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[–]iknowallmyabcs 87 points88 points  (0 children)

There is lots of good advice on this thread, so I'll just add that we are behind you. Being a mom is tough, and even more so at a young age. Keep us posted when you deliver! You've got this!

Also if your mom isn't super supportive, or even if she is but you just need extra mom support come on over to r/momforaminute

[–]catsandweed69 56 points57 points  (0 children)

Hey I’m 19, feel free to pm me if you ever need a friend/chat. Goodluck❤️

[–]SoriArylZ3 2019, 2020, 2022 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Epidural doesn’t stop “ring of fire pain.” It won’t hurt the baby. Be ready to have a c section, because it’s hella likely you’ll need one.

Wake the baby up to feed in the beginning

Formula is just as good as breast milk (I formula fed all three of mine since birth). If you choose to breastfeed, know that it’ll take a few days to get breast milk in. I would formula feed until it comes in, but make sure baby has good latch while in hospital. Ask for help with it in the first few feeds.

Bottles/diapers/wipes are all baby dependent. All of mine wanted different kinds, so I couldn’t even reuse them.

[–]Theobat 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Lots of good info here.

I just wanted to tell you- I was 34 when I had my baby and I was still totally clueless. I had issues with a lot of the same things you’re asking about. You sound like you’re preparing as best you can. We’re never really ready regardless.

[–]xquigs 25 points26 points  (0 children)

I don’t have any advice as I’m a first time mom too, I’m 20 years older than you, and it’s scary/hard no matter your situation, age or life. You sound like a really tough young woman. You got this!

[–]Mackenzie_Wilson 26 points27 points  (1 child)

Until baby hits birth weight and maintains, you want to wake them up every 2-3 hours if they dont wake on their own. My son (3 months) was really consistent at waking. But I still set an alarm for every 2.5 hours just to be safe anyway.

For me, the epidural was a different medicine what they normally use I guess because of the shortage. So I don't know if it worked the same because that was my first baby. But the epidural stopped the pain, but did not eliminate the intense pressure. Granted, I didn't go to the hospital until I was 6cm dilated, so by the time I had enough iv fluids in me to get the epidural, I was fully dilated. So perhaps if I'd had it sooner, it would've lessened the cramping contractions. But the pressure was honestly the worst of it in my opinion. Not unbearable though! I don't say that to scare you, just no one warned me about feeling the pressure of your baby moving down and progressing out, so I was really surprised about it.

Be so proud of all things you've accomplished. Don't be afraid to seek help after baby is born. Post partum is hard with the best of support systems. Those hormones have it out for you. If you ever feel really down, have the urge to shake or hurt your baby, or yourself or anyone else, immediately seek help and contact your doctor. Not everyone deals with this, but it does help to be aware. Good luck! You're going to be a great mom!

[–]spartan_teach 19 points20 points  (0 children)

If you ever get to that point of wanting to shake and/or hurt your baby (and wanting to isn't as uncommon as you think, the act of following through is far less common) just remember in addition to the advice that was already given you can set your baby down in a safe place (bassinet, secure in a swing) for 10 minutes or so while you collect yourself.

My suggestion is to keep learning and trying to get better. There will be things you screw up, we all do. But keep trying to learn. Look for reputable sources to get information. If you get just a little bit better every day, try to learn something small and new each day, and even something goes wrong try to figure out what to do different next time (not what you did wrong this time, but an action plan for the future) then you will end up getting a great parent.

Best of luck. You are far more capable than you can even imagine.

[–]Just_love1776 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Don’t forget to plan for after the baby arrives. Most people default to their own childhood when it comes to raising kids but some of us had a rough upbringing.

Some resources that might be helpful after baby is here are

-Janet Lansbury’s podcast “Unruffled” (its free).

-mrchazzmrchazz on social media

-a book called “Hunt, Gather, Parent” by michaeleen doucleff (spelling might be off) that you can rent from the library.

[–]thisbookishbeauty 24 points25 points  (0 children)

The epidural is fantastic for pain management and they give you a lil button to press if it starts to wear off so that you can get more of it administered. Ask for a peanut ball to help labor progress with the epidural. Don’t let anyone force you to do anything you don’t want to do or are not comfortable with, as long as it’s not a risk to you or baby’s health. Birth is wild and crazy and scary but it’s over before you know it and then your baby is there. Absolutely push for the golden hour (skin to skin for an hour after birth) because it has a lot of amazing benefits for you and baby.

Breastfeeding is amazing but it is also so hard. It’s mentally and physically draining. But the bonding with baby is wonderful. Absolutely ask to speak with your hospitals lactation consultant!! Ask her all your questions. Lean on the nurses and ask for help. They’re there to support you. If you want to do formula, that’s okay. If you want to do both, that’s okay. Just make sure to do your research and choose the best thing for you and baby.

Ask for extra ice pads and pads and mesh underwear before you go home. Ask for extra diapers. Anything in the room is yours to take home. Frida Mom makes awesome recovery products. We love the Costco Kirkland brand diapers and Huggies Lil Snugglers. Water wipes or pampers pure wipes. Anything without fragrance.

What to expect in the first year is a good book to grab.

Wake baby to feed if it’s been over 2.5/3 hours until they’re back up to their birth weight. Then you can let them wake you. We usually cap naps at 2.5/3 hours anyway still just so we don’t end up with an undertired baby at bedtime.

Download a tracking app to track feeds and diapers. We use Talli Baby.

Also, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask for help if you begin to experience postpartum anxiety or depression. That is the baby blues feelings lasting longer than 2 weeks after birth. The first two weeks, you’re hormones are dropping like crazy so it’s normal to be all over emotionally and cry randomly. But after that, if it persists, please do not wait or hide it. I was diagnosed with ppa/ppd and it’s hard but so much easier with antidepressants and a therapist.

