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On Motherhood Pregnancy and Your Newborn

Tips for Surviving Nights with a Newborn

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Those first few weeks after bringing the baby home are brutal. Everyone is trying to settle into a new routine, and your precious baby is adjusting to the outside world. Whether your new addition is bottle fed or breastfeed, nights are about to be rough. Most newborns are biologically programmed to not go to bed before 9am (because nature hates us) so what do we do to survive the night when an early bedtime isn’t an option?

  1. Have low expectations

Seriously. Don’t go into this thinking you’re about to get some beauty sleep after 9 long months of pregnancy. Being realistic about your life for the next few weeks will prevent heartbreak over those lost minutes and hours of sleep. Consider two consecutive hours a win and go from there, because it can only improve from here, right?

  1. Have a plan to fight sleep.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but the last thing you want to do is fall asleep with baby in hand. You are going to know the meaning of tired and until that baby is laid back down, you need a plan of action. Keep your favorite tv series loaded on Netflix or tap a friend who’s on the night shift to keep you going with some good conversation.

  1. Keep snacks on hand.

This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding. There’s a good chance that you’ll be starving at 3am and it’s hard to snag a snack from the kitchen when the baby won’t lay down in the crib. Having food that is easily accessible and unwrappable with one hand is a win.

  1. Stock diapers and wipes.

The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around in the dark for every diaper change. Keep a dim lamp or nightlight in the room if necessary and have diapers and wipes right where you need them. Within a few days you’ll be able to do those diaper changes with your eyes closed and you’ll know exactly where to reach.

  1. Enlist reinforcements.

If you have a few rough nights, you’re going to need to replenish your energy somehow. Your baby needs you to be functioning on a few cylinders, if not all of them. Talk to family, a friend, or a significant other about spending a couple hours with the baby so that you can get some undisturbed rest.

The first weeks that your baby is home are rough, and that’s putting it lightly. Luckily, it’s all temporary. Eventually, your baby will start sleeping better and sleep will sort of reappear in your life. At least they’re cute, right?

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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

I Refused the Epidural Because I Clearly Hate Myself

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

It was time for Round 2. Same battle ground, different kid. I entered the hospital for my second induction, as ready as an overdue pregnant woman can be for what’s to come. As the procrastinator that I am, I took no birthing classes. I read zero books. I didn’t practice meditation. All the things I swore I would do after giving birth the first time, because giving birth sucks. Big time.

So, why in the world would I refuse the epidural? This wonderful concoction of medicine that takes away most laboring pains and lets you enjoy bringing your child into the world without too much trauma, and I was like “nah.”

Clearly, because I hate myself.

So, there I sat in my hospital bed, nothing on but a hospital gown and some socks. This time they did let me wear my own socks instead of the weird textured hospital ones, so I did start off feeling pretty special. I was asked one last time: “Are you sure you don’t want the epidural?”

Yes. Totally sure. Clearly a masochist in my off-time.

A few weeks prior, one of the nurses urged me to at least complete the paperwork, just in case I changed my mind. No thanks, I don’t want an easy out. I want to suffer for a bit in case I do decide to make decisions a sane person would.

I was not asked again. I’m one of the lucky ones that didn’t get the chance to reconsider my options.

The medicine to induce was inserted and I was left to await labor. They ask you to stay in the bed for at least the first two hours of this twelve hour treatment, which is easier said than done when contractions aren’t ripping through you. After about 30 minutes I mentioned to my husband that things were rolling, and not long after the contractions were making me squirm. I made it to the 90 minute mark before I begged the nurse to approve getting out of bed. I guess I could have done it regardless, I wasn’t strapped down, but I do like to be cooperative when an IV hook is attached.

The nurse took a look at the contractions lighting up the monitor and gave me the go ahead. I opted for the birth ball and watched as each contraction came and went like waves, about every two minutes. Some were so intense that the graph couldn’t track it. And I continued to bounce along, listening to an intentionally ridiculous playlist that I created to keep my mind off things. I foolishly included items like the Cha Cha Slide in hopes that it would distract me.

Ha. I went for a single walk down the hallway that left me crippled in pain, so back to the birthing ball I went. The walk made me nauseous, but the nurse saved me (and herself from the cleanup) with an alcohol wipe waving in front of my nostrils. Genius.

