Hello ladies! The January 2011 Mommas want to congratulate you on your pregnancies!
We came up with a list of tips/advice for you (we stole this idea from the awesome December 2010 Moms). These are mostly things that we wish someone had told us when we first got pregnant. Feel free to heed or ignore, whatever works for you. Some of this advice won't apply for a while, so feel free to bookmark this post for future reference.
We hope you have a happy and healthy 9 months!!
-Don't let other women make you feel bad about your decisions or plans, whether it's natural childbirth, epidural, breastfeeding, pumping, formula feeding, cloth diapering, disposables - whatever. Do what is right for you and your family, and everyone else can suck it.
-Resist the urge to 'google' when you or LO have symptoms of something unknown. It will only scare you more. When in doubt, call your OB or Pedi, that's what they are there for.
-Nothing will go as planned, just breathe and enjoy the ride. If this is your first just take in every moment with your DH from the time you get pregnant to the time your LO turns 3 Months! It goes by so fast. Communicate with your DH because your body is changing on a daily basis along with emotions don't keep anything bottled up.
-Don't ever feel like your being a pain by calling your Dr if your unsure about something...I was in L&D a total of 7 times through my pregnancy and each time I almost didn't call. 4 of those times I was contracting and didn't know it and one of those times I was leaking AF and had my daughter 2 hours later
-Every pregnancy really is different...if you aren't having certain symptoms it does not mean something is wrong. My boobs never hurt, I was never sick and never had heartburn.
-Your body will do things you've never imagined....my Dr basically told me that unless my head falls off it's all normal
-You will have discharge like you've never imagined
-Remember all the good things about pregnancy! Write down the first time you feel your LO kick/move. The first time your DH feels LO move will be a wonderful experience!
-Pregnancy may feel like the longest thing in the world, but once you are holding your LO in your arms, it will feel like it went by in the blink of an eye!
-As hard as it can be while you're going through it, try to enjoy your pregnancy and not worry about every little thing, because the real stress comes once the baby is out.
-Keep an empty grocery bag in your car and your purse. Hopefully it will spare you the embarrassment of puking on the floor or the pleasure of cleaning puke out of the car.
-Take the time to get to know the other January 2012 Mommas and don't be scared to ask TMI questions...they are all going through the same thing that you are and a year from now you might discover you have almost 300 new best friends like the January 11 Mommas did.
-Be prepared for things to work out differently than you expected. It's okay to want a med-free birth, but don't beat yourself up over it if you end up with an epidural or a c-section...in the end you still get a baby.
-Stay hydrated as dehydration can cause preterm contractions!! I thought 64 oz of water was plenty, my uterus said otherwise.
-Take lots of pictures of your belly while pregnant. You don't have to share them with anyone, but you'll enjoy looking back at them just the same.
-Your husband/SO loves you, but has absolutely no idea what you are going through and will drive you crazy! Just remember it's the hormones!
-Don't feel bad telling people to not touch you. people love touching pregnant women and babies, and practice while your pregnant telling them no, because nothing can make your heart pound like some stranger going in to touch your kid. i found that having a b!tchy look on my face and avoiding eye contact stopped people from coming up to me.
-The best thing I ever did was clean my house from top to bottom before I had my LO. It would have sucked to come home to a dirty house and have to worry about it. Get it as clean as you can because 2.5 months later, nothing besides spot cleaning has happened.
-If this is your first child, spend as much time as you can now with your DH/SO doing the things you love to do. Go out to dinner, the movies, bars, friends houses. No matter how much you planned for your LO's arrival, your lives will never be the same and you will miss your "old" life even if it is just a little at some point. And if you already have children enjoy your time as well, never again will you be a family of three or four, etc.
-Do not, for any reason, register for clothes. You'll get enough of those anyways and your baby will have outgrown them before getting to wear half of them.
-The book "Baby Bargains" by Denise and Alan Fields is the best money I could have spent, it became my baby shopping bible. SO helpful for picking out baby gear and creating a registry. Just make sure to get the newest edition.
-Don't be alarmed, but if you are lucky enough to have a baby shower there are going to be people who deviate from your baby registry. Yes, it's annoying to get 10,000 onesies and outfits...but keep in mind that your LO is going to throw up/spit up/drool/poop all over those outfits and sometimes it is helpful to have 10,000 outfits to change them into. It doesn't mean that people are rude or mean for not listening to your wants/needs...it just means they think it's cute to buy clothes for a newborn.
-There are items out there that are listed as 'must-haves' and 'baby crack', they won't work for every baby...either your LO will love them or they will hate them...don't feel pressured to buy everything you see that is a 'must-have'. figure out what works for your baby and go from there
-Do not open any packs of Newborn diapers before LO gets here. If you must, only take the tags off of a couple Newborn size outfits. You could very well end up with a baby too big for both like I did!
