Friday, April 20, 2012

From A New Mom To A Soon To Be Mom

I've been thinking a lot lately about things I wish I had known or things that I wish would have gone differently. Everything from showers to the hospital to pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Here is my advice to a new mom. Advice I wish I'd known.

1. Do call the nurse if you have questions.

2. Do make sure that your voice is heard. Do not let a doctor talk you into something you aren't ready for or tell you things are fine if they aren't (ie my birth story and the epidural not working.) If something feels off, tell someone. I whined about my throat hurting for two days before someone looked at it. It was so white and swollen I could barely eat. Getting a gargle for it was the best thing that happened-and my mom brought it in.

3. Rest in the hospital and tell people no. You won't want anyone but Your hubby and your mom in the room while you are in labor. I just wanted to sleep and rest and take everything in.

It has always bothered me that so many people held Tai before I did. If I could do it again I would have made everyone go home or wait it the waiting room until I was good and ready. It was not a good experience waking up in pain and having my entire family in the room. (That's not something I would have okay'd anyways, it just happened because I was under anesthesia.) I feel a little bitter about it because I should have gotten the first moments with my son, not anyone else.

4. Do bring a nice robe to the hospital, or something that you feel okay in. People will be in and out and you will be hanging in and out of that ridiculous robe. You will feel better in something that covers you, but is easy to adjust or remove.

5. Do Get Take Out! The hospital food is all super health conscious. (Boiled chicken and rice.) Blah. After 9 months of heartburn and indigestion and craving what baby wanted, I really enjoyed a shake and some fries from Carl's junior. Really. It was great. Also, if you crave ice cream at 3 am, tell the nurse. Trust me, they have it.

6. Have people bring in what you need. Make special requests (ie: herbal tea, better pillows, a laptop to watch movies on.)

7. Let your hubby cuddle with you on the hospital bed. If you are feeling lonely and overwhelmed, this really helps. Plus when you need something you can poke him instead of trying to call across the room and not wake the baby. Haha. This being said:

8. Use The Nurse Button! You don't want to feel needy, well you are needy! Haha. Let them help you. Let her hand you your water. Let her get you more ice. Trust me, you pay for it.

9. Sleep with your little one when you are in the hospital. There will be few days when they sleep so long and peacefully, and honestly, they are only small for such a short amount of
time. Don't take it for granted. That being said:

10. Sleep!! This is total hypocrisy on my part, I barely slept because I didn't want to miss a single moment of my new son. But it made me a psycho. If you refuse to sleep in hospital, have someone bundle up baby the second you are home and sleep with him in your arms in your own bed. It will feel great and you will be at peace knowing he is next to you. Trust me.

11. If you are going to breastfeed (which I highly suggest because it's free, easy, and soooo good for them.) ask for help! It won't come very easy. It will be frustrating, and if you don't start right it makes life so hard. We went back to a lactation consultant over and over until we figured out what worked for us because we got so screwed up. People will tell you all different things and it will make it really confusing. And there were times I almost gave up. A lot of times. If I could do it again I would not introduce a pacifier or use a bottle to give him pumped milk. I would only do direct latching-it makes it easier on you because they are willing to keep trying. After he got a bottle he got lazy. Also, go with your instinct. I had people telling me pumping would make me lose my supply, and a shield was bad for supply and bottles were evil. To this day, I pump when I feel like it and use a shield for every feeding. It's what works for us and my supply is fine! If it is stressing you out to do it one way, try something else and dont feel guilty.

12. Don't travel for a while. Not even 30 minutes away. We did this a few weeks after Tai was born and I was miserable. It's hard when you have a new routine and you are tired and you don't really want to share your baby with anyone. I would go in the bathroom and just cry and cry because I was so stressed. It's not worth it. Enjoy them and get in a routine and feel totally comfortable before you venture out.

13. Speak up! (I still struggle with this.) if you want people to wash their hands, make them do it! If someone is coughing, tell them they can't hold the baby. If you don't want his face and head kissed (the number one way they get sick) tell people no. If the baby is sleeping tell people he isn't going to get passed around. Some people might not like your rules, but honey, you are the mom!

14. Finally, don't compare babies. Yours will be infinitely different than your best friends. If hers can recite 5 languages, and yours Is barely holding his head up, it's FINE. Babies are different :)

That's my shpeel.

Tai wants to show you his hat. (I don't know how this happens. But we fell asleep feeding him and he woke up with the nipple guard on his head...)

1 comment:

  1. Great advice Mary. I agree completely. I remember when we got home from the hospital my family was here for a couple days, and I was so tried maybe slept 5 hours total in the 2 days I was at the hospital, but I couldn't sleep with family in town and a new baby to care for.
    And I loved my lactation consultant. It took us a long time to. I produced so much milk that Sydney had a hard time eating for the first week. After that it was so much better.