Friday, March 20, 2009

Pregnancy Questions

Not sure how to get this post to those who might have the answers, but I am sure there are a few of you who might have thoughts for me!

First, has anyone tried the Red Raspberry Leaf tea I've heard so much about? What is a good price/where should I buy it if I do?

Does anyone have links or ideas for how to increase my chances of a successful VBAC? I am increasingly excited about labor (weird I know)! My worst fear right now is that I will be at 42 weeks and labor hasn't started! So I guess my next question is...

Any (safe) tips for helping labor to begin? Yes I know that baby comes when its time, but I just thought I would throw that out there:)

What are things you considered "essentials" for your labor/delivery bag? We had a very abrupt trip to the hospital after finding out about my PIH last time, so I want to be prepared this time.

Any tips for transitioning a very young sibling (M will be 19 months!) to life with a new baby? Tips for mom and dad making the transition?

*I thought of one more question- does anyone know of good sources (on a budget) to get nursing clothes? I have bought some at Target, but it seems overpriced for the relative lack of quality. *

My blog email is if you prefer to answer any that way...but either way please share your thoughts!!


Rachel 'The housewife' said...

Well, my experience with the tea was, nada. I went almost 42 weeks with DS1. I didn't live around here and bought it in some back woods health food store. But I am pretty sure you'd be able to buy it at Super Suppliments.
My one necessity for the hospital was my pillow. I was so thankful for it with both kids.
I don't really have any other advice. My DS was almost 3 when the new one arrived. And my 2nd birth was completely opposite in everyway from the first. Super easy and fast the first time and long and soooo hard with an emergency c-section with the 2nd one. Go figure.
I hope you have a super succesful VBAC! Thats what I hope for next time.

My mom ate hot fudge sundae's and she went in to labor twice after. Its a good excuse for ice cream!

Keith and Jamie said...

Hi Rachael! Haven't read your blog in a while but I happened on it today and thought I'd share my thoughts.

I drank RRL tea throughout pregnancy. Don't know if it helped, but I had an all-natural birth, so I'd like to think so! I intended to drink it during labor but forgot. If you decide to try it during labor, I recommend having someone else remind you. My birth center sold it for like $12 for a huge bag of it (more than I could drink in a whole pregnancy). You could probably find it at a health food store or even online. I made big batches and steeped it for at least an hour for maximum potency.

Best way I know to have a successful VBAC is to have good support (I recommend having a doula!) and do whatever it takes to not be afraid. Fear is your biggest enemy in labor. Being able to walk around, change positions, have comfort foods, etc makes a big difference. I can't recommend enough how good it is to have a doula, even if you have to pay out of pocket; the savings in not having costly interferences is so worth it.

I had a labor-inducing pressure points massage at three days past 40 weeks and went into labor within four hours. That's my tip. :)

Essentials in my birth bag were comfort foods and favorite music. I packed a lot more than that but those were the main ones I actually cared about while in labor. I recommend thinking about what you will be wearing in the just after birth pictures!

Hope that helps!


Jennifer (Niffer) said...

I'm a labor and delivery nurse. so i hate to tell you that the majority of moms that come in thinking they are in labor after trying "natural ways to induce" are not! Mostly they are crampy and contracting, but not dilating! do not take castor oil! You'll be crampy beyond belief, and have horrid diarrhea! Not worth it in my book. I'd say just be patient, not what you want to hear... I know! be flexible is the number one thing in my book! Don't have a birthplan that you insist on... ususally that leads to a c-section, It's a weird l&d nurse superstition (that's pretty reliable).

I'm really curious about why you had a c-section the first time?

I maybe crossing a line of personal info... but it may help me give you some info you want.

you can email me at if you'd like. I'd love to chat with you and answer any questions you have.

We do lots of VTOL's (vaginal trial of labor- which you technically are until you deliver vaginally, then you're a VBAC)
and they usually go really well. I've never had a mom rupture her c-section scar! :) which is a big concern with VTOL/VBAC's.

let me know if you have questions! Good luck! Also where are you delivering (not city or state) but big level 3 care center or small rural hospital type setting?!
sorry I'm rambling (Tired)

Good luck!

CarrieM said...

I introduced baby number 2 to number 1 when he was 14 months old. I actually think it is easier in some ways to stack them closely. A young toddler really can't remember that far into the past, so pretty soon it's like the baby has always been there. I've heard that having a special nursing basket filled with toys only seen during those times can be helpful.
Personally what helped me was low expectations. When you have 2 under two, most of your time will be in childcare, and all those other homemaking tasks we all enjoy have to go on a very very back burner. When both would get to crying I'd say "Now I've really succeeded!"
Also, taking walks everyday seemed to help both me and No. 1 with cabin fever, with his excess energy, and timing naps (napping at the same time is the ultimate goal of life at such times!)

My 1st 2 are now 5 & 6, very good buddies, and I really think of that time very positively, so don't let people scare you. It is always hard to add a new baby, which we just did, and having much older kids is hard in different ways than a couple close together.

