I had no idea

Over the past almost-9 months (!!) I’ve learned quite a bit about pregnancy and childbirth. A lot of it has happened through experience, and even with the boatload of books I’ve read, there are still a lot of things I don’t know, and a few that have totally taken me by surprise.

man on beach 

(The Pilot pointing at Photobomb guy)

Here are a few nuggets of info that I’ve recently learned:

1) Apparently bumpers are the devil. I think they make the crib look so cute, but are a serious suffocation hazard. The baby is supposed to sleep on its back, with a fitted sheet on their mattress –a firm mattress- and no blankets or toys in the crib, unless it’s a flat blanket tucked in. You can also swaddle the baby in lieu of the blanket, which is another thing that still boggles my mind. It seems so counterintuitive- like a straightjacket. But I guess babies love it?

I was going to put the bumpers on for fun, since she won’t be sleeping in her crib for a while, but once I started to try and tie them on the rails with my giant belly, it wasn’t going to happen. The crib is bumper-less and will remain so.

2) The phrase “get a mouth full” brings on a whole new meaning with breastfeeding. I always thought that the baby just took the nipple portion of the breast into their mouth, but that’s actually supposed to go as far back into their mouth as possible. Taking a breastfeeding class and reading a book about it were extremely helpful, but we’ll see how it all goes down in a real life scenario.

3) I’m trying to figure out what to do about Step B. Strep B is a bacteria that many women carry (as much as 30%) can be passed to the baby during the childbirth process. The bacteria in itself is harmless to the mother, but can set the baby up for a host of a medical problems following birth, including pneumonia and death, unless the mom is treated with antibiotics through an IV before delivery. Moms are tested for the bacteria around 35-37 weeks –I’ll be getting my test this week- but from what I’ve read, the bacteria amounts can vary, so a woman can test negative even if she is carrying it. Many women will forego the test and get the IV of antibiotics as a precautionary measure, and I’m trying to decide if I should do that, too. Of course, antibiotics have their own side effects and are passed to the baby, but I’d obviously rather have a live baby than one who could end up becoming seriously ill. I’ve also heard that a diet low in sugar (bacteria thrives on sugar) and high in probiotics should help.

4) When babies are itty bitty, they’re eating ALL the time. Since they have tiny little stomachs, they can only take in a small amount of food, so they’ll eat on a frequent basis. Time to start loading up the Kindle and the DVR.

5) Just when you think your belly can’t possibly get any bigger, it does. And just when you thought you couldn’t be any more happy and excited, it happens <3

More things that I’ve learned

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Comments

  1. Good future knowledge for when I’m out of college and married!

  2. Where I work, the Drs test each mom for GBS or Strep A. Only the women that test positive get Penicillin G for it. I say get tested, no need for antibiotics if you are negative! Just my opinion….

  3. It looks like he’s pointing at you! But then I started reading. haha

  4. I had no idea there was something known as Strep B either until a friend went into labor. Apparently they gave her the IV but she had such a quick delivery it didn’t get to the baby before she delivered and her baby girl had to be kept in the hospital for two weeks as she got sick (I think with pneumonia) after birth. Thankfully the baby was treated and released and is healthy and happy and perfectly fine now but my friend made a FB post urging moms to make sure that if they’re going to get the shot to get it as soon as they start going into labor, just in case you have a quick delivery, as those two weeks were a nightmare for her. I hope it wasn’t wrong to pass this on, I didn’t want this to be a scary or upsetting comment, I just thought I’d share what I had witnessed through a friend.

  5. Aw, I’m glad you love your big belly :) Pregnancy suits you. The baby is going to come out Zumba-ing! I’m going to try it for the first time this week!

  6. I’ve never bought into the bumper pad debate. As a newborn the child can’t roll around for there to be a suffocating hazard, so I consider it a non-issue. Then when the baby is a bit older I found the bumper to be extremely handy for keeping things like soothers/comfort items inside the crib instead of falling through the cracks & needing to be sought out in the dark.

    I’ve had 3 children all with bumper pads and all full breathing. 2 have even made it over the age of 10 :)

    • Fitnessista says:

      well that’s good to know! i was thinking about attaching them when she’s a little older and has better neck and head control

      • I’m late to the conversation, but as a forensic nurse I feel obligated to chime in. Infant death due to SIDS and suffocation is a very real and scary issue. I was actually at a conference on infant death investigation tonight. Sleeping with your child or putting anything in their crib is a real hazard for the child and can be fatal. Just because this commenter’s 3 children survived having bumpers in their crib does not mean it’s ok or that it doesn’t happen. The fact that infants can’t roll around is precisely why bumpers should not be in the crib. If they got pushed up against them for some reason, they’re unable to lift their little heads away to breathe. I don’t want to scare you with statistics, but it’s something all new mothers need to be aware of. Babies should never sleep with parents and their cribs should be completely empty (only sleeping on a fitted sheet). Sorry for being brutal, but it’s a very serious issue more parents need to be aware of!

