What Chicago moms wish someone told them before having a baby

The phrase, “hindsight is 20/20,” must have been invented by a pregnant woman. No matter how many baby books you read or how well you think you are prepared, there are going to be surprises, shocks and serious body changes.

Here is some mamas’ advice, looking back on what they wish they had known before being pregnant and delivering their babies:

Pregnancy

Wear giant mesh undies during your third trimester! So much better than any other form of underpants in late pregnancy. – Kate Jannusch

Do your kegels! – Amanda Hasseltine

You may pee your pants in the middle of the grocery store in your third trimester. – Renee Gabbett

Stay home and binge-watch Netflix during early labor because it will be the last chance to do something truly self-indulgent for 18 years! – JoAnne Mulder Nagjee

The sooner you can let go of what you expect to happen, the less stressful and more enjoyable things can be. Sometimes you just have to roll with it, rather than dwell on it. – Jennifer Abella

Go for a prenatal massage before the birth. – Jen Suszek

Delivery

Don’t let your husband look behind the drape during a C-section. – Christine Fenno

When you’re in labor and it feels like you need to poop, that means it’s time to push; you’re delivering a baby. – Jen Vogel Staples

Hospital toilet paper feels like sandpaper. I brought my own toilet paper for the second baby. – Adrienne Guldin

Someone told me to pack clothes to go home that fit at six months. They didn’t. It was super depressing. So pack a couple of sizes for going home. – Rachel Maddox

Post-delivery

Freeze maxi pads for ultimate sore crotch relief. And if there’s a nursery, let them take the baby there for a little while so you can sleep! – Jen Lewis

Stool softeners. Use them. – Jennifer Abella

Everything swells after baby. My feet and legs ballooned from all the fluid and my eyes watered for two days. – Hillary Pilotto

If you are struggling with breastfeeding, lactation consultants can be super-helpful. Get support early on. And most insurance covers it, too. – Tanya Robin Fisher

Use frozen cabbage leaves for sore breasts. – Leah Anne

Nobody told me how long I would have to wear pads afterwards and how much pooping would become the bane of my existence. – Alison McCarthy-Weglewski

Don’t be surprised that you will still look pregnant for a while. – Kaydee Kendall

Take all the mesh underwear from the hospital home and buy the numbing spray for ‘down there.’ – Rachel Maddox

Giving birth is not the scary part, going to the bathroom after is. – Sarah DiDavide

Five words: Dr. Newman’s amazing Nipple Cream. – Agnes Dyna

First postpartum months

Your hair may fall out. – Silvia Aaron

Never go anywhere without breast pads! All it takes is a crying baby and you will have two wet spots on your shirt. – Mindy Brimeyer

Newborns make all kinds of crazy sounds that make you think they are dying, but they just sound like drunk piglets when they breathe. – Sarah Burden

People tell you all of the hard stuff. Why don’t they tell you that it’s also so much fun?! I wish someone had told me, “You are in for so much fun!” – Courtney Folino Hyde

Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Both mom and baby need to learn how to make it work for them. – Lynne Waldschmidt Nacke

Everything goes by SO fast, even the difficult days and nights. Your heart will swell and you’ll wonder how you lived without this amazing creature that grew inside you. Embrace every second of it because it’s amazing—even when it’s hard. – Lisa Biehler Desai

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