There is so much information on the internet and for new moms, it can be very confusing. I have recently had 5 friends who have had babies or are going to have babies soon! It reminded me of how stressful this time can be and some of the information I wish I would have known when I was pregnant. So here goes...
1. Research Mom's Groups while you are pregnant. There are so many options these days for you to connect with other moms. Take some time and find out what kind of mom group you want to be part of or what drop-ins you want to attend or places you can go to connect with other moms. Even if being in a group is not your thing you need to find a community of people who can relate what you are going through. These other women have become a huge support in my life even now as I have older kids. I highly recommend this if you are going to be giving birth in the winter or the high heat of the summer. It is always great to know of a place you can go inside and have some adult conversations :) Once your baby is born it is often harder to motivate yourself to figure this one out, so take the time before your baby is born to do the research.
2. Less stuff is better. Do you have a wipes warmer? You don't? Good...you don't need one. I had one and it was the biggest waste...there is no need to warm the wipes for your child...I didn't have warm wipes when we were out and about my kids did just fine so I didn't need one at home! When our first was born we were living in a small apartment and we were strapped for space...so we didn't have much and it was fantastic. We went outside lots, we went to the library and managed to have a wonderful life with so much less stuff. Little ones don't need a lot. I encourage you to think deeply about what you have for your little one and acquire items after they are born. You never know what they will like and what they will hate!! Start with the basics and grow from there!
3. Pre-plan the time off with your partner and visitors. I was grateful my husband could take the time off when our kids were born but after a week I was ready for him to go back to work. There is only so much holding, diaper changing and feeding other adults can do. I was grateful that when our kids were 6 months or older he still had time off to spend with us and take holidays. If he had taken more time after their birth we wouldn't have had those fun trips. I also loved having my family visit when we were a bit more settled in our routine and I was more comfortable feeding. It was also so great to have them spread out so that we could have months of support rather than all at once. Whatever path you take, make sure you talk about it in advance, this way everyone knows YOUR plan!
4. Don't sleep when the baby sleeps! What...yes you heard me correctly. Instead, do what you want when the baby sleeps. My first baby slept in 45-minute increments. It was much better for my mental and physical health that I used that time to shower and eat. If I tried to sleep during that time I stressed about when I would eat and if I would get time later shower. I knew that if I wanted to feel my best I need to use nap time however would help me feel the most relaxed and sleeping was usually not the way. If sleeping is what you need then sleep. If folding laundry or watching a missed episode of This is Us is what you need then do that. Use nap time for mental health however you need it!
5. Do your Kegels...you will thank me! Find a trigger to help you remember to do your Kegels! Maybe it is at a stoplight or it is while you are making dinner...find a time each day to do them. If you can get into a routine of doing them then you will be more prepared for birth and for after. Strengthening your pelvic floor can reduce your risk of prolapse, improve your recovery from childbirth and improve your bladder and bowel control! These are all things you want right? So do those Kegels!!
There are so many other tips but these are the top ones! I hope that they help and you can always follow along @mountainmamawellness on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest mama wellness fun!