Podcast Episode #51

Birth Story: What happens the first 24 hours after giving birth?

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with Lauren Brenton all about the first 24 hours after giving birth. Lauren is a registered midwife and mama of three, she’s passionate about educating and empowering women through their pregnancy, labour, and birth journey.

We dive into what to expect for you and your bub in the first 24 hours together, the good and the bad. This episode is full of nuggets of wisdom that I hope will empower you to feel prepared for this time in your future. 

Enjoy! 

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Birth Story: What happens the first 24 hours after giving birth?

Transcription

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that this transcription was completed with computer voice recognition software. Quite often unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the computer software. Please disregard these errors. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

INTRODUCTION

If you are pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby, this podcast is for you. I am your host Kath Baquie. A physiotherapist working in women’s health and mum of three. Join me each week as we dive into all things pregnancy care, childbirth, and postnatal recovery, helping you have a wonderful pregnancy and afterbirth experience. And don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes.

KATH BAQUIE

Welcome to Episode 53 of the FitNest Mama Podcast. I’m your host Kath Baquie. I’m a mum of three young girls, a physio for women and I have an online community, FitNest Mama, which helps to provide pregnant and new mothers with the exercises support and resources they need to feel good from the inside out as they prepare for and recover from childbirth. FitNest Mama has workouts which is a tired-mum friendly, achy-mum friendly and toddler friendly that you can do in the convenience of your home at the end of the long day, or whilst your bubba sleeps.

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I have the pleasure of chatting with Lauren Brenton all about the first 24 hours after giving birth. Lauren is a registered midwife and mum of three little kids. Lauren loves to help educate and empower women along their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal journey to motherhood. Lauren believes it is of the utmost importance that women are informed about every aspect of their maternity care involved in the decision making, and therefore supported to have the best possible experience that they can.

Lauren works across the continuum from antenatal care delivery suite, which she loves the most, and postnatal care, which includes the sleeping, the settling the wrapping the baby, breastfeeding and formula feeding and she is also currently studying her masters of midwifery. So stay tuned as this episode is filled with lots of little nuggets of great information, which will hopefully help you feel more informed, calm and empowered about your first 24 hours with a new bubba. And that is what this podcast is all about.

But before we dive in, I do invite you. If you are pregnant, or you’ve had your baby to come and join the free fitness community Facebook group. Simply search, pregnancy birth and beyond by FitNest Mama. And the link is also in the show notes to come and join this rapidly growing, amazing community of other pregnant and new mums. And they are all there to support each other and cheer each other on during this crazy and beautiful thing we call motherhood.

Alright. Let’s get into this episode with Lauren.

Hello, Lauren, thank you for joining me today.

LAUREN BRENTON

Hi, thank you for having me. It’s very exciting.

KATH BAQUIE

Absolutely. And I’m so excited by our chat. So we’re talking about the first 24 hours after having a baby. And I know personally, I prepared for childbirth. I thought I’d prepared really well. But those first 24 hours is such a huge blur. So super exciting to chat. So could you please introduce yourself? For anyone listening, who doesn’t know who you were? Let us know how to find you.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yes. So my name is Lauren. I’m a registered midwife in Sydney and I run the Instagram page, “One Mama Midwife”. So I absolutely love everything. And things like pregnancy, birth and after birth, as well as having three of my own crazy little kids as well. So busy, fun, but lots of love in this house.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s great. And if you’re not following Lauren do go and follow her and all those links will be in the show notes too. So Lauren, let’s start at the start. Like there’s so much that happens in those first 24 hours. And there’s so many different things we can talk about. I put a call out on Instagram, and I was blown away by all the different topics and I thought, wow, like, obviously it’s a lot but this, Yep, lots.

So where do we start Lauren? Like what can a mum expect in those first 24 hours? I know we’re talking about baby questions. We’re talking about mum questions. There’s so much but can you just give a bit of an overview to start off with?

