What I Wish I Knew Before Having My First Baby…
When you are pregnant, people love to give a lot of unsolicited advice and bits of knowledge. I get it, I will never sleep again and eating a hot meal will become a thing of the past! Obviously! Everyone knows that! Here are a few things I wish people had told me…
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1. Labor and delivery isn’t THAT bad!
Everyone I talked to liked to tell me how painful labor is. My OB was the only one who said to ignore those people, labor isn’t that bad, she was right! Yes it was long, stressful and painful. But it wasn’t like being stabbed painful, it was more like running a marathon painful! And the good news; 6 months post labor and delivery and I barely remember it! My husband on the other hand still isn’t quite over it!
2. Breastfeeding hurts…. a lot!
All the information that I was given said breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt; if it does your doing it wrong. Let me tell you, those people I’m sure have never breastfed! It hurts! For the first 2 months my nipples were raw, cracked and often bleeding. And when he first latched it was beyond painful! I cringed when he got hungry…. again! When I shared this with other moms who had breastfed their babies, they all agreed! The good news, your nipples eventually heal up and it no longer hurts! If you fight through the pain first few weeks breastfeeding is much more convenient and cheaper than having to formula feed!
Tip: try squeezing out a few drops on breast milk and letting it dry on your nipples or try some of this cream for cracked nipples!
3. You will doubt yourself….. constantly!
I was pretty confident about having a baby. Other moms I talked to mentioned that they were nervous to bring their babies home because they weren’t sure if they knew what they were doing. I did not have this doubt….. until I actually brought him home! It was like all my confidence went out the window! Was he getting enough milk? Is this water too hot or to cold to bathe him in? Is the diaper too tight? Is my house too hot or cold? Luckily, I had an awesome support system that I could consult with on all my doubts. The good news, if you’re following your gut, your doing it right! A good piece of advice that someone gave me was ‘do whatever works for you right now, you’re not going to screw your baby up for life’! I suggest you keep some good friends numbers close by so you have someone to consult to ease your doubts and fears.
4. If your baby cries….
and you don’t know why or how to make him stop…. just nurse him! Sorry, not breastfeeding mamas, I dunno if feeding him will work for you but probably! Give it a try!
It took 5 days or so before my milk fully came in so the colostrum he was eating wasn’t very filling and didn’t last long before he was hungry again. My first day home, after I had just fed him he started crying. So I changed his diaper…. didn’t help! So I swaddled and rocked him… didn’t help! I was frustrated and worried so I fed him. The good news, it worked! Especially breastfed babies need to eat often…. very often! The bad news, now that he is a bit older this doesn’t always work any more !
5. You will google everything!
If you could see my google search history it would look something like this ‘ is it normal for X week old baby to XYZ…’ and ‘symptoms of … (fill in name of every possible childhood disease or disorder). So far for me the answer has been ‘yes it’s normal’ and ‘no he does not have any rare diseases or disorders’ thank goodness! But I am still googling everything and frequently (daily) texting Linda asking ‘is this normal’? Babies do strange things and make strange noises but they are all for the most part completely normal! So don’t worry so much and trust your gut, if something just doesn’t seem right, make an appointment with your doctor!