  7. The two behbehs I’ve babysat since birth and one years respectively have both been either swaddled for sleeping or put in a sleep sack and they both slept safely and soundly. Highly recommend it.

  8. Gina–you are simply glowing! You look spectacular.

  9. The swaddling does seem counter intuitive, but Sarah loved it when she was small. We got relatively good at making “baby burritos” as we called it.

    I took the bumper pads off after we made pictures, and have made a little pillow pad for her now that she’s older and sometimes wants something to snuggle when she’s playing. I will say that the mesh things you can get to go around come in handy when the baby starts moving around. I did not have them, and found her with a foot sticking out of the railing. It might have been a little overprotective, but I worried about her doing that and then jerking while she slept, so I got the mesh things (I found them at a local baby resale shop) and it did keep her from poking limbs through the crib. We had to take them down just recently because she was trying to chew on them – that’s a fun little story for when yours gets a bit older.

  10. Definitely load up on your DVR! I sat in my living room with a rocking chair, baby, breastfriend, and the remote all day and night! I would come down at 3am with her so I wouldnt wake my hubby and the DVR was my best friend!

  11. My sister was a carrier for the step virus, and she had to get antibiotics before she went into labor/throughout the labor. She actually scheduled herself to be induced before the baby’s due date because she didn’t want to unexpectedly go into active labor without getting the antibiotics first. The baby had to be watched for 48 hours, but everyone was happy and healthy!!

  12. Have you seen the Tiny Toms? I saw some red sequined ones for a baby girl that were beyond cute!

  13. Get that kindle loaded up! I was non-stop reading for the first 3 months (now my little girl face is 6 months…what?!). So excited for you!!

  14. I was upset about the bumpers too. I ended up tying them around the base of the crib. It looks really cute and you can use under the crib as storage w/o seeing any of it!

  15. That first pic is cracking me up!

    Okay…the bumper debate….I have the same exact crib as you, as you know. Ella slept in our room for the first 4 months, and I was terrified when she first slept in her crib. I was all freaked about bumpers, but at the same time I was afraid of her arms and legs getting caught in the rails. I hope no one crucifies me here, but I kept them in. I tried without (she had decent head control at that point) and her arm got caught in the rails and she was screaming. Then, a friend told me a few weeks ago I should take them out again because she can pull at them. So I did. I left them out for a week and a half. The third time she smacked her head on the rails, hard, like I walked in and witnessed it before I could stop her as she rolled over and got up on her arms and whipped her head into the side, and she SCREAMED! I was so upset. I asked the pediatrician and he said I can leave them in. He told me early on too. I think once they can pull themselves up is when they need to go again.

    Like I said, she didn’t sleep in her crib until about almost 4 months when she had head control. before then she was in the arms reach co-sleeper and I practically was lying in there with her, lol. I would lay my head pretty much off the bed next to the co-sleeper I was so paranoid. The only thing I will say in defense of the bumper thing is Ella WOULD wiggle her way to the side of the co-sleeper and press her face against the side. It is scary as far as suffocation and I think if she WAS in her crib I would have probably done without the bumpers if I wasn’t right next to her.

    As far as the blankets go, I swaddled in the very beginning (she was an escape artist!) then she went to wearable blankets which she still uses. They are amazing! I had no idea they even existed until I had a baby!

    Strep B–I was tested for it at 40 weeks? or maybe it was a little before 40? I wouldn’t get too upset over it if you test positive they just run an IV with antibiotics. I remember my doc not making a big deal about it when she was telling me about the test and I was super nervous, luckily I was negative for it.

  16. Yayy! This makes me so happy! Very excited for you and Tom, and the baby!!

  17. You will read OH so many books! Enjoy cuddling with that sweet little lady!

  18. You are getting so close! I’m so excited for you! I didn’t know a few of the things above and I’m due in February. I better start reading up on all my books!

  19. Okay, here’s one more thing that no one told me and totally took me by surprise… it will ASTOUND you how much newborns poop. Seriously. You think “there’s only milk going in… what is there a factory in there?!?” The amount is unbelievable! Ha ha!

