Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips for a new mom

Before I became a mom, I was clueless about how my life would change once my baby was born.

I wasn't sure what I needed.
I wasn't sure what I wouldn't need.
I wasn't sure how to burp my baby, or how to hold my baby, or, let alone, how to hold my baby and vacuum with the other hand.

I didn't know how little sleep I'd get, or how my stomach would look for weeks (months, years) after giving birth.

I didn't think I'd ever pee myself as I changed my newborn baby's diaper.

I didn't know I'd have no idea what the hell to wear those first few days after having my baby.

Well, with time, you learn. You do your kegals.

And eventually, you sort of become an expert in motherhood.

Of course, everyday is still an adventure, everyday, a challenge. And, everyday, there will be the happy, proud 'heart is about to burst' moments, and there will also be the moments you feel like ripping your hair out, the times you want to cry out in frustration, sure that no one is having as hard a time as you.

If only... if only I had a list. A list of things new moms experience after having a baby. Helpful tips on making life with a new baby easier, advice from other moms.

As you know, my baby sister is having a baby girl in a few months.

Luckily for her, she has spent a lot of time with my boys, so she's way more ready than I ever was.

She knows the basics. She's seen me in action. She knows, basically, what to do. How to hold a baby. How to change a dirty diaper, how to feed a squirmy 13 month old.

She also knows that there are a lot of things she will not do - for instance, she is not a fan of co-sleeping - at least, not to the extent that I've taken it. She's more independent that I am, and she'll likely get out of the house earlier than I did with my first-born.

However, I thought I'd be the nice big sister and offer her some tips that might come in handy, as her life is, no doubt, about to change in a huge way.

1. Giving birth is not that much worse than a brazilan wax. (Get the epidural.)

2. Going to the bathroom after giving birth sucks.

3. The pad you'll have to wear after having your baby is massive and humiliating.

4. Don't bother packing those novels you wanted to read. The nurse laughed at me when she saw I brought 3 books with me to read after the baby was born. I soon learned why...

5. Breastfeeding is pretty easy. Try it. Ask for help. I buzzed the nurse a million times that first night, asking her if I was doing it right, until I was comfortable enough.

6. Eat! I had a pizza right before having my baby, and chicken fingers and fries right after. You'll need the calories, and really, right after you give birth is not the time to start thinking about losing weight. It's far too despressing a thought.

7. There is nothing on earth as magical as holding your baby for the first time. This thought alone is making me ovulate.

8. If you're too scared to bathe your baby at home for the first few days, let your husband do it. I learned by watching.

9. Find a comfortable place to breastfeed at home. It took me at least one month to find the right position.

10. You don't have to accept visitors for the first few weeks. You don't even have to answer the phone.

11. Make sure the Purell is visible for anyone who does drop by unexpectedly!

12. Write thank-you cards as you receive presents. I know you'll be tired, but it's better than having a huge pile to write later.

13. You will be so tired, you won't even remember your own name, what day it is, or what season it is outside. Eventually, you'll sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time. And that day will be a very happy day, indeed!

14. I'm a huge fan of soothers.

15. Always have your diaper bag ready to go. Prepare it the night before.

16. Have extra supplies in a bag in the trunk of your car - extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes for baby - and a top for you - as well as toys, blankets, and books. They will come in handy!

17. You don't need a diaper genie.

18. But you will need the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper for your bedroom.

19. And a pack-and-play on the main floor.

20. Television is okay!

Also, I feel like it's important for me to say here: "Don't sweat the small stuff", even though you all know I am not one to follow that rule - I worry far too much, all the time, about everything. The worry that comes with being a mom is unavoidable, but hopefully, you'll handle it better than I did and do.

Do any of you moms out there have any other advice or suggestions you'd like to offer a mom-to-be? I'd love to hear what you have to say - so I can write it all down for my sister and give her a little book at her shower called Advice from other Moms!

44 comments:

Sarah said...

My biggest piece of advice is to trust your own instincts above all you've been to told is the 'right' way. If it feel right/wrong for you, than it probably is.

Also, pack a pair of granny undies for the hospital in case you need an emergency c-section. You will want them to come up higher than the incision.

can_eh_dian_mum @ twitter said...

Set up a diaper changing station on each floor, that way you don't have to go up and down the stairs a million (okay, not a million) times a day. I bought a dresser from Ikea, threw a change pad on top, and hide the diapers, wipes, wash cloths, receiving blankets, etc., in the drawers.

