You’ve done your antenatal classes, you’ve decorated the nursery and assembled the flat pack furniture, and if you’re mum to be, you’re tired and feeling the size of a whale (and if you’re dad, you’re tired of convincing your better half she’s not the size of a whale). With the big day imminent, but with no clue of when exactly it will be, you’ve probably got that phase well and truly under way that the midwife leading your classes smugly referred to as ‘nesting’.
The last few days are always going to be a mix of excitement, terror, anxiety and impatience to finally meet the baby that’s been on its way for the last (nearly) forty weeks. For mum, it’s tough to do anything, especially tie shoe laces or stand up quickly. For dad, life has turned into a constant check for where the car keys are, as if the baby is only going to give you ten minutes notice of arrival. Of course, especially for a first child, the time from the first twinges of labour to holding your baby in your arms is likely to be at least several hours, and for some (unfortunate) mums, it could be days.
Here in the UK, we’re extremely lucky to have a world leading health system in the NHS, and the maternity care is one of their outstanding success stories. Birth is daunting for parents who have several children already, so if you’re a first timer, don’t worry, it’s totally natural to be nervous about what’s coming. What comes after that, though, and we know it’s a cliché, will make the whole thing worthwhile, and you’ll forget the screaming and pushing in no time.
Here at first time parenting, we’re here to talk about what the midwife didn’t talk about in anywhere as much detail. How do you handle those relatives questioning how you do things? What do you need to buy for baby? Can you do any more to keep them safe? Read on!