Instead I bounced along to Miley Cyrus, Spice Girls, and Taylor Swift. My husband giggled and rolled his eyes, but otherwise left me alone. He would assist if needed but for the most part I wanted space. At this point I had been contracting consistently for about an hour and caved to the IV meds. Laying in bed wasn’t ideal but I needed a break. I was 4 cm dilated and with the assistance of this spectacular medicine I felt farther away from the pain. I still felt everything, but I cared less.

My daydreams became a bit bizarre. With each contraction I envisioned someone knocking at the door, but I wouldn’t answer. Obviously in labor here people, and don’t nurses usually let themselves in? As the contractions faded, whomever was knocking would simply walk away. This repeated itself over and over until the knocking became so intense and the person just wouldn’t leave. I remember imagining trying to open the door only to find that it was locked, but the banging on the door continued. They wouldn’t go away! I would have started cursing someone out if I hadn’t lost my mucous plug in that moment, snapping me back to reality.

Welcome to my brain’s interpretation of active labor.

My body took over. About fifteen minutes later, my beautiful boy was born, but every push was agony. There was nothing except pain followed by more pain. I contracted until that child was born, and the only thing that kept me pushing was the wherewithal that each push had me closer to it all being over. I wanted it to be over so badly and if I just pushed one more time maybe it would be over. If I really worked hard in that next push it would be done and I would never have to do it again if I didn’t want to. Followed by thoughts of “I am 100 percent never doing this again. Ever.” Pretty sure I thought that with my first child.

With my first labor I begged for the epidural once it was too late. With my second, the entire experience was only four hours and active labor only equated to one of those. I would consider my second experience much more painful, only because it was so vivid. I knew what was coming for me. And still, I chose to accept it.

Why?

Because I’m way more scared of the epidural than I am of the pain. I’m terrified of the lack of control. Without the epidural, I am miserable and it hurts and I just want it to be over, but at least I’m in control. I’m not stuck to the bed or waiting to feel my legs again. I’m not letting some stranger stick a needle in my back.

It is fear that drives me away from the epidural and most of it isn’t rational. I tell everyone to take the epidural. Modern medicine is incredible and women don’t have to suffer through their bodies being torn apart. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything or that I felt some sort of euphoria with natural birth. I feel like I’m a fool that chose the hard route because I was scared. If I didn’t have short labors, I doubt I would get away with such nonsense.

So, there you have it. Everyone will have their opinions, and this is me being real. The pain I experienced has me seriously questioning anymore kids, despite the option of pain relief. I could do it differently, but I won’t. My decisions aren’t rational, and it is what it is.

Categories
On Motherhood Pregnancy and Your Newborn

The Day After My Baby Was Born, I Took the Night Off

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

With my firstborn adorable daughter, she was in the room with me at the hospital from birth to discharge. Never was that child out of my sight, unless I went to the bathroom. Even then, either my husband or my mom was in the room to keep a watchful eye. Bam. Handled. Most hospitals have ditched the nursery to keep baby with mother as much as possible, and why not? It’s great for baby and mom. Right? Right.

And then I had my second child, my beautiful boy. The timeline of the two births was relatively similar, two inductions with the same hospital check-in time. The major difference was my daughter, waiting patiently at home. After she came in the morning with her grandparents to visit her new baby brother, my daughter and my husband returned home. This was the plan. Leaving me in the hospital with our baby seemed like the right thing to do, because our daughter needed us, too.

Besides, I was surrounded by nurses and I had done this before. I was a veteran and I could handle this. Right? Right.

Except I was so freaking tired.

I can’t even put into words the level of tired I was. My sweet baby boy came into the world at 11:06 pm on Wednesday evening, and at 7 pm on Thursday evening, I still had not slept. I had labored, brought life into this word, fed that life every hour on the hour, and I had not slept. Every time I tried, the baby needed something or the nurses were checking in.

I was almost delirious.

I was dizzy. I couldn’t think straight. I became genuinely fearful that I could not care for my newborn. I was terrified I would drop him or fall asleep with him in my arms. Even sitting in my hospital bed, everything was spinning.

I called the nurses, thinking something was wrong. My blood pressure must have plummeted or maybe I lost too much blood. Nope. All my vitals were perfect. My newborn had started to fuss, and I asked the nurse to grab him because I didn’t trust myself. The nurse (and night nurses are angels btw) swaddled my newborn, spoke to me about how perfect he was, and hushed him back to sleep. She looked at me with concern and gently asked if I would like her to take my newborn so that I could get some rest. She would keep him in the hospital bassinet while he slept and would bring him back in to eat when he woke.

