in mind- aside from your husband, I suggest having a companion: a family member, or yaya/midwife/nurse to help you through your first night -at least just to help with diaper changes and burping after breastfeeding. We didn’t prepare for this so my husband and i were total zombies and to make things harder – i still had my IV on, so it was so hard to move around and fast. So for my next baby, NOW I KNOW!

Photo taken on June 1, 2016 after 24 hours labor.. Maxen was just born! I was relieved!

Breastfeeding– there is no milk production for the first 3 days– just colostrum (sticky yellow substance). So don’t panic. But still your baby will need to suck and latch every 3 hours to stimulate and get the colostrum they need. They have pea-sized tummies at this time so that’s really all they need. Always stay calm. When you panic your baby will definitely sense that, and probably start to cry. So just do your best to relax.

Colic/Gas pains. You know your baby has this when they cry for 2-3 hours straight, hardly getting any sleep plus their tummies when tapped on sounds like a drum. It may take some time but here’s what works: Manzanilla oil from Mercury Drug. Massage the tummy from left to right in an inverted U motion and down the center, pressing on the tummy several times. Then proceed to a burping position. Giving Gripe water morning and night worked for us! Available at Healthy Options. Sadly these are the only 2 things that can help- with colic you just have to wait it out and it usually happens early morning like between 1-4am! Stress. So these are must haves. Buy and have them on standby right before you give birth.

 

 The umbilical cord usually comes off after 2 weeks- so wait until it falls off before you give the baby a bath to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Keep it clean by squeezing a cotton ball of alcohol everytime you change the diaper. Alcohol helps dry it up. (I learned this from my pedia so don’t worry hehe)

Breastfeeding for me is a must. I breastfed both my kids exclusively till they were 10 months old. Hopefully the same for Max (my third). I know now that there are so many moms who think that bottle feeding breast milk isn’t considered breastfeeding.. But sorry, that’s not what i believe. While I respect them, for me breast milk whether fed directly or from the bottle has the same effect. I mean what if you’re a working mom – you need to go back to work right? And it’s just impossible to bring your baby- what to do? So don’t ever feel guilty. Pump your milk and bottle feed. Then feed directly at night if you want to balance it out. No problem. You are doing your best to provide only the best milk for your baby. So for me at 3 weeks old, I introduce the bottle just so they don’t get picky. Worked for all 3 of my kids so far. Now bottle- boob- bottle, makes no difference. When he’s hungry, he’s hungry.

Also I’ve been getting alot of questions regarding what bottle to give ’cause the babies are apparently picky. But in my experience, i only bought one brand per child- so they had no choice. With Noelle I used Avent, with Tyler i used Born Free and with Max i use Dr. Browns, quite similar to Born Free-it really helps reduce the colic problem. Hardly any gas after. So as a result, they all really didn’t have any other option- they just drank from what was given to them -no problem at all. They turned out fine πŸ™‚

I think this covers it all. But if anything comes to mind, i may just compile them into a part 2 and call it “unsolicited advice.” Haha! No, but really I hope this helped in some way. Do let me know if you’ve got further questions or suggestions perhaps.

Feel free to leave a comment below. Keep in touch mama’s!

xxMikaela

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Preparing For Birth & After: What Books Don’t Usually Tell You

  1. Nice blog! Wish I read it before especially about the colic/gas pains since I’m a first time mom. But I did survive and also exclusively breastfeeding my son and pumping even at work. I was even afraid that he might reject me after being introduced to a bottle. Thank goodness he didn’t and he still feeds directly when I get home from work and in the weekends.

    You are such an inspiration..please continue to do so. 😊

  2. Thanks for sharing this!! I’m giving Birth to my first child this month and this is such an inspiration to me!!!😍 Twas a good timing to visit your site! Have a great day!

