Six Things I’d Tell A New Mom-To-Be
These are not listed in any particular order of importance, just some thoughts I’ve had floating around in my head. I would love the opportunity to tell these things to every new mom-to-be that I know. If I don’t get the opportunity, well, here they are. Maybe they’ll just read my blog. 😉
1. Watch The Business of Being Born and read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Why? Because (most likely) everything you know about birth has been greatly influenced by pop culture. Tell the truth, how many times have you watched The Baby Story? How many movies or TV shows have you watched that showed a woman freaking out while in labor?
The movie will help you explore your options in childbirth and give you a better, more realistic understanding of birth. The first half of Ina May’s book is filled with beautiful stories of women giving birth naturally. I honestly didn’t know it was possible to actually enjoy or look forward to your birth experience before I read this book. It taught me that birth doesn’t have to be a major life event that is filled with fear. I hope it does the same for you. (There are other books about childbirth that I love as well; check them all out here.)
If you’re on the fence about this one or think it doesn’t matter, please go read this blog post!
2. Learn all you can about breastfeeding now. Watch this video from Dr. Jack Newman. Actually seeing a woman breastfeed her child is INVALUABLE. Spend the thirty bucks. Get the video. Flip through The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This book will be a great resource for you as you begin your breastfeeding relationship. Poke around some of the breastfeeding websites I link to on the Breastfeeding Resources page. Even go to a La Leche League meeting as you near the end of your pregnancy so you can get to know some moms who can support you later if you need it.
3. You can read all the books you want on parenting, sleep, birth and breastfeeding however, you won’t truly ‘get it’ until you actually are having your own baby and experiencing all of this with your own flesh and blood. Believe me, I know this to be true. We were the last of our friends and family to have children. I had taken care of children (including babies) for YEARS before I had my own. I read more books than any soon-to-be mom should ever read. I had it all figured out. Yeah. Not. So. Much. Your baby is unique and so are you. Your baby may not sleep peacefully in his little bassinet beside your bed. He may scream the second you put him in there and not quiet down until someone (Daddy) is holding him on his chest. And this may last WEEKS.
4. On that note, read one book on infant sleep. I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block (there’s also a DVD). You’ll find some great tips on getting your baby to sleep without going crazy. Yes, you will need tips on getting baby to sleep. They don’t just sleep all the time. They reach a point where they are much more interested in their surroundings than sleeping, even when they’re very tired and terribly cranky. (I do NOT recommend any books by Gary Ezzo. I haven’t personally blogged about this yet but Megan at SortaCrunchy has and I really appreciate her posts, so head over there for more info.)
5. Do your homework. Don’t do things just because you think that’s the way it’s supposed to be done or that’s all you know. Know the reasons behind your actions. Make educated choices for you and for your kiddo(s). What does this apply to? Birthing choices, breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, diapering, parenting . . . the list could go on and on.
6. Your life is not ending because you’re having a baby. I remember saying to my husband, a few months after I became pregnant, that I wasn’t sure I was ready for ‘this’. He politely told me it was a little too late. Ha! Life as you know it IS coming to an end (take advantage of all that free time now). However, your life is about to get richer and fuller than you ever imagined. Yes, it will be hard, but it’s so unbelievably rewarding.
What things do you wish someone had told you when you were newly pregnant?