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, yeah, of course. So whether you have a caesarean or a vaginal delivery, the most important time is that first hour after birth. That’s the time that you really, really want to try and capture and maximize your time with the baby mostly with skin to skin so If you are planning on breastfeeding that first hour after birth is essential in getting your breastfeeding started and bonding with that little baby helping regulate its heart rate and breathing rate and everything good. So the first hour after birth is sort of where you should start by focusing and just snuggling that baby and really taking it in. You know, everyone always because how much the baby weigh, how much does it weigh, it’s not as important as that first hour of snuggles and skin to skin that you won’t get back. So make sure that you really enjoy that time, that first hour, and then worry about weighing the baby and measurements and all those sorts of things.

KATH BAQUIE

So in that first hour, for the mom, that’s just given birth, and I know this will vary from hospital to hospital. But is she still in the birthing suite for that hour?

LAUREN BRENTON

Most women are, yeah. Most women. So, you know, the baby’s born, place up onto mum’s chest, they get skin to skin pretty much immediately. The delayed cord clamping happens in most hospitals as a standard now, so the delayed cord clamping would happen, they’d cut the cord, and then the midwife and or doctor, depending on which route you choose, would take all of the, I want to say mess, but you know all of the utensils and everything out of the room and sort of tidy up the room a little bit. And then leave you for a fair bit of time. So you can get used to your baby and start, you know, just enjoying that first time together. And then obviously, once baby show signs to be fed, then we’ll start feeding baby. We tend to just sort of sneakily remove ourselves and say, if you need us, we’re over here, but stay there. So yeah, most women will be in the birth suite for a fair bit of time after birth.

KATH BAQUIE

It’s funny, because I remember I’m just thinking back, and it feels like they get you up so quickly. But you’re right, it is probably a good hour or so. But it just, it went by so quickly.

LAUREN BRENTON

And it depends on whether you have an epidural as well. So if you have an epidural, you’ve got to wait for that to fully wear off and for your legs to be back before you can get up and shower and get out anyway. So that can delay that time in the birth suite as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, can you dive into that a little bit more? If a mum has an epidural? How long does that usually take to wear off and what happens then?

LAUREN BRENTON

That one really varies based on who put it in, to the anaesthetist themselves and what drugs that they’ve used. So how heavy the block is. So some women, when they get an epidural can really easily move their legs and they can still sort of feel their legs, while other women can’t at all, because they’re quite heavy and quite dead. So it just depends on the type of epidural, but most take at least one to three hours to wear off completely and for us to be able to put weight on your legs and get up for that shower.

KATH BAQUIE

I remember my first two kids was on epidural. And I can remember being in the shower so quickly, what felt like really quickly, whereas first stand up after an epidural with those jelly legs. I seriously, I swear if my husband hadn’t been there, I would have been a mess on the floor.

LAUREN BRENTON

Some people were like “Oh, I think they’re mostly back.” And I’m like, “No, no, we’re not getting up on mostly like we’re waiting for fully. I can’t catch you.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. And once you have your baby, how does the first feed generally happen?

LAUREN BRENTON

So generally, we take all of the things out of the birth room, tidy it up, give you a little bit of time and sort of explain to you that your baby is you know, having skin to skin and your baby should start showing signs that they’re hungry, they might start opening their mouth, looking around, licking their lips, little things like that. And they’re the first signs that we want to know that bub’s hungry. So once they start showing those signs, we always say, you know, grab bars or bars and we’ll come in and we’ll help you and try and attach the baby within that first hour, because that’s generally when they’re most alert and ablest and ready to feed.

KATH BAQUIE

And how does that look? And I’m asking is because I had a few comments on Instagram, where they were shocked at how they were hand expressed. And they weren’t expecting it. So yeah, how does that look?