    • Honestly, poop stories deserve an entire post of their own. Actually, an entire blog. Poop stories are so disgusting and yet so funny. I discovered pretty early that runny ones can escape the nappy, and if you are walking around with the baby.. that’s not good on the carpet. Also, there is the toddler phase, where they just put ANYTHING into their mouths, and if it came out of them, that’s fair game too… ya know.. (bleurgh)

  20. Hi Gina-
    I can’t believe how close you are getting, yippee so excited for you and Tom. I have to chuckle at the straight jacket comment cuz that is what hubby and I call it and we feel guilty every night doing it to our 4-week old Jack…BUT he sleeps so well so we will keep doings wrapping him up!

    Also, I had NO idea how often i would be breast feeding, it really is ALL I have been doing for the past four weeks…so good idea getting the kindle and DVD cued. I had a bit of a challenge the first week so don’t get discouraged and stick with it, that is the advice I got and it really helped me through the rough patch. It was also very emotional.
    I love following your journey, it is the most amazing experience EVER!!!

  21. Melissa Autry says:

    When I came home with my baby boy, I didn’t wear a shirt for 2 weeks unless I left the house. My boobs were way too sore and cracked at first. I wore loose shirts at night to bed. I think, in my mind, it helped the milk come in because they were not restricted. My hubby was mad because he could look but not touch.

  22. I am almost 14 weeks pregnant and my doctor already told me that I will have to have antibiotics when I deliver because I had a bladder infection around 6 weeks which means I have a lot of bacteria roaming around my nether regions apparently… I wasn’t happy about it because I hate taking antibiotics but after reading the above comment about the baby getting pneumonia I will stop complaining! Regarding the bumper issue, I know a baby that died of SIDS so I am pretty paranoid about it and I will definitely not have bumpers in the crib and will follow all of the other precautions. Bumpers aren’t just a problem because of suffocation, but they also reduce the flow of oxygen to the baby which can cause the baby to stop breathing. I’m also planning to get a monitor with an alarm that goes off if the baby stops breathing. I know I’m totally paranoid about it, but I cannot imagine anything worse than losing a baby so if there is anything I can do to prevent it I will.

  23. I haven’t read through the comments so don’t know if anyone posted about this but we used “breathable bumpers” with my son who is now 2 and a half. I liked them a lot because they allowed me to keep my paranoia at bay…kind of! I still sleep with 2 different monitors at night ( :
    We also put a fan in our son’s room because I read that can also help reduce the risk of SIDS. Also, I breastfed for a year and had no idea I wasn’t supposed to wear sports bras (unless you are working out) because they restrict your milk supply. I then lived in shelf bras (like those from the GAP) and shirts with built in bras – HATED the special shirts for breastfeeding. Definitely recommend pumping in addition to breastfeeding to help increase and build up a milk supply. And make sure you have Lanolin – it helps a lot. Also – always make sure while you are breastfeeding you are drinking a LOT of water or other liquids so you don’t get dehydrated. And if you decide to go the pacifier route – the gumdrop pacifiers are the BEST!

  24. I would worry more about baby sleeping in bed with you vs the bumpers. My husband works for the local corone’rs office and he has picked up more babies being killed by their parents rolling over them than being suffocated by a bumper. I’m sorry if this info is a downer or offends anyone but its the sad truth.

  25. One thing I am SUPER passionate about is moms-to-be getting tested for Strep B and getting the antibiotics if they have it. I was GBS negative with my 1st, but surprisingly positive with my 2nd. My Dr. was all, “No big deal, you’ll get the antibiotics and she’ll be fine.” It ended up not being that easy. My daughter ended up with late onset GBS (which is rare, but is from the same bacteria) and was hospitalize when she was 3 weeks old for 10 days. We caught it VERY early (within the first 24 hours) and for that I am TRULY blessed. It was definitely one of the scariest/hardest moments of motherhood (so far). The pediatrician at the hospital says he sees GBS often and in most cases it’s already spread to the spine and has become meningitis. Sad because it’s so easy to prevent (in most cases – mine is not typical!).

    As for bumpers – I didn’t use them (or buy them) with either kid. I did swaddle though. It was the only way I could get continuous hours of sleep when they had that whole “Morrow reflex” thing going on.

    That said – good luck with all of your decisions. Just remember there’s really no right or wrong. Parenthood is ALL about trial and error. Every day.