Accept whatever help you are offered. After groggily telling my parents it wasn't a good weekend for them to visit, I woke up and thought, "What have I done?!" I called them back and said, "Please come!" They did. They made dinner!

Never say never! I swore I wouldn't co-sleep, but now I won't give it up. I love love love cuddling with my little man!

Sandy said...

This is an awesome list! Here is what I would add:

Don't write off having a natural birth, give it a chance. I've done both - and I would chose the one without the epidural again and again!

Everyone says, "routine, routine, routine!" This can make you crazy. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to be the 'perfect mom'. You'll end up missing some great moments in your baby's life.

Oh, and you're tummy will not go down right away and expect a lot of swelling...Pack yoga wear for coming home from the hospital, you'll need the comfort!

Anonymous said...

1. Expect the unexpected when it comes to labour. It never goes according to plan (at least mine didn't :>)
2. I found writing down feeds and diapers very helpful in getting to know both my daughters and making sure they were fed enough. This helped me establish a successful breastfeeding relationship and bring a bit of control back into a chaotic time - use Baby's First journal for this www.glowbaby.ca.

Maranda said...

No one can prepare you for the insane hunger that comes with breastfeeding. Have lots of yummy, fresh and easy food on hand so that you or your partner don't waste any time with preparation. I highly recommend a fruit and/or veggie platter from the grocery store, as your body is going to want healthy, fresh things. Premade sandwiches, cheese and a yummy treat like chocolate are other good items to have available. You will also be thirsty like you have never been before, so get some large water bottles to leave beside your chair, bed and wherever else you feed the baby. Tell your SO that every time you nurse the baby, he needs to fill it up.

Chantal said...

1. Expect the unexpected
2. Go with your gut, it is probably right.
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions, to anyone who will listen. There is a wealth of info out there.
4. You will not hurt your baby. You will be the best mommy your baby could ever have.
Can't wait to hear all about this new baby girl.
Oh and BTW I agree with Sandy. If I had to chose again I would have had a natural birth with all my boys (not just my last one).

Christy said...

Great advice! I wish #5 had been true for us. Fiona had a terrible time latching on and we had to see a lactation consultant four times in the first week just to get her to be able to nurse. So tell your sister that sometimes it takes effort just in case her case is more like mine! I'd add - have someone else clean your house every week, and make your meals for you. We paid our cleaning ladies to come more frequently the first month I was home, and Matt prepared foods ahead of time and froze them - so I could eat whenever I wanted!

Suzanne said...

So well written, Lou! I'd agree on every point (except the co-sleeping situation - I side with G on that one!).
My tip is that when visitors come over, instead of a gift for the baby, ask them to bring food. You have ZERO time to cook, and so if a visitor can bring a cooked meal, it helps beyond words.

Nenette AM said...

Great list! I also wish to add...

1. You don't have to answer the door either. And put a sign on the door saying "New Baby -- Please knock instead of the doorbell."

2. If you don't have room for a whole change station, opt for a "Bum Change Kit": a little bucket with a couple of diapers, ointment, wipes, and change pad, that you can drag wherever you want to change the baby, whether it be on the couch or the floor.

3. Keep a notebook close by to jot down cute little things, poops/pees, and "firsts". My kids love it when I read their notebooks to them. :)

4. Breastfeeding hurts some new moms very early on. Hang in there for a couple of weeks... it may improve. It was that way with me, yet I went on to toddler nurse my son, simultaneously nurse him (at 2yo) and his new baby sister, then just his sister until she was 2. Total 4.5 years.
But if it doesn't work out, just stop. I know so many moms who pushed onward only to find themselves with infections, cracked nipples, and resenting their babies.

5. Bring your own, front-closing nightgown. Those green hospital gowns are horrible for breastfeeding.

6. Bring your own "super high absorbent" pads, and your own underwear. I did, and am so glad I did.

Georgina said...

From my experience, whatever I wore going into the hospital, was what I wore leaving the hospital. I was induced and then the epidural and then having a c-section made me very puffy. I wore the hospital gowns and granny underwear(and those massive pads) my whole hospital stay. My feet were quite swollen, so all i could fit into are men's slippers. Also during my hospital stay, I requested to see a lactation consultant, and she was very helpful with getting DS to latch on and the various holding positions.
As for going home after hospital stay, having both a bassinett upstairs and pack-n-play/with bassinett downstairs really helped. My DS would nap/sleep in the bassinett and I would sleep beside him either in my own bed, or the daybed that was in our family room. Also, "sleep when the baby sleeps", was advised for me and I certainly did do that.
My mom was a HUGE help and stayed with me for the first 3 weeks to help as I had a c-section. All she did was cook(ALOT!) and some light cleaning. She also drove us to the well baby drop-ins at the hospital. I would re-hire again in a heartbeat for my next child!

