When you tell people you’re pregnant everyone wants to weigh in with their opinion. This advice for moms to be is the best advice I was given from fellow moms.
Becoming a mother is terrifying!
Your wants and needs are no longer a priority. Instead, you have this small human that depends on you for everything.
You try so hard to get everything perfect.
Your mom is telling you to do it this way. Your uncle says to do it that way. And the lady in line at the grocery store says to do it another way you didn’t even know was an option!
All of these opinions make you even more terrified that you’re going to do it all wrong and screw up your kid to the point of no return.
I had these exact feelings when I became a new mom.
I was so worried about all of the advice I was given and I wanted to make sure I would raise my daughter with morals and respect.
To be honest, I was mortified that I would mess up horribly and she would be the next Unabomber.
My fear and anxiety got the best of me. It almost took away my happiness towards motherhood and replaced those feelings with depression and self-doubt.
Instead, I received the most amazing advice from the most unpredictable source.
I went in for my routine teeth cleaning and I told my dentist that I was pregnant with my first baby (I was 5 weeks pregnant at the time).
He said, “That’s wonderful, congratulations! You’re going to start getting a lot of advice and opinions from literally everyone. But it’s your baby and you can do whatever the hell you want!”
Hearing that was like taking my first breath of air after being underwater.
From that day forward I had a new perspective on motherhood. I don’t mind hearing how the mothers before me did it, but in the end, it’s my decision what advice I want to implement.
Here’s some of the beautiful advice I was given by other moms that will help you transition to motherhood with confidence!
Be prepared for those fussy moments!
It’s easy to get caught up in the perfectionism we see on the internet and TV. But we have no idea how many tries it took them to get that beautifully photoshopped picture or how many scenes they had to repeat to get the perfect one.
You can’t compare your real life to someone else’s script.
Another trap that sets us up for failure is comparing your pregnancy and your baby to others.
It’s okay if Becky’s baby starts walking at 10 months and your baby is still crawling. Hold off on calling the doctor and give your baby more time.
And just because Susie has gained 15lbs during her pregnancy that doesn’t make you “too big” or “too small.” Your body is your body.
It may be gratifying for Susie to wake up at 4 am and take her morning run while 8 months pregnant. It also may be gratifying for you to lie on the couch and binge watch Netflix.
When I went to my 30 week appointment I was explaining to my doctor that I was flat out physically and mentally exhausted. I genuinely wanted to have some type of fitness routine but my body said “nope!”
My doctor told me that she has moms that are 8 months pregnant and still running marathons! And she also has moms that are on bed rest or don’t have the energy to work out.
They are all capable of having healthy and happy babies!
Remember all of that random advice I warned that you would get?
It’s your decision what advice you want to listen to. You are the mother!
I see so many moms asking for advice on baby names. Most of the time the scenario goes like this, “My husband and I love the name ______ (fill in the blank), but his mom hates it. What should we do?”
Do whatever the hell you want!
This is why some parents don’t tell anyone their baby’s name until the baby has arrived. Keep it to yourself and no one can give you their opinions or even worse steal that name before your baby is born.
Another hard truth of motherhood is that you’re going to get criticized for everything.
Again, everyone has an opinion about how everything should be done and their way is the only possible way it can be done.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
Raise your child however you want and don’t hesitate to remove toxic people from your life.
If that person is toxic to you chances are they’ll also be toxic to your child so stop the process before it happens.
In nursing we would always say “fake it til you make it.” You know those times when you’re dealing with a complete jerk but you still have to smile and provide great care.
The same goes for motherhood.
There will be days when you feel like your kid is acting like a complete jerk but you still have to be patient with them. The older they get the harder it gets but you can’t spiral and say everything that’s on your mind.
Let the situation play out and they may surprise you and correct the behavior on their own.
And with each child you’ll get better and better based on things you wish you would’ve done with the previous child.
Simple mom hacks like wearing your hair up because babies have hulk like strength when they get ahold of something.
