Everything a new mom needs to know and
At this stage of life, I have a lot of pregnant friends and like most moms, I am quick to offer advice, #momwins, product reviews, doctor reviews, babysitter referrals…really anything that can make their experience go a little more smoothly.
Here is a note that I sent to a friend who is due next week: *reader beware: I am not a doctor, I am not a naturopath, I am pretty laid back and I am often wrong, but when my friends ask for help, here is the honest letter I send them, based on my experience:
Here is the longest email you never wanted:) Take it all with a grain of salt, these suggestions are based on my experience.
First off, get the epidural and ask for it asap. Once you have it, you won’t feel a thing and birth will seem like a meeting – a painless gathering of people 🙂 Which also means you can totally do your hair and makeup and look flawless at birth (lol).
The moment they transported me up to my room from labor & delivery, I put the belly band on. Keep it on 24hrs a day for as long as you can stand it (weeks). That really made a huge impact for me and I think it is really important right after the birth because your body is immediately/actively trying to get back into its normal shape so the band shows it where it should be. It gets less effective the longer you go, so those first few days/weeks are the most important. Also, I found that it just felt nice to be held super tight. I wore mine in the space from my hip bones to my belly button and the compression felt good while I was healing.
Once the epidural wears off, you will be sore. Because of the opioid crisis, they are not passing out pain meds to moms the way they did when I had Bird so you will have to press them for meds. Do it! If you are at a 5 on a scale of 1-10, just dial it up a bit so they give you more. You want to stay in front of the pain so don’t wait until you hurt to speak up.
If you can breastfeed, do it. In addition to baby benefits, it helps your uterus shrink (you will actually feel it shrinking and cramping as you feed- its nuts) and it also really helps you shed the baby weight. You will need to eat vitamin-rich food to keep your milk up so don’t worry about losing weight while breastfeeding (it happens naturally), just eat a lot of healthy foods and drink as much water as you possibly can (water=milk). Give yourself/your body total grace during that period – it’s a slow melt of baby weight but it is consistent while you are feeding. Once I finished breastfeeding, I did not lose any more weight naturally, and as hard as feeding is (it takes over your life), it is somewhat easier than working out.
If you are a thank you note writer, just keep a list of what people sent and write the notes in a few months. Newborns change SO fast and I promise that you will be glad that you spent your days resting and holding him and NOT pouring over a list of notes.
As far as gear, we can’t live without the Doona car seat/stroller. Also, the rock-n-play is great for when they are little because it rocks them, makes them feel like they are being held, and you can easily carry it room to room. We also carried this on the plane/packed it in the car for all travel with the babies. This is really a first four-ish months kind of item- after that, they are too big and it becomes dangerous.
Use bibs on the baby when you can because they hate being changed and the milk will get all over them and the bib can prevent all of that.
Pampers are not my favorite- there is no elastic on the back waistband and the poop just shoots right up the back. I prefer Huggies and usually size up so there is less of a chance of *things* escaping the diaper.
Desitin is the very best diaper rash cream. You can use it preventatively or just when you start to see redness. I have not had success with any other brand and I have tried quite a few.
Be sure to grab some of these cloth diapers to use as burp rags. They work super well and there is no need to buy $20 ones when they get ruined every 5 seconds.
For the hospital, bring an extension cord for your phone/charger. The plugs are across the room and your phone will die and you will want it to take a million pics all day:)
Also don’t forget mints and chapstick.