    • Oh – and I should clarify that knowing that I had GBS helped the Dr’s figure out what was wrong with my daughter. For that it was worth not skipping. Plus, the test is not invasive (just a swab!)

  26. Just curious, regardless of whether you choose to have antibiotics in labor, why wouldn’t you want to have the strep B test in advance? It takes 5 seconds.

  27. Hey, so exciting that you’re getting so close! Just wanted to mention that I work at a hospital with moms-to-be and their babies, and swaddling is the number 1 most effective tool to get the babies to calm down. It makes them feel secure and keeps them warm, plus that way you don’t have to worry about extra blankets on top of them. Even if they can’t roll over yet or seem like they won’t move much, they can pull blankets over their faces and limit air supply – just something that in my opinion is better safe than sorry. Sorry to be serious – I just love to chat about babies and want them all to stay safe! :)

  28. Definitely swaddle…it makes sense that since the baby has spent her whole life squished into your abdomen, then is born into a world full of space would be a very different feeling…they are very comforted by it.
    Also, using a sleep sack is great!
    I did the antibiotics for Strep B, also. It is comforting to know, however, that when you nurse, you are passing all your antibodies along to your baby, so her resistance to disease is the same as yours. Then, at about 6 months, the baby’s immune system will kick in, and you may notice your baby’s first cold (sniffles and such) around that time.

    • Oh yeah, another one of those “don’t realize till it happens” things I notice was that, once it got going, my milk would come out very fast, and my baby would almost choke a bit. I would have to take her off, and let her catch up some (swallowing), and start again. Don’t be alarmed if this happens to you…

  29. Bumpers, yeah I didnt know that either til I was preggers.

    And they call it breast-feeding, not nippletip-feeding, for a reason. It IS a whole mouthful of breast, not just nipple. I really didn’t connect those dots either til I was in your shoes. And make sure she DOES get a whole mouthful or your nipples will be…a mess! Not to mention the milk production will get out of whack if the breast isn’t effectively drained and that can happen if you’re nipplefeeding rather than breastfeeding :)

    Life is crazy, isn’t it! To think we know all these things now that were a foreign concept not too long ago :)

  30. Looking back, I wish I had known that you’re going to be covered in breast milk and stink like breast milk for weeks (until your boobs regulate). Everything revolves around your boobs in the beginning!
    We put bumpers on B’s crib about a month ago, after she could move around the crib easily. We still don’t do a blanket though, just a sleep sack until she’s a little older.

  31. I think you are right about having the antibiotics regardless. We almost lost my niece last year because the hospital didn’t get the antibiotics going in time for her delivery and she became VERY ill. She even had to endure two spinal taps! She was in the hospital for almost a month! She is perfect now and has no lingering effects except for a slightly weakened immune system. So yeah, go for the antibiotics!

  32. We used a mesh bumper when our babies were able to move around so their limbs didn’t get stuck in between the slats since it is breathable.

    What do your midwives suggest regarding routine antibiotics for Group B strep? I have never heard of anyone doing so if they tested negative. I would be cautious about antibiotics because it can have troublesome effects, especially to an immature system of a baby. I was given oral antibiotics for mastitis when my oldest was four weeks. We struggled with thrush (in him) and yeast infections (my breasts) for the two years he nursed. NOT fun:-)

    To each her own but I would think about not turning the tv on when your little one is nursing at night. In my experience, the less stimulation the easier it is for both baby and mom to fall back to sleep quickly.

    Best of luck to you! Each situation is unique and you will figure out what works best for your little family!

  33. This is a little off topic but you’ve mentioned before that you’re trying to get some more protein into your meals. If your making oatmeal on the stovetop, whisk in an egg white toward the end of cooking. You can’t even taste it. Then just add whatever toppings you would like. I know you like to eat the whole egg now, but for this the white is a great way to sneak in a little extra protein!

  34. This is one time when I’m not joking … “you look like a beach angel”. :) You look so beautiful in that picture. And the Pilot, well he just cracks me up, haha!!

  35. Someone mentioned these – but my daughter had breathable mesh bumpers. Kept everything inside the crib (hands, feet, lovely) and she could breath if she shoved her face against it. I think the most dangerous time is from when they can roll a bit, but can’t roll back if they get wedged in the bumper. I know many people who had bumpers, but personally, I just don’t think its worth the risk.

    Not sure if you’ve heard this tip also – but fans help cut down SIDS risk. We had a fan in my daughter’s room even in winter, just to circulate the air.

    Also for the Strep B test – my midwife tested me at about 38 weeks and only treated if it was positive. Apparently the results can change so they try and get you as close to delivery as possible.