Or cursing at your own risk because no matter how many times you teach them to say please and thank you their favorite word will be that one F bomb you dropped after you stubbed your pinky toe.
It happens to the best of us. Don’t sweat it they’ll find a new favorite word that is hopefully more family-friendly.
It’s natural to want to make everything quiet when your baby is sleeping. God forbid you accidentally wake them up and now you’re dealing with the spawn of Satan until bedtime.
Do yourself a favor and get them used to sleeping through loud noises. Turn up the TV and step on that creaky floorboard that you avoid like the plague.
There will be times when you’re not at home and you’re frustrated that your baby won’t go to sleep because there’s so much going on.
Or in my case, the house alarm can go off during nap time and my daughter doesn’t hear a thing but when I accidentally drop the remote on our plush rug she almost has a heart attack.
Get them adjusted early to sleep through those noises so they won’t startle as easily at every little sound.
And maybe you’ll get lucky and have a baby that sleeps through everything and in that case I lovingly despise you!
Moments of frustration will pass.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you need to put your baby in a safe place and walk away while they scream their head off.
It actually makes you a really good mom that you know when you’re getting to your limit and instead of doing something crazy you take a moment to call down.
For those times you can check out the ways to soothe your baby cheat sheet and go back into the battlefield prepared.
There will be good days and bad days so don’t hold onto the bad moments.
It can also be helpful to use a baby tracking app so you’ll know what times are usually nap times. That way if they usually get fussy at the same time every day it won’t catch you off guard.
When I was pregnant I would always tell my coworkers I’m pregnant, not disabled.
I can still bend down and grab my pen that rolled off my desk. Of course, they’re doing it to be helpful but staying active is important for a healthy pregnancy.
My husband and I would walk or jog daily at the park and I would also do prenatal workout routines I found on YouTube that helped tremendously with my back pain.
To keep my legs from swelling I would wear these compression socks during our walks to help with circulation.
To stay hydrated I would drink fruit infused water so it’s not as boring as the typical ice water. My favorite is cucumber but I also like oranges in my water as well.
Sometimes I would even throw in a mixture of whatever fruit we had on hand.
If you plan on breastfeeding, drinking plenty of water is important for your milk supply so it’s best to get in the habit now.
I know you’re tired of hearing about how much sleep you’re going to miss out on and that you should sleep now but they’re right!
Depending on what trimester you’re in, sleeping may be a struggle. But at least take the time to relax now before you have your baby.
In the beginning I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t remember if I actually changed my daughter’s diaper or if I dozed off and dreamed I changed her diaper.
It’s scary what a lack of sleep can do to your brain.
Whenever you’re tired it’s easier for you to be more frustrated so take the opportunity to sleep while you can.
Being pregnant and seeing your body change so much can be depressing. But try to enjoy this time because it’s over so quickly.
Take plenty of pictures even if you hate how you look. I would always remind myself that there are so many women that wish they had the blessing of pregnancy.
Of course I complained about my thunder thighs and flabby arms, but I still felt blessed to be pregnant.
Talk to your baby and record videos of your belly moving.
Don’t take any moment for granted. You may not feel beautiful but you are!
There are no stupid questions especially when it comes to your body and your baby.
It’s better to be proactive when you think something is wrong than waiting until the problem gets worse.
And stay away from Google!
You will read so much that you’ll convince yourself you’ve contracted a rare disorder that can only be cured by a plant in Guatemala.
If you feel like something is wrong call your doctor and get the opinion of a medical professional. Not your moms support group on Facebook.
There is no overreacting when you feel it in your gut that something is wrong. The medical field is not perfect so keep seeking care until you find someone who will take your concerns seriously.
Self-care is essential at all stages of life. You can’t be the best version of you when you’re running on empty.
Take the time to get a prenatal massage so you can have some deep relaxation.
One simple thing that I didn’t even notice I wasn’t doing was eating. It would be 6 pm and all I had eaten was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
No wonder I felt like crap!