LAUREN BRENTON

And that again, just depends on who’s looking after you. So I’m a very hands off breastfeeding teacher I like to sort of get the dummies and explain as best as I can, before trying to help with my own hands as I just find it doesn’t really teach them how to do it if I’m just doing it for you. But then again, some other midwives find that they’re able to best teach by doing it for them that first time. So it really depends. So sometimes, the midwife might ask consent first to touch the woman’s breasts and try and attach the baby that way or the midwife might explain it first and try and get you to do it and try and move you and mould you a little bit as you go through in saying that if baby isn’t wanting to feed him, he isn’t interested then we do try and get you to hand express. Either the midwife will do it, or will teach it. So I kind of always try and teach them on first. And if she’s not getting anything out, then I’ll say, “Do you mind if I have a go and see if I can get any colostrum out for bub?” and we could feed that colostrum to the baby in a syringe. So it is a bit confronting in terms of not realizing that, you know, you’re going to have this baby and everything’s going to be done. And then all of a sudden, we’re going to be touching your boobs and trying to get milk out. And it can be a little bit overwhelming and confronting.

KATH BAQUIE

You know, before you’ve had babies, no one, really apart from your partner has ever touched you. And then suddenly, you’ve got these complete strangers getting in there. And it was fine. But my second and third child was totally used to it. But I distinctly do remember that first I said, Hey!

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, my first baby, I remember being like, what are you doing? What are you doing to me? Your midwife should always ask you and explain first what they’re doing and why. And if they go to do something that you’re not happy with, you can always say, “Can you stop and explain to me what you’re doing? And why and can I try and do it first? And if I can’t, then you do it.” you know, you’ve always got an option to say, Stop.

KATH BAQUIE

Now, if anything happens, like an episiotomy, is there anything different that’s in terms of recovery? Can we expect that time is going to be delayed a bit while they’re doing the episiotomy, and like if they have to take you into theatre? That sort of thing.

LAUREN BRENTON

So within the episiotomy, it’s not really a whole lot of changes to a tear. I mean, the healing can sometimes take a little bit longer afterwards. So a few more weeks longer, and that sort of thing. But generally, you know, it happens at the time of delivery, and you’ll be stitched up fairly quickly after delivery in most hospitals. So that sort of delay isn’t as big of a deal because you know, the tears and the episiotomy sort of thing is fairly the same. You just want to ice straightaway, that’s my biggest thing. Like, as soon as that baby is out, and you are stitched up, you need ice straightaway, so that you don’t get all of that swelling. Because once it’s all goes there, it’s you know, you’ve got the time for it to then go away. So as soon as you can get ice on that parry, the better.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, I love it. That’s what I was preached to. And I tend to recommend a new ice pack with every pad change, is that what you recommend? Like, and with every breastfeed?

LAUREN BRENTON

As soon as you feel that, that ice pack is starting to go warm, you want to get rid of it. So as soon as it’s not cold for you anymore, chuck it and get a new one. Because with your aim, obviously, it’s a wound, whether it’s been cut or torn, it’s still a wound. So you want to reduce any infectious signs or symptoms. So you need to make sure it stays dry, clean. And so you don’t want it to be wet from a melted ice pack and then warm. So it’s complete opposite to what we want. So as soon as it’s warm, it’s gone.

KATH BAQUIE

Great tip. Thank you. Okay, so the first hour has passed, you’ve gone into your ward room, what can we expect from then on? Let’s start with a baby.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yep. So I think that first 24 hours with a baby are really, really very, like some people have, not an angry baby, but a really awake lady, and one that really, really wants to feed and be cuddled and snuggled and not put down. And then other people have this baby that they’re trying to wake up and going, it’s not waking to feed, like is there something wrong with it. So that first sort of 24 hours is really varied. And kind of as long as that baby has one really good breastfeed straight after birth, they can go up to 12 hours without a feed, they physically can, we don’t obviously want that. And we try to encourage, you know, the baby to be fed at least four to six hours. But you know, if it’s not taking it, and it really doesn’t want it when trying to finger feed it and it doesn’t want it, then there’s not much you can do as long as that baby’s blood sugar is fine. It’s fine to keep sleeping. So it’s just Yeah, a really vary time. Some people have the really awake baby, and then other people have a really asleep, baby.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. Okay, that might involve pumping for a month, is that right?

