Top 7 mom-tested tips for birth and beyond

Top 7 mom-tested tips for birth and beyond

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These seven helpful pointers from our site moms will guide you from pregnancy through the newborn period:

1. Remember that you don't have to have a "perfect" birth

"Let go of the vision of a perfect birth, and be open to whatever kind of birth you have. Be an intensely proud mama, whether you have a 2-hour or 24-hour labor, a planned or unplanned c-section or an epidural, [and whether] you scream like a banshee, poop, or have a 'perfect birth.' Be proud of yourself, and tell your story. Welcome to the club."

"My best advice to women is to not get down on yourself or feel cheated out of some experience if you have to have a c-section. Keep your focus on the real goal, which is for you and your child to be safe and healthy. Who cares how your child comes into the world? He's arrived and is yours to hold in your arms and smooch until he won't let you anymore."

"Try to remember that if it doesn't go as expected, all that matters is that you and your baby are safe and healthy. Be very flexible with your birth plan. If you aren't, it could lead to unnecessary disappointment."

2. Learn about pregnancy and birth ahead of time

"We make it a point to learn a lot about what happens to our body during pregnancy. However, I never really took the time to learn about what happens after the birth. My body went through all kinds of changes that I wish I'd known about beforehand."

"Ask lots of questions at your prenatal appointments. I just assumed I wouldn't have a c-section, so I didn't ask any questions. I ended up having a c-section at the last minute, and I was nervous and scared and trying to get in all my questions at once."

"Download a few pregnancy apps. They're fun to use and can tell you about your pregnancy symptoms and your baby's development. There's even one that shows how big your baby's hand is as he grows. You can track your weight gain, what you've eaten, and how much you've exercised. You can also talk to other pregnant moms on message boards."

"Read all you can about pregnancy, labor, and delivery as well as about the first few weeks after the baby is born. You won't have as much time once the baby arrives!"

"Learn as much as possible about labor and delivery, and attend a childbirth class. I felt completely prepared going into labor. I was still nervous, but at least I knew what my body would be going through."

"Educate yourself ahead of time, so when it's time to make decisions, you can make a choice that's right for you."

3. Don't be a martyr

"'Mother' should never equal 'martyr.' Take all the help you can get – and don't feel bad about it."

"If I were to do it over, I would let the nurses take the baby to the nursery for a while so I could get some rest. I don't think I would have been as exhausted the first few weeks if I had some rest in the hospital. [Dealing with] the constant attention from the [hospital] staff, attending to the baby, and [having] visitors kicked off the sleep deprivation."

"Line up help for when you come home from the hospital – it makes things so much easier. Rest as much as you can in the hospital."

"Accept any help the first few weeks, but don't be afraid to tell people that you need time to yourself. Some of my favorite moments were with my husband, son, and daughter, doing absolutely nothing at home."

"Get all the help you can. Try to get [a trusted friend or family member] who has experience with babies to come stay with you. Let them help as much as possible, and don't feel guilty for sleeping. You'll have your baby for a long time, and you need to remember that you're healing from something major."

4. Know that bonding can take a while

"All love takes time. [Bonding with your baby] isn't like the kind of love you have for someone you've known for 10 years. It's the budding love you have for your baby that grows and changes."

"Although I fell in love with my baby right away, it still took some time to really get to know her. She seemed like a little stranger at first, but over the first few weeks of her life, we really bonded. Now I think we fit together like two peas in a pod!"

"A traumatic birth can sometimes hinder bonding. Don't beat yourself up about it if bonding takes a little longer."

"The love you feel for your baby far surpasses everything else – even if it doesn't 'click' right away. Believe me, it will."

5. Advocate for yourself

"Tell your partner exactly what you need. He can't read your mind, and he wants something to do to help."

"Make sure that you ask all your questions! There are no stupid ones!"

"I'm a single parent by choice, and the one thing that I really wanted to do was cut the cord. I made sure that my mom (who was with me the whole time) knew this, and she made sure to let the doctor and the nurse know."

"If you don't like something the nurses are doing, don't be afraid to speak up."

"Don't be afraid to be assertive while in the hospital. It's easy to feel like you have lost control [of what is happening] to you, but you have the right to be in [charge] of your treatment. Also, be patient."

6. Get breastfeeding support

"If you decide to breastfeed, be very adamant with the nurses about having someone assist you learn how to do it."

"I recommend taking a breastfeeding class during your pregnancy. It makes breastfeeding so much easier."

"My advice is to watch videos and read as much as possible about breastfeeding before the birth, and be open to receiving help if you need it. There are lots of helpful nurses and lactation consultants at the hospital, and some even do house visits."

"If you're uncomfortable with a lactation consultant seeing or touching your breasts, you can at least talk over the phone and have her guide you through it. It may not be as helpful as meeting in person, but it's much better than trying to work through a breastfeeding problem on your own."

7. Be a memory keeper

"Remember to have someone take a picture of the baby right after he or she is born."

"Take tons of pictures and video! I didn't, and now I wish I had!"

"Think about hiring a professional to take birth story pictures during labor and delivery. Sometimes a newborn photo session is included in the package. It's pricey but worth it! Before you hire someone, make sure your hospital allows professional photographers inside your room."

"Have your partner take pictures of the baby on the warmer, on the scale, etc. Give detailed instructions beforehand. I got one picture, and I wish I had more."

Watch the video: Rebeccas Emergency Trip to Hospital! Letting Subscribers Decide New House! Hacks Fail Challenge (June 2022).