These are just a list of things I have figured out about over the past few months about being a new mom.
1. Recovery is just as bad as the birth. Let’s just say an episiotomy is not a pretty thing. It will hurt to get out of bed. It will hurt to go to the bathroom. Everything hurts for 5 or so days… then it gets better.
2. Diapers. Make sure you pull the sides out so that they aren’t tucked in. Same with the back, if you fold down the top in the back you will avoid major poop explosions.
3. Breastfeeding hurts. For awhile! While you are establishing a good latch, your nipples will hurt, you will be engorged and you will leak! Nipple cream will be your best friend and nursing pads will save you from wet circle on your shirt.
4. Your arms will get very sore and tired from breastfeeding and holding. I suppose you are starting to work new muscles in your arms that you normally don’t use that often. A good breastfeeding pillow will be awesome especially for the first few weeks until you get a hang of things. Eventually your arms just become very strong!
5. If you are breastfeeding and having troubles - IT IS OKAY TO GIVE YOUR BABY FORMULA! You are not a bad mom if you try to exclusively breastfeed but need a little help.
6. Babies get gassy! Sometimes if they are crying, that is the cause of their discomfort. Try moving their legs in a bicycle motion or have them rest their legs in a squatting position on your stomach. It will help to relieve the pressure.
7. When in doubt, try gripe water. Honestly, it has solved so many problems for me! especially if he is gassy or having tummy trouble!
8. It is okay to ask for help. But it is also okay to say you want to be left alone. If people get upset over this then they are not being respectful of you or baby!
9. Visitors. The first few weeks everyone will want to come and visit you and baby. But at this time… most moms need helpers not visitors. Make a rule that if you are going to have guests that they need to help out with something. Make a meal, wash the dishes, help fold laundry, run an errand. You are not being selfish for asking these things!
10. You will learn what your baby likes and what works for them over time. Be patient.
11. Soothers - it’s not going to hurt them. If it calms your baby for a few minutes, great!
12. Automatic breast pumps vs. Manual breast pumps… Automatic, enough said. (You can rent these from a drugstore if you need to - yes they are expensive to buy but in my opinion very worth it!)
13. Invest in a good nursing bra.
14. If your breastfeeding, have a little formula on hand and some bottles. You never know when you will need it. Or even have some breast milk stored in your freezer.
15. Babies want to be comfortable. All you need for the first few months is sleepers. None of this tutu’s and jeans! Do you like sleeping in jeans? I know I don’t!
16. Babies can get heat rash that looks like hives. Don’t worry, it will go away and doesn’t bother them! As long as they don’t have a fever and if you touch the red spots the skin turns white… everything is ok! (But use your mommy instinct on this one… you will know if something is really wrong)
17. Where I am from - you have to go to a registry to order a birth certificate. Look into what is normal for your province or state.
18. Despite all the controversies around snowsuits, soothers, co-sleeping, circumcision, formula etc. Do what YOU think is best for YOUR baby. Every mother and every baby is different.
19. People will give you advice. Some of it is good. Some of it is unwanted. No one has the right to tell you want to do with your baby, and if they are going to judge you about it… they aren’t worth your time. Kindly say thank-you, but no thank you!
20. You might feel like you are doing a terrible job and that your a bad mother. But you aren’t. Despite any minor mistakes you make… your baby still loves you. That is all that matters.