LAUREN BRENTON

Generally, don’t start pumping in that first 24 hours, we might hand express just because we can get more out. So a pump, obviously, it’s got lots of parts and connections. So any good colostrum that we do get, most of it gets lost in the path. So we tend to not start pumping until either the milks in or we’re trying to really bring the milk in if we’re worried that the mom’s milk might be a little bit delayed. So that sort of comes a bit later, but we would definitely get her hand expressing if we were worried about feeds and that sort of thing.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, brilliant. So apart from feeds, what else happens to the baby generally? Are there any milestones that needs to tick off?

LAUREN BRENTON
Like weights and measurements and all that is always a big mouth, and we straight after birth will do a really big check if the baby and some hospitals have a paediatrician come and check the baby in that first 24 hours others don’t. So that’s just sort of a hospital thing, but it will always get checked by an approved person before it goes home. And then just sort of wees and poos. So we get really excited by the wees and poos you know that really horrible first meconium poop that baby will do in the first 24 hours. So it’s really black sticky, amniotic fluid, you remember it from your baby? Yeah, so we want baby in that first 24 hours, we really want baby to have at least one poo, at least one wee nappy.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, just one? One poo one wee? Okay.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah. That was one wee, one poo.

KATH BAQUIE

Great. And there be quite a few mums listening that are going home on the same day. Are they told that? That before they go home, that’s what you’re aiming for?

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, so mums that go home pretty soon after birth are generally given sort of a bunch of pamphlets or a little book or something like that, again, every hospital is different. But to say that this is what you should expect in the first week. And again, the ones that do go home the first day, they have a midwife come and visit them at home, I think it’s two or three times depending on the hospital, to just really reinforce that and go through that. So you know, the first day we want one wee one poo. The babies generally settled in between feeds, and just wants cuddles most of the time. And then you know, 24 to 48, two wees to poos, that sort of thing. They’ll get a big chop with all the information on it, and what colour the poo has changed to and all those fun things.

KATH BAQUIE

And that’s why I think it’s so great that we’re talking today, because if the first time you came across that chat was when you had a new baby, and you’re already going home, and you’re throwing a few pamphlets, that’s a full on.

LAUREN BRENTON

Definitely full on.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, pre warned is pre armed. Is that the right thing?

LAUREN BRENTON

It’ll do. It’s good.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so we’ve discussed baby, there’s nothing we haven’t missed. When was the hearing test usually?

LAUREN BRENTON

I mean, they can be done in that first 24 hours, but they like to do it sort of after 48. Just because you can get false positives, especially caesarean babies, they’ve got a lot of fluid, and they don’t get that fluid squeezed out of them because they sort of born really quickly. Same with if you’ve had a quick delivery first time, second time quick delivery, or a forceps or vacuum, the babies can get a little bit mucous and have still have a bit of fluid in the either ear canal and their nose and everything like that. So they can fail the hearing test, which can be really scary for mums. But it is common for them to fail if it’s done too early, and they haven’t got rid of all that fluid. So yeah, they tend to do that sort of at the 48-hour mark. But again, depends on when you go home to go early, then either tell you to come back or try and do it before you go.

KATH BAQUIE

Okay, so moving on to mum questions because I know there’s a lot happening to the mum in that first four hours. Just gone back to the ward, fed your baby a few times, you’ve changed your pad and your ice pack a few times, what else can a mum look forward to in those first 24 hours?

LAUREN BRENTON

Okay, so some women will have a catheter left in. So caesarean mums will have a catheter left in until the next morning they’ll stay in bed and won’t get up. So the catheter’s left in, they don’t need to worry about that. Same with some women who have either had a really bad tear, or have had an episiotomy, sometimes they will leave the catheter in overnight just to really let the swelling go down and give you a really good chance your bladder working again properly and feeling like you need to go without too much pain and things like that.

KATH BAQUIE

And for those listening, that’s a really important thing. Just because you’ve got a catheter in for a long time. That’s actually a good thing because it’s letting the bladder rest. And it’s helping to potentially prevent issues with urinary retention. Like if you can’t wee out all the urine from your bladder, you don’t want to develop things like bladder infections and urinary tract infections and all the rest. So that’s a good thing. Is that right, Lauren?

