Photo by Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Photo by Tot Shots Photography
Pregnancy is an amazing time, but it's also a wacky one, full of surprises (good, bad, and ugly) for first-timers. That's why mom-to-mom advice (thank you, CafeMom!) is so awesome. And it's why celebrity journalist and "Access Hollywood" co-anchor Nancy O'Dell has written Full of Life: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant.
Nancy, already a stepmom to two boys, gave birth almost two years ago to daughter Ashby (with her above.) I spoke to Nancy about pregnant life -- and she shared some of her best tips.
Congratulations on your book, and thanks for talking to CafeMom!
Thank you! I love CafeMom!
Full of Life is all about mom-to-mom tips – what were some of the best tips you received during pregnancy?
There were so many, and they were invaluable! I received a couple of important ones from a pregnancy masseuse. She told me that foot massages can trigger contractions. I didn't know that and had been getting foot massages during pedicures. After that, and for the duration of my pregnancy, no more massaging the backs of my heels!
The pregnancy massage therapist was also the one who told me that you are not not supposed to lie on your back because it can decrease oxygen to the baby -- you're supposed to lie on your side, specifically your left side.
Another tip -- a friend told me to pre-register at the hospital. It was such a simple piece of advice but something I didn't even know you could do. It made such sense -- the last thing you want to do when you are in labor and having contractions is to fill out 15 pieces of paper and search for your insurance card!
What tip from your own pregnancy do you really like to pass along to newly pregnant moms now?
I include so many tips from own pregnancy in the book. I even give my mom's delicious spice cake recipe (full of prunes). Yes, constipation is an issue during pregnancy. Hey, even in Hollywood, pregnancy isn't always glamorous. I didn't want to take any kind of medicine while I was pregnant, so this was my natural solution, other than drinking prune juice (yuck!).
I also suggest preparing information packets. I realize this could be construed as somewhat anal-retentive, but I have to tell you, when my water broke and we were rushing to the hospital, it was nice not to be scrambling for important information. I made up packets that I put in several key locations -- my car, my husband's car, my suitcase, and another one in the kitchen in case I went into labor when Keith wasn’t there and someone else had to take me to the hospital.
These packets contained vital info I knew I would need for the big day: 1.) Copies of my hospital registration forms. 2.) Copies of my health insurance info. 3.) Directions to the hospital with alternate routes. 4.) A map of the hospital. 5.) Important telephone numbers (i.e. my OB/GYN as well as those to notify when I went into labor – my parents, my sister, my in-laws, Keith’s brothers, my close friends, my boss.)
Also, a VERY important one -- I tell people in the book to get a lactation consultant before giving birth if they plan on nursing. I thought breastfeeding would be all nature and instinct taking over. It's not. It is way more complicated than you think. There is a proper way for a baby to latch on, a proper way to latch off, and various holding positions.
I always thought I would get a lactation expert only if I had trouble. But you need to learn from them before the baby is born! If you nurse wrong from the get-go, your nipples can get sore -- and I mean, on-fire sore, for several weeks.
Stop back by tomorrow for Part 2 of my chat with Nancy....
What's the best tip you've gotten during pregnancy from another mom?