Seven things I wish I knew before giving birth in Newmarket
I had a wonderful labour experience thanks to both Daisy Birthing classes and the incredible midwives at West Suffolk Hospital – but there are a few things I wish I knew before hand.
1. West Suffolk Hospital do not allow you to plug any devices into their power sockets.
Arm yourself with charging blocks so you can keep your mobile, iPad, kindle etc charged throughout your stay. The tv’s are terrible so you will definitely need to bring your own entertainment.
2. Call the nurseries now (!)
I didn’t (and still haven’t) called the nurseries in the Newmarket area. (Look here for more information on Newmarket nurseries.) With waiting lists longer than the queue for Deniro’s on a bank holiday weekend in the early noughties, call as soon as you’ve had your twelve week scan if you want to get a place reserved.
3. Newborn photoshoots
We were too late to get the adorable curled up, sleepy and snoozy photographs of AB. Book now to “avoid disappointment” as it’s amazing how quickly your LO will become more alert and too big to achieve the desired effect. We adore and highly recommend Peter Denness (he took our wedding photographs) but he doesn’t specialise in baby photography. If we had got out act into gear quicker we would have used Charlotte Potter over at Million Dollar Faces.
4. Newborn babies go through more baby grows in hospital than you might think.
The wonderful midwives and healthcare assistants were quick to encourage me to change AB’s outfit any time she had made it wet… wee or sick(!) With an unexpected extra night on the ward, I soon ran out of outfits so had to use the spares they had available.
I’ve bagged up the outfits that are now too small for AB and plan to donate them to the ward for other Mum’s in the same situation!
5. The friends you make in pre-natal classes are so valuable.
(More to follow on Daisy Birthing classes.) Having such a strong friendship group already, I never thought I would be someone who would want to make new “mummy” friends. A group of women that potentially only have pregnancy/newborns in common didn’t sound particularly appealing. I met four ladies during my six week birthing class and they have been such valuable, supportive and wonderful people to have around. Our Whatsapp group is used as much during the graveyard feeding hours as it is during daylight hours – we laugh together, cry together and share stories that can never be repeated!
6. Knowing which health care professional to call and at what time (It can be really confusing.)
I must admit that it was more confusing for me as due to my postcode I had all pre-natal care from West Suffolk and all post-natal care from Addenbrookes/the Lilac team. (E.g Newmarket hospital/West Suffolk hospital/Foley house whilst pregnant and Addenbrookes / Bottisham Children’s centre now AB is here!)
Despite being handed over to a Cambridgeshire team, when I ripped my episiotomy stitch on day three – ouch (!) I headed back over to West Suffolk and continued to receive fantastic service so firstly, do not worry about contacting the “right” team – just pick up the phone!
Here are a list of numbers for both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
7. No matter how many classes you attend or how many books you read, you can’t fully prepare to become a mummy!
There will always be things that you didn’t find out about, fully understand or take on board. I was surprised by the following (it’s worth Googling):
Being induced – exactly what it does to you and your contractions
How to pee after labour
The truth about breast feeding – the most challenging but rewarding thing I have ever done
Glamour – or lack of. Swiping across my face with a bit of foundation made me feel so much better each day but using nappies to deal with my leaking boobs, wearing granny pants, holding frozen tena pads against my under carriage and weeing in the bath wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.