Now that my kids are about 2 and 4, I look back at the early days of motherhood with memories that range from loving priceless moments to how l did I make it through all that? I have several friends that are about to have their first baby. Oh, what an exciting time! You may have read all the books, taken all the classes, but nothing can truly capture what being a first-time mom will be like for you. You just have to experience it- all the good, bad and the sleepless.
While every mom may have a different experience-here’s what I would share with my first time mom friends. Eat, Pee, Poop, Sleep, Cry, Repeat-Lesson Over. That is now your life. Just kidding, well not really, but here are some other things you may find helpful.
10 Things First Time Moms Need To Know
1. It’s great to have a birth plan, but your delivery may not always go exactly as you planned. It’s never like the movies, each birth is different, you hope to have your OB/GYN deliver your baby, but it may be whoever is on call. With my first I had contractions for more than 20 hours and with my second, a nurse delivered my baby. You just never know, the important thing is that you are taken care of and that the babies are healthy and safe.
2. After you have the baby, you will still look about 4 months pregnant. Don’t freak out when you look like a deflated balloon. Give yourself time to heal and take care of yourself. Doctors usually recommend you wait 6 weeks before working out.
3. Don’t worry if you feel clueless, you will get it. In the meantime the nurses at the hospital can be your best friend. From swaddling to breastfeeding to teaching you how to put on a diaper (for your baby and yourself-yes yourself! Be prepared for Depends, ice packs and mesh underwear post delivery).
4. Breastfeeding is really hard. Your baby may have a tough time latching on, the first few days it’s just colostrum -looks like yellow goo. Then your boobs will feel like rocks when your milk comes in usually 3-7 days. It was one of the hardest things I had to learn, I had major problems, but once it clicked, it was so natural. If it’s really what you want stick with it, if it doesn’t work out don’t be too hard on yourself.
5. You don’t need fancy newborn outfits – Okay, maybe one for pictures to leave the hospital, but other wise my baby lived in sleep gowns (with the open bottom) and swaddling blankets for the first month if not more. You will be changing them 8-10 times a day, if not more so you really don’t want too many buttons or snaps.
6. You may fight with your husband-having a baby can bring you closer together and drive you farther apart. Sleep deprivation and hormones may get the best of you and you may turn into real b****. Know that it will pass, but remember not to forget about your relationship.
7. It’s okay to feel alone, but remember you are not.- It’s hard when you are sleep deprived, waking up every few hours, sitting in your chair with your newborn by yourself, not feeling like your vibrant self. Just know that it gets easier and there are other women that have gone through/going through all the emotions you are experiencing. It’s good to have some friends that have kids to reassure you, new mom friends to share with (join a playgroup), and even online friends to turn to for support.
8. Don’t feel guilty asking for help. – I definitely had support, but didn’t ask for what I really needed because I’ve always been able to do everything on my own. After 4 months of no more than 2 hours of sleep at a time (my son had colic) I almost had a breakdown before I realized it was okay to not do everything.
9. You’ll get lots of advice, but in the end do what works for your family. From friends to neighbors to experts in books everyone has an opinion. Listen and learn, but It’s okay if everything doesn’t turn out like they say it will or how it does in the books. I read them all- from preparing for baby to 5 different sleep training methods-some worked some didn’t.
10. It’s all worth it in the end. -One of my favorite quotes is “The days are long, but the years are short!” It may not seem like it at the time, but time really does fly by and hopefully you’ll look back these early times with happy memories.
If you’re a new mom, congratulations and know you will be just fine! If you’ve just had a baby you may find this post funny “You Know Your a New Mom When….” If you’ve been through it already did I miss anything? What would you share with a first time mom?