For the Mother-To-Be
You know the old cliche: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, the “From the Mouths of Moms” series is our village. Whether connecting in person or virtually, we as mamas are stronger together; listening to one another, learning from one another, and supporting one another. And who needs support more than a brand new mother-to-be? We’ve already given advice for the first weeks with a newborn, but what about advice for the brand new mom? Let’s see what our mama friends think…
25 Pieces of Advice for a Mother-To-Be
1. Set Up A Support System
“The right kind of support really makes a difference so try to surround yourself with friends/family that are truly supportive and that can lend a helping hand while you bond with your baby.” Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection
2. Sometimes Bonding Takes Time
“I wish I had known that I wouldn’t fall in love with him at first sight. This did not happen for me, especially with my first child. It took time to get to know him. I fell more in love every day, but it wasn’t love at first sight, like I was told it would be.” Becky of This Reading Mama”
3. Find a Good Pediatrician
“Find a pediatric practice that you really can trust and talk to openly and one that is supportive of your parenting goals.” Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection
4. Educate Yourself About Medical Decisions
“You can choose which vaccines your kid gets. Even if you decide to get all the vaccines recommended by the CDC, know what the vaccine is for and why they need it.” Carissa of Creative Green Living
5. Things Don’t Always Go As Planned
“Also, that things don’t always go the way you plan, but that your kids WILL BE OK! I had envisioned getting pregnant easily, having one child at a time, carrying to term, breastfeeding forever, minimal hospital interventions, etc., etc. Instead, we needed fertility help and ended up having our twins at 32 weeks with a month-long NICU stay. I only breastfed for two months. I didn’t even get to hold my son for the first 12 days of his life. But I have an unbelievable bond with my children and have seen no ill effects from all the medical interventions they had in their first few months. And even though we couldn’t breastfeed longer, they are very healthy! So all those ‘wrongs’ obviously made two ‘rights!’” Stephanie of Twodaloo
6. Expect the Unexpected
“Know that things may not go the way you’ve planned, but everything will still be okay. Prepare your mind for the fact that you’ll have to be flexible with childbirth or your newborn’s needs and you’ll weather the unexpected much more easily.” Chrissy of The Outlaw Mom
7. Go With The Flow, Mama!
“I would say that with my first child I expected there to be a routine and that it would stay the same so I was very frustrated when that wasn’t the case. With my second, I was more prepared to ‘go with the flow’ – a much more flexible routine – and I stayed much happier. It was about what I told myself I think.” Tonya of The Crafty Mummy
8. Every Baby’s Different
“Every pregnancy and every baby is different, so it doesn’t matter what your mother, mother-in-law, sister, or friend down the street did. You have to do what works for you, your baby, and your family!” Ashley of Life with Moore Babies
9. Don’t Obsess Over Milestones
“I try not to stress about the developmental milestones that are outlined in the books. I’ve learned after three kids that every baby truly is different and learns and develops in their own way. I’ve learned that stressing about my kids’ development and health is closely linked to how well my depression and anxiety is controlled.” Krissy of B-Inspired Mama
