Be prepared for the birth
Make a Birth Plan and write it all down
The journey from being pregnant right up to giving birth can be momentous and challenging. But don’t worry, with some planning you can be well prepared for the special moment and the time after. One idea is to write down a birth plan of all the things that need attention. Pass a copy to your husband so he will be aware of your wishes. It will also save him from explaining everything to the staff at the birth venue. However, be reasonably flexible and discuss with your doctor before you prepare the list.
Tips on breastfeeding
Your baby will show you when he/she wants to be breastfed. Your baby will make sucking movements with his/her mouth, put his/her fingers into his/her mouth, or open his/her mouth wide and move his/her head searching for your nipple. Rooting and suckling are natural reflexes and these are best exploited by placing the baby close to your breast, with the nipple touching his/her cheek. The baby will root, open his/her mouth wide and latch on taking the whole of your nipple and part of the brown areola around it into your baby's open mouth. Place the baby so that your nipple points to the baby’s mouth holding the baby’s stomach against your stomach. Support the baby’s body and pull him close to your abdomen, so that his/her nose is free. Your baby's head needs to be tilted slightly backwards, a position where you can easily imagine the baby “drinking” from your breast. You can use your free hand to support your breast. However, do not use a “scissor hold” to support your breast as this prevents the baby from getting a proper hold of the nipple.
Useful guidelines for the planning
- Would you like your husband to be around during delivery?
- Who will drive you to the hospital in case of an emergency?
- Would you perhaps like to be moving during contractions?
- Do you have pain relief methods like massage or certain breathing exercises - so the person caring for you can help?
- Would you like the baby to be placed on your abdomen immediately after birth?
- In case of a caesarean, do you have any special request?
- Do you have any favourite music that you want to listen to during delivery?
- Would you like your mother- in-law, mum or a particular friend to help around at home while you are away?
- Are you considering hiring a Malay traditional masseuse or a Chinese confinement lady after giving birth?
- Do you want to follow a traditional postpartum diet?
- Has your husband applied for leave if his company does not provide paternity leave?