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So, you’re pregnant with your first baby. Yay babies!
I am sure by now, you have discovered that as soon as you make that fun, super cute Facebook announcement, EVERYONE is a baby expert and EVERYONE has the best advice out there.
“Cherish this time!”
“Breast is best!”
“You can’t hold a baby too much!”
“Don’t eat hot dogs!”
“Sleep when baby sleeps!”
“Do you have heartburn? That means baby will have hair. Buy some bows!”
“You are carrying low. You’re having a boy. I just know it.”
“Are you going to find out the gender? You totally shouldn’t!”
The list goes on. and on. and on. and on. so. much.
Now, I am no expert, but I went against a lot of this advice. I ate hot dogs, I had heartburn like a champ and both my babies had no hair, I had no idea what “carrying low” meant. But what I did learn in my 2 pregnancies is you have to take any and all advice with a grain of salt. The bottom line here is it is YOUR baby and if you make any mention at all about said baby, you’re going to get advice or suggestions.
In my moms group, I asked what everyone thought about this advice. I approached them with this question:
“Imagine you have a friend who knows NOTHING about being pregnant, having a baby, labor – nothing. What is one piece of actually helpful advice you would give them?”
The helpful advice started pouring in, and I’m here to compile it for you.
First and foremost – take any and all advice with a big old grain of salt. Like I said earlier, this is your baby. Whatever you (and your partner) decide will (probably) be the best decision. Don’t want to buy that fancy rock n play? Don’t. When I was pregnant with my second, it was all the rage. Everyone told me to buy it. I didn’t – because it was expensive and our house was tiny. Also, I had no intention of my kid rooming with us. And you know what? My kid is a great sleeper.
Accept all help offered. I wish I had followed this one more. If a friend of yours calls you up and asks “what do you need,” don’t be afraid to tell her “I need my dishes done.” But also don’t feel guilty if you want to be the one to do those dishes. Which brings me to my next point….
Ask for help. Don’t feel guilty if you’d rather do the dishes than sit with your newborn. Caring for a newborn can be incredibly overwhelming and exhausting. My oldest was an awful napper, so once I got him to sleep, I never wanted to start anything because chances are he was going to wake up in 45 minutes anyway.
Don’t be afraid to tell someone “no.” If someone wants to come over and you want alone time, do not be scared to tell them to buzz off. Maybe not in those words, but you know what I mean. 😉
Hormones are real and they suck. You will hate and love your partner 15 times in one day and that is normal. You will laugh and cry at the same commercial. If you thought hormones were crazy when you were pregnant, just wait until your body is trying to level out after having the baby. This too, shall pass.
Don’t put your babe on a schedule just yet. You are 2 strangers getting to know each other. It’s going to take time to figure each other out, and that’s okay. Keep an open mind and expect the unexpected.
You are not a failure. I know you’re going to go through days where you think you are. If you and your baby survived the day, you did not fail.
What I feel to be most important – it’s okay if you don’t feel an instant connection with your baby. It really is. You are both strangers to each other and you’re supposed to just click. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, months, whatever. I wish someone had told me that it was okay to not feel that instant connection. I felt like a horrible mother. But trust me when I tell you, it will come.
And last, but certainly not least. If you have a boy, point that penis down when you change his diaper 😉
I hope this helps. Is there something you would suggest to a newly pregnant friend that we didn’t list here? Tell us in the comments!