45 Things First Time Moms Should Know: From Pregnancy To Postpartum
Becoming a mom for the first time is HARD. I remember how scared and shocked I was looking down at a positive pregnancy test.. I couldn’t believe it. Of course with how close I am to my mom, I called her crying; not knowing what to do or think. With so many of my past doctors telling me that I probably couldn’t have children because of my medical history and treatments, I was in disbelief.
After 9 long months of pregnancy, I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl on December 29, 2015. And she has completely changed my life for the better. Now, my daughter is about to turn a year old and walking! This past year has been full of good days and bad days, messy diapers, tears, laughs, sleepless nights and an overall learning process.
So here are some tips and advice that I would like to share with other first time moms of things that I have learned and experienced for myself; from pregnancy to my daughter now about to turn a year old. I hope this helps!
- Trust yourself and your instincts.
- You don’t need a thousand things. Don’t buy every little item on those shopping lists that you see online. Stick to the basics and the things that you will need right away!
- Don’t take every advice seriously! Remember, it is your choice; whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or not, vaccines, or any other decisions involving your baby. Do what you feel is instinctively best!
- Newborns don’t always wear newborn clothes, and if they do, it might just be for a week or two, maybe even longer. Some babies also wear size 0-3 months right away. This is the same with diapers.
- Download a pregnancy app to track your baby’s development. I used What To Expect. They also have communities/groups on there where you can talk to other women and even get advice about a question you have.
- There are plenty of things about parenting that you won’t know until you experience it for yourself. Books can only guide you.
- Things will never “go back to normal”. Your body will change, you might get stretch marks, and your way of living will change as well.
- Birth plans are subject to change at any given moment, so try to have an open mind and educate yourself about all possibilities. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and it’s okay; as long as the end result is a healthy baby in your arms! Personally, I wanted to have a vaginal birth but I ended up having a C-section; and that’s okay!
- It’s okay to have a meltdown and it’s okay to cry.
- Find a mommy or support group.
- Love your body! It is busy creating a beautiful miracle and not all women get to experience it. Plus, this is the time to eat what you want and enjoy splurging! Too many worry about getting “fat”.
- Don’t feel guilty if you feel upset if the baby’s sex isn’t exactly what you were expecting or wanted. It’s completely normal and it will pass.
- Pregnancy will make you tired AND emotional. So just try to relax when you can. (I know this is easier said than done sometimes)
- When your feet swell, keep them elevated. My feet would swell extremely bad towards the end of my pregnancy and this helped.
- Back pain and contractions are probably the absolute worst part of pregnancy. (At least during mine)
- Let your body heal properly and always listen to your doctor. You have another human being to take care of now and you can’t afford to risk anything.
- Wash your baby’s clothes before use as some clothing may contain chemicals from shipment.
- It’s okay if you don’t have an immediate connection with your baby. It will build over time.
- Accept any help you can get! It will allow you to have some time to yourself and get help around the house.
- Newborns will cry.. A lot. It is how they communicate and express what is wrong. Just have patience.
- Babies have their own schedule. Don’t try to force them into one. They are adjusting just as much as you are.
- Do not be too hard on yourself! Everyone feels unprepared at some point and that’s okay. It’s a constant learning process, no matter how much you try to read from books or online.
- It’s okay to have a glass of wine once in awhile.. (Or a few!)
- Think your baby is teething? Please be sure to check out my post for safe and natural teething remedies, as well as, signs and symptoms of teething.
- Cut your baby’s nails when they are sleeping! I can’t say this enough.. Please, save yourself the trouble.
- Get out of the house! Even if this is just a walk around the park with your newborn.
- You can’t spoil a baby! Love them and snuggle with them as much as you want. As they get older and become more independent, they won’t want cuddles as much.
- Realistically, you won’t stay friends with all of the same people once you’ve had a child. For me, this is definitely okay since I only want those that support me and that I can trust.
- You will appreciate your own mom so much more now that you’re a mom too. You will understand why she did the things she did and what she had to go through.
- Write down when your baby reaches certain milestones and other special moments that happen. For example, I wrote down what/when for when my daughter started crawling, when her first tooth broke through, her first word, her favorite foods and when she first tried solids, and also when she first started walking.
- Giving birth is scary, but you will get through it. And when you do, it will be the happiest day of your life.
- Formula feeding does NOT make you a bad mother. Not everyone is able to breastfeed, including me, but it’s okay. Ignore the pressure to breastfeed and do what is best for you and your baby.
- Life with a new baby can get kind of hectic, but don’t forget to make time for yourself, your partner, and your relationship.
- Postpartum depression is real. Luckily not everyone will suffer from it, but a lot of women do.
- Co-sleeping might be the only way that you can sleep at night. With my daughter, this was a must. Otherwise, she would wake up every 5 minutes in her bassinet and I became overly exhausted.
- Time really does go by fast with a baby. Enjoy every moment, because before you know it they will be a toddler.. running around.. making messes.
- Every baby reaches milestones at different ages. However, if and when you do feel concerned, bring it up at your baby’s next doctor visit.
- Let your husband or partner learn and do things their own way. This will help avoid arguments as well.
- Not all diapers are the same! And not everything will work for your little one, so it will be trial and error.
- Understand that each child is unique in their own way.
- Baby Aquaphor is amazing for diaper rashes.
- Stock up on wet wipes! For me, these are a lifesaver as my daughter loves to make messes, especially with her food.
- Never leave home without extra clothes for your little one.
- Everyone has different parenting styles.
- Remember to laugh and have fun as you watch your child grow. Enjoy these moments as you will never get them back.
What tips or advice do you have for first time moms?