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Wonderful advice!
If we could just have the ease with the 1st baby as we do with the 2nd--man, it would be great!
I love the co-sleeper.
Also, I would say take that huge cup that give you at the hospital and drink lots and lots of water if you are nursing and of course get lots of rest.
Oh, hang at home with that baby--no need to venture out for a while....so hard to do if you are nursing at first!!

Alex and Ashley said...

Everyone always told me to put my baby on "my schedule". Yeah right! Baby and I were much happier when I adapted to baby's schedule, even if it was crazy!
I am pregnant with #4 (holy cow) and will be awake at 3am and sleeping at 3pm.

Great list!

T Rex Mom said...

Ice on the bottom after delivery for the first 24 hours - fill diapers with crushed ice and use as an "ice pad" - it's wonderful.

Earth Mama Angel Baby bottom spray and nipple ointment were my favorites. And Burt's Bee's diaper cream were baby's favorite's.

And when someone trustworthy offers to babysit - take them up on it!

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

Those are some great tips.

I don't know that I would say that breastfeeding is easy, but it is completely worth it. Moms should educate themselves and have a good support team in place in case they do run into difficulties.

I have my own list of 10 things all new parents should know:

http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/08/04/10-things-all-new-parents-should-know/

OHmommy said...

Place the baby in the pack and play and shower or better yet bathe. Everysingle day. You will feel a million times better after a good soak and no baby has ever died from being left alone in a safe environment for 10 minutes.

Krista said...

If you have the closet/drawer space, wash the first six months of baby clothes!

It was so handy to just grab the next size up when things got a little tight on the baby. Keep a bin in the closet to toss in clothes that are too small. It is amazing how quickly they grow!!

Chelle said...

Loved it!! Here are mine:

1) You may not always be able to get an epidural in time/it may not work--and it's okay!

2) Sleep when the baby sleeps.

3) Cherish the time with your baby--don't be like me with my first and be the "I can't wait until-insert milestone-" It all goes by way too quickly. *sniff*

4) When you see your baby for that first time you'll never forget it. Ever. That moment will forever be etched in your memory.

5) Keep extra supplies in a dresser drawer or nightstand drawer--much better than stumbling around looking for things :)

6) You'll get a lot of unwanted advice--take it for what it's worth and do what you think is right in your heart.

7) And remember--you are a wonderful mom! Don't be too hard on yourself, your baby will love you for who you are :)

xo

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

I totally agree with all of your advice!!! And I LOVE the idea of an advice book as a gift.

Hmm...what to add? I would advise that you have a trusted friend or family member who will listen to you when you are exhausted, hormonal and frustrated. It is SO important to have a shoulder to cry on when you are trying your hardest but feeling like you're not doing a thing right. This person would preferably be a mother herself, but one who is totally non-judgmental and someone who would just listen without trying to "fix" what you're upset about.

I will never forget how supportive and sympathetic my OB nurse was after my pregnancy. It did wonders for my psyche! And boy, did I need it. I remember feeling like a giant cow after delivery and hating my post-pregnancy belly so much that having the stupid Boppy pillow anywhere near it made me feel like an enormous planet. I got so mad, I hurled the pillow across the room and screamed at it, tears streaming down my face. My husband just looked at me in horror. These are the moments that you need an understanding shoulder to cry on!

Amy said...

This is such a cute idea! I'm not sure I can add much at this point. I will say this - do what you are comfortable with and ignore critics (they come from surprising places).

Stephanie said...

Breastfeeding is easy once you get the hang of it. And if it's not, hiring a lactation consultant is still cheaper than formula! Worth the money!!

Find a mommy group and go regularly (this was a savior for me, I went out about 3 times a week!)

Don't pack books for the hospital, but do pack a magazine or two.

Consider cloth diapers. They are super easy to use and wash.

All my other advice has been written by others here.

CaraBee said...

I'm going to have to agree with some of the other comments and say that bfing isn't easy for everyone, but it is worth fighting through the early rough days. If it is hard, do NOT hesitate to call a lactation consultant. For some dumb reason I waited 10 days before calling, suffering so miserably the whole time, to find out that my daughter was tongue-tied. They spotted it right away, we got it fixed and things got better. Slow-ly. But they got better.

