For the Duchess of Cambridge (and all expectant mums)Categories: babies, breastfeeding & lactation, feeding babies & kids, labor & birth, mental health, parenting, postpartum, pregnancy, pumping, toddlers & older kids
December 4, 2012
author: Jeanette Mesite Frem
NOTE: this was originally posted when Kate was expecting George.
Dear Your Royal Highness, Duchess of Cambridge (or Kate, as the world used to call you before you married that hottie the Prince):
I heard you are expecting a baby…yup, the news got out that a) you had sex, probably more than once and b) you have been puking a lot lately. Funny how such personal information can be shared indirectly by “Buckingham Palace Announces Pregnancy” and “Duchess Hospitalized for Severe Form of Morning Sickness”.
Since you are now someone who could use my services, I thought I’d send you this note with a little bit of gentle advice (not that you asked–sucks how many nosey people like me think we can give you advice just because we know you’ve got a king or queen growing in that little uterus of yours, eh!?) for your pregnancy and impending birth. Let’s have a go at it, shall we?
1. Once you feel better, enjoy your pregnancy. Touch your belly a lot and make sure once you feel the baby moving, that Wills keeps his hand on your belly when the baby moves so he can actually feel it. Have him talk to your belly. Just beware of paparazzi, as those photos could be awkward. Interview a few midwives–I know at least one over there so if you need a recommendation, there’s a midwife named Maggie who I’d trust.
2. Find someone to do a belly cast and/or henna art on your belly. It’s just fun and cool and you only get one chance per baby to do that. And come on, if you do the belly cast, go ahead and make it into a royal chips-and-2-dips bowl. I know Charles and Camilla would get a kick out of that at one of your palace movie nights.
3. Do some yoga. It’s just good for you. Really. Helps you avoid some of the common pregnancy discomforts and I’ve really found that women who do yoga in pregnancy are just so much more agile during their births and bounce back faster after birth, too. I bet you already have a royal yoga teacher at the palace, just make sure she’s certified in prenatal.
4. Massage. I know, Wills is probably pretty good at massage (he just looks like he’d be a pretty giving guy in that way), it’s worth it to have someone certified in prenatal massage to give you a weekly massage. Then again, you can afford to do it every other day, so go for it.
5. Nutrition. Check out the Blue Ribbon Baby Diet (otherwise known as the Brewer Diet) and get the royal chef to look at it for you. It’s really helpful. By the way, you don’t need to eat all the eggs that are recommended, that’s just an easy way to get all the protein you need. You are building a human, after all. And a friggin’ king or queen, so what you eat is soooo very important. This kid needs to be brilliant and healthy, so eat lots of protein and lots of kale.
6. Hire a midwife or a doctor/midwife team for your birth. If you choose to give birth in a hospital, following the tradition the dearly departed Diana did, of course, feel free. But consider homebirth, too. In the history of the UK’s royalty, pretty much anyone who was anyone gave birth in the palace, right? Go back to your royal roots, then. Even the UK’s National Health Service encourages it for low-risk women. Then again, if you plan to give birth at one of the great hospitals or birth centers around London, that’s cool too. Just check out all your options and figure out where you and Wills feel most comfortable. There are some great midwife/doctor teams there.
7. If you do any reading or video-watching, here are my top recommendations:
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth and anything by Dr. Sears and his wife or kids.
Videos: Orgasmic Birth, The Business of Being Born (although much of it is US-based but it’s still worth watching), Birth Day and Being Dad (the USA version is actually better than the UK version).
8. Once you’re in labor, hang out in your chambers/home for a while. Have a doula with you. I’m happy to come across the pond to be your doula…and my fee would just be the flight, food, accommodations and a private dinner with the members of Duran Duran. They were Diana’s favorite band, too, so I’m sure they’ll be happy to oblige your request.
9. More related to labor: stay out of bed during labor. Change positions every half hour or so. Drink after every surge/wave/contraction or whatever you want to call them. Gas-and-air is cool and so is TENS but you might not even need those. Get into water. I bet you have an awesomely large bath tub in the palace–definitely hang out in that for a long while–it’s so helpful. And when you are feeling the awesome need to push the little king or queen out, rise up, stand up, squat, get on your hands-and-knees, do what comes naturally and comfortably. You can do it!!
10. Once the baby is out, your very smart midwife or doctor will already know to wait to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. Bring your baby up to your belly/between your boobs and do skin-on-skin for a good 90 minutes. No interventions, nothing. Let him or her latch on to your nipple him or herself. They will be able to do it. Heck, they’re going to rule the entire United Kingdom someday, I think they can pull off self-attachment like any other healthy baby! Talk to your baby. Touch your baby. Have Wills talk to him or her. And just enjoy that first couple of hours without lots of people around. You’ll never get those first hours back. It’s heaven.
11. Nurse your baby at least every 2-2.5 hours and spend the whole first week or two topless with the baby naked except for his/her cloth nappy (yes, of course, you’ll do cloth since there’s no issue with laundry since you have your own personal laundromat and maids there). Rest, eat, drink and rest some more. Don’t let the press hound you to show us the little royal’s face just yet…we can wait. You get that private time–demand it.
11. And, goodness, I almost forgot: remember, you’re going to have a huge group of photographers snapping pics of you as soon as you leave the hospital with the baby, so wear are really cool hat like Pippa did for your wedding. We need another British fashion statement to talk about.
I could go on but I know you have a lot to do as you prepare for this little guy’s arrival. If you don’t choose to call Rosie Pope over to help you, I’m around, just let me know.
Sending you healthy pregnancy vibes and blessings for an easy birth. You’ll be a great mum, I can tell.