When you look at all these picture perfect mothers on the internet or on advertisements- you must think, “wow motherhood must be so peaceful, so relaxing….” Until you actually become a mom, you realize you were deceived! Haha. Just kidding, there are moments of tranquility but then there is also a big chunk of crazy, restless moments- especially for a first time mom.
Who would even think that this tiny and harmless being can change your life SO drastically?!
Photo of Maxen at 7 days old, June 2016.
And this is precisely why I decided to write a blog post dedicated to YOU, a first time mama. This is based only on my personal experiences and lessons learned throughout my 12 years of being a mom- all so you aren’t caught off guard with your new life as a mother. I’m definitely not perfect, and not everything that worked for me necessarily may work for you but it’s worth a shot. Let me be completely honest with you. Shall we begin?
Let’s start off with what to expect when you start breastfeeding. No one ever tells you that breastfeeding hurts like crazy but ONLY at the beginning. Don’t worry. The first 2 weeks usually are the hardest. So it’s normal to feel like giving up…
Here’s a little throwback to 12 years ago when Noelle first latched on! Of course I tried to smile.. But that was painful!
With my first 2 children, I remember holding my breath each time it was time to feed- the initial latch felt like my nipples were about to be torn apart because they were so sore. But wait, bear in mind that I DO NOT want to discourage you – I only want you to know what to expect so that you’re one step ahead and don’t freak out.
The good news is that after 2 weeks, it is completely painless! You just have to get over that hump. Even better, there is a way to help ease the pain– and i learned it only with my third child! So what I did was, when I was 7 months pregnant I started to use nipple gels already. Just once a day before bed and you know what, when I breastfed Max- I never felt what I did with the 2! No pain, no sore nipples. It was a breeze! So I think it must’ve been the gels that helped. I used Medela Pure Lanolin and Lansinoh alternatively.
I breastfed both my kids for 10 months exclusively- meaning no formula at all. And they hardly ever got sick! It really is the best milk you can give your child- so worth it.. Plus there are major benefits for the mother as well- losing weight! (YESSS!!!) You burn 300-600 calories per day. At 7 weeks post partum, I have lost already 40 pounds with no excercise and no diet! It’s awesome. So I encourage you, do not give up- the benefits, especially for your child are worth more than 2 weeks of suffering.
Another topic I want to write about are the “wrongs”‘or “rights” in parenting. Don’t ever feel discouraged or judged by the choices you make for your baby. Each baby is different, therefore each style works differently too. You know your child more than anyone else. You know what works for them and what doesn’t. So don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.
This goes for the little things like bottle feeding, cradling them to sleep, or even making them sleep on their bellies… Notice one thing in common? They are all so controversial nowadays.. And i have no idea why. I’ve been doing all 3 for my children since I had my daughter 12 years ago, and I had absolutely no problems in this area at all… And yet I get questioned repeatedly. I think after having 3, I am a little more confident on the way I choose to raise my children. It is definitely not for everyone, but this is the choice I made.
If you’re a working mom like I am- everyone knows that when you go back to work – as much as you’d like to directly feed your baby, you can’t- so you introduce the bottle early on so they get used to it. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM WITH THAT because you are doing what you can. I mean pumping is no joke, in fact it even takes more effort because you need to wash & sterlize after each use. So I cringe when other people judge for this reason, so again don’t worry. You are doing what you can for your child and it works. Don’t ever feel like you’re less of a mother because you bottle feed.
Am i being a little too honest here? Woops. But this is reality.
Now you’ve probably heard about nipple confusion. To be honest, I have never heard about that term until now. With all 3 kids, i introduced the bottle on their first month because on days where I have to leave and work, I want to make sure they’ll be able to drink properly without a worry. I mean you have to admit, on some days, and in some places you can’t always bring your baby. If you wait too long, i think that’s where the “confusion” comes in because when they’re older, of course introducing something new will be harder for them to adapt to. Unlike when they’re still tiny- they don’t really have an option- when they’re hungry they will drink regardless. So that’s my conclusion. Hehe make sense? Well you don’t always have to agree with me either- these are things that worked for me -and they might just work for you too. But absolutely no judgements whatsoever- like I said we all have different ways on dealing with things.
Another reality, especially when you have a newborn are sleepless nights. You’ve probably heard this before but don’t even realize how serious this is! Haha. I mean sleepless for not only days but up to even 6 months! Your baby eats, sleeps, poops and the cycle goes on. But sometimes there are other factors that cause major crankiness. Like Gas or in tagalog, kabag. With Maxen, my third child- just a few nights ago- was a record breaker. My husband and I had ZERO sleep up to 5am! Seriously. Ibang klase. He was just unusally fussy.
This was also the first time he had not pooped in 24 hours- (My pedia says it’s nothing to worry about) but we rocked him, cradled him, but when we put him down on his crib he was up again in no time. So I made him sleep on my chest but then after a while even that didn’t work- my husband and I would take turns but still nothing- and to make things worse I had to be up for a shoot at 6:30 am. So I had about an hour and a half to sleep, if i was lucky. Crazyyy! But I guess eventually he went to sleep because he was just exhausted. But yes that is definitely what you call A SLEEPLESS night! But that was a special case, the more regular nights are 3 hour sleeping periods.
So prepare yourself for that, you’ll get exhausted at first but like everything, eventually you get used to it. Which is why I advise moms that IF they can take 20 minute naps during the day while the baby sleeps do so. Those 20 minutes make a big difference!
(When you’re up, might as well take a photo! Haha)
Are you excited for motherhood yet? Hahaha! This is the reality. But despite how hard and tiring it may sound, nothing compares to the joy and fulfillment your children bring! Just one smile, one coo – INSTANTLY you forget the hours of sleep you missed or how tired you feel. I’m telling you- our babies cast a magic spell on us. Haha!
You will never really understand how much love and patience you have untill you have a child of your own. Oh they are such blessings!
So, Mama are you ready? Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for the most exciting ride of your life!
Feel free to share your thoughts too on the box below 🙂