As a mom of 3 boys, 2 being twins, I decided to put together a list of my own tips, use them don’t use them. But be sure if I meet you and you’re pregnant for the first time, I may chew your ear off with my take on your new little adventure.
Oh, it’s such an adventure, one filled with awe and mystery and no manual. So here are some tips that I wish someone had given me my first time round.
1) Body Oil (I used Bio-Oil):
You need to be rubbing yourself (breasts, tummy, back/love handle area and buttocks) in this stuff day and night from THE DAY you find out you are pregnant especially them boobies, the girls will grow, and it will be fast!!
I didn’t get to mine fast enough with my first pregnancy and have stretch marks all over my boobies! I did however start this as soon as I found out I was pregnant with the twins and managed to go full term without a stretch mark on my belly and the ones on my breasts didn’t get any worse. Thanks to Bio-Oil and a little consistency!!
A little bottle in your bag is also advisable, especially for those end days, you know, when the stretching starts to make you itch? DO NOT scratch. This will cause stretch marks. Whip out the oil and give your belly a good rubbing!
2) A Good, comfy support bra:
Sleep in a good, comfy support bra. Your breasts will get big, quickly and a good support bra for night time will help with comfort and prevention of droop. Do this from the start.
This is very important! A lot of moms become quite fearful of something going wrong during their pregnancy and therefore give up exercise. I know I did with my first, I stopped all physical activity and I put on a whopping 27kgs, yes, you read right 27!!! I also spent a wonderful 3 days in labor as a result.
Obviously, don’t go out and run a marathon or start CrossFit if these are things you’ve never done before. But, if you are healthy and have been given the all clear by your Doctor you should most definitely continue with your exercise routine. Exercise helps to reduce gestational diabetes, helps manage weight gain and aids in an easier birth.
4) Natural vs Caesarean:
This is a question I get asked soooo many times by newbie moms to be.
Having experienced both and from chatting to many moms, I can honestly say. Natural for me, is the way to go, how natural is up to you. There are those that wish to go through and feel the entire experience and then there are those that don’t. If you do then great, do it. If you don’t then that’s okay too. If you are considering a caesarean that’s also okay, it is your body, your choice.
What’s that?… You’re scared your vagina will be stretched out? This shouldn’t be something that sways your decision, after all, look at your belly! You have a baby in there for 9 months and it miraculously goes down afterward.
Your vagina has been designed to stretch and return to normal. The process is quick, it’s not like the baby hangs out in there for hours or days, it literally passes through and voila, it’s done! If your belly goes down after months of being stretched out your vajayjay can handle a few minutes.
You will be happier for it and so will baby. There’s loads of research out there outlining the benefits for both baby and mom.
After my caesarean, I was in quite a lot of pain and wasn’t very mobile. It’s major surgery! They cut through your muscle wall! You cannot drive for 6 weeks and it’s eina! Being restricted, in pain and uncomfortable, when all you want to do is cuddle and get to know your little one is no fun. Nah, I didn’t enjoy it.
If possible, non-complicated al natural with good pain control for me is the way to go.
But don’t be too rigid about the idea of having natural. If you can’t, as not everyone can, that’s okay. You need to try be flexible as most things will not go according to plan and that’s okay. The main goal is healthy baby and mama.
5) Get advice:
Read books and chat to other moms, grannies and aunties before baby arrives. Take in as much advice as you can, on sleeping, routines, basically everything. You will not have the time once little one arrives! You will see, missing meals, having a bath or going to the loo, these will become things you have to schedule in, as little one becomes priority number one.
6) Quality time:
Sleep, go to the movies, watch series, have long baths (not if you’re in CT ;)) plan date nights, spend time with friends, plan a babymoon and have some me time. Enjoy carefree freedom, it will be coming to an end soon. And this is not a bad thing but it is something that will be mourned.
7) Be present:
Whether a good or bad day, feel it and hold on to it. Soak up every moment, before long these will all become memories. I love the saying:
Sometime you will never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.
This I have learnt to be so true!
8) Be kind to yourself:
After the birth, you WILL feel overwhelmed, it’s VERY normal. This is a very confusing time, it’s bittersweet, you will stare at this little person whom you’ve never met and be so utterly in love but you will also be mourning the loss of other things, your time, your moments alone with your significant other. Give yourself the grace to feel these emotions and to adjust. Your whole world has just change, forever.
Also things may not go as planned, regarding birthing and feeding etc. Be kind, everything will happen the way it’s supposed to.
9) You’re not eating for 2:
This is a lie from the pit of hell. There is a storm coming! I learnt this the hard way first time round thinking I could shove anything and everything down my throat. Putting on a whopping 27kgs!!! Second time round I was a lot wiser and ate good nourishing foods only when I was hungry not simply for the sake of it and managed to put on only 15kg (remember this was with twins) so was a healthy amount to put on. Try eating healthy wholesome meals, remember you’re growing a human.
10) Wrap that tummy after birth:
This is a very old school tip, but it works. Get yourself some Spanx, you know, those serious tummy sucking in panties and wear them religiously. I noticed though that recently companies have started making products specifically for the purpose of wrapping your belly. Google it and find what works best for you. I didn’t have these fancy things when my first was born and I went proper old school using what I had at home. You don’t need fancy you just need to bind it.
11) Prep those nipples:
If you plan on breastfeeding you need to know, breastfeeding IS painful! Your nipples will feel like they’re going to peel off. Try prep them as much as possible before birth by sunning them and rubbing them with a towel. I’m sure if you do a little google search there will be some other techniques. Oh and nipple shields, I didn’t use these but have heard great things.
12) Book recommendations:
Solve your child’s sleep problems by Richard Ferber, The five love languages of children by Gary Chapman, Baby Sense By Ann Richardson and Megan Faure and1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W Phelan (this is for later on and was a game changer for me with regards to discipline). There are loads more but can’t think of them off the top of my head, but these were most definitely goodies!
Hope this post was helpful. I’ve enjoyed writing it. Got the nostalgic vibes going. Please feel free to post questions or suggestions for newbie mamas in the comment section.