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Monday, January 23, 2012

pregnancy info


Well, my due date is fast approaching (the 30th...but I have a feeling he will come sooner), and I'm getting really excited to meet my new little bundle of joy.  I must admit, even though I've been through it once before, the thought of birthing a human still makes me hyperventilate a little bit.  I'm sure everything will be just fine, but it is really easy to psyche yourself out thinking of every little thing that could go wrong.  But all in all, I am excited and ready. 

A few weeks after having Bradley, I found out that one of my close girlfriends was pregnant.  I immediately sat down and wrote out a list of everything I had learned/used since giving birth.  I thought I had read enough books to kind of know what to expect, but there was still a lot that I didn't know.  And once that baby is here, it is a lot like drinking from a fire hose.  So I just compiled everything that I had found that worked for me, and a few details that I hadn't quite expected.  I have since emailed this list to probably about 20 other girlfriends that told me they were expecting.  Some of them have printed it out and checked off items to prep for becoming a new mommy.  I read through it all last night and figured I'd share it.  Keep in mind, this is all totally my opinion, so you can take it or leave it.  You might find other things that work better for you.  It's also a little lengthy.... but hopefully this will help out another mommy-to-be!


Delivery:

- Epidurals are your friend.  GET ONE.  It doesn't hurt.  There is a small poke when they numb you with the 1st needle, then you don't feel a thing.  The hard part is trying to stay still to get one while having contractions.

- Contractions are not going to kill you.  They feel like major period cramps.  But I would suggest the epidural asap when you get to the hospital (they usually make you wait an hour once you are there to make sure you are dilating before they let you have the epidural, so just keep that in mind)

- If you start to feel any contractions at all the closer you get to the actual birth, get the anesthesiologist to give you another shot of the epidural.  You won't feel your legs for a few extra hours once he is born, but its totally worth it.

-Maybe this is TMI, but I had them put a mirror up while I was pushing a lot of the time.  I thought that would make me vomit but it was actually kind of cool.  But when it was time to actually give birth, I had them take it away cause I didn't want to see them do the episiotomy (which you won't feel AT ALL as long as you have the epidural).

-I'm not sure who you are going to have in the room with you, but I decided to have Garrett's sister stay and video tape it (my mom took pictures), and I was really glad I did.  She filmed from up at my head...don't worry.  You are so delirious and in a completely different world when the baby is born, so it was really cool to look back on it all and actually comprehend what was going on.

Recovery:
They will give you some AMAZING things at the hospital to help you heal.  Here is what they give you (more or less) after giving birth:

They will stick you in a giganto diaper with these even bigger mesh panties to wear over it to keep them on.  You will feel dead sexy.  Then in the diaper, they gave me another diaper to put inside that was a baby diaper filled with ice.  Then, each time I went to the bathroom, I would rinse off with a squirt bottle they give you, change the ice pack, and on top of the ice pack put Tucks pads and spray Dermoplast (see below)

You can get everything they give you at a drug store, so I recommend picking up the following before you deliver, so you will have extra on hand when you run out of what they send you home with:

  • Tucks Pads- These are white circle pads soaked in witch hazel.  They are really soothing and help you heal faster.
     
  • Dermoplast- A cool soothing spray that kind of helps numb you so you aren't as sore.

    I would also suggest having a ton of pads.  I used 2 side by side for about 2 weeks until the bleeding tapered off, then went down to 1.
     
  • Take whatever constipation pills they give you religiously, and get some prune juice as well.  And remember to refill the prescription.  I forgot to, and that was bad news.

Baby Must-Have's:  These are things I use everyday...no joke.

Mylicon Drops - HAVE THESE BEFORE YOU BRING THE BABY HOME.  I'm not sure how your little one will be, but the 1st night we brought Bradley home he was super gassy.  My milk hadn't come in yet, it was just the colostrum, and I think that is what made his tummy hurt.  After trying to sooth a fussy baby for 12 hours, we finally called the hospital and they told us to give him Mylicon.  Luckily I had some from a baby shower, so we gave him some and it helped his tummy immediately.  The hospital said it is completley harmless.  You give it to them ususally after they eat and can have it up to 12 times in one day (we usually only have to use it about 2 times in 1 day).  I can't tell you what a lifesaver these have been and I am so glad we had them on hand.

Butt Paste - This stuff works wonders for diaper rash.  I started off using desitin cream that was fine,  but when he started to get a little tiny rash, I switched to butt paste and it cleared it up in 1 day.  It doesn't smell the best, but it works wonders.

