Whether you’re a first time mom or preparing for your nth child.. I just thought of sharing a few things that I’ve learned throughout the years.. And that’s from giving birth 12, 8 years ago and just recently, a month ago. Times have changed for sure!
Now let’s begin…
If you’re a working mom like I am, you may want to check out the SSS Maternity benefit. Your company can help process this for you and you get a cheque for about P32,000. Also have them prepare a PHILHEALTH request, where you can get a few thousands off of your hospital bill.
Now by this time you also may want to decide on the hospital you plan to deliver in- you can ask for rates and more or less get an idea on the budget you may need. For all 3 pregnancies, Asian Hospital was our choice simply because of the location, the staff, the rooms- well, okay that’s mostly everything. But we’ve never been disappointed. Of course 12 years ago the rates were different.. But for a normal delivery, our bill just recently came out to about 260k (For 3 nights at a Presidential Suite..) for a regular room most likely around 200k total, just so you have an idea. (Excluding the OB & Pediatrician rates, which you pay separately at their clinics).
And if you’re going for normal delivery, then go for an Epidural. Personally, a must! Works instantly after they insert it right by your spinal cord, so don’t move! It lasts for about 2-3 hours so wait until you can’t handle the labor pains anymore. I know it sounds scary, but you just have to get a good anaesthesiologist. The in house Dr. at Asian, Dra. Laguna was amazing! I hardly felt any discomfort. Now it’s normal to shiver and shake crazily as soon as it kicks in- but they cover you with layers of warm blankets and eventually it’ll stop then you will feel SO relaxed.
If you’re having a BOY, you may want to discuss the option with your OB on performing the circumcision. For both my boys we chose to do it before checking out of the hospital- just ’cause we don’t want to have to deal with it when he’s older. Besides, they heal within 3 days. You won’t even see blood. To care for it? Easy. Just squeeze warm water with cotton balls every time you change the diaper until the gauze eventually falls out, that’s it.
In your hospital bag- make sure you have maternity napkins as you will be bleeding for about a month (like period) and it’s pretty heavy right after giving birth. Don’t forget to bring a corset/binder to wear once you’ve settled in. Trust me- it will help you shrink in no time plus no loose and saggy skin. Try the ones from Wink.
Oh and one more thing, you most likely have not heard of this before but after a normal delivery you might want to bring a mini salbabida or floatie. Why? You can sit on it to prevent the pressure on your vagina. Hehe. You won’t feel the sting! Trust me. I have used salbabidas to solve this problem thrice! If you’ve given birth over 4 years ago, you’ve experienced the luxury of having your baby at the nursery- but sorry to burst your bubble. Now your baby must room in with you! So no more recovery hours for mama. Haha. Once you push your baby out, he’s stuck with you. So for the first time, I had absolutely zero sleep after the baby was born. So, with that in mind- aside from your husband, I suggest having a companion: a family member, or yaya/midwife/nurse to help you through your first night -at least just to help with diaper changes and burping after breastfeeding. We didn’t prepare for this so my husband and i were total zombies and to make things harder – i still had my IV on, so it was so hard to move around and fast. So for my next baby, NOW I KNOW!
Photo taken on June 1, 2016 after 24 hours labor.. Maxen was just born! I was relieved!
Breastfeeding– there is no milk production for the first 3 days– just colostrum (sticky yellow substance). So don’t panic. But still your baby will need to suck and latch every 3 hours to stimulate and get the colostrum they need. They have pea-sized tummies at this time so that’s really all they need. Always stay calm. When you panic your baby will definitely sense that, and probably start to cry. So just do your best to relax.
Colic/Gas pains. You know your baby has this when they cry for 2-3 hours straight, hardly getting any sleep plus their tummies when tapped on sounds like a drum. It may take some time but here’s what works: Manzanilla oil from Mercury Drug. Massage the tummy from left to right in an inverted U motion and down the center, pressing on the tummy several times. Then proceed to a burping position. Giving Gripe water morning and night worked for us! Available at Healthy Options. Sadly these are the only 2 things that can help- with colic you just have to wait it out and it usually happens early morning like between 1-4am! Stress. So these are must haves. Buy and have them on standby right before you give birth.
The umbilical cord usually comes off after 2 weeks- so wait until it falls off before you give the baby a bath to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Keep it clean by squeezing a cotton ball of alcohol everytime you change the diaper. Alcohol helps dry it up. (I learned this from my pedia so don’t worry hehe)
Breastfeeding for me is a must. I breastfed both my kids exclusively till they were 10 months old. Hopefully the same for Max (my third). I know now that there are so many moms who think that bottle feeding breast milk isn’t considered breastfeeding.. But sorry, that’s not what i believe. While I respect them, for me breast milk whether fed directly or from the bottle has the same effect. I mean what if you’re a working mom – you need to go back to work right? And it’s just impossible to bring your baby- what to do? So don’t ever feel guilty. Pump your milk and bottle feed. Then feed directly at night if you want to balance it out. No problem. You are doing your best to provide only the best milk for your baby. So for me at 3 weeks old, I introduce the bottle just so they don’t get picky. Worked for all 3 of my kids so far. Now bottle- boob- bottle, makes no difference. When he’s hungry, he’s hungry.
Also I’ve been getting alot of questions regarding what bottle to give ’cause the babies are apparently picky. But in my experience, i only bought one brand per child- so they had no choice. With Noelle I used Avent, with Tyler i used Born Free and with Max i use Dr. Browns, quite similar to Born Free-it really helps reduce the colic problem. Hardly any gas after. So as a result, they all really didn’t have any other option- they just drank from what was given to them -no problem at all. They turned out fine 🙂
I think this covers it all. But if anything comes to mind, i may just compile them into a part 2 and call it “unsolicited advice.” Haha! No, but really I hope this helped in some way. Do let me know if you’ve got further questions or suggestions perhaps.
Feel free to leave a comment below. Keep in touch mama’s!