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Advice for New Mamas?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I thought maybe we could all chime in and give our New Mama tips to everyone. Even though I've already birthed and raised a newborn, I know every child is different and this article really rang true to me. 

 

My biggest goal this time is to not stress about things! Last time I felt worry about getting DS on a good sleeping schedule, about the breastfeeding advice I was being given from EVERYONE, about holding him so much that he'd never want to be put down, ect. This time? I'M THE MAMA. I know what's best. I will hold him as much as I want, bedshare if that's this LO needs to sleep, nurse him as long as I want, not invite family/friends over to see him ASAP, and I'll trust myself. This is my last kiddo and I plan on enjoying every minute. And if that means (gently) telling off my MIL, talking to my own mother about NOT giving me CIO advice, and telling DH that the baby WILL sleep safely in our bed then I will. 

 

Any other tips from you women out there? What are you first time mamas thinking about? Worried about? Making a priority?

post #2 of 13

Good thread!  This time I'm going in with the knowledge that:

-The arrival of milk is going to be tough for me, but nothing is WRONG with me.  I just didn't know that it's normal to feel so emotional and out of control on milk day.

-Engorgement will not last forever ;) I really thought that my breasts would be permanently damaged and that ds would starve eyesroll.gif

-I will hold/wear her and lay in bed with her as much as possible and not let people tell me when I need a break.

-I can't necessarily "fix" a fussy baby with probiotics, taking herbs, changing my diet.  She might just be a crier (like her brother), and that's ok.  Last time I spent so much time spinning my wheels trying to figure out what was wrong with him and beating myself up for not finding the right answers when, really, there was no answer.  

-I can forget about sleeping schedules, because I truly believe that, if I follow her lead, she will tell me when she needs to sleep.  But if I try to impose a schedule and fail a million times, I will go insane :)

-She will tell me what she needs, and I will listen to her and myself, no one else.  

post #3 of 13

Great idea! thumb.gif

 

General Priceless Advice For All New Mamas (or, What I wish I had done the last three times):

 

- Rest with the new baby as much as possible. No matter how good I feel and how much the baby sleeps, don't try and "get stuff done".

 

- Accept help. If anyone asks if we need anything, don't hesitate to tell them to bring a meal over. Have a list of meal suggestions ready for DH to tell people what to bring.

 

Specific for me:

 

- Pump extra foremilk before nursing.

post #4 of 13

lurk.gif

post #5 of 13

My advice: Establish BF and focus on just that and sleep for the first good two weeks. if guests show up, and you want to hang out, that's great.  If at any time you change your mind, get tired, or the baby starts to sleep, GO SLEEP THEY CAN CHAT WITH DH OR JUST THEMSELVES, you are under no obligation to entertain/host/arrive at anywhere, for anyone.  They will understand, you'll be surprised, even the ones who say they won't now, they will.  Even with the holidays, its your baby, you won't get this time back, just treasure them and look deep in their eyes while they nurse.  

 

My plan: Establish BF and focus on that and sleep for the first good two weeks.  I will follow baby's lead but if they sleep more than 6 hours, wake them up.  DD slept 8+ hours at a stretch and got scary sleepy last time.  I know in my head that this one will be different because I won't have a CS and I won't be on drugs at ten days and I won't let her suck for an hour at a time, but, that's the one thing I am big on, is getting ENOUGH feedings in.   

post #6 of 13

I remember the dawning realization with my second baby that when they cry, once you've checked for all the standard complaints--hot, cold, hungry, diaper, etc. and they still continued to cry, that it was actually OK to just let them cry.  It dawned on me that I can't always make a baby stop crying and maybe, a good cry is just what they need. They get stressed, too. ;-)  Now, I am not for a moment advocating putting them down to cry.  I just took all the pressure and stress off of myself to get my baby to stop crying.  Instead, I will sit on the ball and gently bounce my baby, or walk back and forth slowly, or rock, whatever suits, with my baby snuggled to my chest, and tell him/her that if it's a good cry s/he needs, that's just fine with me.  I just softly tell them over and over, that it's fine with me if they need to cry, I will still be there and hold them.  If it's hard to feel calm during the crying, ear plugs can help (so long as baby is in your arms!).  Once I realized you can't always make a crying baby stop and sometimes, they need to vent, too, I felt so much calmer and more at peace. The funny thing is, I have real knack for calming other people's crying babies.  I've always been the mum at the LLL meeting who could take someone's crying baby and s/he would calm within seconds in my arms.  It's not because I have special abilities, I think it is simply because I'm not stressed out about the crying like the poor mother is, and the baby immediately senses that.  People's babies just fall asleep in my arms!

post #7 of 13

Figure out what works for you and let go of the guilt you couldn't do it the way you wanted to. This applies to ALL things with a new babe. Most everyone has researched everything under the stars and knows just how they want to do things, but if it doesn't work for you (because it can't work for everyone) then find what does and be happy about it :) Life is too short to try and live up to anyone's expectations sometimes even your own. If something is stressing you out, then find an alternative that works for you.

 

 

DON'T CLEAN. SLEEP!!!!! Every chance you get, sleep. No matter how important whatever it is seems, sleep. Even if your spouse won't clean, it really doesn't matter. SLEEP!!!