Boppy - The Boppy is my best friend.  I have to have the Boppy, a burp cloth, and my water bottle with me every time I nurse.

Huggies diapers - I like these ones better than Luvs and Pampers.  They are made better and I don't have as many blow outs with them.

Bouncy seat - Bradley still sleeps in either this or his car seat at night.  It vibrates and he loves it.  It is great cause you can start using it right when they are born, they can't be too little for it.

Swing- You can take it or leave it on the baby swing.  We are borrowing one, and Bradley uses it every once in a while.  He does like the rocking motion, but the bouncy seat would really be just fine and doesn't take up as much space.

Baby Bjorn
- When I discovered this little wonder, I became 200% more productive.  I started out with a sling cause I thought they were cuter, but he sweat to death in it, and I still felt like I had to hold onto him.  With the Bjorn, both of my hands are free, but I still feel like I am holding my baby.  I cook, clean, do my make up and hair, all with him in it.  I felt paralyzed before I got it.  It is a little pricey (about $80 at Target), but it is worth it.  The cheaper brands don't give you as much back support.  It will last you a long time too.

Bath tub
- I got this one at Babies R Us and  love it.  It was hard to decide which one to get cause there are so many but they dont look that comfortable.  This set gives you everything you need from tiny to a toddler.  I lay him in the little hammock thing inside the bath and it makes it really easy and he loves it.

Dwell Studio Receiving Blankets - Register for these!  We have used this set of 3 blankets over and over and over.  They are the BEST for swaddling and are the perfect size.

Dreft and Oxiclean - This duo will get ANY stain out.  Usually when I have a poopy outfit/blanket, etc (which is at least 3 times a day), I spray dreft on it, scrub it out a bit, and throw it into a sink with water and some oxi clean in it.  By the end of the day, I have a handful of things, so I either rinse them out and throw them in the dryer, or in the dirty clothes hamper to wash later.  This will help you from having to do 15 loads of laundry a day. 

Lanolin Cream - This stuff is great after nursing.  it helps to sooth your nipples. It is thick and sticky, which can be a pain, but it is nice.  I started using it twice a day during my last trimester and I think it helped prepare me for nursing.  If you get really sore, you can get a prescription for stuff called Newman's Ointment.  This stuff is made by the Gods.  It healed my soreness in 1 day.  A nipple shield was also very helpful and gave me time to recover from the soreness and still allowed me to nurse.  I would also highly suggest a breastfeeding class.  I would have been lost without it.


Whew!  That's a lot, but I'm glad I wrote it all down.  I had forgotten about a lot of it.  Do you have any newborn must-have's?  I'd love to hear them!

I also wanted to let you know that I am officially going on maternity leave from my LeanneBarlow Etsy shop.  I plan to be back up and running hopefully mid-march.  I also have a few fun pieces I will be adding for Spring, as long as I can juggle that with being a mother of two!

44 comments:

  1. Very helpful! This is my 2nd time around as well but it's nice to get a refresher. Any tips on what you brought to the hospital or what you wish you had brought?

    I wish I had brought snacks like dried fruit, nuts, salads etc. The hospital food didn't quite cut it for me. Someone also told me to bring a pillow with a pretty pillow case on it since it will be in pictures!

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    1. this is a great idea, but when my sister had her 2nd one last aug, the hospital wouldnt let her bring her own pillow unless it was brand new in the plastic (they told her it was b/c they didnt want bedbugs!)

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    2. I read the birthing part of this & I must say I was a little disturbed ..... I have had two children naturally 1st when I was 25 & on my own & second 5 years later with my then husband, the 1st thing that is your friend is gravity!!! I gave birth standing both times I have fast deliveries 2 1/2 & 1 1/2 hours lying on your back is the most painful position you can be in ... think about it you are crushing everything down on where your baby is trying to fit out of, only had gas but didn't use it much the second time 1st time 1 very small tear no stitches needed best thing to heal was salt baths fixed inside the week, 2nd time better mid wife who told me to stop pushing and just breath & my body would sort it for me that worked no tear , no epi no major drugs no doctors they missed both times just the midwife at the nursing homes no hospital out in the country lol. you don't always need the drugs we are women we are built to handle pain. but take chap stick & body lotion these homes are always too warm for me oh & drink lots of water :)