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah. That’s fine go down. And also it can be a little bit less painful. If you sort of wait that little bit longer. Before you go as well.

KATH BAQUIE

I don’t know if you agree. But often that is an issue where I guess hindsight is a lovely thing. But if the catheter is taken out too early, then it can create issues. So what are some of the signs that women need to be aware of if they do have some bladder issues?

LAUREN BRENTON

So I guess the main thing is, when you feel like your bladder is full, and you sit down to go to the toilet, can you pass that urine? Is it coming out? Do you feel like you are emptying your bladder completely? And I mean, it’s not going to feel normal, but as normal as it can feel? So feeling like oh, yep, I think you know, I’ve weighed for a decent amount and like the strength and the amount of it feels fairly normal to before and that you’re not standing up and then needing to go again straight away.

KATH BAQUIE

So to clarify, you’ve got a good urge to avoid, a good urge to do a wee. And then when you do wee, it’s a good empty.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yes, exactly.

KATH BAQUIE

So if you have issues where you’re not getting an urge to wee, it might have been hours and hours and hours. What do you suggest then Lauren?

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, so your wee will be annoying your fair bit in that 24 hours as well. So coming in got you know, have you gone to the toilet? Have you wee and that sort of thing. So if you haven’t wee within that four to six-hour period, we were more than likely do a bladder scan on you and see, you know, how much have you had what’s been going in and that sort of thing, try and get you to sit and relax and go. And if that still doesn’t work, then most of the time, you’ll get a catheter reinserted, just then for sort of 24 hours to really let your bladder heal and hope that we can start fresh again the next morning.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. So if you’re listening to this, and you are going home in that first 24 hours, I think this is really important to know, don’t ignore the fact that you haven’t really had an urge to go to the toilet or don’t ignore the fact if you can’t fully empty your bladder and things. Because sometimes it’s reduced nerve supply to in reduce sensation to the blood, so you’re not getting the right sensations. So that’s why we need to help the bladder rest with the catheter.

LAUREN BRENTON

And although the thought of a catheter seems scary and daunting, it’s definitely more important than developing problems with the bladder later, just because it’s something that you ignored at that time.

KATH BAQUIE

Right, I think that’s a really good one to tick off.

LAUREN BRENTON

When you do that first week after birth, you can get a pump water bottle, and spray water as you’re going just to really help neutralize a urine so it’s not painful for you. I think that’s my biggest tip with that first wee

KATH BAQUIE

And for those women that are having difficulties with initiating that wee or first wees. Yeah, the pump bottle’s great. Do you suggest weeing in the shower or turning a tap on when going to the toilet?

LAUREN BRENTON

Weeing in the shower is a really, really good one. Because you know that warm water can help you. When also the water itself is going to wash away the way and make it less stinging for you. But yeah, if you find turning on a tap works as well, you can definitely do that. Some people listen to rain noises on their phone and do all weird and wonderful things. So whatever is going to help you is the good way to go.

KATH BAQUIE

Yes, and I’m a big fan of learning how to lift your pelvic floor and relax your pelvic floor during pregnancy so that in this early stage you might be without knowing guarding with your pelvic floor and holding them up a little bit. So having that ability to take some nice deep breaths, relax your tummy muscles and relax your pelvic floor can also really help.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, yeah, exactly.

KATH BAQUIE

That was gold. For anyone listening. That information is gold. So put that in the memory bank, write it down just for that first few days after birth. Okay, bowel motions.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah. So most women actually weren’t passive bowel motion within that first 24 hours just because if you’ve gone into labour naturally, you tend to clear yourself out before labour anyway, your body tends to do that. And at the time of delivery, which is completely fine. We are so used to that. So please, please don’t be worried about that, if that’s something that you are worried about. But yeah, you tend to just not really need to go in that first 24 hours. So when you do need to go, it’s important that you don’t try and hold it in because you’re scared. Also on the opposite end of that, that you don’t sit there and really strain because obviously, if you’ve got stitches or swelling, sitting there and straining on the toilet is going to make that worse. So if you’re finding that you feel a little constipated, or you want a little bit of help, or you’ve tried to go and you can’t, it’s always a good idea to give us a buzz. And we can give you something to help you go or help it soften a little bit to make it a bit easier for you. You can also sort of wrap your hand in toilet paper and hold the stitches if that makes you feel more comfortable in going and put your knees up higher than your hips on a stool or something like that. Just all those real tricks to try and get you to relax and let it happen naturally without straining.

