1. This crucially is the most important... don't take advice from other mums... well accept of course from yours truly, because like my advice is amazing; and you won't go far wrong if you take heed! When you do announce being up the duff everybody and his dog has something to advise on!
2. This linked to number one... other mums LOVE to talk about their birth stories... the more horrific the better.... "I was in slow labour for 3 days", "I had 153 stitches" "I was screaming at that point for an epidural". SWITCH OFF, DO NOT LISTEN Being honest, my first labour with my girl wasn't great, but I wouldn't ever turn it into a horror story, it was long, it was gory, BUT it was how I met my daughter... and that's lovely.
3. Don't be hung up about the pain relief... have it/ don't have, whatever NOBODY CARES and if you are of the 'only gas and air' disposition... great well done, but you don't get special recognition with like a medal or that!
4. Pack snacks in hospital bag for partner, you could be there ages, and hungry, woozy husbands can faint (not saying mine did or out....).
|His faves, not kidding when I catch a smell of these, I reminisce back to our Willow's labour!|
5. In the early weeks after baby is born.. limit visitors, I know everybody is dying to see baby, and they have good intentions, but the time is so precious and getting your feeding and routine together is harder when you have to recount your birth story 75 times and make brews. Plus the menfolk don't get so much time off so it's better to visit when dad has gone back to work. Funny, your friends who you really want to see, are the compassionate ones that stay away!
6. On the score of visitors, if they say "Can I do anything to help" the right response is "YES". One pal dropped in to me and offered help (I don't think she meant it) but I nearly burst into tears and said "Well I stripped all three beds this morning and I've not been able to put baby down all day; would you mind nipping up and wrestling the quilt covers back on!".
7. Bottle v Breastfeeding (here's where I get controversial!). I was able to feed both babies myself, my daughter exclusively till she was 11 months, but my lad less so, I finished quite suddenly the day he turned 26 weeks (25+6 I was out buying cabbages). The last couple of weeks feeding my son, I made myself pretty miserable, I felt so guilty thinking about stopping feeding him. I met a new mum recently who was upset that she'd been giving her baby in-between bottles. My advice to her was look "nobody except you cares about this, your baby is doing well, don't let this ruin your maternity time with baby". And again you don't get a medal for breastfeeding so stop being hung up on it.
|Now if I was computer savvy, I'd photoshop a breastfeeding medal... I'm not!|
8. Sleep when baby sleeps, hell no! That's when you watch telly, eat toast, have showers, look on Asos.
9. If you don't like mother and baby groups; it's okay, it doesn't make you a bad person or a rotten mother. I rocked up with good intentions to the ones run at my local library... after 10 minutes or so; I was bored out my skull. Also to note, if you don't get your baby weighed every week, that's okay too (although once I went for weigh in without my red book and it was touch and go if they'd ring the social on me!).
10. Baby led weaning.... yeah... I suppose... all babies like to suck on toast.
11. Enjoy baby; because maternity leave goes in a flash.. and you're not a bad person if you're counting down the days to get back to work!