Today, in TheMotherhood.com, we hosted a virtual baby shower of new-mom wisdom for new and expecting moms. Dr. Jen Trachtenberg - pediatrician, author and AVENT spokesperson and 10 top mom bloggers (each of them either expecting or with a young baby at home) hosted the Talk.
From what to expect during pregnancy to preparing and caring for a brand-new baby, these “been-there” moms shed light on the process and shares the best tips they received from friends and family.
Keep reading for some of the best nuggets of advice, or check out the entire Talk so you don’t have to miss a thing. Thank you to Dr. Jen and all of the amazing hosts and participants for sharing their invaluable knowledge about what to expect as a new parent!
Pregnancy: Pearls of Wisdom
Rest. Rest. Rest. I took naps each chance I got with all three of my pregnancies, and it kept me sane. I also listened to my body more and more with each pregnancy after pushing myself into bed rest with the first one. (Victoria Mason)
If you're barfing, it means something's fighting in there, and that all is well. (Casey Mullins)
If you're really worried about something, call the doctor; it's better to be "that" pregnant lady than something going wrong. (MommyBKnowsBest)
Relax and don't try to do everything! Let people help you when they offer! :) (Shannon M.)
It's important to make sure you're eating right and taking your prenatal vitamins - and make sure to get some sleep too! If you're still feeling very tired, it may be worth checking in with your ob/gyn. (Dr. Jen)
This might not be what expecting moms want to hear, but I never realized how "hard" pregnancy was going to be. I had it rough, and I had to make sure that I allowed time to deal with illnesses and weak moments properly. So be prepared to take some sick days or not do as much. (onceamonthmom)
Newborns: Nuggets of Advice
Best advice I ever got was from my Mother in Law, who told me, "You can never EVER love a baby too much." (After my elderly grandma scolded me for holding my tiny new daughter too much, claiming I would "spoil" her.) (Casey Mullins)
Put the baby on the floor when you need to put him down. He can't fall off the floor. (Jenny Rapson)
Sleep when the baby sleeps. I wish I had done this even more than I did :) (Jenna)
One big thing I learned fast- if someone asks what you need- FOOD. Meals. Lunch foods. My husband took to making me sandwiches before leaving for work because it was all I could do to get the baby and kids fed/taken care of and I always forgot to eat. (This Mama Loves)
The BEST advice that I never received was: take a mom with you when you register for your baby items. The list that they give you at most box baby stores has 90% of things you'll never use. (AlainaFrederick)
When I was expecting my second baby, the best advice I got was to make and freeze meals beforehand. It was a lifesaver those first few weeks! (Jenna)
After the baby comes, there is a long adjustment period... sleeplessness is difficult on a mom. I would highly suggest having things as set up as possible for changing, night feedings, and help as you can get. Try a tiny refrigerator for milk/snacks/water in your room. Stock your diapers - buy them ahead while you are pregnant at each grocery trip... you'll need it as easy as possible when baby comes. (Sprittibee)
I would also say to check out local mom groups before you have your child, mommy groups can offer advice, support and even meals when baby comes and you already have a built-in network, especially if family is far away. (MommyBKnowsBest)
Trust Yourself – and Your Partner
"Read your baby, not the books." I found that I worried more when I focused on all that the books said could go wrong. (Sprittibee)
I wanted to start by sharing a nugget of advice that I wish someone had told me the first go around. To TRUST MY INSTINCTS. Yes, there is so much excellence in reading resources like those that Dr. Trachtenberg offers, AND there is something to be said for following your mama bear instincts. (Christine Koh)
One of my favorite pieces of advice to give mommies is listen to all the advice but only do what you feel is best for your families. (MommyBKnowsBest)
Oh, the one advice someone gave me is to not to take over with the whole baby process - let my husband in on the action. Husbands have their way with the babies and I have to be ok with it... letting some control go is not easy sometimes! (Joy)
Take Care of Yourself
"Every calorie is a successful calorie" when you've got super-bad morning sickness - that helped save my sanity and get rid of some early mommy guilt - I concentrated on eating healthy once I could actually keep food down! (Jenny Rapson)
The best advice I got was to take a little time for ME every day. It's easy to get lost in the minutia of caring for someone else (and everyone else!). (RookieMomHeath)
Be clear about visitation parameters and if you need something, ask. We told people: a) we would love to see them; b) we probably weren't good for more than an hour of visitation; c) it was highly likely they would see all or part of one of my boobs during the visit; and d) if they wanted to bring takeout we'd love them forever. (Christine Koh)
Document and Treasure Your Memories
I kept a week-by-week journal of the highs, lows, sickness, etc., with my first, and it was SUCH a relief to read with the second. I would be like, "Oh, that is normal" and be encouraged. You think you won't forget, but you do. (onceamonthmom)
I remember when I was pregnant for the 1st time, 9 months seemed like ages but flew by! Looking back now, I would have captured more moments and memories during my pregnancy - maybe keep a weekly journal or take weekly photos to remember your journey! (Dr. Jen)
Advice From Dr. Jen
One thing that's really important to do after you give birth is to find that right pediatrician for you and your family. To start with, ask for recommendations from friends/family and meet with a few in your area to see who you hit it off with - because it's hopefully going to be a long-lasting relationship! Remember, you're looking not just for an expert to take care of your child when they're sick, but also a parenting partner.
A lot of new moms in my practice ask, "How do I know my baby is getting enough to eat?" In general, newborns feed every 3-4 hours and also have wet diapers every 3-4 hours. Bowel movements can vary a lot. In addition, most babies gain about 1/2 an oz. to an ounce per day in the first few weeks, so it's important to keep your regularly scheduled well-baby check-ups.
The FABULOUS mom bloggers who co-hosted the Talk were:
Aracely Worley, Daytripping Mom
Beth Knudsvig, Anti-Supermom
Christine Koh, Boston Mamas
Heather Bee, Sprittibee
Jenna Gaskill, A Mom's Balancing Act
Jennifer Bullock, MommyB Knows Best
Jenny Rapson, Mommin' It Up
Tricia Callahan, Once A Month Mom
Victoria Mason, The Mummy Chronicles
Thank you AVENT for sponsoring the Talk!!!