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What You Need To Know About The Big "Due Day"!

5 min read

What You Need To Know About The Big "Due Day"!

Mamas! These are from my personal experience with my vaginal birth experience, and going in for my third baby, these are things I'm glad to be prepared for. So you too may like to find some handy info out of the below!

Due Date

A due date is typically not the date you will give birth. Your baby will be deciding to come whenever they want and you could end up; (a) delivering earlier, not getting in all your jobs or break from work you wanted in the weeks before baby arrives, or (b) deliver much past your 'due date' ending up feeling huge and uncomfortable, trying a heap of weird 'tricks' to get your baby to come! They say two weeks either side of your due date is considered normal, most LMC's will recommend an induction by 10 days past your 'due date'.

The Big Due Day - What you need to know - Milkbar New Zealand

False Labour

Probably one of the most disheartening things to experience when you are already past your 'due date'. You could experience full early labour symptoms and think you are ready to go - all for it to stop suddenly and potentially not re-start for days! Totally normal, and helping make biomechanical changes to your cervix in preparation for the full monty! Rest, eat, sleep mama!


You truly need your energy! Labour may just last for up to 48 hours or more so be prepared - try to keep exercising lightly and consistently during pregnancy to keep a base fitness and be ready to be in for the long haul. If your labour starts off slowly, try to resist the urge to go for a huge walk on and off curbs to speed things up. Trying different positions and smaller walks if you feel the need to move is a better option!

The Pain

They say there is nothing like it - I sure haven't experienced pain like it. It is however a strange concept of pain and satisfaction knowing those pains are bringing your baby closer to being with you. There will be times where you want to give up, and you will think you can't carry on, this is absolutely normal, especially during transition, but focus and breathe Muma, you've got this!

The Length

I was told during my first labour that rule of thumb is 1cm of dilatation per hour of labour - I was only 3cm on arrival at the birthing centre and in so much pain. So thinking I had 7 more hours was tough. I clock watched and had to work so hard to carry on - Just 3 hours later - not 7 - my little man was born (thank goodness!) But it just shows, everyone is different, go with and trust your body.


All the childbirth on TV and in movies show the doctor or midwife telling the woman to push. It was an incredible experience to find my body just start to do this! You can either simply go with your body, or help give that extra 'oomph', guided by your specialist. I was expecting to be told when to push, then when my body started doing it - it was quite a surreal sensation! It was so good to finally feel like something is actually happening, pushing was probably one of my favorite parts of labour!

The Birth Plan

Sharing openly so your midwife and birthing partner know exactly what you want. A fantastic thing my midwife provided was an information/birth plan sheet for me to fill in, outlining my ideas. So when I was zoned out focused on birthing - she didn't need to ask me, or my fiancé anything about our wishes, she could simply refer to the sheet.

The sheet consisted of things from pain relief, to vitamin injections and placenta, who would be there and finer details like music. Do be prepared for change to the plan - as I learnt with my second birth experience - sometimes things won't go how you imagined, but being prepared that things could change will help you cope if they do (this can also be a part of your plan!).

After Delivery

If you have a straightforward delivery you will have skin to skin cuddles with your baby and have them take their first breastfeed. This is such an amazing moment. Be sure to ask if you need, and get the help you need to get right. It's normal for your breasts to feel supple at this point as your milk does not 'come in' straight away. In this feed your baby will take in colostrum which is full of amazing nutrients to get them the best start.

Having a birth plan | Preparing for the big day | Milkbar New Zealand

Squish your breast flat, into a 'boobie patty' and make sure you get your full nipple and majority of the areola into your baby’s mouth for a good latch. Don't be rushed, let baby take their time to feed well, remember, you are in control.

The Afterpain

One thing I wish I was more prepared for mentally, was the immediate aftermath of giving birth. I almost found it more uncomfortable, mentally challenging and at times more painful than birth. 

There is a lot of blood. It all gets cleaned up pretty quick, but with the birthing of the placenta, comes a fair lot of blood. You might have to push again!Just when your insides feel as though they are going to fall out if you so much as laugh, you may need to push! But, you’ve got to get that placenta out! I was told it was as easy as a light cough, but for me it was a full blown push after I had medication to get it moving. Eeek.

Pushing and Prodding

Your midwife or doctor will be pushing on and prodding your torso to check your uterus is going back down in size and get out any excess blood - preparethat this is not a nice feeling and brace yourself. I actually think I preferred labour to this part!
Newborn Baby | The Big Due Date | Milkbar New Zealand

Baby, Feeding & Sleeping (Or Not Sleeping)!

Your baby will be taken at some point after birth and baby's first feed. Measurements, checks, clothing all need to be done, and you need to get into the shower to clean up ready for rest. Easier said than done ~ it can be hard when you are still bleeding, fatigued, sore and potentially light headed or nauseous. Ask for help if you need it- the quicker you are done, the quicker you can get back to your new wee baby - and bed!

Generally night two with baby is a lot of cluster feeding and sleep deprivation. Your new baby may just want to spend all night attached to your breast. It’s for a mix of comfort, warmth, food and security for baby - but all the same, you may find yourself questioning whether it was normal and if you can; (a) stay awake, and (b) do this mum gig! - You've got this!

Be prepared to be up a lot in the night in this time and try to do shifts with your partner so they can take baby from the room to give you a break and some sleep - you need it!

Enjoy your new baby! You've done amazing!

If you want to find some more support and other mums to bounce ideas, advice, laughs and questions around with - come join us in Milkbar Mum Chat on Facebook!

xx Laura

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