1. You can’t predict your labor.
Make your birth plan as detailed as you can. What music you may want, who your birth partner is, what pain relief you want to take, how you would like to be monitored, do you want to be active during labor even if you want a foot massage.
Write absolutely everything you want to happen down, then tear it up into a million pieces and let that sucker fly away into the wind because the only person who has any say in how labor and birth are happening is your baby.
So listen to your body and what it is telling you and if something doesn’t feel right voice it very loudly until you are checked. There has never been in the history of womankind a “textbook” labor and birth.
2. All that matters is the baby is being fed.
If you plan on breastfeeding, do not let yourself feel like a horrible mother because the baby doesn’t latch on right away. And be prepared for swollen milk ducts. If you plan on bottle feeding, do not let yourself feel like you’re a horrible mother because you decided to go that route. Regardless of which you choose, all that matters is the baby is being fed. End of story.
3. Be prepared to do a load of baby laundry every day.
You’ll get through more daily changes of baby clothes than you could imagine in the early days. So double the amount of baby grows you think you’ll need and be prepared to do a load of baby laundry every day to keep on top of it.
4. Sleep or rest when the baby sleeps.
Forget about cleaning when the baby is napping. Take that time for yourself. Sleep or rest when the baby sleeps. As long as your home is not unsanitary, you’re good. It doesn’t matter if baby (or your) clothes are all over the house or if dishes are everywhere. You can wear your baby while doing chores while he/she is awake. Self-care is SO important.
5. Check your baby’s temperature.
Here’s a specific one: If your baby won’t stop crying and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, see if they may be too hot or too cold. It might not be obvious from touching them. When my daughter was very small I called my mum as she would not stop crying. It was summer and Mum said to me, “What’s the baby wearing?” I told her just a normal sleepsuit and then she asked me what I was wearing. I was in tiny shorts and a vest top. I stripped baby down to her nappy and crying subsided.
I asked my mum how she knew and she said she’d called her father with the exact same situation when I was a baby.
6. Trust your instincts.
Trust your instincts. I didn’t read any books or go to any classes but somehow I knew what my baby needed. Relax! Your world has changed and give yourself time to adjust – do not expect to be perfect immediately. Seriously, chill.
Ignore all horror stories of other mothers and all boasting stories of other mothers. Congratulations! Welcome to a world where you no longer put yourself first – every decision you will now make you will automatically think of how it will affect your little person first, not you. And it is OK.
7. Take pictures.
Take all the pictures! As the years go by, you’ll be happy you took all of those sleeping baby pics.
Hey mums, you’re the best. Keep on being awesome.
Thank You For Your Time <3