When I was debating what topic to give advice to a new mother, I had several ideas of what I wish I’d known. Then I realized, it is mostly about asking questions and researching. So here’s my varied tips.
Question even those in authority. Get a second or third opinion.
For example, the hospital got my blood type wrong. I’m O negative, but they said I was O positive. The problem is if I had a blood transfusion, and never questioned the blood test results, the wrong blood type would’ve killed me.
When I went into the hospital, I needed an IV of antibiotic. Rather than just accept what they gave me, I asked what the medication was. Penicillin. I’m allergic to penicillin and stop breathing—all of this was in my chart.
The doctor from the third visit until my son was born told me I wasn’t going to be able to have a baby naturally. After the encounter with the hospital above, we switched to a midwife the day before my due date and my son was born after five hours of labor without any complications.
When my first son was born, I had issues breastfeeding, but never sought help. People would tell me breastfeeding is supposed to hurt. No, it’s not. When my second son was born, I only had issues on one side and found a wonderful lactation consultant. It was a matter of positioning and he had a posterior tongue tie that needed a special pacifier to train.
I thought by the time my third child was born, I’d have figured everything out right? Nope. We had to go back to the lactation consultant twice because I was bleeding. Turns out my daughter had a lip tie and a tongue tie, except this time, both had to be clipped. Then, a week later, the same pain and issues came up, so we had to get another clipping done. Except it was Thanksgiving weekend and we had to wait an extra week. After that, I never had any problems.
When you bring the baby home, open all the curtains and blinds during the day. Be loud. Then when it’s nighttime, let it be dark and quiet. Don’t look directly into your baby’s eyes in the late evening/night. It acts like a shot of expresso and winds the baby up.
My last two tips would be to get a monitor that sounds an alarm if the baby doesn’t move or breathe after twenty seconds. This was a lifesaver for our sanity when my second son was born as he had periodic breathing (inhale, exhale, nothing….gasping inhale, and repeat). The downside to this monitor is when they get bigger, they can roll off the part of the bed and the sensor will go off. We used Angel Heart, but there are probably others out there. The second tip is a white noise machine. Turn it on every time it’s nap or bedtime (better if you turn it on before taking the baby into the room). Eventually, it signals them that the noise means sleep/bedtime. And when we had to go on vacation, we brought it with us and it helped ease my daughter into sleep with something familiar in an unfamiliar place. It also helps buffer noises like thunderstorms, people talking, etc.
To summarize, my advice to a new mother would be to question everything. Question your doctor or midwife. Read and research. Question older mothers. And find out what fits you and your family best.
Andrea R. Cooper writes fantasy, paranormal, historical and romantic suspense.
Her favorite childhood memories revolved around creating vibrant characters for her friends and then acting out their adventures. Inside her fantasy worlds of darkened forests, dragon-filled glades, and ice-filled islands, nothing was banned. From the ethereal Elvin to the most maligned Vampires, all were welcome in her fictional realities, a stark contrast to her home, where the magical and mythical was forbidden.