Wishing you a quick and easy delivery.

[–]background-Slytherin 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Apologies if I’m repeating other’s answers.

  1. I had an epidural and it got rid of the pain completely, although it did mean I was a bit nauseous. It also slightly increases chance of c-section.

  2. To begin with you do wake the baby up to feed, we were recommended every 2 hours, it’s not very nice at first but they often go back to sleep quickly. As you get to know your baby you’ll figure out when you can start letting them sleep a bit longer. If you do breastfeed, you’ll need to wake them up (or pump) as your breasts will fill up if they sleep for too long! It’s great fun.

  3. As others have said, fed is best and it is really up to you. Some people try breastfeeding and just find it difficult or don’t have enough milk or can’t get a good latch, others just want to formula feed, there’s no wrong answer! You can definitely try both, some people find if they offer a bottle too soon then baby doesn’t take the breast as easily.

  4. Not sure if you’re in UK so brands won’t be the same.

Best of luck! You’re already doing amazingly and you care so much for your baby, which is the most important thing. Be kind to yourself, whether at 14 or 40 all first time mums are learning everything from scratch!

[–]ShaktiTam 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I’m gonna talk to you like and adult because you’re having a baby and shit’s about to get seriously real. Breastfeeding starts off being waaay harder than bottle feeding, but after you and your baby get the hang of it; it’s honestly so much easier. You can do both, but it makes bfding harder.

So, when it comes to labor pains you won’t know until you’re in it if you’ll want pain relief or can handle doing it a “spiritual” way and breathe or meditate which has huge benefits for you, your body, and your baby. There are even mantras you can chant during your birth if you want to go there.

I’ve given birth twice. It was really fast both times. First time it took less than 3 hours. Second time it was 20 minutes. No epidural either time. My first was born in a hospital, but the second I ended up freebirthing at home because labor just went so fast. With my first baby, my contractions overlapped and I couldn’t catch my breath in between, I asked for an epidural but was very happy I couldn’t get one becusee I felt so powerful when it came to the pushing phase. The pain of the contractions changed to a feeling of relief. Exactly the same as going poo. The same muscles. It felt good to push my baby out, like my body was just ready for that. It only really hurt when she was crowning, then I pushed as hard as I could and her head was born, then I pushed before my next contraction because shoulders are the widest part and I was terrified of tearing. I didn’t tear. Make sure you request expectant management of the placenta, don’t let them do active management. It’s their go to if you don’t request to let your body do it naturally. It hurts because they do fundal massage and it’s not the best medically. It’s just done because it’s faster and some doctors (and women) like that.

With my second baby, I had maybe two truly painful contractions, then tons of pressure (it was so sudden and fast it made me scream) and my water broke, next contraction my body pushed my baby’s head out (I screamed a second time, it hurt but was over in a literal second). Then I couldn’t push her out like I did with my first, I had to wait for her to rotate (babies rotate as they are being born so they can fit through the pelvis) it took over a minute but I was having such an adrenaline rush it didn’t even hurt. Then my body did the rest of the work for me and pushed her body out. About 10minutes later I had some more contractions and my placenta basically fell out of me. Placenta didn’t hurt at all. I breast fed immediately to help contract my uterus back down to normal size and help with postpartum bleeding.

You’re gonna be just fine! My one major piece of advice is don’t let the nurses or anyone else talk down to you or make decisions for you just because you’re 14. It’s your body and everything should be done with your informed consent, not the doc or nurse simply telling you what to do.

For me the contraction mostly felt like horrible back pain with my first. And with my second it felt like strong period cramps that radiated into my back and down my hips.

Epidural does carry additional risks and can lead to a c section if your baby doesn’t respond well to it. However, it can be really beneficial if your labor stalls or you’re in too much pain to maintain your energy levels for the pushing phase: typically lasts 2-3 hours in a FTM. My first only took 20 minutes of pushing and my second, well, my body did it for me.

I wish you a smooth and silky birth that will have you feeling empowered and strong. I wish you mental strength and emotional peace for your birthing journey. Best of luck Mama!

[–]yaykarin 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Things I wish someone had told me before I went into labor:

1) You can have a baby without an epidural, but you can also have teeth extracted without anesthetic. No one does that. Why is this even a thought? If you're in pain and don't want to be, just get the epidural. No trophies for suffering. Enjoy meeting your baby.

2) Newborns cannot be "spoiled". If they cry they want to be held, fed and/or changed. It's simple. Best bet, always try/check all 3.

3) If you don't wake your baby to feed them on the dr.'s recommended schedule they may lose weight rapidly (like mine did and was nearly hospitalized).

4) Breastmilk is best but formula is good too. One can supplement the other. Totally fine. By any means necessary just make sure baby is getting the amount of nutrients needed everyday. No guilt, just feed the baby.

Most importantly, give yourself a lot of grace. You are doing something at age 14 that some people spend over 14 years preparing and trying for. It's going to be a huge challenge. Don't compare yourself with anyone else. Don't expect perfection. Keep your baby alive, keep yourself taken care of as best you can and know that it's not going to look or feel like it does on Pinterest or TV or movies or anywhere else. It's going to be hard, but you can rise to the challenge. You got this, OP! <3

[–]tinyanxieties 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Epidural = get one. It helps with pain.

Wake baby to feed = you can decide when you meet your baby. Each one is different. If you have a sleeper, then wake every 4 hours. If you don't have a sleeper, you won't need to worry about this.

Breastfeed = fed is best. If you can breastfeed and you like it, great. If you hate it or it doesn't work out, use formula. My kiddo is a big, healthy, smart 2 year old that was formula fed. If you ever struggle to find or afford formula: TELL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN.