I hesitated for only a second. I rationalized that this woman (the same nurse who had been with me from start to finish the night before while I labored) was closer to me at this point than a lot of other people that I knew. She had checked in on me in the bathroom while I struggled to poop and work through contractions at the same time (isn’t labor fun?). She had reached inside me to check my cervix, watch my baby be born, and helped me in and out of the shower in all my naked postpartum glory.

Yes. This woman that I had known all of a few hours could take my baby. I needed sleep.

And it was luxurious. My baby boy only woke twice in a seven hour stretch and I have not gotten such great sleep since that night. When I woke up, I was a new woman. Bless that nurse’s heart, because she got me through what was a really scary moment.

To take care of my newborn, I had to prioritize myself. My baby needed me to be capable, and the only way I could do that was by asking for help. I had to trust those around me with one of the two most precious things in my life: my second baby.

It was simultaneously a difficult and easy decision. With my first, I never would have dreamed of letting someone take my baby, and I might have judged a mother that had. Shame on me, because I now know what being alone in a hospital with a newborn feels like. You do what you have to as a mother, and sometimes it means passing that baby to hands that are more capable, whether it’s a night or a lifetime. A mother knows what is best for her child, and there is no greater act of love.

 

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Keeping Marriage Strong Pregnancy and Your Newborn

10 Postpartum Rules for My Partner

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Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

The postpartum life can be dicey for all involved. I know I have a short fuse shortly after giving birth, and I do what I can to not take my frustrations out on my husband. However, there’s such a thing as helping yourself. My husband can make both our lives a lot easier by following these 10 postpartum rules so that we come out the other end of the newborn stage still happily married.

  1. Don’t tell me about any of your aches or pains. Nothing you’re experiencing compares to the pain of childbirth, and I’m allowed to be a little selfish right now.
  2. For the love of god, do not invite anyone over without running it by me first. I might like your best friend and even love your parents, but I’m not about to entertain. Don’t make me hide in the bathroom with our newborn, because I will.
  3. If you have a slight cold, or the dreaded man-flu, suck it up buttercup. I could literally give two shits right now about your runny nose and sore throat. Sorry, not sorry.
  4. It’s ok to say that you’re tired. We both are! Newborns are rough. It’s not ok to challenge me to a competition of “who is the most tired.” As an exclusive breastfeeder, I will kill you in your blissfully undisturbed sleep with your worthless man-nipples.
  5. Bring me all the snacks. Don’t question me or my motives. I’ve been deprived of various foods for 9 months, and I deserve all the nourishment I feel like having.
  6. I get control of the remote whenever I want it. I’m bored out of my mind sitting on my ass while stitches heal and the baby breastfeeds, so I get to choose what’s on the tv.
  7. Don’t ask why I’m crying. I don’t have an answer for you. Hormones are driving my thought patterns and it’s not rational. Just ask how you can help and give me a hug if I need one.
  8. If there are other children, get them out of this house. I don’t care where you go or what you do. Have ice cream for dinner. Just leave me alone, preferably while the baby is sleeping, so that I can get some rest.
  9. Tell me I’m beautiful and mean it. I feel like a rock star for giving birth to a human on some days, but other days I feel like a hot mess in my mesh panties and leaking boobs. I need to know that you see the awe in what my body has accomplished.
  10. Let me know that I’m doing a great job, every day. There’s a lot of pressure on moms to be perfect, and we are far from it. When I’m frustrated because the baby won’t stop crying or I can’t stop phoning the pediatrician for every hiccup, let me know that I’m kicking ass at this parenting thing. We can only do our best, and we are at our best when we have the support of our partners.

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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Hold My Newborn

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Everyone loves a squishy baby. I know I do. I love holding other people’s babies even more than I love holding my own, because I can hand them back when they poop or start crying. You get all the benefits of baby snuggles without the responsibilities of parenting. So, yeah, I get it. People want to hold MY newborn. The difference? I know my place. In my book, baby-holding is invitation only, and I won’t hesitate to smack your hand away.

For whatever reason, the aunt I never talk to or my husband’s co-worker feel entitled to hold my newborn baby. Strangers at the grocery store want to pinch his chubby little cheeks. And it just blows my mind. We don’t walk up to random adults that we are vaguely familiar with, or complete strangers, and ask for hugs. So here are all the reasons why I might tell you “no” when you want to hold my baby, and yes, I’m serious.

