May 22, 2010 (4:45 pm)

New Mommy Advice? What Do Say?

by Kristen Suzanne

I recently posted on my facebook update basically asking the following: “What mommy or postpartum advice do you have? Was there something you wish you had known that you know now? Was there a piece of advice someone gave you that was essential?”

I received many great answers with the most popular being “sleep when the baby sleeps.” With facebook however, the status gets buried so its life for others to view it is short. I wanted to have a blog post with some great advice that would be easy to access for all the future mommies out there.

So… what is your advice?

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  • Dawn

    Baby sleeps with you, slings, slings and more slings! Nurse – most amazing thing you will ever experience in your life. Long baths with the baby – tons of fun! Spend the first two weeks mostly in bed/resting/bonding/nursing and falling in love! :) Congrats!!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Oooh, I love all of those tips. Thank you!

  • MissionVegan

    The best advice I can think of is the book “1, 2 3 Magic.” Read it now and then read it again around age 2. We didn't read this book until our girl was 3 and it would have come in handy sooner. So we missed out for a little bit, but we found it to be a really easy discipline system that works for us. You don't really think about the discipline thing until around 2– but by then, you're already knee deep in it.

    Another good idea is to join your local Mother's Club. It was a great place for me to meet new people, get Emma into a playgroup, buy used baby stuff (or sell stuff that we weren't using)… we're still friends with people we met through our playgroup.

  • Mary

    :) Accept help when it's offered…even having someone do your dishes can be relieving. Go easy on yourself and definitely babymoon in bed as much as possible. The second time around I took almost two weeks to hang in bed and I wish I had done that the first time. If you are seeing a ped after your homebirth, it's okay to wait a few days, even a couple days after your milk comes in…a bit less stressful that way and more physically comfortable. Definitely have some cold (frozen is best) pads soaked in witch hazel and water for your postpartum, it feels so wonderful. Sitz bath works wonderfully too. Remember that everything will pass, will change! :)

  • Diane

    Follow your instincts. I wanted to have our little one sleeping in our room, but in a bassinet beside us. It took 4 nights of sleeplessness on my part for me to give into my mama' s intuition and we brought her into our bed. I finally got some well-needed sleep and all was right in our world.
    Drink lots of fluids those first few months because your body is flushing out pregnancy stuff and you will be producing lots of milk. If you have problems breastfeeding, consult more than one person too!
    Oh, and you can't spoil a baby, no matter what our Grandmas tell us. Hold it, love it, and respond to their needs. You will be happier, and your child will be happier!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    ooh! Good stuff!

  • anais2010

    I have to agree with all of what Diane said, the drinking (essential for good milk production in my humble opinion!), sleeping with baby and in general, just doing what your heart tells you (because that way you can be sure you'll never regret any of it ;-) ) and not listening to grandmas or (sometimes even) moms! Enjoy!

  • http://jessicasbento.wordpress.com Jessica

    Don't be shy about asking for anything, no matter what it is, and remember you won't be sleepless and constantly breastfeeding for the rest of your life. I had two amazing natural waterbirths, and after 9 months of anticipation and then a wondeful birth, it was hard emotionally to adjust to the sleep deprivation (maybe becuase I'm a 34 year old mommy, not a twenty-something) and realities of having an infant to care for. I also had trouble breastfeeding both times, even after lots of $ spent on numerous fancy lactation consultants. It was hard to reconcile what I wanted and expected with what I got. (I visualized a perfect breastfeeding baby and a blissful, competent mom and what I got was post-partum depression and non-breastfeeding baby). This was really hard for me because I am extremely idealistic about nutrition (in fact I was so hard on myself that it contributed to the ppd). I was determined to breastfeed no matter what the cost – and I ended up being admitted to ppd treatment, including heavy meds, to keep us both safe. And I lost that time of bonding spent recovering. So, I guess my little baby taught me a life lesson from the start (my idealism got in the way of a healthy relationship, and it turns out that despite not brestfeeding, she turned out great and healthy! She's only been sick once in 2 and a half years)

  • http://amyskretta.blogspot.com A. Skretta

    Don't forget to eat or drink! Believe me, it can happen. Once, I wasn't producing milk, and my poor son wasn't getting food, so I called my mom in tears, and she asked, “Have you drank any water today?” In caring for my son, I had totally forgot to take care of me! I slugged water and we waited, but he finally got a satisfying dinner!

  • rawfoodmamas

    This is an excellent question. You could probably put an ebook together for new moms with the best mommy advice.

    My advice – trust. Trust that everything you are doing is perfect. Trust that your child will grow up to be a beautiful being, no matter what. Trust that there is enough – time, sleep, great food, support, love. Just trust.

    You will be a wonderful mom!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Ooh… I love that!!! TRUST!!!! I will use that as my mantra through
    the birth as well.

