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Just stop for a moment and ask yourself:
“Do I know all there is about babies as a first time mom?
Because you know what…there are new moms who are stuck with babies and don’t know what to do.
So, the dreaming stops here – it is time to learn more about babies once and for all.
Are you serious about having a baby, or it just an idle fantasy to cheer you up when you don’t know what to do in life anymore?
If you are serious, then make up your mind to know more about babies.
And you know what? Here are 80 things to know as a first time mom.
There are so many things to know so I will classify them into four categories (pregnancy, labor, and delivery, breastfeeding. It will make it easy for you to understand.
What first time moms need to know about pregnancy?
- Download a pregnancy app to help you monitor your baby’s development. Best pregnancy apps you can use include WebMD pregnancy, the bump pregnancy countdown and Hello belle pregnancy tracker.
- Take folic acid daily before you get pregnant and 12 weeks into your pregnancy to help prevent birth defects.
- Expect to have cravings and baby kicks in your stomach
- Ah! fart! That is one thing you have to endure and enjoy when you are in the second trimester.
- Ensure you take your Vitamins daily to prevent deficiencies
- Get ready for morning sickness. Yours may not be in the morning. It can occur at any time of the day.
- Expect your feet to swell, but not to worry, it will return to normal.
- Sleep as much as you can before the baby arrives. You may not have such ‘luxuries’ when the baby finally comes.
- Gender disappointment! No. don’t let it bother you. Whether you hope to have a girl and a boy shows up on the ultrasound machine or vice versa, don’t worry about it. You can always have them.
- Flaunt your bump! It looks good on you. Fitted clothes bring out the beauty of your pregnancy.
- You can become tired and very emotional. Take time to rest.
- Wash your baby clothes before you use them. Some of them contain harmful chemicals and dust. These substances can irritate your baby’s skin after birth.
- Engage in exercise to keep you active, reduce stress and improve blood circulation.
- Join childbirth classes to educate yourself and get prepared for delivery.
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and even pain thinners and removers during pregnancy. They are harmful and can cause birth defects and miscarriages.
- Ask your doctor or caregiver before you take over-the-counter medications, supplements or natural remedies. It will put you on the safer side.
- Drink lots of water (at least 8-10 glasses) to prevent constipation, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and hemorrhoids.
- Eat foods rich in folate such as wheat germ, orange juices to help with fetal development.
- Eat lots of fruits as the natural sugars in fruits will help to increase your energy level.
- Eat fish to help increase your child’s I.Q, Motor and communication skills.
- Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn and Chloasma
- Sanitize your hands regularly to prevent infections such as Streptococcus and chickenpox.
- Planning to travel? It is best done in the mid-pregnancy, say between 14-28 weeks when you are over morning sickness and the risk of having a miscarriage or early delivery is low.
- If you notice pain of any kind, strong cramps, or contractions, please call your doctor.
- Always be positive. Look for ways to make yourself happy.
- Shop for baby things early.
- Expect to flush and sweat more as the pregnancy hormones speed up metabolic processes.
- Expect a change in your libido, it can increase or decrease.
- Tell your unborn child stories in the womb.
What first time moms need to know about labor and delivery
- Don’t listen to horror birth stories, they will make you get scared.
- Stop thinking about the pain of childbirth, instead think about meeting your new baby.
- Choose your place of the birth – hospital, nursing home, and home birth that suits your needs.
- Don’t be afraid when it comes to children or you could increase the time it will take to give birth. This is because fear and anxiety increase blood concentrations and the catecholamine hormones which can make the uterus to be weak to contract.
- Choose who will be with you during the labor. You need emotional support.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions related to labor and delivery.
- Eat enough food during the labor because it may take long
- Get ready! You may poop during delivery. It is a good way to clear the way for the baby.
- Choose the best position comfortable for you. It could be squatting, standing, side-lying, holding onto a bar, etc.
- Although shaving is great, it is optional.
- Let your doctor knows about anything you want during labor. You are entitled to lots of things.
- Don’t worry about screaming during labor. If you want to scream, it is all right.
- Use relaxation techniques to help calm your nerves before and after labor.
- Know that every birth is natural birth. Be it C-section, epidural, it is the same. What is important is the miracle of the new birth.
- Expect to feel exhausted and hungry after giving birth
- Be prepared to push for how long it takes to get the baby out
- Be prepared for people to see in between your legs, such as the medical residents, physician’s assistants, and midwives if you use a big hospital.
- The baby’s heart rate can drop
- You might be puffy after giving birth
- Educate yourself about labor and delivery. Knowledge is power
What first time moms need to know about childcare
- Babies outgrow their newborn clothes very fast, so mix up the sizes.
- Use more onesies for your baby, as they are more comfortable than the 2 pieces.
- Breastfeeding can be painful for some women
- It is normal to still bleed up to four to six weeks after delivery
- Accept help when offered and when you need it. It will give you time to rest.
- You can’t do everything at the same time. Be flexible.
- Childhood goes quickly, enjoy every bit.
- Parenting can be a lonely experience, connect with other parents.
- Bathe your newborn baby with a sponge 2 to 3 times a week
- Ensure you breastfeed your baby for 6 months and introduce good food thereafter.
- Hold your baby and cuddle them as much as possible. It helps in brain development
- Don’t worry about your baby’s cry. It is the only way babies communicate and reveal their emotions and feelings.
- Talk to your child daily. If you have the time, read a book to them and tell them stories to help in stimulating their brains.
- Pay attention to hygiene at home to keep your child’s immunity system in good shape.
- Eat dinner early, to help your baby sleep faster and better.
- Ensure your newborn sleep on their backs but place them on their tummies once in a while when they are awake.
- Put sharp things away in your living room so that your toddler can roam freely.
- Learn to understand your baby’s needs through their expressions and body movements.
- Feed your baby every 2 to 3 hours.
- Newborn babies sleep for about 2 to 4 hours. Expect less sleep. But as they grow up to about 3 months, they can sleep more.
- Never leave your baby alone in the bathing tub.
- Have enough diaper at home so you can change your baby as at when required.
- Give your baby proper vaccinations according to the pediatric chart
- Use gripe water for tummy aches.
- Interact with your baby by talking, singing and smiling as often as you can
- Let your baby mingle with people to help her brain development
- Speak to them in the language you want them to be fluent in later on in life
- Keep your baby warm when it is cold and not too warm too
- Give your baby massage from time to time, it helps to improve their sleep.
- Always be available and responsive to baby needs.
Time to be a super mom
Now, you know more about babies and what you should expect during your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding. It is always good to seek more knowledge.
The more you know, the better you will become until you are a super mom.