A few of my friends had babies before I did but they left out some serious bits of advice that I couldn’t believe they didn’t tell me. Here’s my advice for new mamas!
5. Birth Plan vs. Birth Wish List
It’s human nature to plan, especially when you’re about to welcome a new bundle of love into your world, but babies have their own plans. I always feel bad for moms who’ve spent 9 months planning every last minute of their labor/delivery only to end up disappointed when things don’t go to plan. Having you and baby healthy is most important, but when you set up an idyllic birth experience in your head it’s hard to process when things don’t work out the way you hoped.
4. Breastfeeding Hurts
Throughout all my pregnancy and breastfeeding classes I was assured that breastfeeding isn’t painful. LIES. My friend who breastfed said the same thing. But initially, it does hurt. My best trick was to get baby to latch and count slowly to ten to distract myself from the pain of latching. If it still hurt unlatch and try again. By 3-4 weeks in breastfeeding pain had subsided.
*For my second child the pain lasted throughout the entire feed, my nipple came out looking like a tube of lipstick, and I was getting milk blebs after two days. She ended up having a lip tie that needed to be revised.
3. Engorgement is Real
Getting your milk in hurts. Your boobs feel like cement and it makes it harder for baby to latch. I recommend putting an icepack on your breasts between feedings for 10-15 minutes. Also using a silicone pump like the Haaka to remove milk but not tell your body to make a lot more. Also, the gel packs are amazing and so worth the money since they are cold and can easily fit into a nursing bra.
2. Not So Instant Bond
The moment I meant my son I loved him. Obviously. But I didn’t quite feel the overwhelming joy everyone else did. I feared I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. Once the baby blues worked themselves out over the next few days I was feeling that special bond with my new little man.
1. Not Every Moment is Beautiful
I’m not talking about the blowout and spit up moments, but the “my baby has been crying for an hour and I’m about to lose my freaking mind” moments. When you have a new baby everyone from the person at the grocery store, your neighbor, and your mother will tell you to savor every single moment. That’s a lot of pressure. Every moment isn’t worth savoring. Sometimes it’s hard being a mama. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person or a bad mother for not loving every single moment. It means you’re a human. Being a mother is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing thing. But it’s filled with so many new adjustments and it’s ok if you don’t love every single minute.