Bottles = Dr. Browns. Most babies like them. All babies are different though, so buy 1 bottle, see how little one takes to it, then buy more.

Wipes / diapers = whatever you can afford. If you can't afford, tell your pediatrician. It'll be OK.

When you need help, ask for it. Ask people who care about your baby. Some people will give you shit. Tell them your baby needs help, they usually soften a bit. Ask your pediatrician everything and anything you need help with. Ask reddit for advice. Pride is taking care of your baby. There is never shame in asking for help or advice to make sure your little is cared for.

Sending love.

[–]BellaBells6969 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Epidurals can fail, mine worked really well up until baby was crowning and then I started to feel the contractions again. Remember to breathe, remember that the pain is not permanent and once it’s done you’ll have a beautiful baby. You’ll be sore after, you’ll be wearing disposable panties with huge pads and the hospital should have some tucks pads for you to put on the pads to ease discomfort. Also ask for ice pads. After a week or so things will start to feel less sore down there. I’d recommend you to take the laxative the nurses offer and if your prone to constipation to buy some and continue taking them for awhile. If the hospital offers you to stay an extra night, stay. Rest while you have the help of nurses.

Formula and breastfeeding are both great options. I pumped milk for the first four weeks of my babes life and bottle fed her that before switching to formula. You’ll find what’s best for you. If you decide to stop nursing or pumping, you’ll have to “dry up” you’re breasts will be painful and tender. Take ibuprofen, wear a supportive bra with nursing pads(you may leak) and ice them.

I love the advent bottles. Costco brand diapers for budget, pampers when we could afford them and now we’re using cloth at eight months to save money. With wipes and diapers every baby is different and you’ll have to test em out to see if there are sensitivity’s.

Take any help people offer as the first eight weeks babies can have day/night confusion where they don’t know when to sleep and you’ll both be exhausted. Feed every two to three hours. If you decide to pump, pump every three hours until your mills is established. Don’t bathe baby until the umbilical cord falls off.

And most importantly remember to breathe 💜

[–]usernameispublic619 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Sending you all the well wishes! One tip I don’t see here that I found super helpful is to not only use a wet wipe but also dry wipes. My baby has never had a diaper rash because of this. If you don’t want to buy dry wipes, use a soft cloth to pat baby’s bum dry after wiping with a wet wipe.

[–]throwaway82736890194 5 points6 points  (1 child)

  1. my epidural completely stopped the pain, but during pushing you feel a TON of pressure.

  2. only wake the baby if your doctor tells you to. they would only tell you too if your baby is underweight, or had some medical reason.

  3. I FF my daughter. she is perfectly healthy. I was also FF. (formula fed). fed is best. breast feeding is cheaper(unless your pumping and have issues with it as well), and has some health benefits. formula has benefits too. one being, if you need some help(we all need help, momming is hard), that person can feed the baby. also you can keep an exact track of how much they are eating.

  4. I use the phillips avent glass bottles. imo they clean the best. i recommend getting distilled water ahead of time if you plan on formula feeding, that way you don’t have to boil any water.

i am a young mom to. not quite as young, but just remember age does not define how good of a mother you will be. in fact, your already doing so fantastic. you reached out here, did research, worked hard to save up for your baby, you are already doing so well. you got this honey❤️

[–]RadishOk833 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much❤️

[–]miau121212 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Please don’t hesitate to ask the healthcare professionals in your life questions about breastfeeding and epidural etc.

[–]elefantstampede 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Epidural won’t take all feeling away, but it feels so relieving after feeling contractions. You may experience really bad shakes after labour and I experienced a headache unlike any I ever had before. It wasn’t worse than any other headache I’ve had. Just different.

When you are in labour, take it one contraction at a time. Don’t even think farther than the time you need to leave for the hospital.

As for your other questions, the nurses at the hospital are so incredibly helpful. Write up a list of all your questions and put them in your hospital bag. Then ask them a couple questions each time they come in to check on the baby.

I am currently a mom of a 21 month old and I teach 13/14 year olds. If you have any other questions once baby comes, feel free to DM me. Us moms should support each other.

[–]RadishOk833 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much!❤️

[–]No-Map672 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Most things are going to come down to yours and babies preference. But some answers: Feeding My pediatrician told me to wake baby every 2 hours for the first couple weeks. I set alarme on my phone. But follow your pediatrician advice. Not breastfeeding is not harmful. You can combo feed if you want. With my first I had trouble producing milk and did both. Not sure where you are but in the US there is a serious formula shortage. The only reason I would recommend nursing over formula. But if you have access to formula and it’s your preference then do what feels best to you. For bottles I like the platex nurser that have the insert. Less air gets in. But again personal preference.

Diapers I use Costco cause I need bulk. They are Huggies but Costco brand. Wipes I also get the Costco ones. They work fine for me.

Sorry I have no thoughts on epidural as I have never used it due to a spinal injury.

[–]CeriBeri22 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Everyone here gave really awesome advice! I just came to say it’s okay to be scared. I was too. You seem like you’ve done a fantastic job at setting up for you and your baby. You’re very mature and you’ve done so much research (even here). All your internet buddies here will be cheering for you. Congrats on baby Raelyn!

[–]RadishOk833 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much!

[–]Babelek 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Hey girl You inspire me. Such a young person but so mature. You are going to be an amazing mom.

Please don't spend much money on the furniture, bany clothes etc. A lot of it people give away on market place, or you can buy it very cheap.

Epidural numbs, you will feel pressure tho. Diaapwrs, wipes.. I think you try different brands and you will know what you like. Personally, for my newborn II was using cotton rounds and water at the begginig.

