If I could give my best friend 11 pieces of advice before her baby is born.

My best friend is pregnant. But excitingly not for much longer as D-Day for this baby is arriving very quickly! I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that her pregnancy has been pretty horrendous, suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG for short.  This is a complication in pregnancy which can cause severe sickness through the full 9 months! Understandably this has left her feeling pretty low during some of those months and I’m very, very relieved that light is at the end of the tunnel for her, as I’m sure, is she! (I’m not sure if that’s a labour pun or not!)

I only had morning sickness and nausea for the first trimester when I was pregnant with Charlotte so  didn’t really feel cut out to be able to help or advise with HG, so I’ve felt awful that I haven’t been able to support her better during her pregnancy. However, in preparation for the only vomit she will have to deal with being baby vomit, I thought I’d pen a few pieces of advice I wish someone had told me.

1.       Trust your gut.  When you have a baby you have an instinctive mama bear sixth sense. You know when they are not feeling 100% and you know when you should be seeking medical advice. Do it and if no one listens…do it again and shout louder.

2.       You know what works for your baby. Yes, it is all trial and error but as long as he/she is not in harms way then do what you feel is best. Yes, there are 1000 guidelines but every baby is not the same so test out a few things and see what works.

3.       You will feel rage like no other at approximately 3.12am.  I don’t know what it is about this time but being woken up by a crying baby around this time is the worst. This is normal. Shout, swear, cry or kick your husband for a few seconds then get up and go to your baby.

4.       Fed is best. Yes, I breastfed and yes, I would recommend it because I’m cheap and lazy but do what is best for you and your new family unit. I will support you 100% in your choice because happy mum = happy baby and breastfeeding is fucking hard work for the first few weeks/months.

5.       Don’t feel guilty if you don’t follow all the rules all the time.  There is enough mum guilt to come. If your baby accidentally turns on to his/her tummy during the night and sleeps well then that’s ok.  If you accidentally use bio washing powder instead of non-bio, hypoallergenic, organic, cotton soft washing powder for one wash then that’s ok.  If you just need to put the baby in the bouncer and go into the other room for a couple of minutes to take some deep breaths that’s ok too.

6.       Don’t run out of chocolate or baby wipes.

7.       The one day you forget to take a change of clothes for the baby is the day there will be an explosive poo incident. Secrete changes of clothes and nappies in every orifice you can find. Change bags, pushchairs, glove compartments, grandma’s glove compartments, upstairs, downstairs…you get the idea.

8.       Also always keep a change of clothes for you in the car. Explosive poo incidents are not easy to contain.

9.       Do not expect to do anything between the hours of 7-10 in the evenings for the first few weeks/months.  This is optimistically called the witching hour. Make sure you have eaten and just power through. Switch partners when your legs or arms get tired of rocking and walking.

10.   When rocking your baby do salsa steps front and back rather than rocking your hips side to side. This is better for your back.

11.   And last, but ironically definitely not least, is don’t listen to advice if you don’t want to. Become adept at nodding and smiling, then move on, and carry on about your business in the way that works best for you. But if you ever need to bounce ideas off you know where I am.

What would you add to the list?

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