-If you're told you're having a big baby, buy a couple of newborn outfits and a box of newborn diapers just in case. You never know if the ultrasound is off, or if your LO will come early. Save the receipts just in case. It will save you from a shopping trip on your way home from the hospital.
-Be sure to take home receiving blankets from the hospital. I bought so many and my little one still loves those the best!
-Stock up on lots of different size batteries!
-Not every woman feels the urge to push. I had always heard that, but it was not the case for me. If you don't get an epidural, you might be scared to push because of the pain. If you can get past that fear, it's not so bad. At that point, you're almost there! Hang in there.
-A med-free birth isn't impossible and if that is what you envision for yourself, have faith and know that you are strong enough to do it. There are always exceptions to the rule, and even though its good to have a plan B, and to "go with the flow," just know that things can definitely go as planned. Keep yourself healthy, surround yourself with supportive people (family, friends AND OB/midwife/pedi) and adopt the mantra of "I can."
-Don't expect everything in your birth plan to go as you want. Sometimes NOTHING goes the way you want it to. The only important thing is a healthy LO when it comes down to it!
-Take lots of pictures - going to the hospital, during labor, during delivery (if possible), and after. Make sure to get shots of LO without the swaddle and pictures of your new family together. You may not think you want pictures of labor and delivery, but you can always keep them private or delete them, but you can't go back and get those pictures if you regret not taking them.
-All modesty is thrown out the window during childbirth. Yes, you will probably poop in front of everyone. You have doctors and nurses looking up your gown all day. And you won't even care once you are holding your baby!
-Nobody ever warned me how much contractions truly hurt. The amazing thing is that you forget all about it as soon as your baby has arrived.
-Even though you may feel like crap try and enjoy the time you have with your baby alone....at some point after LO is born you will miss having them to yourself :)
-Once you bring your little bundle home don't get out of bed or change out of your pajamas until you have had 8 hours of sleep. Granted it will not be 8 straight hours, but it will do wonders even if it means you have to stay in bed for the majority of the day.
-Just as every pregnancy is different, every baby is different too. Not all advice and soothing methods will work on all babies. Plus, babies change often too - what 'works' to comfort them one day many not work the next.
-It is perfectly reasonable to want to be home and alone with your family to bond during that first week, but after that...don't be afraid to accept help. It will surprise you how magical a couple hours of sleep can be while someone else is watching the baby. On that note, you have every right to refuse visitors...do NOT let people into your home if you don't feel comfortable having them there or if you just don't feel like visitors. It is your home, your family, and your decision
-Take as much help as offered after LO is born. You might think you don't want it, but boy when the time comes you will appreciate it so much!
-After a week or so at home, don't fret about getting out of the house - GO! Don't let yourself forget that you need to be taken care of too.
-Breastfeeding is tough. Its time consuming. It hurts (at first). Its a huge commitment. That said, it can be one of the most rewarding and awesome experiences of your life. The nursing relationship between you and LO is one that words cannot describe.
-If you are breastfeeding, you might want to pump some milk early on after your milk comes in and freeze it. That way if you need a break, or need to sleep, someone can feed LO and you can get several hours to yourself (of course, giving LO formula is fine too, but you have to have that on hand, and many breastfeeding moms don't).
-Trust your instincts. The night we were supposed to go home from the hospital, my daughter's cry sounded wrong and she was really warm. We called the nurse and she acted like we were crazy 1st time parents who didn't know anything and she lectured us for unswaddling her. Sure enough she had a temp of 102. If you think something is off, trust yourself and call your OB or pedi.
-You won't always be "in the mood" after the OB clears you, but make time to spend with your DH. Flirt, laugh, and have fun, but don't put too much pressure on yourselves.
-Let DH take care of the baby. You will want to just take the baby away when he/she starts crying, but DH is capable of soothing him/her, you just have to give him a chance!
-Give yourself a break after LO is born. Hand the baby off to DH and get a pedicure or just take a long bath. You deserve a break now and then, and your LO will survive an hour without you.
-There will be times your baby will frustrate you and that's OK. You will probably yell at your baby, and that's OK. Just be sure to take a moment to put the baby down and go into another room and, if you need to, cry with LO or hand them off to someone else. But don't ever think you are Superwoman and you have to solve every issue because you don't and you can't.
-The first month is definitely the hardest, but just know it WILL get easier. When you need a break, take one. A happy mommy makes a happy baby!
-As much as people say to nap when the baby naps, sometimes that just isn't possible. If you want to do the dishes or shower for the first time in days or clean up, then do it. But definitely take a nap at some point because it does WONDERS for your attitude and mood.