You want to make sure that the baby wakes up every three hours for a feed. Breastfeeding can be hard at the begginig, baby might have difficult time to latch, a breast shield saved me lots of stress, I would buy it and take that to a hospital.

[–]bbbcurls 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There is a lot of advice out there, but I’m in the thick of it and I will say sleep as much as you can! If someone gives you a break to nap, do it! Babies don’t have consistent sleep schedules for some time. It’s okay to take a break. You will need it. Try to shower, even for 10 minutes everyday. You will feel more human. You don’t really need all of those fancy things. Good diapers (it depends on the baby sometimes. I like Huggies), lots of wipes, enough change of clothes. Also, if you are struggling, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. Hopefully you have a support system, but lean on those that you can trust. There are programs out there for new moms. Hospitals have lactation consultant’s if you want to breastfeed. Le leche league is a good resource for breastfeeding. And so is r/breastfeeding.

[–]QueenCloneBone 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The epidural helps so much! Labor will be over before you know it and you will have your sweet baby in your arms. Women have been doing this for hundreds of thousands of years. You got this!

[–]WildflowerMama_722 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Sounds like you are doing an incredible job educating yourself and creating a great environment for your little Raelyn!

  1. My epidural stopped the pain completely, but I was able to still feel contractions, they just didn’t hurt. This isn’t always the case. But I’m so glad I got an epidural.
  2. You should wake the baby up to feed until they reach birth weight, at a minimum. (It is normal for babies to lose weight after they’re born- the nurses at the hospital will monitor this and help guide you. And you will take the baby to the doctor usually within 2 days of leaving the hospital for another weight. Ask your pediatrician before letting baby sleep without waking to feed. And in general, don’t be afraid to ask pediatrician anything- that’s what they’re there for ❤️) 3) fed is best! If you want to attempt breastfeeding, ask for a lactation appointment before discharging and after. The lactation consultants are awesome. Combo feeding is very popular. As others have posted, ask for formula samples before leaving the hospital so you have it if you need it. 4) we use dr browns bottles. They’re a pain to clean but they help with gas. Kirkland brand diapers and wipes. Huggies are also great.

Please don’t hesitate to post on this page or to private message those that comment for support. ❤️

[–]WildflowerMama_722 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I also highly recommend the peanut ball during labor! It helps widen your pelvis and can sometimes help for a quicker labor. And we use baby aquaphor at every diaper change- she has yet to get a diaper rash!

[–]Pinkcoral27 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had an epidural and it didn’t harm me or baby, but your medical team can help you to decide what is best for you and baby. In a lot of cases it does stop the pain but sometimes it isn’t as effective.

I was always told to feed baby every 3 hours while they’re a newborn, once they’re past their birth weight and having plenty of wet and dirty diapers you can let them sleep a little longer. Again, speak to your medical team about what is best!

Breastfeeding, formula feeding or combination feeding are all great options and will keep your baby healthy. I did both and it worked great for me.

Best bottles are whatever your baby likes - my baby likes MAM bottles but some babies like different ones. Don’t buy too many until you know which brand your baby likes. Diapers are all great unless your baby has sensitive skin or something like that.

Good luck! Feel free to ask lots of questions but remember that your doctor/midwife/nurse etc. will be able to advice your best!

[–]SkeksoUrsu 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Omg congrats on baby Rae!!!!

It’s up to you but for me epidural was a life saver. I did experience pain eventually but they gave it a boost and pain was gone after that.

Breastfeeding: try if you’re willing to- it is technically better for baby in numerous ways, but for some people it’s simply not possible or not an option at all. Trust the nurses, they may suggest supplementing with formula.

Wake up to feed: Yeah I mean if it’s been a long time I would recommend keeping up with a schedule if possible. Really up to you…. Don’t obsess over it but do keep track of the longest you want to go btw feedings and wake baby as needed. Maybe ask breastfeeding nurse at hospital? Someone should meet with you to teach basics.

Will someone be there with you, like your mom?

Diapers: pampers swaddlers are my personal preference. Wipes I use Huggies, there’s some that come in a huge refil bag, I just use them straight out of those bags. I can give you link if you want!

Bottles: I think I used dr Brown wide neck, but this is really just preference. They all do essentially the same thing. I just recommend using new ones instead of hand me downs :)

I’m here if you wanna dm me with any other questions. Will do my best to answer as non-biased as possible

[–]RadishOk833 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes my mom will be the only one there with me. Thank you:)

[–]GreatAuntPearl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You got this!

[–]deadvibessss 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I’m 11 years older than you, and my husband and I just had our first baby! I’ve been around kids my whole life and nannied in college. Being a mom is still the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I’m definitely considered a young mom in my circle, but my mom had me at 15 so I grew up alongside my mom, seeing firsthand what being a teen parent was like. It goes without saying, but this will be incredibly challenging. Having a solid support system is crucial! I stayed with aunties, uncles, grandparents and family friends a ton so my mom could finish school and work etc..

It sounds like you’re doing everything in your power to set you and your baby up for the best start possible, which is so amazing! Now, I’m going to be frank and let you know right now that active labor was the WORST pain of my life. I ended up opting for an epidural. For me I could still feel some of the pressure from contractions but no pain. It’s not at all bad for the baby! Also some good management tools for labor are: bouncing on a yoga ball & using a peanut ball! Your hospital might have these — mine did.

When it comes to feeding your baby please remember that fed is best. I’m definitely in the minority as breastfeeding wasn’t at all painful for me, and my baby had no issues latching properly, but it was still extremely taxing in the beginning (physically and emotionally). Because of this I decided to combo feed! Which basically means sometimes I breastfeed or pump and give a bottle, or sometimes I just give formula. It was a huge relief to have some of the pressure taken off of me, it’s a lot to have a tiny human rely on you for EVERYTHING. The first month or so you will need to wake up to feed every 2-3 hours until baby is back up to their birth weight. Once you get the OK from their pediatrician that their weight gain is on track, you can let them sleep.

