Advice for a New Mom? Please Share! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 02-12-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Becoming a mom for the first time means going through an insane amount of changes. That's why we put together our Pregnancy Week by Week Guide to offer some help to pregnant mamas. 

 

But we need your help to make this resource even better. We want to add some helpful advice from our members. So, whether this is your first pregnancy and you've learned something helpful to share--or you've gone through pregnancy and birth before--we want want to know:

 

What is the number one piece of advice you would share with a new mom? 

 

Post your responses below and we'll pull them together into a special article. 

 

Thanks everyone!

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#2 of 21 Old 02-12-2013, 05:26 PM
 
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My number one piece of advice is to trust yourself.  People will tell you how to be pregnant, how to eat, how to give birth, and how and what to feed your baby.  Trust yourself and your values.  It's hard when you're a new mom, hormonal, overwhelmed, and sleep-deprived, but you need to remember that your little person is depending on you and your partner.  Everyone else is just white noise. 

 

By trusting yourself you'll also learn that you can say no to people.  I had to say "no" to nurses who tried to give me pain meds during labor and "no" again to nurses who told me to get my newborn on a schedule so I could "get my life back" and then "no" again to well-meaning people who told me to let my 3 month old cry herself to sleep at night.  It can be so hard to sort through the constant barrage of advice, but if you educate yourself and surround yourself as much as possible with people who share your values, you'll gain confidence in yourself and your relationship with your babe will reflect that confidence.

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#3 of 21 Old 02-13-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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My first advice: It's okay to accept help. It's okay to be weak once in a while. It's okay to need support. or sleep or food. Your a mom, not superwoman. Care for yourself, don't ever forget yourself, otherwise you won't be able to look after the little ones, at least not to your own standards. It's okay to have a break. 


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#4 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 10:19 PM
 
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There are lots of romantic ideas about newborn bliss and how wonderful being new parents can be. Some of this is true, but you can also have feelings of shock, resentment and despair during those first few months and sometimes beyond! It doesn't mean you are a bad parent or that you don't love your child more than anything. It just means that you are a new parent, you are exhausted, and your hormones are going crazy. I just want you to remember that life will not always be this hard. There is so much joy in your future.

Maybe you are one of those people who will ease into parenthood and be in a blissful, honeymoon state from birth till eternity. I wish that on every new parent. But I was not that person. I was scared, felt alone, and totally resented my loss of freedom which resulted in me being consumed by guilt. I wish someone had said to me what I am saying now. This too shall pass! Congratulations on a wonderful new adventure. <3
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#5 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:02 AM
 
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Go to bed. Snuggling with baby in bed rocks. It make it easy to ignore the world and focus on us. I always felt like I was doing a great job as a mother, snuggling in bed (and in the bath together)

Mama to Monkey (Jan '09), Bee (May '11), and Cat (August, '13)

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#6 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:35 PM
 
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I agree with Dalia, about not everyone feeling the same way when they become mothers.  I suffered (still struggling) with ppd and ppd anxiety.  I had heard about ppd before giving birth but the reality of it is so much different than the baby blues you often hear about.  Just because you don't immediately feel like the mother you have always wanted to be doesn't mean you won't feel that way.  It may take days, weeks, months or even longer but you can get there.

Feeling like you are not the mother you want to be is scary and shocking.  Give yourself a break, realize that it is an illness and you are not a bad mother.  Take time for healing, however you choose to do that.  Talk to others, you are not alone.  Be patient with yourself and know that it will not last forever even though you  may feel that way.  Forgive yourself!

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#7 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:52 PM
 
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Yes, they really can be hungry again (already!)  orngtongue.gif  Just assume that before pretty much anything else.

Don't worry about how and when they should be sleeping.  Don't compare their sleep habits to anyone else's baby.  In fact, *ANY TIME* I have ever found myself comparing my kid to someone else's kid, and thinking that they *should* be able to do that...  it is always a mistake and leads to nothing but frustration for everyone.


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#8 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 03:50 PM
 
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Follow their cues. Feed them when they want to be fed, put them to sleep when they want to sleep. Don't try to impose an extrinsic schedule on them.

And keep them in contact with a loving body as much as possible. Doesn't have to always be mum, in fact recent research suggests that it is good for their development if they have other adult caregivers as well. Sitting with a sleeping baby on their chest is a great way for dad to bond. And grandparents/aunties/uncles etc don't usually mind too much either winky.gif I attribute the ease with which our babies transitioned to life in the outside world in great part to the fact that they were never left alone (obviously personality plays a big part too but you can't control that).

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#9 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 06:13 AM
 
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Definitely follow your instincts. Every time I do it works out rather than listening to what you "should" do.

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#10 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 11:10 AM
 
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Pregnancy does weird things to your body that you may not know to expect. Don't let those things freak you out. Your hips may feel like they're spreading, it'll sometimes feel like you're sitting on your baby's head when you sit down and you'll probably have increased vaginal discharge at times. It's all normal, weird feeling, but normal.

