Hi OP. I'll answer your questions from professional perspective.
How do you know your going into labour?
- we generally explain to women that labour is when you're consistently getting 3-4 contractions in a 10 minute period. A proper contraction you can't really talk through. If they are short and sharp or you can still talk through them, then it's probably early labour. As @LoveLivesHere said, if you were to lie down for a little while and they disappear, it's not labour. In saying that, if at any point you feel like you can't stay at home any longer, call your hospital and go in to be assessed. They can put your mind at ease by either confirming that you're in labour, or reassuring you that you're in the early stages and work out a plan with you (generally the recommendation will be to go home until you get into labour).
Is an epidural a good choice?
- it can be. Do some reading, talk to your midwife/obstetrician about it. Like anything there are risks and benefits. Only you can make the decision as to whether it's a good choice for you or not. In some situations it will be medically recommended to have an epidural, but that doesn't happen all that often. If you have an epidural you will likely be on the CTG monitor, you will have a urinary catheter in as well as an IV drip with fluids running. They may restrict your food/fluid intake (they also may not do this) as we know that an epidural does slightly increase the chance of an instrumental delivery or a caesarean. The cascade of intervention is a real thing, particularly if you have an early epidural. Do some of your own reading around it and talk to your care provider.
How do you firmly tell the midwives that you want to bottle feed and not breast feed?
- just tell them that you're bottle feeding. It's not our place to judge how you feed your baby, just as long as you DO feed your baby. Check with your hospital what their requirements are. For us we provide pre made formula plus single use bottles and teats for our mums who are formula feeding.
Is there a pill you can get to stop the breast milk?
- yes there is, as a PP mentioned it is called Dostinex. We don't use it that frequently though. The docs aren't all that keen on writing it up - I think because of some of the side effects. The main things to remember is to wear a firm supportive bra (no underwire), and minimal stimulation to your breasts. So when you're showering, let the water run over them but don't handle them to wash them, as this can stimulate them. It will take 3-4 days for your breasts to settle down. Your milk may still come in to a point, but if you do all the right things it will disappear pretty quickly.
Hope this helps!
On a side note, have you booked in for any antenatal classes? Given some of your questions I would recommend going to some as they will be able to answer a lot of these questions and hopefully it will prepare you better for the labour and delivery
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23-05-2016 20:34 #21
23-05-2016 20:43 #22Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
In my experience, an epidural was a great idea. I had it when I got to 5cm, which is when it really started to get quite painful for me.
On the formula, just take some bottles and formula and do it. You don't need to justify it to a midwife. If you do get someone who is pushy, just smile at their "helpful" advice and keep on formula feeding. And if they're making you feel uncomfortable, remember that you'll most likely only be in hospital for a couple of nights and then you'll be home and you can do what is right for you without any pressure.
One thing on the sterilising - I don't think it's absolutely necessary as long as you're washing the bottles with detergent and hot water. Your call of course, but don't assume you have to - I didn't for my girls and it did make bottle feeding just that little bit easier.
Best of luck for the birth!
23-05-2016 20:50 #23Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2014
Good luck, enjoy those newborn cuddles when your Bub arrives😊
23-05-2016 21:42 #24
I sterilised my bottles as I had an electric one and it was easy to just chuck them in there and sterilise them then pull them out when I needed them. I found if I didn't sterilise them I got a build up on the inside of the bottle walls, I could feel it and see it no matter how hard I scrubbed or how hot my water was.
I'm with Torquise coast on this one, I freaking hated washing bottles. I would be already to hop into bed then remember I had to wash bottles. I'm also (clearly not) a militant breast feeder but I do warn mums choosing bottles it really wears thin doing them every day. Maybe make it your hubby's job 😄.
My other advise for bottle feeders is start with a cheap formula and work your way up if you need to. I'm not broke but $30 every 5-7 days... Ouch! I started on an expensive brand but eventually swapped to a cheaper one after hearing good reviews (Heinz nurture). I started DD2 on it but she ended up needing goats milk formula which was $32 a tin compared to $15. It hurt.
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23-05-2016 21:58 #25
my hubby does the sterilizing each morning @Wise Enough ☺️ we just do it the old school way and boil a pot of water and put it all in there. first we wash with detergent and hot water using ds' special little bottle brush to remove all the milk traces. after it's been sterilized it dries ok the boon lawn we have. we've got it down to only a couple of bottles a day now as I'm BF more so it's not as painful as it used to be.
I've often wondered about sterilizing in hospital too, I don't think our room even had a microwave so you couldn't even do it in those microwave bags?
23-05-2016 22:37 #26Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2016
Hi, I did mixed feeding in hosp( private on Gold Coast- I think they get a lot of non bf there since so many have had boob jobs! So it didn't raise an eyebrow, in fact the mw at my ob clinic asked me during preg if I was gunna bf obviously open to me saying no). I took microwave container and bottles and tests w me, there was a kitchen for parents in the hall. U could take Milton w u as back up.