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  2. Great post! I had my son Dec. 2 and I got the epidural (made me the happiest mother-to-be once I FINALLY got it) but sadly, when it came time to push, I couldn't feel where to push so they had to turn it off and I had to wait about 2 1/2 hours to start pushing (worst pain ever!!!)! Hopefully with our next one, I will know what I'm doing!
    It's definitely life changing once you have a baby! Making a new schedule around the baby is definitely the hardest I think. In order for me to even get out of the house to run errands, I had to make him formula bottles to give him. Otherwise, I would have to sit in the car every other hour to feed him. This has worked sooo much better for the both of us! He is a breastfed baby other than that though & perfectly healthy! :)

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  3. Great ideas! I love love love my ERGO carrier. I used a BJorn with Devan and I swear I think my back is still making me pay for that... but the ERGO can be used as a back pack, side carrier, and front pouch. It has a hip strap so most of the weight is being put on your hips and it doesn't dig into your shoulders. JJ literally lived in that. And I had COMPLETELY different births with both my kids.. and it's so much easier recovering from the second baby than the first. I wasn't as sore or as swollen as I was after Devan. I didn't do an epidural the second time and my labor was about 18 hours shorter... and my pushing time was only 5 minutes the second time and not 3 hours like the first time... so many factors may have helped. But I feel like your body is now prepared the second time around and it isn't so dramatic. Who knows... but so excited for your next baby! Bradley will be an amazing older brother!!!

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  4. I think its too bad you feel that way about the epidural. Being an LDS woman, I have heard from other LDS women that birthing naturally makes the veil so thin and can be an amazing spiritual experience if you let it. Also, there are some posts over at the women in the scriptures blog that absolutely blew me away and won me over for doing it natural. Or at least trying my best. You should read them even if you have no desire to do it natural because they are eye opening in many other ways.

    http://womeninthescriptures.blogspot.com/2009/10/eves-curse.html http://womeninthescriptures.blogspot.com/2010/01/appreciating-physicality-of-birth.html
    http://womeninthescriptures.blogspot.com/2008/12/importance-of-birth.html

    and I think this one is just a really good one to help women feel good about their post baby bods:
    http://womeninthescriptures.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-i-love-my-stretch-marks.html

    Congratulations on your impending bundle of joy! I am expecting my first :) So I'm sure this info will be helpful to me.

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  5. I'd add that along with the pads and tucks and dermoplast, buy a package of cheap underwear about a size larger than your normal ones. That way, if you leak or funky stuff happens, you don't ruin your good underwear...

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  6. Mylicon! I totally forgot to get Mylicon. Thank you for the reminder! Might I suggest the ERGO carrier...it's amazing and I would go as far as to say the best baby invention EVER! Excited for you guys!

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  7. What a great list!!!!except reading the words dermoplast made me shiver thinking about giving birth to my daughter over 2 years ago. I loved the ice pack diaper. Best invention EVER!!!

    Good luck!!!

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  8. PS going the natural route does NOT in anyway make you more of a devoted LDS woman than a woman who gets an epidural. Blah I hate it when women are SO hard on each other when it comes to getting an epidural or not. #1 it is NOT any of your business what another woman does during childbirth or parenthood for that matter. Good for you for going natural, a gold star for you, but being all LDS preachy is soooooo not necessary.

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    1. Maybe I need to rephrase my comment. I simply wanted to shed a light on the less talked about spiritual side of natural childbirth and since I know she is LDS I thought she might appreciate it. I simply thought it might be an aspect she hadn't yet explored, I wasn't trying to be hard on her for her choice. Like I said before, there is a lot of good, uplifting, and empowering information in those blog posts even if you don't want to go natural. I CERTAINLY don't think that it makes you a less devoted LDS woman to get an epidural. And I don't think that because you are LDS/not LDS it means you should/shouldn't get an epidural, it is an individual choice for each individual situation. I'm sorry if it came off preachy, that certainly wasn't my intent.

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    2. Being all "preachy" is not the right way to phrase it. Sure, there are lots of annoying drug free labor women out there, but there are also a lot of annoying "get that epidural" women, too. Most of the women who do drug free labors just want people to know that it is really not all that bad. You wouldn't believe all of the flack I got from friends and family for deciding to do a drug free labor. I loved it. It was the best experience ever! I obviously wouldn't suggest drug free in every situation (c-section or endured labor!) but I can tell you that for me, the pain wasn't that bad. You just have to work with your body and not tense your muscles. I used the Bradley Birthing Method (Husband Coached Childbirth) and it helped a lot.

      Women just need to lay off of each other. Sharing information is great, but attacking someone because they suggest some articles and a different way of thinking just seems ignorant.

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  9. Heck yes on the Epidural! I think that other comment is funny, I'm LDS too and I do not want to go all natural. I still had an amazing experience seeing my babies born without being in blinding pain.
    Anywho, Congrats and good luck!!!