KATH BAQUIE

Loving those tips. And that perineal support. So wrapping toilet paper around your hand, like as long said and popping it at the front. Because I know personally and from patients that they’re just they’re worried about that sensation that everything’s heading south. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, it’s going south.” So having that perineal support or that support with the hand at the front, providing that gentle upward support can then help you again to relax, give back passage and take some nice deep breaths, relax your pelvic floor, and hopefully the urge just happened as it naturally happens.

LAUREN BRENTON

Exactly, yeah.

KATH BAQUIE

Lovely. So getting on to any stool softness sooner rather than later. If you’re at all concerned, lots of fruit and vege. Lots of water.

LAUREN BRENTON

Lots of walking around as well. In that first 24 hours, your kind of so sore and stiff and you don’t really want to move but it’s so essential that you get up even if it’s just little walks everyday sort of taking off that you’ve walked further and further every day. It’s really important for your muscles and your healing and everything to sort of start going back to normal that you are walking as much as you comfortable obviously don’t push yourself but as much as you feel comfortable walking around.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, I tend to recommend in that first week, just five minute bursts, so you know puttering around the house or walking to the garden or whatever it is and then coming back having a rest but doing that quite regularly throughout the day. But not a huge burst all one go. Just lots of little, little bursts.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah. And I think when you’re in the hospital as well, you’re kind of get a bit stuck in your room like you don’t tend to venture out. Sometimes we’ll have women go, “Oh, I haven’t even been outside of my room and the whole four days I was here.” So I think it’s really important that you, you know, even if you’re just walking up to the communal tea room and getting a cup of tea and walking back, just any kind of exercise in in the hallway, that day is going to be good.

KATH BAQUIE

Walk to the freezer to get the ice packs. That’s the exercise.

LAUREN BRENTON

Well, we probably walking too much then.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, so we’ve talked about bladder and bowels and those first 24 hours keeping those wounds clean. That’s generally just with regular showers, and normal soap and water.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah, so I mean, generally, you don’t need to use soap on any wound. So just water is fine, just water and you know, patting it dry. That’s something definitely not rubbing, where you’re going to catch on any stitches, women who’ve had a caesarean generally the wound is covered. So that stays covered for a few days. And it all depends on who’s done it as to how soon that bandage comes off. And then same sort of thing. No soaps, no fragrances, just water to keep it clean. And with the apparent aim, you really want to try and have at least two showers a day, just really every time you go to the toilet, just rinsing it, just really making sure that you’re giving it the best chance to stay clean and dry.

KATH BAQUIE

That’s where those Perry bottles I think are really helpful. But they’re not given out in hospitals, are they?

LAUREN BRENTON

No they’re not. It’d be nice if they were.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, absolutely. Now can we dive into a caesarean birth a little bit more? So you mentioned the catheter usually stays until the next morning Is that right? And then once the catheter is removed, what’s the process then?

LAUREN BRENTON

So usually your midwife will remove your catheter in the morning depending on when you’ve had a caesarean, obviously, if you had it at 2am, they wait sort of 12 hours or until you were well controlled, pain wise and all epidurals and things were wearing off. So then the midwife would check your wound. And they get used to, you know, ask you to get some clothes out of the bag. So it’s always a good idea, vaginal or caesarean to have a bag, a zip lock bag that says first outfit for the mum, so that the Dad’s not rummaging through the bag, trying to find out what clothes she wants to wear and that sort of thing. But we then will put your clothes in the bathroom help you up to the shower, either your partner will stand in the shower with you or one of us, we’ll just to make sure that you’re okay and help you get dressed things like that, and generally go back to bed and have a little bit more of a rest after that. But it’s always a good idea as well for caesarean mums to take pain relief half an hour before that first shower, just to really make it a bit more comfortable for you moving around for that first time.