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#11 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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Don't get dressed for the first week! If you are in your nightgown or pjs all the lovely people who come to visit will take care of you. If you are dressed you will be the one making the tea!

 

Don't be surprised if the first time you decide to take a walk outside with baby (maybe at the end of the first week), it takes almost the whole day to get out the door. And don't worry, it will get easier.

 

Keep your expectations very low for what you can accomplish in the day. If you get a nice shower or bath, consider that a very successful day and especially once you don't have people around to take care of you as much.

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#12 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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I had to keep reminding myself to "just breathe" a lot during the first few days/weeks/months. The intensity of being a new mom was a lot to handle physically and emotionally but I knew it would change as time went on, my baby got a little older and my hormones settled down a bit.  

Also listen to your own body and mind when it comes to healing and responding to your baby - you'll know when your making the right choices for you and your baby. It will feel right.

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#13 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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Enjoy your baby!

 

Everything else will fall into place if you just take the time to remind yourself why are you doing *this* in the first place.
 


Ds 9 and dd 5
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#14 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 06:49 PM
 
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YOU are the expert on your baby.  You are the person in the whole wide world who best knows how to parent this little one.  Other people/books/websites/tv shows/relatives may have good suggestions that you may choose to try, but YOU are the only one who will know best if they work for your family.  You know more than anyone else what works best for your baby and your family.  There are no "right" answers or "right" ways to parent that work for every kid (no matter what other people say).  You'll know which ones are right for you and your baby/family.  Every baby and family are different.  Every single one.


Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! joy.gifHOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!!  Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!

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#15 of 21 Old 02-25-2013, 06:17 AM
 
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This is just about the only time that I feel competent as a new mom. When we snuggle and nurse together in bed.

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#16 of 21 Old 02-25-2013, 07:07 AM
 
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Its ok to have a messy house. You are growing a human being let the dishes wait and take a nap.
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#17 of 21 Old 02-26-2013, 11:08 AM
 
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Ask for help and surround yourself with people who are good at helping without being asked. It was extremely difficult for me to ask for help as a new Mom, I didn't realize how much I had internalized society's message of the "Super Mom", but I had and it was so hard asking even my husband and Mom for help. You will need help and breaks at times and there is nothing weak or unusual about that!
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#18 of 21 Old 02-28-2013, 08:33 PM
 
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Before the baby arrives become an informed parent. Research vaccines, circumcision, breastfeeding, diaper options, etc. When the baby arrives you can feel more confident and follow your educated instincts and enjoy your baby. Also, your life will never go back to what it was before the baby (this is a good thing as you are now a mom and the absolute center of your baby's universe). Relax and embrace your new role and new set of priorities. Those first weeks are tough - if you take care of the basics for you and baby (fed, rested,etc) you are doing a great job smile.gif
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#19 of 21 Old 03-01-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlyle View Post

YOU are the expert on your baby.  You are the person in the whole wide world who best knows how to parent this little one.  Other people/books/websites/tv shows/relatives may have good suggestions that you may choose to try, but YOU are the only one who will know best if they work for your family.  You know more than anyone else what works best for your baby and your family.  There are no "right" answers or "right" ways to parent that work for every kid (no matter what other people say).  You'll know which ones are right for you and your baby/family.  Every baby and family are different.  Every single one.

Hear hear! And thanks for giving ME this advice almost two years ago! :-)

Our little miracles are here!!joy.gif
energy.gif DD Born 7/15/11 biggrinbounce.gif DS Born 4/3/13
love.giflove.gif Keep growing healthy and strong, beautiful little fighter babies!!!

Auntie to Nell, Greta, Maggie, and Elsa!

Remembering our 3 losses
 

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#20 of 21 Old 03-05-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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As a new mum my advice is simple...be confident in yourself. The first expert is baby, second is you (liedloff) smile.gif there will be easy times and rough times (ahem nights lol) but know that everyday is a chance to learn something new about baby and yourself. When I was going through the second week my sister instilled cnfidence in me by saying motherhood is the toughest most beautiful thing one can do and know you are doing an amazing job. Everytime you are on the edge, maybe its 2am and your hips are about to give from rocking tirelessly, give yourself a hug "medal" I have a whole wall full (figuratively obv) and know that you're amazing! And try not too read too many "this is what a bahy should ideally be doing" books, they just make you anxious smile.gif
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#21 of 21 Old 03-05-2013, 04:55 PM
 
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Don't be so hard on yourself. New moms are notorious in the unnecessary/unproductive guilt department. If you have trouble with nursing for instance, get help and do what you can but don't internalize struggles as a sign of failure. Motherhood is a monumental, never ending task where there is no substitute for on the job training. Don't expect yourself to perfect on your first day, in your first week or your first month. In fact redefine perfection as loving your child and doing the best you can for them. Everything else is secondary. And as has been mentioned before, this too shall pass smile.gif
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