Having a newborn is a wonderful experience and after having gone through the experience three times over, I realize that there are a lot of things that I was not privy to. Yes all the, “oh you’ll love having kids”, “having kids is a gift” and “cherish every moment” speeches that I received when I shared the pregnancy news was great and welcomed, but there are some things I just wish some older moms would have shared. Here are a few:
- Breast Engorgement is THE WORSE!! and it hurts.. like really really hurts. You’d want to make sure you’re feeding often and pumping to get that milk out. You also want to make sure you always have a few nursing pads with you at all times.
- More than likely, sad to say, your birth plan (if you have one) never goes according to plan. Be prepared for the unexpected including the fact that your doctor may not be the one to actually deliver your baby. Things happen, don’t panic… just be prepared for anything.
- The terrible twos can also be the terrible threes and terrible fours. Every baby is different with different personas and attitudes. Develop your discipline style and be consistent!
- You will feel as though you have NO CLUE what you’re doing. Every mother goes through a period of time, especially in the beginning, where they feel as if nothing they’re doing is right. It’s a lot of pressure caring for a newborn and having the weight of an entire little person’s future on your shoulder. Feeling inadequate or skeptic of your mothering skills is normal. Just brush those crazy feelings aside. You know what’s best for your baby and we were built with a natural instinct to care for our babies. If the feeling becomes overwhelming and you feel as though you want to do harm to yourself or baby, you should contact your doctor right away as you may suffer from post-partum depression. No worries, this happens to the best of us and there is help!
- When you’re in labor or just at the hospital during pregnancy, be sure to speak up about any pain or discomfort that you may be experiencing. Nurses are amazing and do their best to figure what may be happening but ultimately you know what you’re feeling in your body. For me, I went to the hospital for contraction pains and when the nurse came to check if I was dilated, and I wasn’t, shortly after I felt a little trickle of water that continued for a bit. I called the nurse and alerted her but she said it was probably a bit of liquid from her having checked me. She left for a few minutes and I debated whether I should just trust her judgment or follow my instincts which told me that something else was up. I decided to follow my instincts and when she came back, I politely asked her to check me as I just wanted us both to be sure. It’s a good thing I did as she discovered that my water broke! They had to schedule an emergency C-section as a result. – Trust yourself and speak up!
- Babies Cry! It’s okay. It doesn’t mean something is terribly wrong. Do what you can (change baby, feed baby, burp baby, rock baby) and if that doesn’t work and you’re getting frustrated… take a breather. Hopefully daddy or someone is there to tag team with you but if not, ask a good friend to come by to watch baby to give you an hour break to clear your head. No one is judging you and you’re not a terrible mother for becoming frustrated and/or needing help. 🙂 Also, gripe water does wonders!
- Jaundice is actually quite common. Our little one had this issue when coming out of the hospital and it was the worse experience I had mentally because I wasn’t used to it. It wasn’t until speaking to quite a few parents that I realized that they also dealt with it and that it was more common that I thought. It’s not a big issue and is easily treated with some sunlight and/or bili blankets.
Remember at the end of the day that you are not alone! There are billions of mothers on the planet and believe you me, someone has been in your shoes before and they have gotten out just fine! You can do this – trust yourself!