Breastfeeding / Formula Resources
My oldest son snagged this picture of me feeding his little brother
If you are breastfeeding make sure you have an IBCLC on hand to call or text when needed for peace of mind. Many IBCLCs will help over the phone for free until you visit them or come to you. Breastfeeding is often an acquired skill so reaching out for help when needed is imperative for a good breastfeeding relationship.
If you are formula feeding ask for information to find the right type of formula for your baby and know your options.
If interested in or planning on donor milk make sure to have those resources available on hand so you won’t be searching with time constraints and a hungry baby.
Ask for Help / Know your Support Team
You don’t need to do it all by yourself. In fact, we humans have the ability to really help each other shine. We can knock each other down just as hard, but if you know who is there for you and how they want to help, you will end up getting the help you need when you need it. If you decide you want to breastfeed it doesn’t help to ask someone who you know will say, “why don’t you just grab a bottle of formula,” unless, of course, that is just the thing you need to hear.
Your sanity is important and your baby will be happier if you remember to use your resources. Maybe you want someone to watch baby while you get some sleep or take a shower, get out of the house without baby in tow, just want a home cooked meal, need someone to help with your other child or maybe you just need someone to vent to. Ask for help.
Don’t expect life to be the same after baby comes. If it’s your first or second baby, plan on reducing your daily responsibilities so your mind can focus on learning how to care for your newborn and build confidence. If it’s your second, you need time to build your confidence with another child. It’s a whole other ball game with two. Time is necessary to learn how to manage taking care of another life while also taking care of yourself. Be patient and know everything will come together eventually.
Before baby arrives it is helpful to write down all your chores on a piece of paper and post them to the refrigerator. When the visitors come to see baby and ask if there is anything they can do all you need to do is direct them to the refrigerator. No need to order anyone around.
The first time I tried baby wearing I used a Moby. This is literally the first time I wore him. ( I had to take a picture for documentation 🙂 For my second I used an Ergo and for my third I used a ring sling and still swear by them. Every baby and mom is different. Find what works for you!
According to Babywearing International “Babywearing can increase a caregiver’s confidence, allow a caregiver to attend everyday tasks while bringing baby along, promote bonding, help to cope with stress, significantly reduce infant crying and help baby’s need for human interaction” With all those benefits it’s a wonder anyone spends money on those swings!
Babywearing international is an amazing resource for all things baby-wearing, including the different styles and types of carriers.
Find some mom groups near you that fit your schedule. It is important to have others who you can compare stories with, and a wonderful reminder to know you are not alone.
If babywearing is your thing search for some Facebook babywearing hiking/walking groups. These groups are a wonderful way to meet other moms, learn and improve with babywearing, and get outside! Facebook also has mom groups made by moms in towns geared towards new moms and meeting others. See if you your town as a new mom’s group. More then likely they do! Check out our New Parent Hangout group at New City every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the Month.
Little trips to the store feel good and have the ability to take you out of the fog. It can be intimidating to do at first and there is sometimes anxiety with the thought of breastfeeding in public, remembering everything you need, or worrying if baby gets fussy. Believe it or not, all of these worries lessen after some time and experience. You may always be a bit slow getting out of the house, but you will certainly get faster with confidence and learning what you really need. As your confidence grows, your mood improves.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
So many moms forget to take care of themselves and it’s no wonder why. We are encouraged to fully take care of our families and then work every day in between. When is there time to take care of ourselves. With a newborn it seems virtually impossible. Whether it is decided before or after baby is born schedule some time (outside of the blessed shower) where you are doing something simply for yourself. It might be cooking, reading, going to the store by yourself, visiting a friend for coffee, getting your hair done, or getting a massage. If there is no one that lives with you to help, then don’t be afraid to ask someone to come in. The more human you feel the more you’ll be able to help your little newborn grow into as strong a human as you.
Whether you have a cesarean section or not there is a large wound the size of a placenta inside your uterus so give yourself some time to heal. Don’t expect to be running around cleaning, or even running after your first born if there is one. Do your absolute best to keep your activity to a minimum for the first month. Getting out of the house and/or just taking a walk outside is healthy and necessary, but keep in mind your body is healing.
Where is my food?
Along the same line of remembering to take care of yourself and allowing your body to heal is nutrition. Let family and friends cook for you. There are frozen food packages you can create before baby arrives that are simply put into a crockpot for after baby arrives. Buy fresh food that will make you feel good. Don’t rely on fast food because its fast, think about ways you can continue to eat healthy after baby arrives with minimal effort. You might even ask family or friends to make a meal train for the first few weeks after baby comes.
Breastfeeding your baby builds oxytocin, or if you are formula feeding, cuddling and holding baby will also create the incredible love hormone. Even those who are beginning to feel depressed, or are having severe anxiety. Take a deep breath, pick up baby and cuddle. Allow the love to flow.
My third little bug telling me she was ready for a nap <3
Yah right 🙂 A controversial subject which everyone else knows the answer too. I am an advocate for co-sleeping as I feel many parents eventually end up doing it anyhow, at least for a bit. What we really need is quality information on how to do it safely instead of all sorts of shaming on those who are thinking about it. Co-sleeping is sometimes the only way mom, dad, and baby actually sleep and, if done safely, can be safer then sleeping separately or falling asleep on the couch because your trying not to co-sleep. If sleep does end up being a real issue then find a sleep consultant. Sleep consultants, for the record, do not equal cry it out. There are all sorts of options surrounding this delicate area. Find the solution that works for you and remember babies are not meant to sleep through the night so don’t feel as if there is something wrong with you or baby if they don’t. Here is the most recent evidence on bed sharing