I would consider trying to bf though if u can, mixed takes the pressure off big time but still gives Bub benefits of bf. My milk was v slow so there was no 'event' of it coming in.
There was a form to sign to use bottle feeding, but they just casually gave it to me next day ( bottles already in use). They did have bottles formula and ebm there but I had my own in car incase I needed them as I was very open to mixed feeding. My son was for a few months then decided he was a bf Bub! I'm still Bf at 22 mths, so would have never believed that back then, would have told u 2-3 mths is heaps.
I had Cs but my friends who went natural all say their diff for next time would be get the epi earlier.... The thing to remember is the anaesthetist might be busy so u can't get it the minute u want it and u don't want to wait until u can't sit still.
Last edited by Lisau77; 24-05-2016 at 07:40.
23-05-2016 23:02 #27
I guess to me there is a difference between encouraging someone who is on the fence over whether to bf, or supporting and encouraging someone who really wants to bf but is having trouble...and trying to encourage someone who has made up their mind not too. The OP had stated several times she didn't wish to bf, and was concerned that others would question her decision, and wanted advice on how to stand her ground.
Perhaps I am too sensitive on this issue, apologies.
Anyway, sorry to derail!
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23-05-2016 23:17 #28Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
I can't tell you what it's like going into labour spontaneously as I was induced - you never know, that may happen to you too. If I had to be induced for subsequent babies I would definitely get an epi earlier than I did. I wanted to see how long I could go without one and I think it would have been OK had I gone into labour naturally, but being an induction it was a different kettle of fish. I was strapped to monitors the whole time so I couldn't get up off the bed and move around which I'm sure would have helped a lot in the early stages. I had a TENS machine which was ok at the start but as my contractions came on quite quickly and strongly, it wasn't long before I realised I needed an epi. Then the anaesthetist was in theatre and it took about an hour and a half before he arrived so I only had gas in that time (which I didn't rate AT ALL - but I know other people who love it so you never know, it might be sufficient for you). Turned out when the mw checked me after the epi/spinal was done (instant relief btw, it was amazing) that I was basically fully dilated at that point so I'd actually done most of the hard work without the epi! No regrets about getting it though, the relief was amazing and allowed me a bit of pain free time to get my energy back for pushing. Next time, if I need to be induced again, I'll be requesting the epi be put in much earlier. But if I went into labour spontaneously I think I'd still try other things like the shower, movement/positioning etc before an epi.
I think ultimately the most important thing is to research your options and have a rough idea of your preferences but don't be too fixated on things happening a certain way because you never know what could happen or how you'll feel in the moment. I'd definitely recommend going to an antenatal class though as it might help to put your kind at ease as they will explain all the stages of labour and your different pain relief options in detail and you'll have the opportunity to ask questions too. Good luck
24-05-2016 00:10 #29
I had been getting bad braxton hicks for a week leading up going into labour, so when i was in labour it didn't really click until i was in so much pain i couldn't move and they were happening very frequently. After trying to sleep through them (as i thought they were BH - i wasn't due for another 3 weeks) i got up for the 3rd time to pee (each hour i was having to get up which was unusual) and i noticed a little bit of blood and decided to call the hospital, they said i should come in and they were saying to me i shouldn't be in labour yet as i wasn't full term (by 2 days) and were going to check how dilated i was as i think they were going to try delay birth if i wasn't far along, but i was already 6cm so this baby was coming out that day!
Labour brought on pre-eclampsia so i was told i needed to have a epidural as soon as possible to bring my blood pressure back down. And i would definitely do it again! Gas did absolutely nothing to help with the pain.
I was worried about breast feeding and thought i might not like it, but i absolutely love the bond between the two of us because of it. And my DH still has an amazing bond with our daughter. I personally cant stand having to wash and disinfect bottles when i have to express for work now that i'm back part time. Its so tedious and annoying and i couldn't imagine having to worry about heating up a bottle when bub is hungry and crying, so much easier to pop out a boob.
However if you aren't comfortable doing it then you need to do what is best for you and the baby.
24-05-2016 06:58 #30
You've been given some great answers so far!
Just want to add - if my waters hadn't broken, I'm not sure I would have noticed the contractions for quite a while. They were less uncomfortable for me initially - period pain and the braxton hicks I'd been having were worse. I had to go in as soon as my waters broke as I had a high risk birth, and I climbed stairs for a couple of hours to "get things going". I don't know how it would have gone if I'd been at home without waters breaking! Once I'd been climbing stairs for a couple of hours there was absolutely no mistaking labour for anything else!
Epidural is personal. I was "strongly encouraged" to have one many times (won't go into the details and derail). But I have a needle phobia and couldn't consent. I ended up having remifentynal (I had a canular in anyway), and it was a brilliant option for me. It was really effective - but had to figure out how to use it. If I did it again and thought I needed a break and some help, I'd use remifentynal again.
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