I read @gertu's article about her pregnancy and birth story earlier and I could not help but comment how I could relate to her experiences and thus it prompted me to create this article. Being a mother, a first-timer is not easy especially that it was in the middle of the pandemic, I was living in our small condo unit the entire pregnancy with little to zero exercise and almost all day of eating. I ended up giving birth to a 4.5 kg baby boy.
But I won't talk about my birth experience instead, I will share some of the things that I would advise to those who are expecting to! Our first time to take care of a newborn sounds exciting but scary at the same time so this article is dedicated to the expecting first-time moms with the hope that you'd learn from my experience and apply it to your own as well.
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The baby had been in the solace of our tummy for nine months, it's dark and comfortable of course so they have no single idea what's day and night. It is important to understand that the baby will be awake whatever time he or she wanted, don't worry, they'll soon realize that there's a time to sleep and a time to be active, it may not be that fast but they'll learn.
Also, when the baby wakes up, it is a good way of preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you are not aware of that yet, do ask help from Mr. Google and we all hope our babies won't experience that.
In the first few weeks, either you delivered the baby via normal or CS, you'd be tired and needs healing, the fact that there's a huge wound down there that needs recovery means you only have to worry about yourself and the baby. Ask for help, your husband is the number one that should be there for you, cooking for you, cleaning the house for you, washing the dishes, doing the laundry. If you are blessed to have family members who have volunteered to help, accept every single help possible. Don't think that you can do everything because it is impossible.
When the baby learns a skill or is to reach a milestone and they become fussier, this means they are going through a growth spurt phase. This can happen during the first week but also many times during their first year and it can become exhausting. It takes a lot of patience and remembers that this is just a phase, it will pass.
There are several things that our elders would let you do so to get rid of this but this is not something that you should be scared of. I know, the baby looks pitiful with all that going on but the solution is to feed the baby or you can just wait until it goes away. It will surely go away after a while, don't be disturbed by it.
Yes, this is very surprising because we have been trained to bathe ourselves in the morning before we start our day and we have tendencies of applying the same to our babies but there's no specific time to do it. You can do it in the morning or afternoon, do it whatever suits your time as well.
Don't believe in the saying that those who would always carry the baby build a bad habit. Come to think of how long the baby had been used to being inside your womb and how it felt your every move. He or she wants the same after being out into the world. You are his home, carry the baby and let him or her feel your warm embrace.
Breastmilk is still best for babies. Look at your formula boxes and look for the big words that are printed. Breastmilk is what's best for your baby, it contains all the necessary nutrients that the baby needs, it has antibodies. And breastfeeding creates a bond between you and your baby. Get the proper education in breastfeeding, invest in it, and have a mindset that you must breastfeed your baby, it is what's best for him or her.
Note that I am not against bottle feeding but before resorting to that, try breastfeeding first.
The baby grows up way too fast, you just wake up and found your baby is now able to walk and talk. Savor each moment, make every milestone memorable, capture the first smiles, laugh, words, and make sure to keep them safe, upload them online, make photobooks from it, invest in hard drives or online drives, they'll be handy in the future. And watching the videos or scanning through the pictures will rekindle many memories, it will make you laugh or cry.
It is important to be in a circle of mom friends with whom you are comfortable sharing things about your motherhood experience. You may have a group of friends already who had become moms themselves that you can chat and call about what you are going through, talk to them and open up. You need a support system. When in doubt, you can also go online with some communities that are willing to answer questions and inquiries.
My baby is still 14 months old and I have been learning every day, I am also adjusting daily. Perhaps the one thing that I have learned throughout the 14 months of becoming a mother is that mothers' love is sacrificial. We give ourselves completely to our children, we think of them first, our bodies are not our own anymore, and we are okay with it because we love them.
As the days go by and even if our children become adults, we will continue to learn because everyone is a work in progress. We need that to be able to provide the love that every person needs.
In conclusion, do not compare yourself to other moms out there. Do not feel guilty when you are exhausted and want to give up, that's just a phase, and will surely overcome it. Cry if you want. Mental health is important, be happy and enjoy yourself, you are the best mother to your child.
mommy jean of momentswithmatti
Love harder than any pain you've ever felt.