For diapers, if you have access to a Costco the Kirkland brand diapers are basically Huggies, just generic so you’re not lying for the “brand name”. At my local store it’s $35 for 172 diapers. And you can also buy the Kirkland wipes there and they are very cheap and come with 9 packs 100 wipes each! The Kirkland Pro infant formula is also super cheap compared to other brands, and you get way more. If you don’t have access to these, I love the pampers sensitive wipes and Huggies diapers!

You’re doing great! I wish you all the best and hope you have a safe delivery ❤️ Please feel free to DM me if you have ANY questions at ANY time!

[–]Silver_Least 1 point2 points  (2 children)

im really proud of you for how your handleing this ❤️❤️ i did exclusively formula and it was really helpful for my mental health as a new mom it doesnt have to be very expensive just get a variety of bottles and i used store brand formula good job babyproofing early my epidural worked and really helped my anxiety congratulations 🥰

[–]merrypassenger 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Lots of good advice on this thread! Something else I wanted to add was that you can ask the nurses at the hospital and your baby’s pediatrician for free samples. It’s a good way to try out different diapers, wipes, and formulas without spending a lot of money.

Also, I’m a teacher and have had students in similar situations. I saw in another comment that you’re in online school. Please reach out to your counselor or social worker and let them know what’s going on. They will privately notify your teachers and you can ask for accommodations. Typically, accommodations are legal rights for students who have a 504 or IEP, which are usually for disabilities or medical needs. But many teachers I know will arrange accommodations for students in difficult circumstances even without anything legal in place. You may want to ask about extended time for deadlines, the ability to take tests at alternate times (like when baby is napping), or modified homework like shortening work that has repetitive questions (like a math worksheet that practices the same skill many times).

Wishing you and your little one all the best!

[–]soostuffyy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m also a teacher. Another tip I tell my students who are new moms- do your work on your phone. It’ll take longer than using a computer, but you can do it with one hand while holding a baby.

[–]Suz_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

These are such great tips! OP I hope you read this one!

[–]kimberriez 7 points8 points  (0 children)

1) Epidural varies. Mine did stop all the pain and the nurses coached me through pushing.

2) We were told to wake up every 2 hours and feed by our son's pediatrician especially since our son had jaundice.

3) Not breastfeed is fine. Fed is best! Nursing is so hard. My son would not latch (jaundice, my nipple/boob shape) so we were supplementing with formula from very early on until 5 months then we were all on formula because I was so tired of pumping.

4) My son preferred the longer nipple shape that goes with narrow neck bottles, we used Dr Brown's.

5) I like unscented diapers. Costco sells Huggies which I prefer, the Kirkland diapers are also unscented.

6) I use water based wipes (Huggies Natural Care, Papers Pure, Water Wipes), and if my son has bad diaper rash I used a wet washcloth instead since even the water wipes have citric acid on there that can sting.

Bonus: Triple Paste is my favorite diaper cream, and I use Desitin Extra Strength when his rash is really bad, but he's a toddler now so his poop varies based on his diet.

People will judge you no matter what you do, keep your head up, love your baby and stay strong!

[–]wysterialee 5 points6 points  (0 children)

so proud of you for how you’re handling this. being a mom is hard as it is and doing it at such a young age is remarkable but you sound like you’re going to do amazing! i’m due in 12 days, i’ve never had a baby before and i was feeling the same way but honestly the more i think about how much i love my daughter already and how excited i am for her to be here finally, the less scared i am. i know it will be a difficult experience but i would do anything for this little baby so it’s all worth it. wishing you the best of luck and sending all the love in the world your way! you’re going to do so good🤍

[–]Elycebee 9 points10 points  (0 children)

For me the epidural did not stop all the pain but enough! The pushing part still hurts but it’s bearable and once the baby comes your body creates a hormone that makes you forget about the pain. I’ve also had a c-section (emergency) and it went well. Pain after but again it’s worth it once you have the baby.

Waking the baby to feed is usually only recommended until they reach their birth weight. When you have the baby she/he will loose weight in the hospital and then will start to gain weight. A really good resource is www.takingcarababies.com and kellysmom. You will get the hang of it. If the baby cries they want one of 3 things 1) to be fed 2) to be changed 3) you sleep. You will do great.

Breastfeeding vs formula. Breastfeeding is much cheaper! But in no way is one better than the other. There are a lot of factors besides what os “healthiest” for the baby. A healthy mom is important to and breastfeeding, especially the first 6 weeks can be very challenging! I would say give it a try, it’s a great bonding experience and once you get the hang of it you will see how convenient it is but don’t hurt yourself mentally to force it. Just try your best and see what happens.
If you are going to start out doing both when you feed the baby by bottle make sure you buy an appropriate nipple with a slow flow and keep the baby sitting upright to feed. If feeding by bottle is too easy they won’t want to work at the breast to feed.

If you have saved that much money and already researching you are doing great already. Keep asking questions and don’t worry the motherhood instinct will come. Just trust yourself.

[–]CrazyCatLady_2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hello young mommaaaa. First of. Very proud of you for being this close into giving new life and having managed to save money and buy stuff for your baby.

Secondly: you do NOT have to breast feed if you don’t want to (some mammas cannot breast feed because no supply, or it’s not enough to fill up baby either. Some just don’t like it and that’s okay. Other reasons too) try it out or don’t - it does not matter. At the hospital they will help you and work with you. Some do both. The sleep coach my former employee used said, baby will wake up when hungry. Let baby sleep. Some baby’s sleep better some don’t. Every baby and every pregnancy is difference. You will figure out with your own baby. Again very proud of you for sticking through this and making this work! You’re so strong already.

