If there is one thing a mom-to-be doesn’t need, it is more advice. The lady in the grocery store, the man at the next gas pump and every blessed family member has advice for an expectant mom.
But most of it is impractical and not realistic, honestly. “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” for instance, assumes your baby will sleep at all and that you won’t have one million other things to do — like laundry and cooking.
We don’t do moms-to-be any favors by glossing over the less romantic, more realistic advice they really do need to get through those first months. Here are six invaluable tips every new mom actually needs to hear:
- Two of You Will Go Home in Diapers
Sure, you know the baby will go home in diapers. But did you know that you will probably wear diapers, too?
Let’s get real. Your lady parts don’t go back to normal right away, and you’ll have days — and weeks — of bleeding and recovery ahead of you. Once the flow gets lighter, you can switch to pads, but in the beginning, lots of nurses and other moms recommend going for adult diapers. It’s easier just to throw them away when you go to the bathroom.
Also, take whatever free samples the hospital will give you. Some extra mesh underwear, adult diapers and spray bottles will help you in those first hazy days.
One more pro tip: If you have more than one bathroom at home, leave supplies in each.
- Keep the Baby Clothed but the Car Seat Naked
Well-meaning friends and relatives will get you all kinds of car seat accessories, like toys to hang from the handle and fancy covers and liners.
However, those car seat accessories are not part of the rigorous safety testing each seat must undergo. They could cause harm if in an accident, or they might even interfere with the harness itself. In some cases, those trinkets void your seat’s warranty as well. Basic — and safe — is best when it comes to the car seat.
- Swim Diapers Are Not Made Equal
Taking baby for their first swim is so much fun. The look on your little one’s face as they feel the water all around them is priceless. But your entire experience can be soiled — pun intended — by relying too much on the swim diapers.
Don’t put baby in the swim diaper until you’re at the pool or the beach. The swim diapers don’t actually hold a lot of water, which is what keeps them from sagging once in the pool. However, that means if little one tinkles while on dry land, it will probably go everywhere. Consider yourself warned.
- Your Nipples Will Hurt — And Leak
Images of moms snuggling their babies, all wrapped in cute blankets and radiating a dewy glow, aren’t entirely realistic. Sure, you’ve just brought another human into the world and the joy and euphoria is overwhelming at times.
Side note: Sometimes you don’t feel joy. You feel anxiety, which is normal. You are now completely responsible for this tiny human — and there are no instructions.
However, reach out for help if you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. It’s more common than you think, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Anyway, what those images don’t convey is the pain that mom is feeling in her nipples. Baby has to learn to latch correctly, and while they practice, your nipples are going to hurt like the dickens. Nipple ointment or coconut oil and soft breast pads will be your friends, since leaking is normal as well. You’ll also want to invest in some solid, cozy nursing apparel to feel more like a human so you’re not living in your oversized tees or stretching your v-necks to the point of no return.
While we are on the topic of boobs, it is also normal to experience engorgement as your milk comes in and baby’s appetite increases. Stick to well fitting bras and change your nursing pads regularly to avoid clogged ducts and infection.
- Fed Is Best
On the other hand, your baby might not be latching because breastfeeding hasn’t worked out for you, or because you’ve decided it’s not the best choice for your family.
Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for not breastfeeding. Remember that while “breast is best” and “bottle is better” or any other slogan that might be repeated to you, at the end of the day, fed is best. Just feed that baby — whichever way is best for mom and little one.
- There Is a Witching Hour — or Four
Your baby has been in a cozy, peaceful place — your body — for the last nine months. Now they’re in a crazy world with all kinds of stimulation. They’re bound to get overwhelmed, and they express it during a time many moms call “the witching hours.”
Some experts refer to these months of getting used to the world as “The Fourth Trimester,” when fussiness, gassiness, and general sleeplessness is at an all-time high.
Survive these first few months, and it really does get easier. In the meantime, try to re-create life in the womb to avoid the witching hour by playing white noise, swaddling baby tightly or wearing baby in a wrap or carrier.
If there is one thing you can definitely expect while you’re expecting, it is advice. But most of it is cliché and not very practical. These invaluable tips will help make those first bleary-eyed days just a little easier.
from Mindfulness Mama-
"find inner peace-even if you can't find your keys"