Help Please! Some Non-Googleable Pregnancy/Childbirth Questions



If you have looked after babies and/or given birth to them, I need your advice and opinions (please). I've obviously been googling pretty much everything pregnancy and baby related, but there's some stuff that just comes down to experience. So, I'd appreciate some opinions on the following:

1. What's the one piece of advice you'd give someone who's having their first child?

2. What's the one (perhaps non-super-obvious e.g. not 'a car seat') baby item that you'd recommend buying?

3. Similarly, anything you bought that was completely pointless?

4. What actually helped you during childbirth? Either in terms of preparation, aftercare or on the day(s)? I don't know yet what kind of birth I'll be having so any advice on this is very welcome!

5. How bad is the post-giving-birth pain/discomfort? No-one seems to talk about it much but the one book I've read made it sound beyond hideous. Is it beyond hideous?

6. This might make me sound completely stupid, but what did your newborn enjoy in terms of stimulation? Is it all person-to-person stuff, or were there 'toys', lights, etc that they liked? I feel like once we get to the 'sensory play' stage I am sorted (used to teach children with PMLD) but not 100% sure what the very early days are like for this...

7. If you experienced depression/suicidality/anxiety/mood disorders pre-pregnancy, did you experience a return of these symptoms pre- or post-natally? When did it happen for you? Were the warning signs/presentation/treatments similar to what you experienced/what worked for you in the past? NB: I get that this one is very personal, but I would absolutely love to hear about people's experiences in this area - feel free to email me if you don't want to comment! So far I've been relatively stable through pregnancy but given my history this is a big concern for me.

8. Finally, most importantly, WILL IT ALL BE OK?

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I'd love to hear what you think...