KATH BAQUIE

Can I add using a log roll to get out of bed too? So I love a good log roll. So rather than doing a sit up to get out of bed, roll onto your side and use your arms to push up. Because I’m not a huge fan of those monkey bars. What do you think of them?

LAUREN BRENTON

Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, but I think they’re still kind of using their tummy muscles as they pull. And then I find I’m generally pushing more and it kind of hurts my shoulder a bit more. So I definitely always do the log roll I find.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, I don’t think they’re all cracked up to be I think a lot of pressure still goes through the abs. Yeah, brilliant. Okay, so we’ve talked about the seizes mums, bladder and bowel, baby, is there anything else you were thinking we needed to tick off?

LAUREN BRENTON

I think mental health is really super important. In that first 24 hours as well, you know, you’ve kind of just gone into this complete new world that you didn’t even know existed and you know, people are coming in and out and your kind of like oh my gosh, like what is going on. And sometimes just taking a few minutes to you know, go for a walk, sit outside in the sun, re gathering yourself if you need and then coming back well, you know, just sitting and chatting and going, I’m really like, overwhelmed. And this is different to what I expected. And you know, I’m loving it, that sort of thing. Just talking about how you feel whether good or bad, I think is so important and making sure that you have a good support and someone who is going to help you as much as possible in those first 24 hours when you’re sore and new and, you know, wanting to learn and absorb all of that information.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, great point. And have you noticed any differences with COVID lockdowns in terms of how many visitor’s women can have and how that’s affecting the mum?

LAUREN BRENTON

Definitely. I mean, I’m in New South Wales at the moment. And so we’re on absolutely no visitors. And I find that a lot of women are getting a lot more anxious before birth, and you know, getting really stressed. And then I’ve seen a slight increase induction just because people are really getting anxious. They might not be going into spontaneous labour on their own because they are worried. But in saying that a lot of the feedback hasn’t been too bad. A lot of people have said it’s actually been quite nice to just spend that one on one time without 50 people constantly coming in and breastfeeding rates have been really great because people are calling us more for help. And they’re not trying to take advice from mums or sisters that might not be quite up to date anymore. So in that regard, it’s been quite nice. But yeah, you do see that they miss the support from mothers especially.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah, and I totally can understand both the pros and the cons. I do distinctly remember a few times my baby needed to be fed, this is my first baby. But I would have had a visitor who was just arriving or, you know, there’d be someone just stepping in because people in and out the whole time and I had no confidence. I didn’t want to be.

LAUREN BRENTON

Didn’t also want to put about in front of random people that you didn’t know, either.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. It’s tricky when you’re just trying to establish breastfeeding.

LAUREN BRENTON

Yeah. So in that part, it’s been a bit better.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. So just to finish off, because I did want to just ask about what are some watch points? Or what should a mum be aware of? we’ve touched on it a little bit with the bladder side of things. But when should a mum call the midwife or call the doctor in those first 24-48 hours? what’s something that we should be aware of?

LAUREN BRENTON

In terms of breastfeeding, I think that in that first 24 hours, you should really call on us for help, or even just checking the latch. For as many fields as you feel comfortable just to really make sure you’re not doing damage in that first 24 hours. Especially if you’ve got pain relief that’s wearing off, you might not quite feel if it’s perfect or not. And then we don’t want any cracks, nipples, any bleeding, anything like that we don’t want so we don’t want pain at breastfeeding. So that’s a big, big one to call us for don’t just push through if you have any pain, because the baby won’t be getting anything if it’s not latch properly, and you’re getting damaged. So it’s not good for anyone.

KATH BAQUIE

Can I just remark? That’s a lovely point. Because I do remember, you know, you just you feel bad interrupting the midwives like they’re busy, to think, “Oh, I just need to feed my baby.” But to have to feel like you have to call them every time. I didn’t love that. So thank you for mentioning that to just give women the confidence to press.