Good luck, you're going to do great!

--Sorry I don't have any expertise about the other stuff, except we loved having the laptop in the hospital this last time around for entertainment ect.

Traci said...

My daughter was 42 weeks....I tried everything. I searched the web for ideas. I ate 5 whole pineapples, took castrol oil 2 times, walked miles, pumped with my breast pump....babies come when it is time, or they are really big. Hold out for the VBAC if you can. I really regret not getting the chance to do this. But, do be careful, my daughter wouldn't desend because the cord was wrapped around her neck twice. Listen to your doctor, and your heart. Good bless you and your family!

Rachael said...

Thank you for all the helpful comments and suggestions! I love the hot fudge sundae tip the best:)! A couple of you asked why I had the first C-section. I had late stage mild PIH (preg. induced hypertension) or pre-eclampsia at 39 weeks and my dr. ordered an induction. I have mixed feelings now about going along with it, but we can't change the past! Anyway, the induction took 2 full days to "begin" and I had hard/rapid labor from the get-go. At 5 CM dilated they started Mag Sulfate and gave me an epidural (you can't move with MAG) and M's heartbeat decelerated at that point. They pulled me off the oxytocin and gave me oxygen and labor slowed way down. After a night of that (and trying repeatedly to restart the oxy but her heartbeat continued to decel with each try) dr. ordered a C-section. And yes, we had the all natural birth plan so we probably did "jinx" ourselves:)!

Jamie-I love the pressure point massage idea. I'll have to look into where to get one of those!

Rachel-I will try to check Super Supplements today for the RR leaf tea!

Niffer-our hospital is the Group Health one on Capitol hill for this birth-due to insurance and its the closest one to us that takes our insurance and will do a VBAC. Apparently they do a good number of VBACs, so I am hopefull. Still deciding on the doula issue. We had one last time and it was good, but the midwife will be with us most of the time this round, so not sure if that will be too many voices to listen to:)

Any more tips? Thank you!!

Rachel said...

Rachel, the raspberry leaf tea is supposed to help strengthen and tone the uterus as well as reducing the chance of hemorrhage after the birth according to my midwife. I did drink it during both my pregnancies, but probably not enough to be of serious help. You are supposed to drink it about 3 times a day and allow it to steep for quite a while. I've heard some women drink it as iced tea. I preferred it hot with a little honey.

My son was 20 months when my twin boys were born last spring. A few things I learned...give yourself time to adjust to having a new person (people for me!) in the can never have it be exactly the way is was before adding a new family member. Ask your toddler to do little things to help such as get a diaper, put something in the laundry, etc. It helps him or her feel special and realize they can do things the baby cannot. Use nursing time as reading time with your toddler. Get the kids on a consistent schedule as soon as possible (it will help you feel more sane!).

And, I think babies come when God is ready for them to come! But, I did go into labor with my twins the day after we walked at the zoo for three hours. So keep active. It is healthy for you and the baby even if it doesn't put you in labor.


The Keevy Family said...

Rachael, What a great idea to ask some questions and create a forum here!
I've had one regular birth with my daughter and then my son was found breech while I was in labor and I had to have a cesarean. With this pregnancy, my doctor told me that I could easily have a successful VBAC, but it was up to me if I wanted to try. It's been 3+ years since the last one, so I think that helps my odds.
I am not sure what I will decide, but I can see how fear would be the biggest enemy during labor. Maybe having a doula would help, I don't know too much about that.
I think packing something comfortable to wear at the hospital is a must, and maybe set some things aside at home that can be brought for you later if you end up being there longer than you think, although I am not sure how long you would stay at the birthing center--maybe they let you go home early!
Anyway, I don't feel like I have much advice for you, but I do hope that things go well with the birth and continue to go well with the pregnancy.

Rachael said...

This question is one the regular post now, but in case some of you are subscribing to these any of you have ideas for good online sources for budget friendly nursing clothes? I wore the few things I had out since we nursed for 15 + months:) Thank you!

Jamie said...

Oh! Just remembered to look at this again. :)

I thought of one more thing... I did chiropractic throughout pregnancy, and I felt like that helped a lot because my hips are usually rather tweaked, and my chiro specializes in pregnancy, and he was able to help open up my hips some. Descent was no problem once they finally broke my water (Rilla just wasn't applying to my cervix for the first 20 hours of labor because I had so much fluid).

The pressure points massage doesn't work on everyone, but the lady who did it for me (a massage therapist at my birth center - said it worked on at least 50% of the women she'd done it on, putting them into labor within 24 hours. I actually didn't think to ask that until I was already having the massage, at which time I got kind of freaked out... but I was in for it then!

As for cheap nursing clothes, I still haven't bought any. I'm sure they would be useful, but the best thing for me has just been a good nursing cover. You could probably find one on etsy, or my sister-in-law actually makes custom ones for quite cheap (

Hope you are doing well!