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Hello, all you future/new moms out there! Are you feeling all the feels? The excitement, the anticipation…? And maybe among that a little anxiety? You’re not alone! LOADS of women have and/or ARE feeling the same things! I know I did, and I’m sure I will again. But I hope this post will help prepare you ladies out there for one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things in your life: becoming a mother. Here are things I wish I knew before my first baby:
Breastfeeding, I feel, can bring about such a special bond between mother and baby. I am so glad I chose to nurse my first child, and I am sure I will for all my children. If you choose not to breastfeed, that is totally up to you and does NOT make you a worse mother. But, if you do choose to breastfeed, it helps to know and be prepared for some of the… not so fun things…
- It will probably hurt…
This first thing is important to remember if you choose to breastfeed! When you and baby are getting used to this new development, it might make you particularly sore in those sensitive areas… Invest in Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream!!! It saved my life!!! Here is a link to where you can buy some from Amazon:
***Tip: When your baby latches on for every feeding and it’s still giving you a “toe-curling” pain after ten seconds, he or she is probably latched on incorrectly. Just unlatch and try again. You’ve got this!!
- How to stop a let-down from leaking EVERYWHERE…
If any of you have been doing your research, or if you have breastfed before, you will know what “let-down” means. When you are letting-down, the nerves in your breasts send signals for the ducts to release milk. For some women, letting-down is a warm, tingly feeling. Others don’t feel it, but- if you’re like me- it can hurt. ;P Haha!
Anyway, when I first started nursing my daughter, I had to keep towels upon towels under the breast that wasn’t being nursed on at the moment. I would SOAK everything around me and have to do MANY loads of laundry DAILY! But then, I learned from some caring women that if I just press on the nipple (or both if I am letting-down even when Gwen is not nursing), it would stop! Granted, after doing that for a while, my breasts will fill and FILL until I feel like I will explode if I don’t nurse Gwen immediately.
- Make sure you have the wipes and a new diaper on hand BEFORE changing the dirty one!
- Change your baby OFTEN! Really whenever their diaper gets wet or as soon as possible after a bowel movement.
- Wipe from top to bottom, starting with the cleanest then moving on to the dirtiest areas (make sure everything gets nice and clean, but be gentle!)
- If your baby has diaper rash:
After the area is cleaned, make sure it is thoroughly dried and apply a good Diaper Rash Cream. Here is a link to where you can buy some that I recommend from Amazon:
Although labor was incredibly difficult, I would have to say that the pain I felt AFTER the fact was worse, mainly because it lasted for such a long time. Because I tore, I walked around in constant pain and could barely get up from sitting or resting positions without wanting to cry. I even severely pulled a muscle in my leg, which made dancing even harder to get back into doing. Here are my tips for that:
- If you are okay with medicine, take what the doctor gave you.
This is important. Be HONEST to the doctors with how much pain you are in after birth. If you are okay with taking medicine, don’t be brave and say you are hurting less than you actually are. Let the doctors help you in any way they can. That being said, don’t abuse prescriptions, either.
- Do what your doctor says!!!! Do NOT do the things he or she SPECIFICALLY said not to do! Wait for all the go-aheads.
After you give birth to your baby, a spray bottle will become your best friend in the bathroom. For me, it was agony to wipe myself effectively when using the restroom, and spritzing myself REALLY helped.
- Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray!
This stuff helped SO-O-O-O-O much for my poor, beat-up lady parts. Here is a link to where you can buy some:
This is real… Not all women deal with this, but many do- including me. Not only do our hormones go through major changes, but so do our LIVES!! Find a support system… think of the things you are grateful for… and please get help if you need it! Read one of my past posts for more information on how I have personally dealt with post-partum depression: Remember the Good.
Allow People to Help You!
Becoming a mother is wonderful, but hard. You will lose a TON of sleep, your body changes, and this new little person depends on you in every way. Sometimes, you might need a little “you time.” PLEASE allow people to help you! Let someone hold your little one while you take a much-needed shower or nap. If you don’t have anyone around, find someone! All mothers need support. There are people EVERYWHERE who are willing to help someone in need.
And the Most Important of All: I Never Knew How Much I’d Love My Baby
Among all the difficult changes in your life, nothing will ever compare to the moment you first hold that beautiful child in your arms. My daughter Gwendolyn is my WORLD, and she makes me want more babies!!!! Nothing I can say will prepare you for the love you’ll feel for your little one.
I really hope this post was helpful to some of you women out there! Remember you are loved, and you are doing one of the noblest things by becoming a mother. ❤