  3. Hi Mommy Mikaela…new mom here…gusto ko na sana mag-pump kaso may nakapag-sabi na after 6 weeks pa bago pwede mag-pump…so im quite afraid to do it. Tama po ba intindi ko na u pumped nung 3 weeks pa lang si baby? Wat happen po? I hve a problem right now kc pabalik balik ung milk blebs ko dat cause stress for me kc sobrang sakit 😦

    1. Hi @sofia πŸ™‚ well to be honest i only heard of that rule recently..because with my 2 older kids i pumped on the first week pa lang to release some of milk. I felt so sore and it helped me store milk earlier as well.i don’t see anything wrong if it will help you feel better. Go ahead and try πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Mikaela! This post is very informative! πŸ™‚ I’m pregnant with our 1st child and I’ll deliver in Asian, too! Just want to ask, can we request for our preferred anaesthesiologist? Also, is your husband with you during the delivery? Do they allow that or does it come with a fee?

    Thank you and please continue posting mommy tips/advices please πŸ™‚

    1. Hi @apple thank you so much! That’s great to hear! Actually you might wanna try requesting but usually they give you whoever’s on duty.. πŸ™‚ yes of course, your husband can be with you all throughout- labor and delivery πŸ™‚ no fee!

  5. Hi Ms. Miks!

    Im going to give birth this Sept. to my 2nd baby. Im having so much info in your blog especially on breastfeeding. Please please post more about being a mom. πŸ™‚ thank you.

    Yulena

  6. This is really helpful. How i wish i can produce so much breastmilk like yours. I just gave birth 2 months ago, i can only produce 1-2 oz from both breasts. I am pumping and hand expressing. She also latches onto me. I’m taking Natalac 3 times a day. I also boil malunggay leaves and drink it. I even eat the leaves so it won’t put to waste. Still no luck. What should i do? I’ve done everything my OB told me… And still no luck. Stazie is my 4th child and i’m breastfeeding for the first time.. Yes, I know. I didn’t breastfeed my 3 kids before coz i had mo milk. So i really wanna do it this time since Stazie is our last child. I had tubal ligation.

    About the colic thing, Stazie’s using 2 feeding bottles… Avent Classic and Pigeon. Avent Classic was a gift from my sister. I’ve been using Pigeon ever since and i didn’t get any colic problems. I just noticed something, Stazie wants to drink more using Pigeon than Avent Classic maybe because of the nipples. Coz Pigeon nipples are way softer than the nipples of Avent Classic.

    Btw, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love reading your blog. Never a dull moment and i learnt a lotta new things. 😊 God bless you and your family.

    1. Hi @marivic congratulations on your fourth child! That’s super awesome! πŸ™‚ and good job for all the effort to breastfeed- aside from taking natalac how often do you pump /feed? Sometimes if you dont stick to a consistent sched it diminishes… And yes i’ve been hearing a lot of babies like pigeon… Whatever works for you and your baby is what matters! πŸ™‚ there’s no right or wrong. We’re all moms and all here to help each other along the way. Thanks so much for the encouragement! God bless you too❀️

  7. Hi mikaela.nice article and reference.idnlike to ask what did you do to have an ample supply of milk? Is there any supplements or food ?

  8. Girl, you did not look like you had a 24-hour labor!! Hahaha!
    Thanks for the tips, will keep these in mind when the time comes πŸ˜‰

  9. Hi! Ive been following you these past months especially on snap and happy that you posted a new mommy post πŸ™‚ ill be having my first child due in the 24th. And this post is really nice and very informative . More mommy post i hope πŸ™‚ will be using dr.browns too tho they say its a pain to clean it haha! More power and Godless.youre such an inspiration ❀️

    1. Aaaw thank you @sapph . Oh yes Dr. Browns you have the bottle itself, the blue straw thing, the rubber, the nipple and cover haha! But really nice coz no bubbles when he drinks. Lots of parts but easy to wash. I wash them myself! The pump has more parts to clean πŸ™‚ hehe

  10. Hi! Your mommy blogs are very helpful especially for first time moms-to-be like me. I’m now on my 37th week and really excited for D-day.. I just want to ask you about belly binder/corset. You mentioned about Wink, I bought the Wink Ultra bikini, what about you? And did you wear them right after giving birth?
    Thank you Mika 😊

    1. Hi @mayann yes i got the ultra bikini for the first month and the other one for the second month πŸ™‚ i wore it the next morning after giving birth until today i still do!πŸ‘πŸΌ going on 8 weeks.