LAUREN BRENTON

But at the end of the day, if we help you as much as we can, in that first 24 hours, then the rest of your journey, you won’t need us as much because we’re not trying to undo damage that’s been done already. So we love it use us.

KATH BAQUIE

Yes. Great. And once you’ve got those cracked nipples.

LAUREN BRENTON

It’s hard to go back. Another one is postpartum bleeding. So a lot of women don’t realize that you do bleed after birth. I think that’s one of the one of the biggest shocks as well. So you can leave for up to six weeks after birth, but it is heaviest in that 24 hours. So if you’re soaking more than one maternity pad every hour, you really, really, really need to let us know when you need to sort of start leaving the pads for us to check, potentially, we’ll start weighing them. If we’re worried about how much blood you’re losing, in that first 24 hours, 48 hours as well. If you have blood clots that are bigger than 50 cents, please, please leave them for us as well, if they’re on your pad, leave them for us to check because what we do is we actually pull them apart and we make sure that there’s no bits of placenta or amniotic membranes in there that we might have missed. So it’s really important you leave them for us as well.

KATH BAQUIE

Lovely. And if you did find that, what would be the procedure generally?

LAUREN BRENTON

So we would monitor you a fair bit more closely. So we’d be doing lots of rubs on your tummy. So we rub the fundus. So the top of your uterus and really try and make sure that that feels nice and well contracted. Potentially, if there is worry that there is a lot of products left inside, you might get an ultrasound and have to have it removed, surgically worst case scenario, but most of the time, if it’s just a little bit, the body will expel it. But we do like to just check and make sure that there’s nothing in there.

KATH BAQUIE

Brilliant. We’ve covered a lot. Thank you, Lauren.

LAUREN BRENTON

Okay, thank you.

KATH BAQUIE

Just checking my list. Yes, even though it’s a big 24 hours, and it can be super overwhelming. Hopefully, by listening to this podcast episode, you feel a little bit more reassured and empowered about what’s coming.

LAUREN BRENTON

Hopefully, yes.

KATH BAQUIE

And if you could, I’m putting you on the spot here. But if you just had one piece of advice for mums who are about to have a baby, what would it be?

LAUREN BRENTON

It’s going to be cliché, but really enjoy it. Enjoy those first moments and don’t stress too much on routines and trying to plan in the baby to try and fit in a box. You know, just enjoy the baby and let the baby feed when it wants to feed and really just snuggle it as much as you can. You can’t over cuddle the baby. So just love on that little bub because then they turn into crazy two year olds that go, “No!” when you ask for a cuddle.

KATH BAQUIE

Yeah. That’s right. You can never get those 24 hours back again.

LAUREN BRENTON

Exactly. That’s it.

KATH BAQUIE

Thank you so much Lauren. So everyone, go and follow Lauren on Instagram, @onemamamidwife. That’s one, the number one, mama, m-a-m-a, midwife, all one word. And if you enjoyed this episode, send us both a DM and let us know we’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much Lauren.

LAUREN BRENTON

Your welcome. Thank you for having me.

KATH BAQUIE

And before I sign off, remember my team and I will be putting together the show notes for this episode with all the links, including how to connect with Lauren at www.fitnestmama.com/podcast. And don’t forget, if you want to come and join our free Facebook community, simply search for “Pregnancy Birth and Beyond by FitNest Mama” or just find the links in the show notes. Have a fabulous day everyone and I look forward to you joining me next week for another episode of the FitNest Mama Podcast.

Thanks for listening to the FitNest Mama Podcast brought to you by the FitNest Mama Freebies found at www.fitnestmama.com/free. So please take a few seconds to leave a review, subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. And be sure to take a screenshot of this podcast, upload it to your social media and tag me, @fitnestmama, so I can give you a shout out too. Until next time! Remember, an active pregnancy, confident childbirth, and strong postnatal recovery is something that you deserve. Remember, our disclaimer, materials and contents in this podcast are intended as general information only and shouldn’t substitute any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I’ll see you soon!

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