What Do you Share with First Time Expectant Parents?

eggmankateeggmankate member
edited October 2014 in Parenting

I saw this Australian survey regarding our cultures need to romanticize parenting and thus not prepare new parents for their new role after the baby arrives.

One of the goals outlined towards the bottom of this article is to encourage parents of older babies to open about their experiences to new parents.

This board is always open and honest in the daily "randoms" threads about their parenting experiences (both good and bad) so.....When a close friend or family member is expecting their first baby do you filter your experiences at all so not to stress them out with any negative experiences you may have had during the 4th trimester?

ETA: just curious what others do and experiences you may have had when you were a first time parents :)


TTC since April 2011. DH Dx MFI in February 2012. BFP #1: 7.16.12. MMC dx: 8.22.12, D&C 8.28.12, TTC Again November 2012. DH Varicocele repair November 2012; Repeat SA showed "dramatic" improvement February 2013 (awesome!)
BFP #2: 3.26.13, EDC: 12.7.13. Anya born December 9th, 2013!

Re: What Do you Share with First Time Expectant Parents?

  • I share stories of my DD with my friends (good or bad days I've had), but I don't make it a point to share it with expectant moms. I have a couple close friends who would tell me their worst stories about their kids while I was pregnant, and I didn't really like that they did? It wasn't a "let me tell you about my bad day" type thing, it was more "just you wait." I don't like that, mostly because every kid is different and I didn't want to expect the worst/have high expectations when the outcome could be the exact opposite.

    If my friends/family member asked me to tell them about a certain instance or situation that was 'negative,' I would be honest.
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  • I won't share unless they ask, but always preface with "every pregnancy/birth/kid is different, so any story or experience you hear may not be indicative of what you're in for" I don't sugar coat it though.
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  • I will be honest if someone asks me something specific.  And depending on how drunk I am, brutally honest.

    Otherwise I say congratulations and don't offer any unsolicited advice.

    *Siggy Warning*

    About me  2007: Started TTC. 2008: OB prescribed clomid, went to RE and was Dx with PCOS. 2009: IUI #1 w/follitsim and trigger = BFP. B/G Twins born at 33 weeks. 2012: TTC #3, Round 2 of Letrozole w/TI = BFP, missed m/c at 8 1/2 wks. Currently on the bench as we make plans for a new home. Anxious to start TTC #3 within the next year!



  • If they ask, I will tell.


    BFP 1- EDD 2/09/11 Missed MC DX @11 weeks D&C- 7/25/10 BFP 2- EDD 12/22/11 Natural MC @ 5w 2d BFP 3- EDD 1/25/12 DD Josephine born 1/16/12

    Lilypie - (TUWi)


    phunkyphish[Deleted User]
  • YogaSandyYogaSandy member
    edited October 2014
    Colic. You have no idea how awful it is. None. You think you know, but you don't.

    The only thing that helped DS was laying him, tightly swaddled with a pacifier, on a hot water bottle and gently bouncing.

    I make a "colic survival kit" for new parents.

    ETA I never tell birth horror stories. I hated that while pregnant. And I don't give unsolicited advice. Except to my sister (who is nowhere near ready to TTC). She's a homebody. I tell her to go out and have more fun, because one day she'll be 33 with a colicky baby. She knows what that is like, though because I lived with my parents while DH had some severe health issues and DS was colicky.
  • I actually say nothing unless asked. I find that pregnant people/new moms want to talk about themselves and their experiences, so I usually just listen. If they ask, I try to be honest but encouraging. I actually had a pretty good newborn stage both times...or I guess a "normal" newborn stage so I don't have too many stories that would scare a new mom anyway. Mostly I say stuff like "that's normal" or "you're doing a great job".



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    Formerly Twilightmv
    [Deleted User]
  • I don't share unless asked.  If someone does ask I am honest.  People don't usually ask though.
     Lilypie - (gu1R)
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  • I try to be honest about my experiences. I have a friend who had her second baby shortly before me, and she was very open about her struggles. It took a huge weight off of my shoulders. Before talking to her I felt really alone and afraid of being judged. I feel like she helped me so much with the FTM guilt and forgiving myself (for taking a few days to bond, for having fleeting thoughts of whether we made the right choice, for getting frustrated in the middle of the night, etc.) If I can take that weight off of another mom/future mom by sharing, how wonderful is that?

    I definitely feel out my audience though. And I don't bombard them with talking about the hard things, I focus more on the positives and let them lead the conversation. More of a general: "Everyone will tell you to enjoy every second. A lot of it is wonderful, but some of it really sucks and it's okay to sometimes be miserable and hate it, or wonder if you made the right choice. It doesn't make you a bad mom and I promise the good far outweighs the bad."

    Then if they ask questions about something specific (labour, breastfeeding, bonding, sleep) I tell them the truth of my experience. I was so caught off guard by how horrible my labour was, and how HARD those first weeks were, and I think it would've been easier if I wasn't so surprised.
  • luxannie said:
    I am a lot more forthcoming with the brutality and difficulty that can come with BFing, because IME that's the one thing that can break your spirit as a new mom. And no one, at least in my world, told me the truth about it. I also am blunt about my belief that 99.9% kids have some sort of difficulty sleeping - either with naps or nights or both.
    Yes, this! I was so shocked and thrown with how damn hard breastfeeding was. You think it's supposed to be this natural thing, but it doesn't come naturally to everyone. I don't usually offer much besides "breastfeeding was way harder than I thought it would be", unless they ask questions or share struggles they are having. But I never minimize how hard breastfeeding was.
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • I don't offer unsolicited advice. I had severe PPD and will discuss it if asked but don't volunteer that info.
    One of my close friends has a DD 15 months older than my DS and she's a "just wait" person. Except our kids and experiences have been totally different so I'd like to smack her sometimes.
    (Formerly MamaBearKendy)
  • I just share what is relevant to the conversation.  I find it makes people relax because whatever they are going through is probably normal, they just don't know it since they are in the trenches.
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  • I usually discuss when asked. I don't sugarcoat my experiences (difficult labor, newborn had reflux). I just say that the first few months were difficult for us, and it got so much better after that.

    I also remind them that every baby is different and that my experience will not be theirs necessarily.
    Lilypie - (KNqh)
  • Depends on who I'm talking to. Close relatives or friends-I'm completely honest and detailed. With other people I usually give them, the first 4 months are tough and then it gets a little easier.
  • I only offer when they ask. I make a point of not sharing traumatic birth details or stories, no matter what.

    As far as child rearing stuff goes, if they drop a tidbit like "she didn't sleep well last night" then I'll comisserate and share some nod of agreement like "yeah, LOL to all the motherfuckers who ask if they STTN yet, Amirite?"

    If they ask for specific advice I share, or I say things like "our nurse saved us so much trouble when she taught us to blow air in DD's face to get her to swallow meds. I wish I could thank her." I find if the advice seems to be coming from a third party, it's more easily swallowed.

    But generally my take is I didn't want your fucking advice unless I asked, so I'm not going to pass any out unless asked either.

    ^^^ ditto to all this.

    I try to commiserate & share things that worked for us if someone asks. Otherwise I bring the coffee, extra diapers & volunteer to hold babies so mamas can pee. ;)

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  • I don't share horror stories but I do tell close friends who are expecting that if they have a hard time with their newborns to call me and I will come over and bring whatever they need, hold the baby while they (parents) take a nap etc. just because I wish someone had done that for me.
  • I normally only give advice when I hear another mother giving the "this happened to me, so it will definitely happen to you" advice.  If I am close enough to a conversation like that, I will sometimes give some perspective that not all pregnancies/births/newborns are the same.

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