Pay attention to yourself and take care of you.
Having a support system you can rely on will make life so much easier.
If you’re breastfeeding get advice from other breastfeeding moms. I started a Facebook group for breastfeeding moms (you can join here) because so many people love to give advice about breastfeeding and unfortunately it’s terrible advice.
Have a good lactation consultant that responds in a timely manner and is patient with new moms.
Also, avoid watching birth videos!
Labor is often portrayed in a brutally painful way that will scare you into never getting pregnant.
Thank God I took the Hypnobabies course to get all of that negativity out of my brain (to learn more click here).
And for some reason people love telling pregnant women their labor horror stories. One lady told my 7 month pregnant friend about how she knew someone that died during labor.
Who does that?!
Surround yourself with good helpful people that you can count on.
This is a never-ending rabbit hole. You see your favorite reality TV star endorsing a new product and now you have to buy it.
I was also that mom and now I have so many products my daughter hates.
Baby items are expensive and you have no idea what your baby will enjoy.
Instead of buying all of this stuff that’s going to clutter your house, wait until your baby is here so you will have a better idea of what you actually need and try to buy items at consignment stores or places where items are discounted.
You need to feel 100% comfortable with who is going to be delivering your baby.
It’s okay to switch doctors at any point during your pregnancy until you find someone that you can trust with not only your life but your baby’s life.
Educate yourself so you know when you’re being offered an unnecessary medical intervention.
And don’t be afraid to say no.
Ask plenty of questions until you feel confident in the decision you’ve made.
When my daughter was born we were persistent about making people wash their hands and not kissing her.
I’ve seen too many stories of babies getting sick because someone kissed them or came to visit even though they had been sick.
Set your rules and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for protecting your baby.
At one of the happiest moments of your life, you may not feel so happy. You’re not alone!
Know the difference between baby blues and postpartum depression. I cried a lot for no reason for the first 6 weeks until my hormones got back to normal.
During that time I made sure to tell my husband, mom, and doctor how I was feeling. Postpartum depression can sneak up on you and chances are you have no idea you’re even depressed.
It’s common for a family member to notice the changes in your behavior before you do. Get help immediately before it gets any worse.
Having a baby is life changing in so many ways.
You now have this baby that needs care around the clock and you barely have time to eat let alone keep the house clean.
Ask for help or accept the help that has been offered. Don’t be ashamed of your messy home.
Chances are they’re offering to help because they’ve been in your position and know how difficult it is.
Try getting a cleaning routine that will keep your house looking tidy in only a few minutes.
When people would say, “you blink and they’re already moving out of the house,” I thought they were just being dramatic.
But they are so right!
Hold your baby while you can without worrying if you’re going to spoil them.
I held my baby pretty much all day despite the warnings and she is one of the most independent babies I know.
Even if that means babywearing so you can get stuff done. For the first few months my daughter and I lived in our Baby K’tan wrap.
It was great because I was able to have both hands free to get things done while she was snuggled up to my chest snoozing away.
Keep in mind that they’re still adjusting to life outside the womb where they were warm and snug 24/7.
Also, take plenty of pictures and create memorable artwork of their little hands and feet.
When you’re looking at them every day, it’s hard to notice how much they’ve changed until you take a stroll down memory lane and look at all of their baby pictures.
They truly grow so fast. So hold and snuggle your baby as much as you want!
Self-doubt can be traumatizing.
Be confident in yourself and learn from the times when you fall short.
Most of the time accidents are more traumatic for you than they are for your baby.
My 7 month old daughter fell off the couch and my husband dove across the floor and caught her right before she hit the rug.
I wish I would’ve recorded it because it was very impressive. They both thought it was hysterical.
Meanwhile, I’m standing in the kitchen mortified that my baby fell off the couch for the first time.
Sh*t happens! And it happens quickly.
Go with the flow and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it!
Be prepared for those fussy moments!
Welcome! I’m LaCresha