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Once the medical experts have had their say, it's time for another kind of expert -- a real mom.Abbi Perets is a journalist and the mother of three -- and she's exclusively here on Pregnancy & Baby to give you some advice about pregnancy, birth, parenting and more.
You envision that magical moment when you gently rouse your partner from sleep. We also think you might benefit from a small taste of reality, and since we have had a few children already, here we offer some practical postpartum advice that eventually you will appreciate. An hour after you give birth, you'll probably be ready to take your first postpartum trip to the potty."It's time," you whisper - except in your fantasy, you look like Jennifer Aniston did when her character went to have her baby on the season finale of of your fantasy, when you grip your partner's hand, smile at the doctors and nurses in the sterile room, and push your baby out into the world. (Yes, you now have to call it a "potty" until your baby turns 27.) The fear you will feel at this moment will make your labor anxiety seem positively trivial.You may even beg the nurses to please let you just keep the catheter forever.But eventually, what goes in must come out -- and you are going to have to haul your floppy body off the bed and into the bathroom. Quite possibly, no one will explain what this mysterious bottle is for, because that would indicate a level of caring and helpfulness that people will seldom show you, now that you are A Mom and no longer a Pregnant Person.Well, we're here to tell you: it's actually a "peri bottle," and you are supposed to fill it with warm water and spray it on your nether regions while and after you pee. This is so important, regardless of how ridiculous you think it sounds.No sense in making things any tougher (or firmer) than they have to be.
Put on a plate about five of the soft wipes you use on your precious baby's bottom and microwave them for about 10 seconds.
They will be hot, and they'll have time to cool before you need them, but be careful. Lock the door, and tell your significant other or whatever Good Person Who Is Watching the Baby that you are Busy and Cannot Be Disturbed for the next little while.
If you try to pee without doing this, you will wish you were dead. You get in a tub with a few inches of the hottest water you can stand. Another suggestion: Dip a washcloth in witch hazel and just stick it, ah, wherever it hurts.
And if you think you are going to actually yourself after you pee, then you are a sick, sick woman, and we do not want to be friends with you anymore. Also, dispense with any preconceptions you may have about peeing in the shower; it's not a bad way to go, at least for the very first time you go. You've probably been cut off from your drug supply by now, and you're not happy about that. For the sake of aesthetics, we recommend a dark-colored washcloth, and probably a cheap one that you won't mind throwing away afterwards. We have also heard that keeping the witch-hazel-immersed cloth in the fridge can make the whole experience so pleasurable that it borders on illegal activity; however, we did not actually try this.
Be sure to take your peri bottle home from the hospital with you. And while you're at it, you may as well go ahead and drop all your other preconceptions about People Who Do Things Differently, because, my little chickadee, you are about to learn the great lesson of . Our friend did, though, and we trust her -- but don't blame us if you do not find Nirvana in your washcloth.
By now, you can no longer avoid The Big Potty Trip: the one during which you -- how can we say this delicately? You can cry all you want, but eventually, you are going to have to face that porcelain torture chamber, and you may as well get it over with so that your stomach will uncramp. Eat a lot of raisins, maybe some cole slaw (it's the raw cabbage you want). A little prune juice isn't such a bad idea, either, and lay off the bananas after you give birth.