Posted on: Jan 31, 2019 | 50,000 + Mamas Read This Post!

5 Things First-Time Moms Wished They’d Known Before Giving Birth

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Intro...

Girl, are you pregnant with your first baby?

Chances are, a lot of things are going through your mind right now. It’s true that first-time mamas experience more fear of childbirth than moms who have already given birth a couple times.

Is that really surprising? If you don’t know what to expect, the anticipation and uncertainty can be terrifying!

But worry not, new soon-to-be mama! I'm here to share the five things first-time moms wished they’d known before giving birth.

And be warned - these are the things you can’t find on Pinterest. I'm all about that real-talk when it comes to having babies, because - let’s face it - becoming a mother is the biggest slap of reality a woman will ever get in her lifetime.

But just like a slap - the pain will go away, the scariness will fade, and soon enough, you'll be giving other first-time-mamas some advice of your own. (Funny how that works!) And perhaps it might include some of the advice I have for you below:

The Good Stuff...

Have you spent time with your partner putting together the perfect birth plan? Throw it out. Or rather, just keep it short and sweet. And know that things might change.

Because while it’s great to think through what you might do in different scenarios, giving birth is one of those things that you really have no control over.

The best advice I can give you is this:

Let go of all your expectations and accept that there are things that will change based on how your labour progresses. But also accept that your body (and your healthcare team) is an incredible thing that will do what it needs to do to get your baby into your arms safe and sound.

You can watch all the birth videos and read all the birth stories you want - but reality is that nothing can prepare you for what it feels like to push out a baby, especially if you’ve opted for an epidural.

If you’re having your first baby, don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team how to do things during labour - nobody expects you to instinctively know how it works, and they can give you the best guidance for your personal birth experience.

Pro tip for the birth partners:

If you’re having your first baby, don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team how to do things during labour - nobody expects you to instinctively know how it works, and they can give you the best guidance for your personal birth experience.

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For more pro tips, check out this Helpful Hubby Cheatsheet - we promise it’s one he'll want to read.

It’s (hopefully) not typical for you to spend time in the hospital, so staying for a long period of time might be new to you. And depending on your hospital, nurses will have more than one patient in labour. And in postpartum? It’s not unusual to care for 8 patients (4 moms & 4 babies).

When your nurse pops in to check your vitals, your mind may not be in the right place to ask questions about the procedures and daily routines in the hospital, or you simply might forget (Girl, mom brain is REAL!).

The best advice I can give you is this:

Keep track of any questions you have for the nurses as they come up. Write them down, text them to yourself, or tell your partner to keep track of them. Then, when they pop in to check on you, you will be able to take advantage of their knowledge and get your answers all at once.

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To start you off, here is a list of the most common questions that you might want to ask your healthcare team during labour.

Girl, you just ran a marathon, triathlon and sprint all in one. You are tired. You are exhausted. You might have been labouring for 24+ hours! You think it’s cool you have a baby, but really (if you’re being honest), you just want sleep.

That is totally normal.

I’ll say it again. It is completely normal to just want to roll over and close your eyes.

The best advice I can give you is this:

Celebrate the fact that you're a supermom for bringing your baby into this world. And then push through that exhausted feeling to try to enjoy the skin-to-skin time you get to share with your baby. This exhausted feeling will pass...eventually.

First-time moms are already facing so many “firsts” that it can feel overwhelming to have this new life placed into your arms with the expectation you will know what to do.

Many new moms I’ve worked with wished they’d received more information about their own aftercare, medications and discharge. Others went home with their babies and had no idea how to give them a bath.

Remember, these moms were having their first baby just like you. There is no expectation that you will know things about bottle feeding, bathing, follow-up appointments, pain management or car seats.

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To help, here is a checklist of things to ask your healthcare team before leaving the hospital.

Final thoughts...

Thanks for reading!

And remember, you are leaving with a little stranger. It will take some time to get to know each other, but having some guidance for the concrete things like safety and general hygiene will make it easier to focus on getting acquainted with your new addition to the family.

And remember, Mama - it’s all worth it.

Comments! What do you have to say?

So what have I missed? What else would you add to this list of #mombombs that you wish you would’ve known before giving birth? Let me know in the comments below.