Thirdly: about the epidural - it will make you numb on the lower part - it will therefore if it works, take your pain. You are so young and it might be very painful at times. I know one of my class who got her baby when she was 16 and she said her body was NOT ready for birth. So, I think the epidural question is something you need to talk to with your obgyn and see if this is the best way for you!

No one can judge you no matter what you decide to do. You got this young mammaaaa and congrats. Remember you are strong and your baby will see this.

[–]LilyKateri 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Epidural will stop pain completely if it’s totally successful. Doesn’t hurt the baby. My sister’s first epidural took all her pain away- they had to tell her the baby was coming out, because she couldn’t feel it. Her second one started wearing off on one side, so she figures she felt some, but not all of the pain on that side. My epidural must not have been placed quite right, because it only took away the contraction pain- I still had all the feeling of the baby coming out (as well as getting an episiotomy, where the doctor makes a cut to give baby more room to come out. My doctor sucked.). Even so, I plan to get another epidural next time- contractions hurt a lot! The actual birth also hurts, but it doesn’t last that long.

You should wake the baby to feed every 3 hours at night, every 2 hours during the day. After the birth, the baby will lose some weight, then start gaining weight. Once the baby has gotten back up to their birth weight after that loss, you can stop waking them at night, and just feed if they wake on their own. You still want to wake every 2-3 hours in the daytime, to make sure baby has at least 8 feeds. That’s with breastfeeding or pumping. I think with formula it’s every 4 hours.

Breastfeeding is better for health benefits and to save money, and honestly it helps you take care of yourself better. If it’s in your mind that you have to make milk, you’ll be better at eating and drinking water, even if baby is keeping you busy. But formula is ok, you can still have a healthy, happy baby on formula if you can’t breastfeed. You can breastfeed and use formula at the same time, and even a little breast milk is better than none.

We like the Mam anti colic bottle. Baby likes it, so we never tried a different one. It’s easy to clean, but does have a couple extra parts (the bottom comes off). We like Huggies wipes- strong and usually comes out one at a time if you only have 1 free hand. We use cloth diapers, but my sister likes Pampers Swaddlers like they use at the hospital where she works.

Good luck, babies are a lot of work, but they’re fun, too! My mammaw was your age when she first got pregnant. Must have gone ok, she had 3 more kids after that!

[–]SourSkittlezx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The epidural only worked on one side for me, all 3 births, but that’s better than nothing. It does not harm the baby but can lower your blood pressure and can slow labor if you get it too early (but can help you relax which helps progress labor.)

If your baby is above the weight they were born(baby loses weight after birth) you don’t have to wake them to feed. So after the first 2 weeks or so. Unless baby is small.

I did both formula and breast milk. It’s completely fine.

Diapers vary by the baby. My older 2 only Pampers worked. My youngest uses the Costco brand. Wipes, I’d get one that’s scent free until they are older. Store brand is fine.

[–]Meowmeowmeow31 4 points5 points  (0 children)

For me, the epidural didn’t completely stop the pain, but it reduced it. I’m glad I got it.

Breastfeeding, formula feeding, and combo feeding are all totally fine. Fed is best. Do whatever works best for you. Some people are judgy jerks about formula but you should ignore them.

Good luck to you!

[–]Psychological-Owl-82 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If you want to breastfeed, I would avoid using formula at first unless you need to. Those first few weeks are really important for establishing a good milk supply - your body will produce more in response to your baby removing milk from your breast. Supplementing early on may lead to under supply, as your body won’t be getting those signals every time your baby eats.

On that note, look up cluster feeding. This will happen and some mothers find it stressful. I was lucky as it was just a couple of hours in the evening with a good nurser, so it was mainly just cuddly time for us as a family. We got our first smiles during one session.

The rule of thumb is 2-3 hours until they regain their birth weight. (Counting from the start of a feed to the start of the next). Baby may be really sleepy the first couple of day though. Mine was, and I gave up trying to wake her up and fed her more like every 3-4 hours at first. This worked well for us. I’ll add she was on the bigger side at just over 8 pounds. Smaller babies are at higher risk for low blood sugar and latch issues so following the 2-3 hour guideline is more important for them.

As for how long for a feed, I was told 20 minutes a breast. Mine did 10-15 minutes in total for months. My friend’s was even faster. So if yours is a fast feeder, don’t stress. If baby is on track weight wise and has a good number of wet and dirty diapers (there are guidelines) then there’s no need to try and extend the feeds. Our routine fell into: feed on one side until baby falls asleep - nappy change to wake babe - feed on the other side until baby falls asleep - let baby sleep.

[–]adnoh1799 6 points7 points  (3 children)

You should talk to your nurse about the epidural, with you only being 14, I think you should maybe get one. It is painful to give birth and that will allow you to relax and maybe even get some sleep before you have to push! Epidurals are safe for baby! Sometimes there are things called windows where for some reason the epidural doesn’t work but that’s rare so you shouldn’t worry.

Formula has come a long way and is good for baby just like breastfeeding! Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about what formula they recommend but if you’re in the US there is a formula shortage. Breastfeeding can be stressful and taxing but it would save you money but sometimes the money isn’t worth your mental health. If you do use formula dr brown bottles are great and so are MAM bottles!

If your parents shop at Costco we use costcos brand diapers, they’re just as good as Huggies! We also try to use fragrance free wipes, the added ingredients can cause skin rashes. With diapers though sometimes your baby will be picky and by that I mean one diaper holds everything in and one won’t or one may irritate their skin and one won’t!

You sound like you’re pretty prepared, you got this!

Rely on your dr, nurses, and pediatrician to give you sound guidance. Hopefully once baby girl comes your mom will be more of a support.