So I guess the overarching point here is to NEVER be afraid to ask for help.

Lady Mama said...

You are a good sister! I love and agree with every single one of your tips. I never used the diaper genie, but loved the arms reach co-sleeper - it is the perfect way to sleep beside your baby. One tip I might add (and add to the humiliation) is to put a few maxi pads in the freezer to soothe the... um... sore area..! Great post!

K.Thornton said...

What a great idea for a gift!

I agree with so many of the suggestions other moms have added, and I love the list you've provided.

My thoughts for new mommies:

1. As noted a few times by others - trust your instincts - throughout your pregnancy and after. You would be surprised at how much you never knew you knew!

2. You might find that you worry about your new baby, especially if you're alone a lot within the first few weeks/months - any time you feel worried about your baby's health, development, poos/pees, sleep patterns, eating habits - write them down so you can discuss them at your first few dr.'s appointments - this way you won't forget anything, and you can get peace of mind when they repeatedly tell you everything is fine! (okay, maybe I was a big worrier!)

3. You'll get tons of advice from other moms - friends, family, strangers, etc... don't feel obliged to listen to all of it! All babies are different, and a lot of this advice comes a mom's own experience with their baby/babies. If in doubt ... read Thought #1.

4. Smell that baby as often as possible in the first few months! That new baby smell is so calming, and once it's gone ... it's gone!

5. Cherish every single moment - the good, the bad, and the ugly - They are all just that: moments - and sadly they will pass. The good news is that as children grow they continuously give you more moments to smile, cry, and yes - want to pull your hair out.

6. Never be afraid to ask for help, or to admit that you don't know everything ... yet. If friends and family offer to help - accept it!

7. Be patient with Dad. My youngest son's dad was completely lost and terrified when I brought him home. Being patient and understanding while he learned how to change diapers, bathe, and dress our precious little one was an immense help to his confidence.

Sorry I can't add a lot more to suggestions that others have made, but I guess that great minds think alike!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Very well said!!!

Muthering Heights said...

This is such an encouraging post...full of great bits! :)

Mercy said...

No matter how much time you spend with children before you have your own, you still won't be properly prepared because every child is different.

One tip I have is that if you don't like co-sleeping, keep your baby's crib right next to your bed so that when the baby wakes up in the night to nurse, all you have to do is take the baby out and you can lie down again to nurse. This made it easy for me after the c-section when it was hard to get up and down so much.

Rosie said...

Great posts! There`s not much for me to add, but one thing that helped me with both of my births. Advice given to me from my first doula. Freeze sanitary pads. You will be swollen down there after birth and the coolness of the frozen pads will be great and yet not as shocking to the body as ice or ice packs.

Take a regular pad, spray water on it, fold it back up and put them in the freezer (you can do that ahead of time), and then you can put them over your regular pads when needed. The frozen pads won`t help you with absorbency! Remember they are already soaked.

Sounds weird, but everyone I`ve suggested this too only has good things to say about how good it feels.

And yes, people will offer you all sorts of advice. Nod and smile and then do what`s right for you.

The Mommyologist said...

I think the best piece of advice for new moms is to tell them not to put too much pressure on themselves to have everything all figured out right away. My kid is almost 4 and I'm still working on it!!

Also, that whole sleep when the baby sleeps thing? Really wish I'd listened to that one!

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

Great list!
My only comment is on breastfeeding. It's definitely not easy for all, and I wish someone at the beginning told me that...I know some women want the encouragement to nurse for 6-12 months, but for me, I truly wanted someone to say that I needed to do what worked for me/my family. Hourly feedings for months, plus pumping makes for a miserable mom. A lactation consultant was the one who finally reminded me that there is nothing wrong with formula, and for a sleepless mom who has done her best, it can be a great option and is nothing to feel guilty about.

Also - I couldn't agree more with OHmommy. Get a quick shower in every day.
Oh, and one last bit - remind her that sometimes babies cry. Sometimes, there is absolutely nothing you can do, because they just want to cry. Buy earplugs, leave the room. It's ok to not be attached to your baby every minute.

ModernMom said...

Oh this is so so good! If only someone had told me going to the bathroom after having a baby would make me cry! (maybe I wouldn't have cried and been so freakin scared) Yuck!
You are going to be the best Aunt!

Krystyn said...

Before you get up with your crying baby, go pee.