  36. I would stay away from antibiotics during delivery if at all possible! They really mess up your system and the baby’s! Just my 2 cents – look into the havoc that antibiotics can create before your hook yourself up with them.

    I’m on day 6 with my baby – here are some things I learned:
    -Get lots of Fiber – it’s hard pooping after delivery. You don’t want to have to strain after you give birth, you’ll feel like your insides are going to come out. The first poop is scary regardless.
    -get a lactation consultant on “stand-by” – I called one on a Saturday and she came right away. It was a lifesaver.
    -Make sure every latch and de-latch are good. Once you get a few bad ones in, your nipples will be damaged and it’s hard to heal them
    -peeing takes about 15 minutes every time after birth
    -I’ve walked around shirtless for the last 6 days – get used to it.
    -Beware of engorgement! It usually happens on Day 3 – be ready for it. It can be really dangerous if you don’t know what to do. Don’t use a hand pump, they can damage your breast if it’s engorged.
    – Co-sleeping rocks! Do your research, it’s not as scary as some people say. It has to be done right, though. Your bed has to be safe and the parents have to be aware and non-drinkers.
    -I have read and watched very little TV in the past 6 days – you don’t need entertainment now…just looking at your baby is enough

    Good luck – it’s awesome!

  37. Amand Caine says:

    Swaddling babies is so comforting for them, and it does keep them warm and cozy so they sleep better. But- when swaddling, it is very important to not wrap the hips and legs too tight; there was a study recently that found a lot of kids are being diagnosed with hip dysplasia young because their hips were not given room to develop correctly due to being swaddled too tightly. So — wrap the shoulders, loosen around the hips/legs :)

  38. Baby posts make me so happy. I’m dying to start trying for our third. :)

    I’m not sure how open you are to mommas like me giving your their .02 on things, but I thought I’d give it a whirl.

    Strep B…I tested negative both times. The test is obviously worth it, but if you test negative, I wouldn’t worry about taking precautions. If baby is full-term, then baby will be fine. I wouldn’t worry too much. :)

    Bumpers…both babies had them. Yes, they can be a hazard, but they’ve been around for DECADES and if they’re tied properly, I think you’re okay. If you want them, I say have Pilot secure those suckers on. :) As for sleeping…let me tell you what happened to me. My first, Hannah, was 3 months old when we went to celebrate my Grandma’s 75th in FL. I placed her on her back, as usual, in the crib…and woke up instinctively that night. No noise. No nothing. Turned over to see Hannah choking on her spit. While they say that babies can suffocate if they sleep on their stomachs, babies can choke on their spit on their backs. Baby is going to sleep baby wants to…I think that because we research so much more now and know so much more, fear is much greater in our generation. I say keep the stuffed animals away, use one small blanket (my girls HATED the swaddle), and let baby sleep. (And honestly…comfortable sleep = sound sleeping baby = momma with more sleep, too.)

    You’re going to have a lot of information flying at you now…especially since you’re so close. My advice, really, is this: go with your gut and what you’re comfortable with and not with fear. I hope that wasn’t too crazy “unwanted mom advice-ish”. You have so much to look forward to!

  39. And PS: In the picture of you and Pilot…I swear to you before I knew what he was pointing at and from your intro about thing taking you by surprise…I thought you were going to say he was pointing at you for farting. I know I know…12 year old boy humor…but seriously. I did. LOL

  40. Swaddling, especially those first several weeks is key! The startle reflex is so strong that babies wake themselves up if they’re not swaddled.

    When they eat all the time, it’s really all the time! Load up on the lanolin, it’s easy to get chapped nips. Sometimes it felt like as soon as I unlatched, only 10 mins would pass before my daughter would want to latch back on. As hard as it may get, let your baby suck as much as she wants those first several weeks to establish your milk supply. Gel pads are also a lifesaver!

  41. Swaddling rocks! My DS sleeps much more soundly when he’s swaddled. Otherwise wee babies tend to flail a lot and startle themselves.

    One thing I didn’t know: breastfeeding is really, really hard. I won’t lie– I kind of (really) hated it at first. It hurt, I kept getting painfully engorged, leaking everywhere and oh, it hurt (this was with a good latch as per 3 LCs… so it isn’t automatically pain-free with the right latch, unfortunately!). Not trying to be negative, I’m 6.5 weeks in and it’s a LOT better but I still feel kind of ambivalent about it at times. On the upside, it is free, good bonding with baby, etc.

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