This post isn’t meant to be condescending, a new mommy giving baby tips sounds crazy. But a lot can be said for learning on the job. I also think I should write it down so I don’t forget for next time!
I was so fortunate when pregnant, I had two very close friends who had babies a few months before. So I pestered both of them for advice on everything while trying to prepare myself for motherhood. My cousin was also pregnant while I was pregnant and so was my neighbour! So every ache and pain or unexplained symptom had me on the phone comparing! I had a very easy pregnancy (asides from becoming as wide as I am tall) but I was still worried about everything!
*There might be a bit of tmi in this post!*
So firstly here are my tips for pregnancy:
1. The first 7 weeks or so are sore (apparently not for everyone but they were really bad for me) it feels like the worst period pain I’ve ever had- before labour anyway. Google says its when the egg is implanting, I don’t know but I know I was in agony.
2. When you pee on the stick and get two pink lines, you’re already 4 weeks pregnant.
3. Your first doctors appointment is an internal, he’s going to stick a long baton like thing up you. Its not pleasant but get used to it! Not much about pregnancy is
4. You may bleed in the first trimester. Its terrifying. Go to the doctor and get progesterone and take it easy.
5.Use a hot water bottle or bean bag for leg cramps, back ache and throwing at the cat when he’s meowing at the door- you’re not going to want to get up.
6.Ginger ale for nausea
7.Gaviscon for heart burn, that is made worse by the ginger ale
8.Get used to stepping over things you’ve dropped on the floor, hubby will have to pick them up later, you’re not going to get up again if you bend for them.
9. Think twice before you sit or lie down. Do you need to pee? Do you have something to drink or eat near you? Your phone? The remote? You’re not going to want to get up again in a hurry.
10. Labour hurts, but its amazing. You want to experience it, you’ll feel so strong and powerful afterwards.
11. Episiotomys hurt too. Buy lots and lots of salt. You can’t have enough, seriously.
12. Use the maternity sanitary towels, you’re going to need them and they’re much softer than the normal ones- we like soft after all the trauma.
Now tips for life with baby:
1. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. Its not instinctual and needs to be worked at by both of you. While pregnant read as much as you can about it, go to work shops and antenatal classes and prepare yourself mentally for it. Then persevere. You can cry, its ok. Just persevere and you’ll get it. Ask the nurses for help but if you’re prepared for it, trust yourself enough to know when you’re doing it right. The nurses and midwives give conflicting advice and make you doubt yourself. Drink at least 3l of liquid every single day, or you’ll become dehydrated.
2. If you have to top up with formula once or twice do it. You might cry again (I did, a lot) but its really scary when your baby is crying and your milk hasn’t come in yet and you’re exhausted. Just try not do it more than once or twice, because it messes with their tummys.
3. Baby HAS TO SUCK to bring on your milk. Expressing isn’t the same.
4. Put lots of vaseline on baby bum so the first few black poos come off easily
5. Take it easy for the first 2 weeks, or you might tear your stitches like I did. Not fun.
6. The books say babies sleep something like 18 hrs a day. They don’t, well mine doesn’t. So don’t expect to get much done, especially since as soon as she goes to sleep you’re going to want to sleep.
7. Cook lots of meals for the freezer so that you don’t have to live on toast and peanut butter.
8. Babies are noisy, even when they’re not crying.
9. Here’s a confession. I poke Lily a good few times throughout the night to make sure she’s still breathing. I’m telling myself this is normal, so I’m telling you its normal too!
10. Use a dummy. Ignore the advice in the hospital to not use it. Use it. Its a life saver.
11. Buy sanitising hand gel and put it all over the house and in your nappy bag. You don’t want peoples dirty hands on your nice clean baby
12. Expect to cry. Its ok, you don’t need to know why you’re crying.
13. Swaddling, rocking and singing is the best way to calm a crying baby. Even when you don’t know the words and make them up as you go along.
14. Everyone will tell you to not be quiet around a sleeping baby so that they get used to sleeping in noise. Lily is such a light sleeper that the click of the door closing wakes her up. After rocking and singing for an hour to put her to sleep, there is no way I’m going to let the ringing phone wake her up again. I might suffer for this in the future but in the meantime it saves my sanity.
15. Finally, be prepared to be puked on and pooed on. Its not the end of the world.
16. One more. Guilt! I’ve never felt such guilt over such stupid things. You’ll see, just you wait.