Accept any and all help. Meals, cleaning your house (even if it isn't your way), doing dishes, and laundry, etc.

If you need a break, go outside. Go to the store. The baby will be fine with another adult. You will feel like a new person.

Enjoy holding your baby when you want to, but don't worry about setting her down.

Don't rock your baby to sleep.

Wake your baby to eat...cluster feeding is horrible.

Get Lanolin for your boobs and use it from day one.

Always have several extra pairs of clothes for the baby and even an extra shirt or two for you.

It's okay to tell your MIL to back off:)

Scary Mommy said...

Wow, between your post and the comments, this is a goldmine!!!!

hoobingfamilyadventures.com said...

I think at this point, most things have been covered. We put the baby in her own bedroom from the first night home because she was so loud when she slept and we thought every little noise was something wrong. Now, nine months later, I can definitely appreciate the value in the co-sleeper.

I am curious what you do without the Diaper Genie? I just assumed that was a must have!

Jen said...

I'm going through this right now, with a 5 week old little girl :-)

My suggestions:

Take all the help you can get. If someone offers something (anything! lol) take it!

Count on going home from the hospital in the same clothes you went in with.

Bring shower shoes! A must for some hospitals (Civic) but a just in case for others (Montfort)

Bring slip on shoes to go home in - swelling in your feet can be quite significant, and not being able to put your shoes on can bring on a crying jag... not that it happened to me or anything.. ahem.

If you end up with a c-section, stay on top of your pain meds... believe me! Set the stove timer to remind you if necessary.

Also, remember to eat and drink when you get home. Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how quickly 10 hours can pass before you realize that you haven't eaten anything other than a Lindt chocolate ball.

Breastfeeding can be difficult - ask to speak to a lactation consultant in the hospital.

When public health calls you when you get home to see if you'd like a visit from a nurse, take it. They'll weigh the baby for you, help with any breastfeeding issues, and answer any questions you might have. I had a wonderful nurse come over, I could have sat with her all afternoon.

Be prepared to go with the flow when it comes to the birth. Unfortunately not everything always goes the way we'd like it to.

Also important to go with the flow when it comes to feeding the baby. The best laid breastfeeding plans can be derailed for a million reasons. Just remember that as long as you're feeding the baby - either breastmilk or formula, you're doing a great job!

It's ok to cry and feel sad :-) Hormones can be tricky things!. Make sure you speak to your husband, best friend, sister, mother, etc. about how you're feeling. It helps to just get it out there. Don't keep it all bottled up.

Get a bassinet for your bedside.

Newborns can be very noisy sleepers - it doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.

Have a diaper station on the main floor, or where ever you will be spending the majority of your time, in addition to one where you will be doing your night feedings.

Newborn poop can be a myriad of colours - black in beginning, yellow and green afterwards... don't freak out, lol

Have some swaddle blankets ready for home. I can't believe how great they are (they didn't have these 5 years ago when we had our son!)

Remember the keys to calming a newborn - swaddling, shushing, swaying, and side laying (in your arms) A great book - happiest baby on the block.

Baby gowns are great when they're first home - great for fast, easy diaper changes, esp at night (newborns are not the biggest fans of diaper changes!) and since they're wrapped up the majority of the time, no worries about them getting a draft from the gown.

You don't need a diaper genie, wipe warmer, electric bottle warmer, etc. Just the basics will do in the beginning. However, I'd recommend a Bundle Me bag for the infant car seat - we got a beautiful JJ Cole one - love it!

Have plenty of sleepers and receiving blankets washed and ready to go.

Don't stress if your nursery isn't ready by the time baby comes home - they likely won't be in there at all for the first three months, lol

Sleep when baby sleeps - easier said than done, but just try your best.

DejaVu and TV tropic networks play old school tv shows from midnight to 6am - good stuff! :-)

Trust your gut feelings, regardless of what others might say - if something doesn't feel right, then it's likely not.

Hold that sweet baby and stare at them for hours if you want - it really does go by in the blink of an eye.

Theta Mom said...

Awesome tips mama! My biggest piece of advice would be to be flexible. I am still learning to do this as well!

Trista said...