      1. Hi Mikaela,
        With the wink ultra bikini, did you close the crotch area during the first few days after delivery? or did you leave it open? Thanks.

  11. Hi mommy Mika! Thanks for this blog. Just want to share my recent experiences when i gave birth last May 30. My baby was under observation for 24hrs due to possible jaundice. I have O+ bloodtype which is incompatible with my husband’s A+ bloodtype. Fortunately, the jaundice was only minimal. But my baby stayed in NICU for 4 more days due to poor milk intake even if cbc and urinalysis were normal. The doctor put NGT for feeding (which was not used) and heplock for antibiotics. We were discharged on the 5th day but the antibiotics needed to be completed for 7days so i asked my sister to inject the meds via heplock. The diagnosis was neonatal sepsis. My sister also noticed that my son might be tongue-tied. It is a condition wherein the frenulum or the one that connects the tongue on the floor of the mouth is short thus restricting the movement of the tongue. I was not aware of tongue tie so i asked his pediatrician during his check up. The pedia said she noticed that but did not order to cut it. It can be done when my baby gets a bit bigger. Some say that Tongue tie can affect breastfeeding as baby has problem latching on. Other doctors say there’s no impact to breastfeeding. Another possible impact of this is on baby’s speech when one starts talking. Whatever the effect of this needs to be discussed and addressed with accordingly.
    There, those were some of the things that i encountered so far which an expectant mother does not know or read about yet. Best to discuss with your doctors If in case you encounter any medical condition you are not familiar with.

  12. Hi mommy Mika! Thanks for this blog. Just want to share my recent experiences when i gave birth last May 30. My baby was under observation for 24hrs due to possible jaundice. I have O+ bloodtype which is incompatible with my husband’s A+ bloodtype. Fortunately, the jaundice was only minimal. But my baby stayed in NICU for 4 more days due to poor milk intake even if cbc and urinalysis were normal. The doctor put NGT for feeding (which was not used) and heplock for antibiotics. We were discharged on the 5th day but the antibiotics needed to be completed for 7days so i asked my sister to inject the meds via heplock. The diagnosis was neonatal sepsis. My sister also noticed that my son might be tongue-tied. It is a condition wherein the frenulum or the one that connects the tongue on the floor of the mouth is short thus restricting the movement of the tongue. I was not aware of tongue tie so i asked his pediatrician during his check up. The pedia said she noticed that but did not order to cut it. It can be done when my baby gets a bit bigger. Some say that Tongue tie can affect breastfeeding as baby has problem latching on. Other doctors say there’s no impact to breastfeeding. Another possible impact of this is on baby’s speech when one starts talking. Whatever the effect of this needs to be discussed and addressed with accordingly.
    There, those were some of the things that i encountered so far which an expectant mother does not know or read about yet. Best to discuss with your doctors If in case you encounter any medical condition you are not familiar with.
    Thanks and God bless you and your family!

  13. hi mikaela! i really love reading your blogs.. very informative indeed.. btw im on my 37 weeks now and anytime soon i will be giving birth to my second child.. just wanted to ask if is it possible to leave a pumped breast milk to my baby if i will be going back to school soon?.. i mean i will be leaving my baby for like 12hours, so how can i preserve the breast milk? i really wanted to breastfeed my 2nd child but also need to go back to school soon.. i don’t want to lose my breastmilk! can you give me some piece of advice?

    1. Hi @bernadeth oh definitely- you can store your milk in breastmilk bags which you can buy in mothercare or rustans πŸ™‚ if frozen they last up to 6 months and if in the ref about 3 days πŸ™‚ make sure you label the bags with the date and time πŸ™‚ that’s what i do too! Start pumping and storing already πŸ™‚ i have about a months supply in my freezer πŸ‘πŸΌ

  14. Hi Mikaela,

    Very informative! Thank you!

    Just gave birth a month ago and was searching about gripe water and came across your post. I wanted to ask you if your pedia recommended this? Been wanting to try this but my pedia is not familiar with it. Could you let me know your experience with this product? How much did you give your son? How often? And the cost? πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much in advance!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s