Article: 12 tips for new moms: Things you should know, but aren’t always told
12 tips for new moms: Things you should know, but aren’t always told
Here are 12 things new mamas should know from the get-go. Leaving the hospital after giving birth can be scary.
Adjusting to life at home as a new family will take time, but settling into your new parenting routine will help build your confidence.
Our advice for new moms when leaving the hospital
It can be helpful to talk about it with your partner or nurse before leaving the hospital to acknowledge how you're feeling. One way to give yourself peace of mind for the drive home is to prepare your vehicle ahead of time, so you know the baby will be safe and comfortable. What we do know is that crying is how infants communicate. They're suddenly a part of this brand-new world, surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds.
Giving your baby a pacifier is OK. Pacifiers can be a hot-button issue in parenting, but pediatric health experts give moms the green light. The baby may have problems latching onto the breast if they prefer the pacifier. The AAP recommends waiting until you have an established nursing routine before introducing a pacifier.
It can also be challenging to retire the pacifier when the time comes. If you decide to give the baby a pacifier, don't force it. Behind that probably well-meaning advice is the myth that babies might develop a dependency on being retained and won't learn to be independent. Long-term research focused on low-birth-weight infants who experienced skin-to-skin contact found that gentle touch is essential for healthy development.
Showing your child that you are sensitive and responsive to their needs develops trust in the relationship and helps them feel secure and confident. Not to mention its significance in creating close bonds between babies and parents. This is not to say parents need to hold their babies constantly. Breastfeeding isn't always easy.
Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's easy. There's often an expectation that breastfeeding should come as second nature for moms and babies. These things are every day and usually take time.
Our breastfeeding advice for new moms
If you want to breastfeed, don't hesitate to take advantage of the breastfeeding support available – whether from the hospital, a lactation consultant at the pediatrician's clinic, a local nursing support group, or a combination. There can be a learning curve for first-time moms, but with the right partners by your side, breastfeeding does get easier. You're not a failure if you breastfeed until your child is two. You're not a failure if you decide to stop breastfeeding.
The fact that you're thinking hard about this decision already makes you a great mom. As adults, it can be hard to understand why babies wake so often. It may take some effort, but try to reset your expectations to recognize that it's normal for infants to have short sleep windows. It can be tempting to bring a baby into bed with you to catch a little sleep – and you may hear of other parents doing it.
No matter how appealing co-sleeping may sound, remember that safe sleep for infants means being on their back on their own there should be nothing else in the crib but a tightly fitted sheet. Having postpartum baby blues can look like crying on and off throughout the day. Snapping at your partner over the minor things can look like surprising yourself. Most soon-to-be moms know there's a possibility of experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression after giving birth, but they're usually unaware of just how common it is.
Bringing a baby into the world is an incredible feat, so it's no wonder a mother's hormonal and emotional balance can shift after giving birth. At home, show yourself kindness and grace, and take some intentional steps for self-care. You can also share your feelings with your partner and close loved ones. If your symptoms last longer than two weeks or are more severe, you should call your doctor as soon as possible.
You may be experiencing a more severe condition called postpartum depression, which can make it hard to care for yourself and your baby. The internet can be a blessing and a curse. It's a powerful learning tool, but remember that the internet is not a highly trained medical professional. For parents, looking up your precious baby's symptoms can send you into a whole new kind of panic – and often unnecessarily.
When looking to the internet for information, ensure you're using trusted and authoritative sources. Also, beware of getting lost in a parenting discussion board wormhole where it can be easy to take someone's advice without verifying the information. Talking with other moms online or reading group threads can be a helpful and supportive resource sometimes, but look to your child's doctor for medical information and advice. Alternate vaccine schedules are a myth.
Childhood vaccination schedules are designed with babies' and kids' young immune systems in mind. So-called «alternative vaccination schedules» have not been scientifically studied and are highly discouraged by the CDC and pediatric medical experts. Get the full pediatric vaccination schedule.