  1. It’s flu season.

Germs are flying everywhere, and even if it wasn’t flu season, I’m not sure when you washed your hands last. I’m not going to play pass the unvaccinated baby, especially with anti-vaxxers rolling around these days. I’m not going to gamble on your hygiene and health practices, so take your sniffles somewhere else.

  1. We aren’t friends.

Strangers are a solid “hell no,” but even most people that I know are a hard pass. Just because I know you, doesn’t mean I like you. And even if I like you a little, doesn’t mean I trust you with my baby. We all have various circles of friends, and only a select few are given the green light to hold my newborn. If you must ask whether you’re one of those people, you already know the answer.

  1. Family is not a good enough excuse.

You being family does not grant permission to hold my baby. See above, because I like my friends a lot better than a huge chunk of my family. Blood ties mean nothing in my circle, so if you want to hold my baby with the excuse of being family, better make sure you even called me during pregnancy before you ask.

  1. The baby is sleeping/breastfeeding.

If the baby is breastfeeding, don’t even consider asking. How would you feel if I swiped your dinner plate mid-meal? It’s so freaking rude. The child is eating, breastmilk is flowing, and unless you want baby tears and spraying breastmilk on your hands, leave us be. Also, if my child is sleeping, let’s leave them undisturbed. Sleeping babies are oh-so-cute, but those quiet moments are more precious to me than your desire for baby snuggles. Bye.

  1. I owe you nothing.

Seriously. This is my baby. I spent 9 long months growing this human. I pushed this human out of my vagina, and it didn’t tickle. So, if I don’t want you to hold my baby simply because I don’t freaking feel like it, that’s a good enough reason. You can go kick rocks if you have a problem, because this child? It’s not yours. It’s mine, and I get to decide when and by whom my baby gets held. End of story.

 

 

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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

After 2 Inductions, I’m All for Medical Interventions

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

I’ve heard horror stories about inductions that sound nothing like my own experiences. Inductions that lasted days and many that resulted in emergency c-sections. There are mothers that insist their babies were forced out when they were ready, even when their gestational age read 40 plus weeks. I’m not saying anyone is wrong, or that natural birthing is a load of crap. I just see incredible value in medical interventions.

People used to die in childbirth all the time.

All. The. Time.

Women and their babies.

I’m uncertain that my daughter and I would have survived her birth without medical intervention. Yes, we were in the middle of an induction, but I never even touched Pitocin. She was in distress because of cord placement, and had the doctor not acted quickly, I can’t imagine what would have happened. If I had dared push to my 42 weeks against the advisement of my doctors, things could have turned out very differently. This was with a completely healthy pregnancy.

I know that my induction experience was positive and that changes things for women. I bet that I would be more reluctant to have a second induction if the first one had been horrible.

However.

I trust my doctors.

I don’t have a medical license. I only know what doctors, googling, and birth boards have told me. So I defer to my doctors. Everything is circumstantial, and not every birth is going to be the same.

My first birth was more traumatic than I realized, and I know more about how much danger my daughter and I were in now that I’ve been through a very similar induction a second time. Shit got real. Recovery sucked. A different perspective could have prompted me to refuse an induction and try to go naturally.

And part of me really did want to go into labor naturally. I was not looking forward to a repeat of being tossed into labor without warning with only a touch of cervidil. I was hoping a natural labor wouldn’t be so sudden and I could progress more slowly.

Of course, that was not to be. I was progressing less with my second pregnancy at full term than I had with my first. An induction was scheduled, and I whole-heartedly agreed. I wanted to meet my baby and I trusted my doctors. I asked questions and I made my intentions known ahead of time when I got to the hospital. My birth went smoothly, and although everything was a bit more vivid (including the pain, yay!) the overall experience was better than my first.

Perhaps I would have gone into labor naturally on my own closer to 2 weeks. However, there’s a real risk to extending pregnancy. I’m less worried about medical interventions and more worried about holding out for something that just isn’t going to happen for me. Waiting could have harmed my first and second child. So even if my first induction had sucked balls, guess what? I probably would have agreed. I trust medical advice, because I don’t know anything different. If I’m going to trust these people with my own life and my baby’s, I need to be all in. It’s one thing to advocate for yourself and make informed medical choices, and it’s another to make decisions out of fear. Negative things happen. My first born was literally ripped out of my body, and yes, I felt every bit of that. My second was delivered in 13 minutes of pushing and an hour of active labor, zero complications. It can be different.

If medical intervention during labor and delivery sucked for you, I’m sorry, but I only ask that you try to change your perspective. They probably saved your life, and your baby’s life.

