I have been wanting to write this post for awhile...
I'm going to try to blog a bit more, and start incorporating a variety of posts into this blog...we shall see.
Anyways... I have really wanted to write a short note to all the new mommies, and soon-to-be new mommies out there with some of the things I have learned. I am by no means an expert, but here ya go...
1. There is NOTHING wrong with NOT breast feeding...it's not for everyone. I really wanted to because of the health benefits for Z, and I did exclusively for 4 months, but I just did not produce enough milk to keep it up, and I was just not patient enough for it. Folks, there is nothing wrong with giving your child formula. When I started supplementing her diet, I reached out for support of my decision to supplement with formula, and I was told by the online support group that I just wasn't trying hard enough...Bull. I shouldn't have to be ashamed of not breast feeding her for the first year, I mean, hey, at least I'm FEEDING her (which is more than we can say for some moms out there).
2. Trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right about something that concerns your child, don't leave it up to chance. Follow those mommy instincts.
3. Child and Birthing classes are not necessary, but can be helpful. I didn't take them, and did just fine (at least she's still alive and has suffered no major injury). You figure it out as you go...and those instincts I was talking about kick in. However, classes may ease some anxiety you may be feeling.
4. Get a breathing monitor. Seriously. Right Now. The brand I have is called Angel Care. It has a sensor that you put under baby's mattress. This has given me sooooo much piece of mind. If she stops breathing, or for some reason leaves her crib, a crazy loud alarm goes off. If also has adjustable sound on it, so I can go outside in the garden while she's asleep and still hear her. This keeps me from staring at a video screen all night trying to decide if she's ok or not...I know she's breathing cause I don't hear an earsplitting screech of a monitor going off.
5. Don't try to be Super Mom...It's impossible. And if you try, you may end up actually missing the important stuff. Case and point- I spent the first month with Zoe making sure that the house was spotless, not a dish to be found in our sink. Looking back, I sure do wish I would have let the house go to hell, and cuddled my little baby every. single. moment.
6. Know what kind of birth you want to have and make sure the doc is on board. Know what to ask and what to say. Discuss it with your partner. And remember, it's never too late to get the right medical professional for your birth...I switched hospitals/doctors at 30 weeks, and I have never been so glad I made that decision.
7. You WILL be tired, and you WILL need help. Nothing, I mean NOTHING, can prepare you for the lack of sleep. You will need some help, preferably from someone other than your partner (they will be tired too). I really do not know what we would have done without family helping us through those first few weeks!
8. You will be anxious to get your body back, but go easy, especially if your planning to breastfeed. I got on Weight Watchers after 1 month. I lost the weight super fast because of breast feeding, but it also lowered my supply quite a bit. Take it slow and healthy!
9. Take a pillow to the hospital...I know this is weird, but I was really glad to have mine. I slept so much better, and it was comforting to have something from home. Also in your go bag, you should have some shampoo and conditioner (a hospital is not the same as a hotel), slip-on house shoes, a robe, nursing bras (if BF), and some really awful giant granny panties (just in case of a c-section).
10. Ignore all the sleeping books...they're garbage and will just confuse the crap out of you. Do what you think baby needs. If she's waking to see you at night, let her fuss a bit before you go in. If she's inconsolably crying, comfort her. If she's hungry, feed her. It's not rocket science, and they'll eventually sleep through the night.
Well there you are...my top 10! Good luck to all those new mommies!