Some quick tips to prep “The Royal Mum-To-Be” for Her hospital experience from the managing editor at care.com, Katie Bughee.
1. You will lose all sense of pride. I remember trying to cover up in front of the nurses. But by Day 2 you’ve been poked, prodded and looked at by every doctor, nurse and orderly in the building. I think the food crew even saw my bum. And as the prudest person in America, I couldn’t have cared less.
2. All the planning you’ve done, might go out the window. I spent an entire weekend in couples’ Lamaze class. I had a birth plan paired with birthing music. My pantry and freezer were stocked with popsicles and carb-filled foods to fuel me (and cool me) for the hours spent in labor before we headed to the hospital. And then, two weeks before my due date, I woke up feeling funny. Strange enough to head to the ER. I had a rare form of preeclampsia and the baby needed to come out right away. Emergency c-section. No popsicles. And no Beyonce.
3. Screaming at Wills will help. It really will. And here’s the secret: Anything you say during labor cannot be held against you. This also applies to the first year of birth. Anything said between the hours of 12 and 4 a.m. cannot be brought up the next day.
4. Breastfeeding might be harder than anything you’ve ever done. This is what my husband tells any pregnant woman he knows. It took machines, apparati, lactation consultants, a devoted husband, and at least 4 hands to get my first baby to eat. After Day 5 and still using pumps, massage techniques, gels and creams, I looked at my husband and said “When we met freshman year of college, did you ever imagine you’d be handling my boobs this way?!” But honestly, you should let people help you, especially Will. It will bring you closer than you ever thought possible. And, once it happens, you’ll find your groove.
5. It’s okay for the baby to sleep in the hospital nursery. So many moms will tell you that their baby slept next to them every night in the hospital. Well, good for them. But I bet they didn’t sleep one wink. You will hear every gurgle your future prince or princess makes. Let a nurse take him or her to a nursery for the night, and bring you your baby when it’s time to eat. You’re going to have this baby for the next 60 or more years. You might as well nap now.
6. Ask for help. Truly. Maybe women used to do this all by themselves back in the day and yay for them. But if you have the opportunity to have night nurses, nannies and loving family help you with this newborn – take it. You are still in charge (or, the baby is). Once you feel like they are intruding more than helping, you can start cutting back their hours.
7. Find a new-mom friend. It may be hard in the Royal world to find trustworthy friends who are going through the same stages of life as you. It’s not like you can meet someone at the grocery store and strike up a convo. But a friend will help you break out of the comfort zone of your sweatpants and jammies. Make a goal to get out of the house for at least an hour each day, breastfeed in a public area (gasp!), or talk through concerns – with someone. Even if it’s your Mum or Pippa.
8. Don’t let Harry and his smartphone camera anywhere near your birth. We’ve seen the Vegas pics. Enough said.
9. You’re the Queen for the day. Don’t worry about anyone else, the schedules, the press. This day is about you, your husband and your baby. And once this beautiful bundle is born, make sure everyone takes precious care of you – while you care for your new addition.
Good luck to you, Kate. And if you’re looking for any name ideas, we’ve come up with 10 Royal Baby Names.