What a great list! When I was pregnant I quizzed my friends with babies about everything baby-related, and it helped enormously (especially the tip to bring cheap, giant granny underwear to the hospital, because you're going to need them - and will likely want to throw them out when you get home). Also, bring two-piece pajamas if you are going to try nursing - unless you want to have to hike a nightie up everytime the baby feeds (hint: this is awkward).
I can only think of two other things to add - if you are breastfeeding, have more than one nursing pillow if you intend to nurse on more than one floor of your house (which you will, because staring at the same room every time you nurse - which is all the time - makes you crazy), and nothing is more annoying than constantly having to fetch the pillow from upstairs. And if you can't or don't want to breastfeed, put the guilt aside. Babies do fine on formula too.
The one item that was indispensable for me until my daughter was about six months or so was a sling/baby wrap. I had a couple of styles that were useful in different situations (ring sling, baby wrap from mamankangarou), but the fact that I could pop her into it and have both hands free was a life-saver. She was colicky, and the sling soothed her when nothing else would (including that stupid expensive swing everyone said she'd love and in reality she never used). When it comes to baby 'equipment' (swing, jolly jumper, exersaucer, etc.) borrow what you can, because they grow out of it really, really quickly, and they might hate it from the start (yes, I'm talking about that damned swing!).

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

oooh, dude. you SO need a diaper genie.

Loukia said...

LOL, Elisa! I know, some people swear by them... but I never used mine! And I told my sister NOT to put one her registry! Haha... ;)

McMommy said...

Ohhh...I have too much advice for this little comment. :) But I can guarantee you that if you have a natural delivery, you will become best friends with a little thing call PERI BOTTLE. You will wonder how you ever survived on this earth without the knowledge that this little plastic piece of miracle even existed. :)

Betsy Mae said...

Many great tips!

I only have a couple to add:

Take (or have someone take) lots and lots of photos! Don't worry about how you look, you will appreciate having these photos later. I often said 'no don't take a picture now I look terrible' but now I regret not having more photos of me with my babies.

Don't be ashamed if you don't feel like everyone says you will feel. Everyone has a different experience. Sometimes it takes a little while for things to click, it's not always instant for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I LOVE #1! (and #2 - so true - that girlfriend's guide book said that you will never be so afraid of going #2 in your life and I couldn't agree more).

And you crack me up with your thank you note advice - you are such a Greek! Reminds me of my friend Kristina and her avalanche of presents post-baby (her family also does baby showers for EVERY baby - not just the first - it's awesome).

Okay - my advice for your sister:

1. DO let the nurses watch your baby at night. They might give your baby a bottle. Your baby will survive and will still prefer breastfeeding. You will be well rested and better able to produce milk. This will be your ONLY opportunity to get a full night's sleep for a long time.
1a. Don't let the La Leche League mavens that may visit your room make you think otherwise. Breastfeeding doesn't come naturally to everyone (ME!) and those first few days will not define your ability to nurse your child.

2. Pay close attention to your emotions. If you find that you are feeling something far more severe than baby blues or if it lasts more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor. Post partum depression comes in many forms, and you may not even realize that you have it until it's over. There is no shame in taking Prozac for a temporary condition.

3. Don't even bother trying natural childbirth unless you are seriously committed and have a detailed birthing plan. If you go in thinking that you're just going to "see what happens," then you may as well request the epidural upon arrival. If you don't take this advice I give you a maximum of one hour of hard contractions until you cave (and if you are too far along - they may not let you have the epidural at that point...)

There is so much more! So #4 is EVERYONE is going to have advice for you. Listen to what they have to say - but in the end you'll find your own way. You'll be amazing. And You have a very experienced sister to help.

Erin said...

I would add that breastfeeding is not easy for everyone...I desperately wanted to do it, but it just didn't work out for us. I had twins who were preemies and wouldn't latch. So I had to pump exclusively....

And ditto on changing stations everywhere. And not being afraid to ask for help.

And that often, you know your child better than anyone else and your instincts will tell you when something is not right. Trust yourself, even if you are a brand new first-time mom!!

;-)

Jessica said...

Great post! LOVE IT. Congratulations to your sister- so exciting!! PINK!

I would say try to have zero expectations (fat chance, but worth a try). I wanted a natural birth, and I wanted breastfeeding to be easy.. I wanted my son to never watch television and to give up his paci after he was one. I wanted to never yell or lose my patience at silly things or get frustrated easily.

If I hadn't expected all of those things, I would have been better off- and felt less that extremely guilty.

But... that is motherhood. She will be fantastic. :)

Kelly said...

Thank you sooo much for these awesome tips! Of course I haven't read any of this stuff in any books...b/c the books never seem to cover the "real" stuff.

So...get the epidural huh? I'm so torn on that one.

Love your blog!

http://thepursuitofmommyness.com/

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