Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Advice for New Mamas

This week, as part of Sometimes Sweet journal day, Danielle ask us to take another look back, but this time, just look back 12 months. What would we tell ourselves, and what advice would we give?

The photo above is me roughly 12 months ago. I was very pregnant, as you can tell, but still had about 6 weeks until my due date. At this point I was blissfully unaware of what life with a newborn would be like. All I knew was that I wanted her out- now. She definitely needed to bake a little longer so I waited until she was ready. Well, if you read her birth story, you know we nudged her out a little early for health reasons.

Looking back, there are so many things I wish I would have known. There is so much advice I wished someone had told me. If there are any soon-to-be new mamas out there, this list is for you.

1. Do not stop trying to breastfeed. I lasted 9 days before I gave up. It was hard. Nora would have eaten 24 hours if I let her. A lot of the time she wasn't even eating, just latched on, but if I tried to move her she cried. The only way I could get any sleep at night was to give her one of the pre-made formula bottles our hospital sent us home with. She really has done fine on formula, but there was always that nagging feeling that she would have been a little bit better off if we kept up with breastfeeding. If you have your heart set on breastfeeding- do it, no matter how hard it is. I have been told that it does get easier.

2. If someone offers to watch the baby so you can nap- take the nap. I did this about half the time. Newborns are exhausting. To keep your sanity, you need sleep. Who cares if the house is messy! The baby certainly doesn't. The baby needs you to be well rested and attentive, she doesn't need you to clean the kitchen.

3. PUPPS. No one told me about this and I wish someone had so I would have been prepared. My initial postpartum recovery was super easy. I had almost no pain and no complications. Then, about a week later, I got hit with the PUPPS. If you never get this consider yourself lucky. It started as a small rash, but it quickly spread to my entire body. It was the itchiest I have ever been, all over, nonstop for almost a month. AWFUL. Nothing worked to alleviate it, until we finally resorted to a soap we read about online. Apparently, Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap is a miracle worker. The rash cleared up quickly once I started using it. Just keep it in mind, because this is something no one is going to tell you about and you don't want to be blindsided by it like I was.

4. The weight does not just "come right off," so try not to eat so many cheeseburgers.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's very easy to get overwhelmed and there is no sense in letting that take over when there are people in your life who are willing and able to help. 

6. Buy a baby wrap carrier. You'll be able to keep a sleeping newborn close, but won't be confined to the couch. We picked up the Happy Baby wrap when Nora was starting to get a little too big for the newborn hold. The few times I did use it, I loved it. At least we have it now for any future little ones.

7. You don't need to buy everything right away. We received a lot of newborn essentials from our hospital and didn't even end up using some of the ones we bought ourselves. For example, the nasal aspirator the hospital sent us home with was a million times better than the newborn one we bought on our own.

8. Get a swing with an AC adapter. If you have a colicky baby, like we did, you do not want to see the day when the batteries in your swing die and there is nothing you can do to get your baby to stop crying.

9. On that note, know that the crying will stop eventually. Hang in there, mom.

10. And finally, don't eat Burger King on the way to the hospital to get induced. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory

Hope you found these tips helpful! What do you wish someone told you before you had your first child?

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I also had PUPPS and was miserable! I can also understand your feelings about breastfeeding. I tried, but ended up giving up and now wish I had tried harder and maybe asked for more support and help from others. Thanks for sharing!