My name is Casey, I have a 10 month old baby. I love having a baby, she’s funny, loveable and makes me feel fulfilled.

However, I can’t deny that since she’s been born my partner and I have faced some trials. I have now experienced giving birth, living with a baby with colic, breast feeding (still going!), sleep deprivation, washable nappies and weaning a baby onto gluten when I can’t eat it myself, amongst other experiences.

My colleagues in NHS Dorset and I would like to share with you some of our stories about being pregnant and about having a baby. We would love to hear from you, and hope that get involved too.

I, like most mothers-to-be, thought non-stop about the birth. I knew that it probably wouldn’t go ‘to plan’ but I knew what I wanted.

I completed an NHS birth plan and went through it with my midwife – I wanted a water birth, I wanted delayed cord clamping, I wanted to be at home as much as possible and I wanted to give birth in Poole Hospital’s maternity unit.

I was lucky, I got all the above. I had my first contractions at 4pm and by 9pm I had a baby in my arms, delivered in the pool, in Poole.

The midwives at Poole Maternity were caring, supportive and they followed my plan because they could.

However, I didn’t bank on the after effects of giving birth. Here’s my tips:

  • Stock up on frozen peas! I was sore and swollen, my midwife told me to put some frozen peas in freezer bags and sit on them until the swelling went down.

  • Following on from the above point, walking was out for me for at least a week! Don’t expect to be out and about the next day.

  • Be prepared for blood. There is way more of that than I thought for days after.

  • Drink loads of water – your body has just gone through a marathon and needs fluids.

  • If you are breastfeeding, I found that having a cot that attached to the side of my bed made feeds at night time much easier and lasted until she was over 6 months.

  • Babies are noisy sleepers! Expect all kinds of farm animals to make an appearance at night.

  • Forget the house work or food, sleep when you can! Live with the mess, call on grandparents or friends for food. Hire a cleaner. Throw your belongings out the window. Do whatever you have to, just go to sleep!

This was my story. I didn’t experience the challenges of having a c-section and of course everyone’s experience is different, so I would love to hear how you coped with all the physical challenges after giving birth.

Share your stories, ideas and tips!