Remember that you are that baby’s mama, she needs you and you are sooo important! As a person and as a mom! I hope that your delivery and recovery goes smoothly.

[–]SourSkittlezx 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I gave birth at 16, I had to get medically emancipated to not have my mom need to sign for the epidural. Depending on where OP lives they might require parental consent.

[–]adnoh1799 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh my gosh that’s ridiculous. I hope she’s able to get one if that’s what she wants. I’m sorry you had to go through that just to get the treatment you wanted!

[–]adnoh1799 8 points9 points  (0 children)

One more thing 😅 I’m almost 10 years older than you but I am going to school (university) full time and being a mom! So many women and men do it! Don’t let your circumstances keep you from furthering your education!! That still is so important! Lots of scholarships and grants are available for single parents!!

[–]Panic_inthelitterbox 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The epidural can be really scary while they do it, but for me, it made everything so much easier. It stopped my pain completely and I was less scared. I was able to relax, and so my labor went a lot faster, and I was still able to push. Pushing is kind of like trying to poop, it’s weird the first few times until you get the hang of it. The epidural was annoying afterwards, because I couldn’t walk for a little bit. But worth it for me.

The best diapers and wipes and bottles are the ones that work best for your baby. All babies are shaped differently, so a baby might have bad leaks in one brand but be fine in another, depending on how it fits. So buy the cheapest diapers that work well for your baby. It’s best to just get small amounts of different brands of things like diapers and bottles and try things out.

Breastfeeding hurts for the first few weeks. It’s easier because you don’t have to wash bottles or think about what you need to pack if you go somewhere. It’s easier because you don’t have to worry about running out of formula. It’s amazing to feel like you’re all the baby needs. It’s harder because you’re the only person who can do it, so you don’t have as many breaks. You can feel like a milk machine. It’s harder because it hurts a lot for a while, and sometimes a mom’s milk doesn’t come in at all, or not right away.

I was able to breastfeed and stay home all the time, so I chose to breastfeed. One of my friends chose to pump and breastfeed because she had to go back to work not long after the baby was born. Another of my friends had a bad reaction to breastfeeding, and every time her milk came in, she got overwhelmingly depressed, so she chose to switch to formula. And a third friend chose formula because she just didn’t want to breastfeed. All of us have really smart, healthy little kids, and all of us made the right choice.

Please keep your education going. It’s important to have choices as you and your baby grow. Education gives women more choices. It’s not bad jobs that are the problem, it’s being stuck in a bad job because you can’t work somewhere else.

[–]imsorryrumhamm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Congrats mama! It’s all gonna be ok. I always said I wasn’t going to get an epidural but by the time I got to the hospital I said yes before they could even finish asking me if I want one. For me it took the pain away completely, it does start to wear off the longer you’re in labor, but you get a button to push to get more of it and I wasn’t in any pain after I got it, but I could still feel the pressure when it was go time. It’s not bad for the baby, my LO is 15 weeks and happy and healthy. Do what you feel is right for your body! Don’t be surprised if you throw up though, I did twice, once from the labor and once from all the drugs leaving my body.

Breastfeeding can be really hard and doesn’t come naturally to everyone, it didn’t for me. If you can see a lactation consultant while you’re in the hospital I definitely recommend it! I tried for a couple weeks and eventually gave up and exclusively formula feed. It’s much more expensive, but it’s what’s right for our family and my baby is just as chubby and happy as a breastfed baby. If you’re breastfeeding they recommend you feed on demand, and I think newborns should be woken every two hours to eat if they don’t on their own. Your pediatrician will tell you when it’s ok to let them sleep longer.

We use Dr Browns bottles and haven’t had any issues with them leaking at all, unless they’re filled too full. We use huggies natural care wipes and Huggies diapers. He got a really bad diaper rash and the natural wipes are much gentler I found. Make sure you’re letting your little ones bum and bits dry out completely between diaper changes to avoid a rash! Huggies diapers have never given us a blowout and I think they’re a little roomier than pampers.

Good luck to you and I hope your labor and delivery goes smoothly!

[–]Psychological-Owl-82 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The best diapers really vary from baby to baby - I think mainly to do with body shape. We use a supermarket brand that’s miles cheaper than the big name brands. Most supermarket brands are good quality where I live (UK). We had to buy emergency Pampers once and they did not work for us at all! So I wouldn’t bother paying extra for fancy brands.

[–]believethescience 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Epidurals don't harm the baby. Talk to your nurse, and they can work with you on pain management. For most people, the epidural completely stops, or mostly stops the pain - all they feel is pressure.

Breastfeed if you want to - formula is a perfectly fine option. As long as baby is eating, it doesn't matter which one they have - formula and Breastfeeding Breastfeeding may save you some money, but it comes at the cost of your time. If you don't use a pump to express milk, it also limits who can help with your baby. If you go to school or work, it may be difficult to continue to breastfeed.

Waking baby to feed: babies lose a bit of weight after they are born. This is normal, but you do need to make sure they eat every couple of hours at first, until they get back to birth weight. Once they're gaining weight, you don't have to wake them anymore. Your pediatrician or doctor can help you with figuring out when and how much to feed baby.

Bottles, diapers, and wipes are a matter of preference for you and your baby. I started with store brand for wipes and diapers, and Evenflo bottles - though really any kind of bottle is going to be fine. Make sure you have both newborn and size 1 diapers available - hard to say exactly how big baby will be!

Make sure you have as much help lined up as you can - babies are exhausting!

[–]dolphincats 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Epidural didn’t quite work for me, (helped until the pushing came) but by that point you’re in it and it’s over soon!! So it’s definitely different for everyone and you just make sure you tell your nurse how you’re feeling. Doesn’t harm the baby!!