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  10. Enjoy your time being the mommy of two. Hope you have a smooth delivery. Congratulations to your family.

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  11. My 4th baby is 3 weeks old and I realized my biggest fear about birthing another child was the first bowel movement after delivery, especially after hemorrhoid surgery. (Sorry, TMI...) I tried miralax instead of stool softeners (recommended by surgeon). Saved my life! Also, this go-round I received an epidural where I could still move my legs and feel pressure, but not pain, so I was able to feel when to push. It was amazing. I was up within about an hour of having the baby with a little assistance. I don't know what was different this time, but I am certain being able to feel when to push enabled me to get this baby here in one contraction! There is nothing like having a newborn babe! Even knowing all I know and having had the hardest pregnancy yet, looking at my new daughter I knew I'd do it all over again just to have her. Congratulations and good luck!

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  12. You're amazing! Thank you for the tips for this first time mom to be! :)

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  13. I am due with my third on the 27th and I will say this... It is easier... Hurts like a .... But you knew it would... And because I had the episiotomy the first time and TMI try to make love as much as possible odds are you won't need one the second time around... Yay! Which means all those tucks pads and diapers aren't needed... A pad will do... Which shocked me,,, I bought depends for my second cause I was so set that it would be the same... I totally agree with the epidural... And if you ask they will do it while you lay on your side and that makes it easier to not move. Anyways good luck you will do great!

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  14. Also, I'm not a judges drug-free labor kind of person. Do what works for you! I love your blog, and you will do great. Enjoy your new little boy! :)

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  15. Great list. The thing I add when talking to soon-to-be first time moms is nursing pads. And in my mind, they aren't all created equal. My favorite were the Lansinoh (sp?) pads. They stuck to your bra, absorbed well and were soft on my skin. The Medela brand felt rough and scratchy, so while they were supposed to be similar, they didn't compare.

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  16. http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/10/04/the-evolution-of-a-birth-plan-three-kids-later/

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  17. I loved my epidural both times! It was glorious! My contractions didn't feel like period cramps, they felt like my uterus was squeezing as hard as it possibly could. I couldn't think or move during contractions. I had contractions at home for 18 hours before we went to the hospital with my 2nd, I felt like I was dying! The epidural felt like heaven after that! I like having the mirror too. Dermoplast is WONDERFUL!! I had a boppy with my 1st but I got a My Breast Freind pillow and I love it even more!

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  18. These are great tips! Something that I found that works even better than Mylicon drops is Gripe water. Depending on what store you are at you may have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter but it is about $8, all natural and for my daughter worked even better than the drops. All babies are different though, just sharing my experience. :)

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  19. awesome post! i have never been pregnant and don't have kids yet, but my hubby and i plan to start trying next year. good tips--and i'm all for an epidural!

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  20. One more tip for new moms to be: Make sure you have some food available for after you give birth. It seems like it would be the last thing on your mind, but after over 24 hours of not being allowed to eat (in case you need a c-section) and the effort of labor you may be surprised how famished you are! I was starving and felt so much better after a small meal.

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  21. It's always interesting to see what helped other moms with the delivery, recovery + newborn thing. Thanks for sharing! I'm going to check out some of these things for my baby comin this summer! Good luck with everything.

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  22. I agree with it all...good luck with your new baby! You look so cute!! I also wanted to let you know that I'm hosting my first giveaway, I'd love you to stop by my blog & enter to win a free My Memories digital scrapbooking software!
    Sally
    loveofhomes.blogspot.com

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  23. this is so funny! all my friends who had epidurals always say "take your stool softeners!!" i went natural and didn't need any or any pain killers afterwards. i love hearing all the different birth experiences, it's so interesting! oh and i didn't know they still did episiotomies? wow. my advice would be (my mom clued me into this one) just wear depends and skip the pads for the first few weeks. so much simpler and there's no worries of leaking. good luck! enjoy that new little one:)

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  24. This is awesome!! Just a word of caution about the Mylicon drips: they say you can give them to your baby with every feeding, but doing so gave our baby horrible diapering rash.

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  25. Good luck with your new little one! I wrote a similar list right after I gave birth, and now being pregnant again I'm so glad I have it! Here are the links to the two:

    http://blog.doublejones.com/2010/12/things-i-wish-i-would-have-known/
    http://blog.doublejones.com/2010/12/additional-thoughts-to-things-i-wish-i-had-known/

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  26. If you buy Dermoplast, make sure you DO NOT buy the antibacterial kind (red cap). It contains alcohol, and will burn like fire when you spray it on the affected area. Look for the Dermoplast with the blue cap.

