Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Things I wish I had Known

A few of my friends are getting ready to welcome their first child into their homes and join the elite club that is otherwise known as Motherhood. It's made me think about what kind of advice I can give them, so I've compiled a list of things I wish I had known. Some of this stuff you can find in books (but if you're anything like me, you didn't know what to take to heart and what to ignore).

1. Things to bring to the hospital (besides the obvious change of clothing): nursing pads, nursing bra, feminine napkins, comfortable panties (especially if you're having a c-section, you don't want anything resting on your incision), and socks. Some things like feminine napkins and funny looking underwear will be provided to you by the hospital, take advantage of these and don't be afraid to ask for extra ones to take home with you.
2. Speaking of things to bring home with you: ask for extra diapers, changing pads, pacifiers, shirts for baby.
3. Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself in the hospital: if you're in pain ask for medicine, if you're hungry ask for food. Most nurses try to make sure you're well taken care of, but they are human and can't read your mind.
4. Wear your nursing bra at ALL TIMES! At night, at home, at the store, you get the point. Only take it off during showers, obviously. In fact, buy multiple nursing bras because the engorgement period can really make you run through them.
5. Set up a nursing station as well as a diaper changing station. Keep extra nursing pads, Lanolin, a bottle of water (you get really dehydrated while nursing), and crackers close at hand. You might even need washcloths and an extra bra.
6. Diaper changing station should include diapers, wipes, diaper cream (like Desitin or Butt Paste), and an absorbent changing pad. It's amazing what little babies can do.
7. Those first few weeks I would keep a basket for nursing and a basket for changing by my bedside for the midnight feedings. I kept an extra change of clothing for baby too, so I wouldn't have to rummage around trying to find some pajamas while bleary-eyed.
8. It's perfectly normal to not have a clue how to nurse - talk to the Lactation consultant before you leave the hospital to make sure the baby is attaching correctly. (Warning: they (lactation consultants) are very in your business and touchy, just to give you a heads-up in case you are a more private person).
9. Newborn babies make lots of funny, almost scary noises. Especially as they are trying to clear out their lungs of fluids. Remember if your baby is coughing and making NOISE then that means they are getting air, it's when they go all silent and purply-blue on you that it's time to panic.
10. Remember you're not alone. There are plenty of forums, blogs (like this one), and friends who are doing this too. Don't ever feel dumb asking a question or calling your pediatrician. OH and that's one more thing - if your baby is acting funny, and it's obviously not an emergency, and you're not sure if it warrants a doctor's appointment, just call the pediatrician and ask to speak to a nurse. A lot of times they can answer your questions over the phone and let you know if it is even worth coming in to the office.

So, those are just a few things I came up with. Let's hear it ladies - what kind of advice can you pass on to all those first time Moms.


  1. I have LOADS of things to say, but I'm prepping dinner. I'll come back, I promise :)

  2. Trust yourself. Decide what works for your family and go with it- don't go against what feels right just b/c an expert in a book said so. You will not spoil a baby by holding them and babies are not capable of manipulation- they cry b/c they need something, and sometimes that is just to be held. Rest without guilt.

  3. Release yourself from the guilt. You might not have it now, but trust me, you will. Don't be afraid to tell people you're not up for visitors. They'll understand...and if they don't, then they probably weren't worth seeing all that much in the first place. Don't be afraid to ask other moms questions (we love to talk about babies :), but, like Trish said, just trust your gut on what's right for your family. Don't be surprised if you get asked A LOT about poop in the hospital and doc's office...yours (especially if you have a c/s), the baby's, etc. Hold your baby, pretty soon they won't want to be held all that much. Don't feel guilty for it, either. Breathe them in. Let the household go a bit and don't hesitate to ask your husband to pitch in 110%. Don't be embarrassed in front of the nurses, they see it all the time and a hospital is no place for blushing modesty. Never. ever. be embarrassed to nurse your baby. It's a beautiful thing and if people don't want to deal with it, they can simply look away. On the same note, don't worry about other people's opinions about bottle feeding. It's between you and your baby.

    Lastly...this too shall pass. I promise.

  4. I thought you were all spot thing to add is if you feel good, have a good time-go shopping, visiting with friends, etc. 'Cause once the adrenaline rush ends, you'll be tired and want to slow down (mine always seems to last 2-3 weeks). Freeze meals people deliver if you have too much or not in the mood for it will come in handy when the tired sets in.

  5. Be prepared to be emotionally unstable for the first little bit!
    Go ahead and cry (you're going to want to, especially when sleep deprived), go ahead and feel overwhelmed and wonder what the heck you did to yourself, too.
    Oh, and you can have a melt down about feeling fat, and having nothing to wear right after a the baby comes too -It's all normal!
    Don't feel guilty if it ain't all sunshine and roses once you get home from the hospital.
    Just remember (like whitney said...) this too shall pass. And don't be afraid to ask for blessings from your husband, and accept help from friends and family if you need it!

  6. HELLOOOOOO!!! Don't forget to call YOUR MOM!!
    We've been there done that. believe it or not your mom does know what she is talking about! I went through AWFUL post partem depression. It wasn't until I spoke up in Relief Society that a young mother came up to me and told me in tears she thought she was going crazy. I let her talk and gave her some adive..then I told her to talk to her mom, come to find out her mother had gone through PPD too. Her mom was able to be there for her emotionally as well as spiritually through her time of need.
    Don't be afraid to talk to others who have gone through what you have. They are the best listeners. I am fortunate to have such a great husband who was there for me and held me while I cried. Most of all don't forget to pray for help.