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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

6 Post-Partum Joys After 9 Long Months of Pregnancy

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Pregnancy can get to be a real drag after 9 months, especially if you went overdue with your bundle of joy. There is relief after giving birth, but the blissful first moments with your newborn are only a mask to the many challenges of post-partum life that are next in line. The mood swings, the hemorrhoids, the newborn that doesn’t sleep… the list is endless. It’s a good thing that there are silver linings in all this mess, because moms would lose their minds otherwise. It’s time to look at the positives of the early post-partum stages and try to forget about the adult diaper you’re wearing.

  1. You aren’t a beached whale anymore.

Depending on the type of delivery, movement could still be limited. However, it’s nice to be able to get out of bed and off the couch without heaves, rolls, and assistance from others.

  1. You can sleep on your back.

As a lover of back-sleeping, I really missed this. Side sleeping sucks. I couldn’t lay on my back throughout my entire pregnancy, even when I was awake, because my child was crushing my lungs and shoving his feet in my ribs.

  1. You can see your toes.

My ability to put on my shoes was still limited in that first week, but at least I could see my toes. It was nice to look down and not see a kicking mass of unborn terror.

  1. You can eat sushi without judgment.

Not everyone follows all the food rules (I certainly don’t) but I did resist sushi and rare steak. I’ll admit that I ate like crap the first week of post-partum life and figured my newborn and I could both use the extra calories. I reluctantly ate a salad today out of guilt, so don’t freak out.

  1. You can walk like a normal person.

I was rocking some hardcore pregnancy swag for the last few months of my pregnancy, and I felt light as a bird the first time I left the house after getting home from the hospital.

  1. All the baby snuggles.

You can’t forget about what your body spent so much time creating. I’m not thrilled about being woken up several times a night to feed this new gremlin, but I do love the quiet snuggly moments that I know will be over way too soon. Post-partum is a real bitch but reminding myself of these normal-person perks make me feel better about everything.

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Pregnancy and Your Newborn

Overdue Pregnancy? Research Says Nothing Works to Induce

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

There are a million articles about how to induce labor naturally, and I’ve already touched on the stupid ways you can harm yourself and your baby in the last trimester by trying to mess with nature. The sad, sad reality for women beyond 40 weeks pregnant is that baby will come when baby is ready. Or when the doctor forces the baby out through induction or C-section. Exciting times.

I get it, I really do. The desperation to go into labor when you’ve already been pregnant for 40 long weeks is so real. I even like being pregnant, and at 40 plus weeks (I’ve gone over with both children) I am super ready to be done. So I do what every expectant mother does and I google.

I do google with discrimination though, and I look beyond the anecdotes. There will always be the mom who swears that pineapples or scrubbing floors put her into labor, but there is no scientific evidence. These women would have likely gone into labor that day regardless, or whatever sex they had gently tipped them over the edge they were already standing on.

And then there’s women like me who are so far away from the finish line that no amount of natural induction techniques is going to do shit. There’s no being helped along when your unborn baby needs to be dragged from their comfy home, also known as your tired uterus.

Sex is not proven to induce labor. Bouncing on balls can relieve pain and help a baby descend, but it will not induce labor. Spicy food and bumpy roads will not induce labor. Evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea will not induce labor.

If your baby is not ready to make their great escape, it’s just not going to happen. Sorry about your luck.

With my first child I did stress on it a bit and tried almost everything I could think of. I even had two membrane sweeps that did absolutely nothing to my body. It was only until my cervix was softened with medical interventions that my firstborn decided to make her appearance. With my second, I couldn’t even get a membrane sweep because my cervix was so high, and honestly, I didn’t try to hurry him along. I just couldn’t be bothered. I scheduled the induction and I went on with my day, because he was going to come, or he wasn’t.

And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Categories
Health Pregnancy and Your Newborn

Advocating for Yourself is the Most Important Part of Pregnancy

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

Pregnancy is a chaotic time in a mother’s life. Even if you’ve been through it before, there can be new challenges and anxieties that make you question everything you thought you knew. Nothing about your hormones and body make sense anymore, yet a common phrase keeps popping out of your OB’s mouth:

“It’s just pregnancy.”

What does that even mean?

I’ve heard of women’s feet swelling to three times their normal size, and others who can barely walk because of severe sciatica pain. Do you know what they’re told? “It’s just pregnancy.”

Fine. Fair enough. Some things are just pregnancy. I’ve dealt with my share of aches and pains, chalking it up to pregnancy and sucking it up. At some point though, it would be nice if doctors took women’s pain more seriously.

