Resources for First Time Moms
Tips for Moms to Be
Whether you are planning, pregnant, or becoming a parent for the first time, it can seem daunting. The trick is to take some time to prepare. Learning about pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum helps to reduce stress and anxiety while empowering you to parent with confidence.
Whether you need a breastfeeding, pumping, or back to work course, we have you covered here.
- How My Breasts Change Over the Course of My Pregnancy
- Using a Nipple Lubricant or Balm while Nursing
- Nursing Strikes and What to Do
- The Impact of Relaxin: Working Out While Pregnant and Breastfeeding
- 7 Overlooked Breastfeeding Essentials for New Moms
- Is a Doula Right for Me
- How to Build a Healthcare Team for a Better Delivery
- How to Have an Empowered Birth
- The Golden Hour: Skin to Skin
- Cluster Feeding
- How to Work with Your Slacker Boob
- Do I Need Mittens for My Newborn?
- Benefits and Risks of Delayed Cord Clamping
- Making it Through the Holidays while Pregnant
Not all moms plan to pump. In fact, most moms who do pump do so because their breastfeeding journey didn't go as planned. Having a pump before you need it can help reduce stress and provide you with options.
Moms who exclusively breastfeed can benefit from having a pump for a number of reasons:
- Expressing milk for a babysitter or childcare.
- Clearing a clog.
- Alleviating engorgement.
Many insurance companies will cover the cost of your breast pump. A quick call can help you learn if they do cover a pump, and which brand it will be. Then you can begin to learn about how to use this pump, get measured accurately for the flanges, etc. If you don't have insurance or they don't cover the cost of a pump, you might be able to find one another way.
- Intro to Your Breast Pump
- When Should I Check My Flange Size?
- Breast Pump Cushions Or Flange Inserts?
- Flange Sizing Guide
- How to Fall in Love with Your Pump
Spa Day At Home:
Take time to take care of yourself. Ask for help with chores around the house and make time to put your feet up. You are growing a human being and that is no small feat. A belly mask or oil might seem extra but it can go a long way in making you feel rested and restored.
Take the Photos:
Book a photo session, or grab a cute dress and have a friend take some bump photos. This is one of the biggest transformations that you'll ever go through and it will be so nice to look back on it.
A great form of education for first time moms is to listen to birth stories, the experiences of other moms. Hearing what they have gone through can help you prepare for your own birth experience. You might also learn how to advocate for yourself during your delivery, what to pack for your hospital stay, or the benefits of a home birth.
You can find these on some great podcasts. BeauGen hosted a season of our very own podcast and featured a few birth stories, plus other great episodes on prenatal health, postpartum care, and more!
Write Down Your Questions:
Write your questions down ahead of time. It's easy when you are in the middle of an appointment, answering all of your providers’ questions, and making plans, to forget the questions you've been meaning to ask your doctor. Writing them down is a simple way to make sure you get all of the information you want and need, when you need it.
Talk Through Your Fears:
Ask about the things that scare you. If you are worried about a c-section, or something else, talking through it with your healthcare provider can help alleviate fears. Nothing feeds a fear like the unknown. Instead of wondering and searching the internet for answers, talk to your healthcare provider about your fears. Having a doula during your pregnancy can really be a great resource for addressing and alleviating your fears in a nonthreatening environment.
Pick Your Pediatrician Ahead of Time:
You should see a pediatrician in the days following your delivery. Babies tend to lose a bit of weight in these early days. If you deliver in a hospital or birthing center, there is a good chance that a healthcare provider will see your baby before you go home. This establishes a baseline for the baby's wellness. Seeing a pediatrician in the next few days will help to determine whether your baby is nursing well and gaining their weight back. If not, you can work together, find a lactation specialist, and work with a team to form a plan for your little one.
A great way to find a good pediatrician is to ask your friends and family for recommendations. Then, schedule a meeting with them to get to know them, their vaccination schedule, philosophies on breastfeeding, and more.
Plan to Keep Taking Prenatal Vitamins:
If you exclusively nurse or pump, you are your baby's sole source of nutrition. That means you need to be getting the proper nutrition yourself. One great way to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need is to continue taking your prenatal vitamins after you deliver. Your prenatal gave you what you needed to grow your baby, now it can continue to help you nourish your little bundle as they grow.
Baby Shower Registry Tips
Skip the Diaper Cakes:
Diaper cakes might be cute decorations, but it creates a lot of loose diapers that a mom has to figure out how to store. Plus it’s not always easy to determine each diaper’s size. Instead, think about doing a diaper raffle or putting different sized diapers on your list. When you are wondering if your baby is in between sizes, or they have a sudden growth spurt, you have the next size on hand!
Big Ticket Items:
Putting together a registry can be hard. It might feel like you are asking for people to give you things. You aren't asking for things, you are recognizing that people want to shower you with gifts and celebrate your growing family. By putting together a list, you are helping guide their gifting. People want to get you what you need, and what you'll use. This includes the larger and pricer gifts.
There are two reasons to include these more expensive gifts like strollers, carseats, cribs and bassinets. You don't know what people will want to spend on you. If they want to really gift you something big and you don't have one large item on your list, they may pick a bunch of smaller gifts. This sounds great, but it takes up a lot of other items that people who can't spend as much would want to gift you. The second reason is that some people may want to go in on a larger gift together.
Talk to Friends and Family:
When you're a first time parent, you can read all of the blogs and take all of the advice, but those aren't written by people who know you. If you can lean on friends and family members for advice about what to put on your registry, do it!
If you're a no frills kind of person, a wipe warmer might not be for you. But that bottle warmer might save you valuable time. If you live in a small house, a diaper changing table might take up too much room, but installing a changing pad on a dresser might be the ticket.
Not all baby products are safe. Bumpers are out because of suffocation risks. Swaddles are in but which ones do you choose? A good first step when planning your nursery and picking what items to put on your registry is to check the safe sleep guidelines.
Tips for First Time 4th Trimester Moms
Mama, your mental health is so important. When you are experiencing the fourth trimester for the first time, it can be tough to know what is normal and what is not. If you have questions about whether something is normal, it's a good idea to reach out and ask someone. We live in a time when maternal mental health is being elevated, studied, and championed. Asking for help will not carry a stigma or label you as anything but informed and empowered.
- How to Navigate the Fourth Trimester with a Postpartum Plan
- How Treating Ourselves with Compassion Benefits Our Whole Family
- Is It the Baby Blues or Something Else?
- Creating and Setting Boundaries to Protect the Health of Your Family
- The Cost of Breastfeeding
- What is Mommy Martyrdom and How Is Its Glorification Hurting Families?
- Helping Your Family Bond with Your Newborn
- Head to Toe Postpartum Woes