20 Things You Should Know Before You Have a Baby


St Vincents Parenting ClassThis weekend was an eye-opening one to say the least! Eric and I signed up for a parenting class called The Gift of Motherhood at St. Vincent’s. We learned a lot of things I didn’t know and we learned a lot of things where I had the thought, “Sometimes ignorance is bliss.” HA! I have to say that overall the highlight may have been watching Eric try on the sympathy belly though…too good not to share!

First of all, I have to say that our instructor Mary did such a great job explaining everything and making herself readily available to answer any questions we may have in a group setting or one on one. I was super thankful they gave us a reference booklet chock full of information, notes for after baby, logs to record feedings and more. Just in case you can’t make it to a parenting class, I’m sharing some of the things I wrote down in my notes that I learned that either fascinated me, shocked me, or were just super helpful.

20 things you should know before you have a baby

20 things you should know before you have a baby:

1. You should be active throughout pregnancy unless you are on pre-term labor watch.

2. At 30 weeks+, you’ll begin to feel lots of popping in your back and hips as your body continues to loosen in preparation for baby’s delivery.

3. 8 cm is the tipping point for whether you want an epidural or not.

4. The breathing pattern they teach for labor is 3, 2, 1, 2, 3. I’m still slightly confused on this but I’m sure I’ll figure it out before then!

5. It’s considered normal to feel the baby around 10 times during a 2 hour span. If you are not, they want you to check with a doctor.

6. You should call the doctor to go in for delivery when: contractions are 5-7 minutes apart and have been that way for an hour or if you are spotting. I learned that contractions are counted from the start of 1 contraction to the start of the next contraction.

7. You can go to the bathroom every 30 minutes during labor and change positions to help labor progress. (I had NO clue you’d be up to the bathroom and back)

8. One of the most helpful parts of the class was seeing the tour of the birthing suites and floor. We now know where to report when going into labor.

9. In general, you’ll take a break from exercise, work, and be considered in post-partum recovery for 6-8 weeks.

10. Night sweats are normal to get out extra fluid after baby is born.

11. You will breast feed within 30 minutes to an hour of having baby.

12. Apparently breast feeding in the beginning produces cramping? (Again, who knew?)

13. Baby blues “normalcy” is considered 2-4/5 weeks postpartum.

14. When baby is born, the white substance on him is called vernix and nurses rub this into their skin like lotion. Truth be told, the looks of it kind of freaks me out. Not as much as the video of the birth did though. Eek.

15. If you are breast feeding, your period may not start again for 12 weeks+. On another breast feeding note, it usually takes about 4 weeks to create a routine and regularity. After this point, you can offer pacifiers. If you offer them earlier, they may delay breast feeding regularity.

16. It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a pediatrician picked out until after baby. You can ask your doctor for recommendations.

17. Figure out your blood type and how that could affect your baby. The mother and baby need to be compatible. If they’re not compatible, mom needs a rho gam shot. The shot is normally given if the mother has a negative blood type and at around 28 weeks.

18. You don’t have to bathe your baby every day. And in the beginning, you can just use water.

19. If baby is looking away, has fists up and seems to be pushing arms and legs away, it may mean baby is overstimulated by whatever you are doing and you should stop.

20. Baby’s true eye color won’t develop for several weeks and baby’s eyes tend to be closed a lot because they aren’t used to bright lights. If you shade their eyes with your hand, they may be more likely to open their eyes.

St Vincents Parenting Class

Another thing that was pretty crazy to me was feeling the weight of these bean bags that represent each part of a woman’s weight gain during pregnancy. No wonder healthy weight gain is considered between 25-35 lbs at minimum! That’s a lot of growing things going on pictured above…

Little Castle Home Nursery Glider

Don’t miss my favorite things in our nursery post + my minimalistic MUST-HAVE Baby Registry List! These are must read posts while you are pregnant.

If you are local and interested in checking out St. Vincent’s classes on a range of topics from breastfeeding to parenting multiples, make sure you check out their variety of parenting classes!



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10 Comments

  1. June 23, 2015 / 7:17 am

    All great tips! I will also be delivering at St. Vincent’s in November. My husband and I are so excited! We are also thinking about taking this same class. I’m glad to hear positive feedback from it.
    Quick question regarding #5 – we should start counting the 10 kicks per 2 hours beginning at 27 weeks, is that correct? I believe I read that before 27 weeks you are less likely to feel that many kicks.
    Thanks again for the helpful tips!

  2. Susan M
    June 23, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    This was all so interesting! I remember a lot of it from 30 years ago when I was pregnant 😉 Loved seeing Eric in the sympathy belly. I’m sure all will go well and I will be happy for you all and thankful when Leyton arrives. You all are going to be such wonderful parents! XOXOXOXO

  3. June 24, 2015 / 7:24 am

    Aww love it! Such a funny pic of Eric! Can’t wait for the list about all the things they didn’t tell you about having a toddler!!! haha

  4. June 24, 2015 / 7:25 am

    So much good information for first time moms or moms that had a long gap between pregnancies. It’s amazing how much you forget in a span of 2 years or more!

  5. June 24, 2015 / 7:44 am

    This is wonderful! I loved our birthing class, and the biggest take-away for me is that I should try to go with out the epidural for as long as possible, but ask for it when I needed it. It was good to see what I could do, but be honest about when I had had enough, and that is what I did.

  6. June 24, 2015 / 8:12 am

    So exciting! I feel like I just took this class & my baby will be 15 months on Saturday =) Don’t you feel like you’re studying for the biggest test ever?! Best of luck

    (side note: you have a video ad auto-playing in the lower right corner & it’s making your site jump all over for me. I’m sure you don’t have control of it but just FYI)

  7. June 25, 2015 / 12:01 am

    i have done a lot of reading but did not know several of those things. What a cool class!! Pinning 🙂

  8. June 25, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    Breastfeeding is also not easy for every child, and not easy for every momma, but it’s worth it in the end. I’ve had four children. Child 3 was extremely painful when breastfeeding, nothing like the others, but stuck it out to 1 year.

  9. June 30, 2015 / 6:24 am

    Awesome to put this out there…I had no clue about the night sweating and it is FOR REAL>

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