Pregnancy advice from the person who knows best (you)
My daughter is coming up to 3 years old which means that I've been a mum for quite a while now and I like to think of myself as a bit of expert haha, jokes aside I have learned A LOT and if I could go back in time and give my pregnant self a few pointers here is what I would say:
- Take all the help that you can get, back when Sophia was a tiny baby I was crazy protective over her like all mothers are but it was to the point that I didn't even like anyone else holding her apart from my husband. When family would come around to visit and ask if they could mind her for a little while whilst I had a nap/bath/shower etc I would always said no. I think that I kind of used breastfeeding as an excuse to keep her all to myself. It got old fast as you know even just getting the time to eat and shower with a baby sometimes feels impossible and it takes it tole on you mentally, I definitely started to feel a bit depressed as I felt like it was all down to me even the night feeds as only me had the milk. So next time I would definitely let family members mind my baby for a couple off hours whilst I had a nap or some time to myself, as they say you can't pour from an empty cup so it is important to look after yourself too.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps, argh I got sick of hearing this but it is so true!, whenever Sophia napped (attached to my boob as she wouldn't sleep in her Moses basket) I used to just sit on the couch for hours watching Netflix but now I could kick myself why didn't I sleep? it is not as if she was sleeping through the night. So next time I would definitely try to nap at least once per day with a new baby if I could, but now I have a toddler it would be virtually impossible haha. Looking back now I thought it was so hard at the time but doing it with a toddler in tow would definitely be a lot harder. We have no plans to have another baby just yet but hopefully we will in the future.
- Hold off on visitors for the first couple of weeks, or until you are feeling ready. My husband only had 2 weeks off work and I spent 6 days of them in hospital so when I came home we didn't have that much bonding time with just us as a new family, as all the visitors came the second week. I remember feeling very overwhelmed as it seemed that as soon as she got to sleep someone would knock at the door or phone and I felt like screaming with frustration. As well as family you already have the health visitor, midwife (I wasn't discharged until later due to my pre-eclampsia as I still had to have my blood pressure monitored) and the breastfeeding support workers coming around it felt like everyday at least one person was coming around. It also made it harder that the health visitors aren't good at keeping set appointments so they can literally come at any time and it felt like too much to deal with, especially in the early days of breastfeeding when you just want to slob out topless on the couch.
- Buy the changing bag that you love from the beginning, I originally budgeted about £80 max on a changing bag and I bought one of the Pink Lining Yummy Mummy bags because everyone else had one, the problem was even though I liked it - I didn't love it. It didn't make my heart flutter like the leather Jem + Bea bags. Back when I had Sophia a lot of my now favourite brands weren't out such as Jem + Bea, Tiba + Marl and Kerikit. I have since spent hundreds of pounds seeking out a bag that I love and that suits my needs. If Jem + Bea had been out back then I would have purchased one from the beginning if I had I would have saved myself a lot of money in the process. The leather bags might seem expensive but it's cheaper than buying lots of other ones that you don't love until you just give in and buy the one that you love.
- Don't get hung up on all the material things (apart from the bag of course), I used to obsess over certain baby items and I felt like I had to have them no matter what, like a particular Moses basket that I had set my heart on or a certain outfit that I loved but now I have learned that babies don't really need much. My daughter never slept in the Moses basket anyway. Next time I wouldn't even bother with many clothes because babies basically live in a baby grow or vest for most of their first year. Next time I wouldn't get hung up on the material things.
Is there anything that you would love to go back and tell your pregnant self? Please leave a comment in the box below. Jodie x www.wiganmum.com