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thyme Mama View Post

Great idea! thumb.gif

 

General Priceless Advice For All New Mamas (or, What I wish I had done the last three times):

 

- Rest with the new baby as much as possible. No matter how good I feel and how much the baby sleeps, don't try and "get stuff done".

 

- Accept help. If anyone asks if we need anything, don't hesitate to tell them to bring a meal over. Have a list of meal suggestions ready for DH to tell people what to bring.

 

I totally have to learn these. I hate asking for help and I can't stand things not done.

 

 

Originally Posted by oikophile View Post

lurk.gif

  Hehe, ME TOO. I have read enough and seen enough growing up the oldest of 6 to not be a total novice, but I know I still will have a learning curve!

post #9 of 13

Thanks for this thread! Subbing in case anyone decides to add any more tips.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKoehn View Post

 I totally have to learn these. I hate asking for help and I can't stand things not done.

 

I finally figured out after all these years and babies that I *want* help. smile.gif But I am completely OCD about my home/routines and so I can't stand other people cleaning my house/doing laundry. Well, the lightbulb *finally* went off this time. idea.gif If someone asks how they can help, tell them to bring us food. That's my compromise. Food is a huge issue around here postpartum. I scratch cook everything and simply cannot keep up after I have a baby. Even though it may mean accepting/eating meals that I normally would not "allow", the simple fact that I cannot feed my crew all day long because I am caring for a newborn and am postpartum, means my DH will resort to feeding us crap, not because he wants too, but because he is disabled and can't cook all day either. My crew is happy because there is food, I am happy because everyone is fed, and the giver is happy they could help. Everyone wins and I don't have to wonder where dishes/laundry/etc was put away by someone trying to "help". thumb.gif

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guen View Post

I remember the dawning realization with my second baby that when they cry, once you've checked for all the standard complaints--hot, cold, hungry, diaper, etc. and they still continued to cry, that it was actually OK to just let them cry. 

 

I love this! Took me a while to get that concept with DS but I totally agree! Sometimes our babes need to vent their stress too and we can just cuddle and hold them while they do. Takes a load off your shoulders when you can't figure out what is wrong. 

 

ThyemMama- I love the idea of having a short list of meals to suggest to friends who want to help. I'll have to think up some.

 

Also- I typed a list of quick chores people can do when they visit- vaccuming, sweeping, feeding the pets, taking out trash, ect. and added where people can find the supplies for the task. I'm going to stick it on the fridge or the front door and see how things go!

post #12 of 13

Wow, do you all really have that many people offering help after the birth?  I'm envious!  We have no family nearby (they all live about 8,000 miles away on another continent!) and most of my friends work and have kids, so there really aren't many people who would drop by after the baby comes.  Never have been.  A couple to say congrats and bring a present, but that's about it.  No one has ever asked if we needed anything or if there is anything they can do to help, no one brings meals or offers to help around the house.

I'm actually stressing a bit about the timing of my labour and kind of wishing it will be sooner than later, for all that I'm not ready to have my pregnancy over yet, since this is my last. I'm stressing because the only person I really have to watch the younger kids is my teenager and what do I do if she's not home when I go into labour?  She is starting a concert tour next week with the regional orchestra, so she could be a two-hour train ride from home when I go into labour, if the timing ends up being really rubbish. :-/  And she is the only one my 3 y.o. can fall asleep for besides mum and dad.  I should be used to this. This is the fourth baby we've had without family to help (we were around family for our first, but no littles at home with our first, so no problems there) so I should be used to this, but it still stresses me out with every birth. 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by guen View Post

Wow, do you all really have that many people offering help after the birth?  I'm envious!  We have no family nearby (they all live about 8,000 miles away on another continent!) and most of my friends work and have kids, so there really aren't many people who would drop by after the baby comes.  Never have been.  A couple to say congrats and bring a present, but that's about it.  No one has ever asked if we needed anything or if there is anything they can do to help, no one brings meals or offers to help around the house.

I'm actually stressing a bit about the timing of my labour and kind of wishing it will be sooner than later, for all that I'm not ready to have my pregnancy over yet, since this is my last. I'm stressing because the only person I really have to watch the younger kids is my teenager and what do I do if she's not home when I go into labour?  She is starting a concert tour next week with the regional orchestra, so she could be a two-hour train ride from home when I go into labour, if the timing ends up being really rubbish. :-/  And she is the only one my 3 y.o. can fall asleep for besides mum and dad.  I should be used to this. This is the fourth baby we've had without family to help (we were around family for our first, but no littles at home with our first, so no problems there) so I should be used to this, but it still stresses me out with every birth. 


Aww, I wish there was someone to help you! Can you hire a doula there postpartum?

 

I got some lists going, and printed some things off of the llli.org website from the Tear Sheet Tool Kit in the back of my book. I didn't want to ruin the book and copies from a book are sad at best. SO when I read I could print them, great! I've also been writing and posting 3x5 cards with instructions. HOW to make the tea. HOW to do the laundry. Things like that. I know even hubby's not 100% sure on a lot of those things and my Mom will drive me bonkers asking things.

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