Wednesday, 19 October 2011

This one's for all the (soon to be) new mummies

I know five people having babies in the next month or so. FIVE! Some of them are first time mummies and some of them are going back for seconds (crazy huh?). I read one of those articles this morning on the topic of 'the first few weeks with a newborn'. It was the biggest load of shit I've read in ages. Full of lots of helpful advice like 'eat organic food or food with less then 10 ingredients', 'exercise, because you'll need that energy to keep up with a toddler' and 'now is the time to start reading the labels on the back of food packaging'- really? Now? Gee, how's about adding some more pressure on top of an already stressed, sleep deprived, hormonal woman? All I remember thinking in those first few days was 'when is my arse gunna stop hurting from these damn hemorrhoids?' and 'why is the baby crying? Again?'. Turns out that babies don't read 'the book' or listen to 'the experts'. With that in mind, I've decided to put together my own list of advice for new mummies (and daddies).....

1. On more than one occasion, you will think "what the fuck have I done?". This is normal and nothing to feel guilty about.

2. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. The most important thing at the moment is healing from the birth and bonding with your child. Don't waste this precious time by fluffing about reading food labels and stressing about losing baby weight.

3. It does get easier

4. Most babies cry more in the first 3-4 months, then they will for the rest of their life. This always made me feel better.

5. Establishing breastfeeding can be difficult....oh boy can it be difficult. You'll be discharged from hospital before your milk comes in and you'll have fuck-all practical support once you get home. Seriously? What is the point of the National Breastfeeding Hotline? I don't care if they're on call 24/7, how are they meant to help the baby attach onto dodgy nipples over the phone?? Don't beat yourself up if you can't breastfeed. Putting Max on formula enabled me to enjoy him, rather than stressing my head off about my milk supply. By the time kids are 5, they'll have consumed KFC, Maccas and various other shitty foods anyway. (*Disclaimer: breast is best)

6. It doesn't matter where the baby sleeps. Well...ok it does, don't be leaving it in the garage or anything (as tempting as it may be). What I mean is, so what if you bought a beautiful Moses basket and baby likes sleeping in the rocker? Big deal. Once baby is a bit older, you can develop a healthy bedtime routine. For now, it's about survival.

7. This one's a total gem, that really reassured me (in regards to crying) "nothing you do will work every time". Hmmmm so yesterday baby loved being patted and today screamed in your face for doing the same thing? Normal.

8. Babies love to suck. It's really soothing for them, hence why they love dummies so much. Unfortunately, this also means they like sucking on nipples, not because they're hungry, but because they can. After a few days, your nipples will be falling off and they'll be covered in hickies. Also, getting baby to attach correctly isn't as easy as it sounds. The book says "simply glide your finger between the babies mouth and your nipple to break the seal". The book doesn't mention that the baby will still manage to take away half your nipple when the seal is broken and then flail it's arms around, screaming like it's being tortured. If you don't have lanolin now, BUY SOME. That stuff is the bomb! One more thing on breastfeeding.....set up a table where you plan to feed with all your essentials (ie water, phone, tv remote). I remember one night I sat on the couch feeding Max, sobbing my heart out cos I couldn't reach the remote OR my phone and my most hated movie was on TV (Riding in Cars with boys- hate it).

9. Fresh air really does help you feel better. Even if it's only for a few minutes.

10. For awhile, you'll leak continuously from various places and you'll leak a lot. It's shit.

Sorry if this post sounds negative. It's really not meant to be! I just wanted to share what I've learnt in the hope it might help someone else.

I wish all my friends who are expecting all the very best and I hope their babies are born safely and in good health. See you on the flipside!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. This is an amazing list.

    Every new Mum needs to read this.

  2. YES! This says it all and then some. It's all about survival, and baby doesn't care if you've stocked up on the cutest "essentials" or not. S/he just wants some love and food. And to poop. Don't forget the pooping.

  3. Thanks guys. There's so much more I could've said but thought I should stop. You guys both actually kind of inspired me to write a brutally honest post. Love both of your blogs!

  4. What a hoot! I'd forgotten all about Lanolin - it was my saviour! For my first 8 weeks of breast feeding, I was in torturous pain; found out MUCH later that it may have been thrush and I didn't need to suffer after all (so I'd add: Health centre nurses are USELESS fi they don;t have children of their own - them believing that it is "objective" to be a health centre nurse without children is bullshit!)

    The best piece of advice that I did get before leaving hospital is "A happy mum means a happy baby" and I think that always holds true!