The day that I found out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life, my husband and I were just so excited beyond words. I could not contain my excitement, as soon as I found out I was pregnant( which was 7 am on a Saturday morning) I woke up my husband to tell him the good news and then I grabbed my keys to drive to my parent’s house to tell them they’re going to be grandparents. I did not give care that it was still so early, I was just so happy and wanted to share the excitement with the people I love.
And then 9 months flew by just like that and we were in the hospital delivery room with our precious bundle of joy, all the waiting, and anticipation behind us. I could not wait to go home with my beautiful baby girl where it’s peaceful and I can finally get some rest. Little did I know how drastically my life is going to change, and boy was I about to get a major wake up call.
So I am going to share with you what I wish I knew before having a baby.
1. Babies DO NOT Sleep at Night.
Ok I know this sounds funny, but I honestly did not know that newborns don’t sleep through the night. People kept telling me, “Oh get some rest and sleep now before the baby comes”. And I would just assume they’re giving me a hard time because of course being a mom I will have more responsibility and more work, but I did not know that they meant it literal. This was the biggest shock to me and the thought of a newborn not sleeping through the night, did not cross my mind at all.
I still remember that first night when we got home from the hospital, I was so exhausted from labor and delivery I could not wait to get into bed and get a full night’s rest. Ha! Little did I know that for the next couple of months that I would forget the meaning of Rest. So here I am finally in my own bed, so exhausted but so blessed and thankful to God for this miracle to our family, I close my eyes and 5 minutes later I hear a “Wah Wah”. Halfway asleep I got up to check on the baby why is she crying, I fed her less than 30 mins ago, Maybe she’s hungry, so I breastfed her and she fell asleep. But while I was feeding her she pooped her diaper, so while I was changing her diaper she woke up and started to get fussy again, and that about sums up my night. In the morning I called my mom and told her “Mom, something is wrong with my baby? She did not want to sleep at night”, and my mom just could not stop laughing, she knew exactly what I was talking about.
I’m laughing at myself right now(and you’re welcome to join) as I am writing this how inexperienced and unprepared I was. I mean babies are humans just like me, I sleep through the night why wouldn’t they? Babies’ timing system has not yet developed and they simply cannot sleep thru the night, also they need to be fed often which is hard work for them and they need time to rest.
It’s important to establish a nightly routine and help your baby understand day and night. Also, make sure to give yourself and your baby some sunlight to help with melatonin production.
2. Breastfeeding is HARD !!!
I wish I prepared myself and went to one of those La Leche classes and educated myself about breastfeeding. I am the oldest sibling and was one of the youngest from my friends to become pregnant and totally clueless, I just assumed that breastfeeding is this natural, wonderful and magical part of motherhood (and it is, but that doesn’t mean its easy, at least for me it wasn’t).
First of all, I struggled with latching and this would cause so much pain every time I breastfeed, that I would just close my eyes and not breathe I wanted to cry at times. Thank God I went to a lactation specialist and she suggested I use Nipple Shield and it helped me so much with easing away the pain and also helped my baby to latch on better.
Then, I was so confused and worried if my baby was getting enough milk since I can’t see how much she drank. I was told at the hospital to breastfeed on both sides, but my baby would fall asleep during feeding or was too full and did not want the other breast. So I did not know what to do with the other side? And because I was so unprepared and uneducated I became engorged and got the worst case of mastitis, and it wasn’t just for a day but I had mastitis for a WHOLE MONTH, and that was horrible!!! I remember being so miserable, I had this stabbing constant pain in my breasts, fever and not to mention cracked sore bleeding nipples, because I had a horrible breast pump.
I hope I didn’t scare you away, becoming a mom was one of the best things that happened to me and I want to share my experience and hopefully help and prepare new mamas for motherhood.
So, mamas, my advice is first to educate yourself on breastfeeding, attend a breastfeeding class and ask lots of questions. Another reason why I struggled so much is that in the beginning, I had a horrible breast pump and it did not pump all the milk out and also the suction was so strong that it caused so much pain and nipple cracking. Invest in a good BREAST PUMP, after doing some research I purchased Madela Pump and it was a lifesaver.
I did now know that a little tiny baby would be so much work, from changing diapers, breastfeeding/pumping, to never-ending laundry, you hardly have any time to take a shower, let alone cook. Thank God to my sweet mom, she lived close by and would bring us meals, but I still wished I meal prepped and frozen a few meals, it would have been so much easier and convenient.
4. Prepare a Postpartum Kit.
When you come home, the last thing you’re gonna wanna do is go to a store while you’re recovering, its best to prepare and stock up and have the following items on hand. These are my absolute necessary items you will need to help you recover.
- Nursing Bra.
- Maternity Pads.
- Lanolin Cream my best breastfeeding friend, it protects your nipples from soreness and cracking.
- Pain Relieving Spray, this spray is incredible especially if you had any tears, it literally takes your pain away.
- Nursing Pads.
- Stool Softener.
- High Waist Panties
5. Rest As Much As You Can.
It’s important for you to get as much rest as possible, so when the baby is napping I know you have a million things you want to get done. Don’t worry it’s still going to be there waiting for you, but it’s important to take care of yourself. Post Partum recovery takes about 6-8 weeks, and remember your body went through a lot delivering a baby into this world. Your hormones are changing, sleep deprivation doesn’t help, you’re going to feel emotional, but don’t get frustrated it gets easier just remember to also give yourself a break.
6. Certain Foods Can Irritate Your Baby.
If you are breastfeeding there might be certain foods that can make your baby fussy and gassy. If you notice that your baby is sensitive to a specific food, try to eliminate it from your diet. I remember I could not eat any pickles because it would bloat the baby and make her very gassy, also I could not eat chocolate because every time I did she broke out in a face rash.
7. You may experience Uterine Contractions.
The first few days after delivery while breastfeeding you may experience after birth cramps, don’t worry you are not in labor again it’s your uterus shrinking. Nipple stimulation during breastfeeding causes your uterus to contract and may cause you pain if, it’s too uncomfortable you can take pain-relieving medication to help you ease your pain.
8. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others.
Everyone has their own opinion and advice do what works for you and don’t let anyone put you down, you know the best what your baby wants and needs. I remember at the hospital the nurse would tell me to write down every time the baby would pee, poo and how often I fed her, and if I forgot to write it down I would stress over it. Don’t make it harder than it has to be, motherhood will come naturally to you and you don’t need to worry and stress about every single little thing.
9. Drink Lots of Water.
I would get so dehydrated and thirsty every time I breastfed, and that because breastfeeding stimulates a hormone called Oxytocin. 90 percent of breastmilk comes from water, so it’s important to drink lots of fluid to maintain your milk supply. Remember to keep a bottle of water next to you while your breastfeeding so you state hydrated.
10. Savor Every Moment.
Babies grow up so fast, you think that they will stay little forever but sadly they grow up way to quickly. I loved every stage, especially the newborn stage, take lots of pictures and videos for memories. People would tell me not to hold my baby while she was sleeping, because she will get used to me and will not want to sleep alone, but I say hold and cuddle your baby as much as you want because when they won’t stay little forever so savor every moment.
Becoming a mother taught me another level of love, sure it was hard in the beginning but I would do it all over again. Motherhood taught me to be more patient, grateful and stronger. I know how difficult first few months of motherhood can be, but don’t worry it does get easier and God will never give you more than you can handle
What are you struggling with as a new mom? Comment below and I will be sure to reply. If you liked this post, please like and share, thanks so much for stopping by.