Research has already suggested that doctors, both male and female, fail to take women’s pain seriously under any circumstances. Toss pregnancy into the mix, and we’re expected to just suffer for the sake of creating life. To an extent, I get this, but only to an extent.

I suffered from severe migraines for two months of my second pregnancy. Nothing touched them. I was even prescribed a class-C medication (recommended only for pregnant women who have discussed pros and cons with their doctor) that didn’t make a difference. I asked three different OBs (I go to a rotating clinic) and every time I was met with a face of pity and “It’s just pregnancy.”

It wasn’t until I was completely crippled by my migraines (loss of vision, nausea not related to pregnancy, dizziness) that an OB suggested I might need intervention such as an IV cocktail at the hospital or a chiropractor. This was after two months! It was assumed that my migraines were hormonal, so they asked me to push through the weekend and then call on Monday if nothing improved.

Lo and behold, my migraines had dissipated by the end of the weekend and I haven’t suffered since.

Now, this is where I have an issue.

My husband went to the ER recently and was diagnosed with late onset migraines, which apparently is common in young adults. He reported with all migraine symptoms, but with zero history of migraines, so of course there was some concern. What did they offer him? The same IV cocktail that was kept from me, despite months of pain. He had suffered for all of two days.

Yeah, I was a little pissed. Obviously medical intervention is not ideal for pregnant women if it’s not necessary, but an IV cocktail would have given some blessed relief. For me, it was a last resort, yet for my husband, there wasn’t even a second thought.

I’m experiencing similar conversations, especially with a second pregnancy. As if I should know what’s normal and that it’s all “just pregnancy.” Except sometimes it’s not. I had to push for extra tests when I indicated that things weren’t feeling right “down there.” Extra discharge, itchiness, and swelling are all “Just pregnancy.” Except when it’s a yeast infection and BV. I was mostly asymptomatic, but I could still tell something was wrong with MY body. Now I’m on antibiotics, after weeks of being uncomfortable.

Pregnancy is unpredictable, and we don’t always know what is supposed to feel right or wrong. However, at the end of the day, no doctor can feel what we’re feeling. You must be confident enough to advocate for yourself, and for your unborn child. It’s the most important part of pregnancy, especially when it comes to labor. Don’t be afraid to make your concerns and needs known. Sometimes it’s not “just pregnancy,” and you will know the difference before a doctor will.

Categories
Pregnancy and Your Newborn

How to Really Screw Up in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

The third trimester of pregnancy is when time screeches to a halt. Even if your entire pregnancy has soared through each week, you hit the third trimester and you are shockingly aware of how pregnant you are. It can be tempting to induce your own labor through “natural” methods, and although some are encouraged, others are ridiculous. I know you’re tired mama, but these induction methods are unsafe for both you and baby.

Castor Oil

No. No. No. Do NOT drink castor oil. I thought that this method had already proved itself outdated, but it’s still popping up on my birth board as an option for impatient mothers. At no point in your pregnancy, even if you’re overdue, should you reach for the castor oil. Best case scenario, you’ll spend a lot of time shitting yourself and causing uncomfortable contractions. Worst case scenario, you could harm your baby and the distress could have fatal outcomes. It’s not worth it.

Running

I honestly didn’t know this was a thing people did in the third trimester. If you’re a marathon runner, maybe you can still hike it down the road at 9 months pregnant, which is amazing. Otherwise, you’ll really hurt yourself. Moderate walking is advised at every stage of pregnancy, but a baby isn’t just going to fall out because you’ve decided to go for a jog. You could put both you and baby in distress, so please don’t. Your balance is also crap, which means you could fall. Not smart.

Nipple Stimulation

This is really advised against in general, but there are circumstances in which it is doctor recommended. However, unless your doctor says “Yes, you should definitely spend your days tweaking your own nipples” just don’t. It can release hormones before your body is truly ready for birth, causing painful contractions that will get you nowhere. Don’t break out the breast pump early.

You didn’t sacrifice your body for 8 long months to screw it up in the final weeks. Don’t be that pregnant woman who induces labor before her child is ready. You’ve made it this far, so don’t give up quite yet. Just a few more weeks, or even days, and you could be holding your precious babe in your arms. No need to make pregnancy more complicated than it already is.

Even a hospital induction is connected with more medical interventions, some avoidable, some not. In most cases, your body knows what to do, so let it happen on its own terms.