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  28. hi! new follower and expectant mother. thank you so much for posting this!

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  30. Couldn't disagree more about having an episiotomy and getting an epidural. But everyone is different and its great to be able to choose what is best for you.

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  31. Thank you for posting this. I'm due next month. I will keep this all in mind.

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  32. I HATED IT MY EPIDURAL the first and only time. The nurses wouldn't allow me to move even though i could move my legs just fine. BUT, i needed it. Why??? Labouring for 48 hours with no sleep was hard on my body with that said... thanks epidural for the 3 hours of sleep i got before i gave birth to my first little one. Man, the nurse got mad when i told her to turn it off.
    Now, i can say that Natural Drug Free childbirth was the best that i have ever experience. Don't get me wrong, it is hard, hard work but it was what i wanted.

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  33. Thank-you so much. I am having my first baby September 20th and quite frankly I am really scared. This post has helped to put my mind at ease!

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  34. Everyone is different, but my epidural was wonderful too. I also loved having my own pillows and a swaddling blanket for the baby. Any way you deliver a child can be and is a very spiritual experience. Congratulations! Enjoy those newborn baby snuggles!

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  35. So helpful! I don't know what to expect with the first! Thanks!

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  36. I agree with the epidural, but I think the length of your labor can affect your decision and mentality. If I had not had it, who knows what would have happened. When they told me it was time to push, I asked if I could take a nap, because I was so exhausted from 24 hours of labor.

    I wish someone would have explained about nursing pads and that some women have TONS of milk once it comes in. Also, along that line, I never knew how much you could SWEAT after having a baby. I took 2 much-needed showers a day to help feel human from the excess milk, blood, sweat...

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  37. I second the stool softeners, with baby #1 I asked for them and the nurse/assistant(?) said I should just drink prune juice... well they inconveniently ran out of prune juice and so I didn't think to ask for the pills again... I thought I was going to pass out from that experience. So for the love of a kinder recovery - demand that you get the pills!!
    I didn't get an epidural (I'm kind of needle phobic...) even with my 39 hour (first) labor - turns out it was a good thing as I'm allergic to narcotics!

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  38. Can I just say, (without being preachy), that I have a drug free labour, and It was so empowering!
    My plan was just to take it as it came. I was induced and to start with just walking around and rocking really helped, then when I felt it was way too painful, I tried the ball and TENS, then when it got too painful for that, I got in the shower, BLISS !!! Then when it became too painful for that, I was pushing and 5 mins later he was out.
    I think its a good idea to go into labour with an open mind. Take it as it comes. If you go in and demand an epidural beofre you have even started, then you may be missing out on something you CAN actually cope with. I'm not anti-drugs, but at the same time, I didn't want to take something I didn't need, as they DO have side-effects, not only on you, but also on your baby.

    Just something to think about.
    Jessica

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    1. This. I had epidurals with my first two and while I didn't have any of the more troubling side effects I just didn't like them. I didn't like the feeling of being out of control, I didn't like that it turned the whole event into a medical procedure (with IVs, monitors, blood pressure, etc). Having a baby was still the most awesome thing ever (I also watched with a mirror) - but the "epidural experience", ugh. However I was well schooled in the "modern" mindset of "epidurals are the best thing ever" and so just went with it.

      I've now also had 5 baby's without medical pain relief, 4 of those at home, and I have to say the difference between those births and my 2 epidural hospital births is just night and day. I *love* giving birth. I mean love it. I love my kids more than anything, but seriously I have to do a gut check that we aren't just growing our family so that I can give birth again.

      So also not to be preachy, but really don't assume that for everyone "epidurals are your friend". For me they were an annoying second cousin that I had been told that I was supposed to like and then couldn't' figure out why I didn't lol. And as the previous poster mentioned for some folks they can also be risky or contribute a sequence of events that leads to long term and/or severe health consequences for mom and/or baby.

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  39. Letting your baby sleep every night in a car seat is dangerous. When it isn't installed in the car, the seat won't rest at the correct angle and babies who sleep in seats placed on a floor or other flat surface have been shown to have decreased oxygen levels due to compression to their chests. Incidence of SIDS is much higher for babies who are allowed to sleep in car seats. Other seats like bouncy seats, swings and vibrating chairs are also implicated and should not be used for regular naps or overnight sleep. Several studies have been done on this in the US and Australia and they all show a connection between sleeping in a seated position and an increased risk of SIDS.

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