  • Lissa

    Best advice I can give is to listen to your instincts and to the baby. And trust those instincts. The baby will let you know what he or she wants. Also relax and enjoy the bonding time between you and your baby. This is a precious time that will help set the tone of your relationship.

  • http://Kateisfun.blogspot.com Kateisfun

    My friend's Bradley Coach told her this, which I love: You don't need to people to hold the baby for you, you need people to do everything else for you! Baby = Yours, Dishes = Theirs. Best advice ever! Also, As someone else said, spend as much time as possible in the bed just hanging out w/ baby (preferably skin to skin). I read of one midwife that ordered her clients to six weeks of bed rest after the birth – I wish I had gone that long just hanging out in bed before getting back to “real life”. Also, do as much breastfeeding reading you can before the baby comes… it can be a bit nerve wracking trying to learn in the midst of everything. Also, if it feels challenging, know you're normal! Once you both get the hang of it, it feels like magic.

  • Liv

    Great question. I think I had a lot of expectations of how the birth of my baby would go. I felt like I did everything right–took care of myself, read all of the natural childbirth books, started at a birthing center with midwives, etc. I ended up with a c-section and I was completely disappointed, to the point of being a bit depressed for a good 2-3 months (not severely, just very disappointed). And all though I was able to breastfeed successfully for a long time, there were a lot of bumps in the road with that as well. I thought it was going to be ALL blissful. It’s very blissful, but difficult as well. I also planned on wearing my baby as much as possible, but the little guy just wasn’t down for it. So, I would say, go with the flow with your birth and your intentions on raising your baby. Do your best and prepare, but don’t let it get you down if it doesn’t all go as planned!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I like that! Thx :)

  • Sara

    I'm going to agree with the other posts about trusting your instincts, and also the power of breastfeeding. My four month old son has just recovered from meningitis and had to spend a week in the hospital. For the first several days, he was on a lot of monitors and had a lot of antibiotics in his system, and he was very weak. He was being fed breastmilk through a tube in his nose so they could monitor input and outputs. For a couple of days, he had to go on a little supplemental formula while the docs determined if he was having gut problems. While all of the doctors were incredible, it took me a while to find the one doctor who would listen when I said I knew he would get better faster if I could breastfeed him and hold him. As soon as he was able to come off of more monitors and IV's and I could do that, he got better much more quickly. I think a combination of having his mama, the wonderful goodness of the breastmilk, and the unknown wonders and comfort of being breastfed gave him the extra boost he needed to get better faster. He got to come home a week earlier than expected after this as well.

  • Sara

    I second all of the earlier comments! On the topic of breastfeeding: it was the toughest aspect for me, even though I am an intuitive sort of person. Don't expect it to “come naturally”– it might, but if it doesn't, you're not alone! Make sure your pediatrician is committed to promoting breastfeeding, otherwise, you might get lured into formula feeding, simply because the doctor stresses you out about how fast your baby gains his birth weight back. Make sure you have some support for breastfeeding–mother, auntie, sister, La Leche League, your midwife, doula, etc…whoever! Especially your partner, though! My husband was my best advocate. All that said, know that if it is difficult, it will get better, there is a solution, you will be able to do it. Persevere.

    And congratulations! May you have a blessed birth and a mighty little monkey!

  • Sara

    I second all of the earlier comments! On the topic of breastfeeding: it was the toughest aspect for me, even though I am an intuitive sort of person. Don't expect it to “come naturally”– it might, but if it doesn't, you're not alone! Make sure your pediatrician is committed to promoting breastfeeding, otherwise, you might get lured into formula feeding, simply because the doctor stresses you out about how fast your baby gains his birth weight back. Make sure you have some support for breastfeeding–mother, auntie, sister, La Leche League, your midwife, doula, etc…whoever! Especially your partner, though! My husband was my best advocate. All that said, know that if it is difficult, it will get better, there is a solution, you will be able to do it. Persevere.

    And congratulations! May you have a blessed birth and a mighty little monkey!

  • http://www.mamamamaquitecontrary.blogspot.com Sam

    All wonderful advice… I found that people will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps but it isn't realistic. Our children are wonderful, amazing creatures but I think it is important to have some waking time that isn't totally devoted to caring for a baby. Do something that feels right to you during this time and don't feel like you must sleep!

    Also, I second (or third?) the advice to stick with breastfeeding. It can be incredibly challenging in the beginning (which no one ever seems to want to tell women and then they feel like they somehow failed when it's not “easy” or doesn't feel “natural”) but it is such a gift for you and your child once you both get the hang of it!

    Lastly, you will know your baby better than anyone else so trust your insticts and remember that a doctor's opinion is often just that. If it doesn't feel right to you, it probably isn't!

    You're going to be a great mom!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Good stuff! Thx :)

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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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