**This was originally written only five weeks into mother-hood. (My baby is now 15 months old.) As a first time mom, there are a million things I’ve learned, but at only five weeks, these were a few. Note: I had a natural birth in a hospital setting. I would definitely recommend a birth center or a home birth instead!**
Even though I’ve only been a mom for a little over a month, there are already many lessons I’ve learned that I want to write down so I remember them for the next baby we have!
In a month of Mommy-hood I’ve learned:
- To breastfeed a LOT while in the hospital! I don’t think I fed her near as much as I could have, which would have helped establish my supply I believe.
- To keep baby skin-to-skin constantly from birth. This also would have helped my supply I believe.
- To pump starting immediately to build up a “freezer supply” of breast milk. I wish, wish, wish I had done this from the beginning!!
- To use the “natural ways” to increase breast milk right away & have those items on hand before the baby is born.
- To get involved with a La Leche group before birth!!
- To take a “natural birthing” class and a breastfeeding class (and/or meet with a lactation consultant).
- To eat better (starting before/during pregnancy) and drink a LOT more than normal!
- To exercise in some form or fashion throughout pregnancy!
- To use cocoa/shea butter from the beginning of pregnancy. To note, I am not ashamed or embarrassed by my stretch marks–they are a symbol of the child I carried and grew to love even before she was born!
- To have more than one or two newborn size outfits. Our little girl was (and still is) tiny, and while this might not be everyone’s case, I only had a couple onesies that fit her when she came home.
- To have a couple different brands/types of pacifiers on hand. Baby didn’t like the ones we’d been given, so we had to buy a different type for her.
- That, while it may cause nipple confusion in some babies, sometimes a pacifier can calm not only the baby, but the parents as well.
- To have witch hazel, pads, liners, and “adult” wipes on hand for the aftermath of birth!
- To linger in that first shower after birth…it feels soooo amazingly good!!
- To not end up on your back during labor. The pressure and pain increased significantly when laying down. I believe if I had been able to get up and walk around a bit more towards the end, that I would not have been in so much pain.
- To not let the doctors and nurses insist on the “purple pushing” way…(pushing while holding your breath and they count to 10…it decreases oxygen to you and baby).
- To make sure that the doctor on call has a chance to view our birth plan before delivery takes place. The doctor on call was great, but wasn’t aware of our birth plan (I don’t believe) and a few things I wanted didn’t happen.
- That you can never have too many burp cloths, diapers, or wipes! And that receiving blankets make a better burp cloth!
- That doubles of everything are a-okay…especially if you have a 2 story house!!
- That a sound machine or soft music can be your best friend at nap and bedtime!
- SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS!! (I still have not mastered this!!)
- To baby wear from day one! We didn’t do this and oh the advantages of baby wearing that we missed out on!
- To act like it is no big deal when people flip out because you went through all of labor and delivery with NO pain meds!
- To not allow your household to be deathly quiet when baby is sleeping. We have made sure that baby has been exposed to all sorts of sounds when awake and asleep. This child will sleep through most anything once she’s truly asleep…or asleep in our arms!!
- That my baby girl is worth every bit of pain I went through!
I’m certain there are so many more things that I will find to add to this list as life with baby rolls on!! I am so excited to be a Mom and am loving everything about it…except for the sleepless nights!! There is nothing like it in the world!!
What are your best lessons from mommy-hood?