10. You’re Not Alone!
“Remember that others have struggled with the same things that may be challenging you. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help and input.” Deirdre of JDaniel4′s Mom
11. Find Mom Friends
“Find some mom friends. It is a good way to have a social life with your kids, plus they can give a lot of practical advice and help you see that what you are experiencing is normal. I joined a moms group when my son was 20 months, wish I had done it a lot sooner! They are the best.” Leanna of All Done Monkey
12. Don’t Underestimate How Tired You’ll Be
“Also don’t drive too much – you are way more tired than you can even imagine and the likelihood of you having a minor ding is high.” The Monko of Taming the Goblin
13. Find Ways to Cope With Sleep Deprivation
“Sleep deprivation is one area of parenting where I have a lot of experience. Nobody would call my kids ‘good’ sleepers, and having three in under three and a half years probably doesn’t help. Advice for dealing with sleep deprivation is probably my most-asked-in-real-life question – mainly because everybody knows my kids don’t sleep! I asked the ladies of the Kid Blogger Network for their advice, and compiled the twenty tips for coping with sleep deprivation.” MaryAnne of Mama Smiles
14. Let Go of Mommy Guilt
“Don’t feel guilty if you feel overwhelmed or need a break. Doesn’t mean you love your child any less.” Leanna of All Done Monkey
15. Make Time for You and Your Relationship
“When my two oldest were ages 18 months and 2 years, their dad and I separated. We have since divorced. I’m not sure that anything could have prevented our divorce, but I do know that not making time for ourselves and for our relationship certainly contributed. Even if it’s just for a few minutes after the baby’s sleeping, try to spend some quality time with your partner.” Krissy of B-Inspired Mama
16. Follow Your Own Rules
“I always say do what works for you and your family. You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules but your own.” Jaime of Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails
17. Do What Makes You and Baby Happy
“Focus on doing things that make you and your baby happy over following advice.” MaryAnne of Mama Smiles
18. Follow Your Instincts
“Read the books (if you must)…and then throw them out Trust your instincts- if it feels wrong, don’t do it! Parenting isn’t an exact science-I mean, where’s the fun in that?” Stephanie of Twodaloo
19. Use Common Sense
“[I] agree with Stephanie, you have to trust your instincts. It is so easy to throw out all the common sense and replace it with stuff you have read, but if you follow your baby’s cues and trust your gut you will muddle through.” The Monko of Taming the Goblin
20. Just Focus On Love
“Know that whatever you do, as long as you are acting out of love your child will be okay. I think so many of us worry about making the “right” decision all of the time and fear that if we don’t our kids will suffer some long-term, devastating consequence. Whether you use a pacifier or not, breastfeeding or bottle, when you start the baby on solids, your sleeping arrangement, the decisions go on and on. Research as much (or little) as you want. Ask as many (or few) friends as you want. But just know whatever you decide, you and your baby will be okay!” Shaunna of Fantastic Fun & Learning
21. Shift Your Perspective
“I know how exhausting and frustrating it is to be up for the fifth time in 3 hours or to be spit up on right after you took your first shower in 4 days. But I’ve finally figured out with my third child (which will be my last) that there is beauty to appreciate even in those moments. Sometimes it’s hard, but I try to quietly shift my perspective to the positive and remember that someday I will miss these days when my baby is at exactly the stage that he is at.” Krissy of B-Inspired Mama
22. Savor Every Moment
“Enjoy every single precious moment with your little bundle! They change and grow so quickly. Enjoy each stage they are in and savor it.” Karyn of Teach Beside Me
23. You Can Do It; You’re A WOMAN!
“(I had just had my second son. We were stressed with moving, sleep deprived, redoing the house to sale, knowing we were selling at the worst time possible, going to lose lots of money.) Depressed, I was walking out of a thrift store with my arms full of my infant son in his carrier, two baskets, a large canvas, and pillows. Across the parking lot, a lady yelled,’You can do it. You’re a WOMAN! Every time I feel overwhelmed with mommyhood, I remember that awesome stranger who cheered me on during a difficult time. New Moms: You can do it! You are a WOMAN!” Sheila of Pennies of Time
24. Know the Signs of Postpartum Depression
“It wasn’t until my first son was nearly a year old when I came to the realization that what I had been suffering from was Postpartum Depression. I had this misconception that PPD would have happened immediately and would have meant I’d want to harm my child. While that can happen, it wasn’t like that for me. For me it was this overwhelming exhaustion, sadness, anxiety, and lack of energy and passion. The right medication has made all the difference.” Krissy of B-Inspired Mama (Here’s information and a checklist for Postpartum Depression.)
25. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
“It is okay to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all.” Amy of Z is for Zel
Are you a mom already? What is your best piece of advice for a new mother-to-be?
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