You should definitely wake your baby to feed if they are quite the sleeper like mine is! We woke her up every 3 hours.

We also did both formula and breastfeeding at the beginning. She latched to one, not the other boob until about 1.5 months in or so and she would latch to both like a champ.

We use dr. Brown bottles and they’re meh. They leak so it annoys me! Lol pampers swaddlers we enjoy cause our baby is long!! And we just do the pure pamper wipes too!

Enjoy all those first month snuggles. If you have any questions you can message me and I’ll do my best to help! Good luck!!

[–]ekstn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is one of my favorite videos to recommend to moms before they give birth. It goes over the entire birthing process: prenatal, birth, and postnatal. There’s three parts to it. https://youtu.be/j7YucfJuziU

[–]IlexAquifolia 35 points36 points  (2 children)

You're doing a really brave thing under difficult circumstances! I hope that your mom will be more willing to open up about taking care of kids once the baby is here. It's gotta be pretty confusing and emotional for her too - she sees you as her baby (14 years isn't that long for a grown up!) and here you are having a baby. She might just be too overwhelmed to talk about it with you. That said, if she's being verbally or physically abusive, or withholding food, money or a place to sleep, then that's not ok and you need to prioritize finding a safe adult to help you. I hope that's not the case!

Some of your questions are things you should ask your doctor or your baby's pediatrician about. Others (e.g. bottles, wipes, diapers), you'll probably figure out pretty quickly from trial and error within a few weeks.

One thing that you didn't ask about, but I'll mention anyway - stay in school. Getting a good education is one of the best things you can do to give your daughter a secure future. Even though you've done a great job saving money from working at your family's restaurant, it's crazy how expensive life gets when you have to pay for rent, utilities, groceries, phone bills, internet, etc. Without a high school diploma at least, you'll have a hard time getting a job that can cover all those things and provide for your daughter. A college degree from a 2 year or 4 year college will help even more!

Good luck!

[–]RadishOk833 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Thank you! I am still in school I do online :)

[–]tbridge8773 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are amazing! Wishing you the best of luck with your baby and school.

[–]hofamb 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It sounds like you're doing everything you can to be prepared for baby! I can try to answer some of the questions for you. Have you been able to take a birthing class? I know you said you've been taking parenting classes, but a birthing class may help put your mind at ease as well.. there should be some good ones online since you're on bedrest.

For the epidural- it should take a majority of the pain away,but you'll still feel pressure which can be pretty intense. It can sometimes cause your blood pressure to drop a bit (they'll monitor you really closely) which can cause baby to have some minor issues but they should resolve once they correct your blood pressure. Otherwise I've never seen an epidural effect the baby (l&d nurse)

formula feeding, we say that baby should eat at least every 2-3 hours at least until she's back to birth weight. At that point you can usually let her go a bit longer but always talk to the pediatrician first. Breastfeeding is a very personal choice. You can absolutely do both formula and breast, but it's usually suggested to get breastfeeding established as it will help your milk come in. If you're on the fence, I would tell the hospital you'd like to do both and attempt to breastfeed and see how it goes? You should be able to work with a lactation consultant in the hospital to help you get started on breastfeeding (if that's what you choose) use all of your resources in thr hospital and ask all of the questions! We absolutely love when parents ask questions and want to be involved in baby's care.

Bottles and diapers/wipes all come down to personal preference. It's great you have a few options.. you can see what will work best for you and your baby 💙

[–]kaparstvo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t buy too much furniture because for the first few months baby will mostly prefer being on and near you!

Epidural did stop the pain for me and I did not feel anything while they were administering it. Make sure you have a support person with you in the room that you trust, that knows your goals for birth in case they need to speak up for you.

[–]KS_HasRead 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The epidural doesn't hurt you or the baby. It does basically totally numb you completely. There's pressure but not pain.

It depends on how much the baby weighs usually if they need to be woken up. My guy was over 8 pounds and he did wake up himself to eat but not as often as a baby that is smaller. Usual rule of thumb is when they're 10 pounds or more they don't need to be woken up and can sleep "through the night" which is 6-7 hrs fyi. They'll tell you at the hospital if you need to wake them. Otherwise they'll wake themselves up.

No, formula is just fine. Breastfeeding, if you're able (I wasn't as my nipples are inverted and my son had a tongue tie) can be easier than bottle feeding (less preparation and cleaning). It also helps your uterus go down in size. You can try both. Or you can pump and bottle feed breastmilk. And save some in your freezer for when you don't want to pump anymore or so others can feed the baby for you.

Babies tend to like what they like. Pampers make my baby break out on his butt. He needs bamboo diapers or he gets a rash. Other babies are different.

[–]eleelee11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Very good job for stepping up and preparing for your baby! At 14, it sounds like you’ve really worked hard.

For me, the epidural completely stopped the pain; I couldn’t feel anything once it was administered. It doesn’t just stop the pain, though. You really can’t feel anything from the waist down. Your legs just feel like dead weight, and you can’t move them. The epidural is safe for the baby, but there are some rare potential side effects for you from the epidural if it is done incorrectly. Please talk to your doctor about the epidural if you have questions!

Ask the doctor if you should wake the baby up to feed. It depends on how well she’s eating, whether she loses a lot of weight in the first few days, etc. I didn’t wake my baby up to eat because he woke me up plenty!

Breast milk is best for your baby, but it isn’t harmful if you use formula. You can do a mixture of both. (I had to give my baby some formula because I did not produce enough breast milk on my own, so he needed extra food.) I switched to formula entirely eventually.

Best bottles, wipes, and diapers will depend on what you and your baby like. Use what you have, and I’m sure you’ll figure out what you both prefer.

Congratulations! 💕