15 Things I’d Want to Tell a New Mother

http://cupofjo.com/2016/05/first-year-baby-breastfeeding-sleep-training/

(click link abouto read the blog post)

A few of my friends had new babies this spring, and while looking into their wide, shell-shocked eyes, I remember what it’s like to have a wriggly tiny life in your arms. Everything seems chaotic and hazy and wonderful and exhausting. Here’s what I’d tell those new mothers…

First off, the first thing I would say — which is 10,000% true — is, IT GETS EASIER.

A reader left the loveliest comment years ago: “Bless you, new moms. If you’re trying, you’re doing a great job.”

Here are a few posts that may help during the first year:

1. Here’s what no one told me about breastfeeding, including a book that saved me.

2. 10 tips for traveling with a baby, like our happiest discovery: sit apart on the plane!

3. Fresh air cures everything and somehow seems to cheer everyone up instantly.

4. Don’t forget to kiss your partner.

5. A baby food epiphany! A pear + a spoon.

6. Breastfeeding in public? You go right ahead, mama.

7. 8 questions to ask a new babysitter. Friends have sometimes lamented that they can’t leave their baby with a stranger. But this person is only a stranger until you meet them. At least in our experience, a nanny will soon feel like a beloved new member of the family.

8. Trust your gut. I love this motherhood mantra from Amy Poehler: “Good for her, not for me.” Plus, a few wonderful parenting books, if you’re in the mood.

9. Work/life balance is not easy! I struggled for years and still don’t have it totally down. But here are a few mothers’ day-to-day stories.

10. How to keep up your marriage after kids. (Loved the comments.)

 

Tips For Dads On How To Be Involved During Pregnancy

http://blog.daddyncompany.com/my-life-as-a-dad-2/tips-for-dads-on-how-to-be-involved-during-pregnancy/

Pregnancy can be a confusing and even tough time for expectant dads. There’s so much mixed emotion – they’re a melting pot of excitement, nerves, love, hopes, dreams and fears. Yet most often, there are too few opportunities for dads to channel this energy into meaningful action that helps them feel involved during pregnancy. Many report being on the fringe of their experience, feeling unimportant, lost and left to figure it all out in isolation.

In my professional experience as an expectant and new dad specialist, expectant dads are hungry for more opportunities to be more involved during pregnancy. They want it to feel more ‘real’, to feel more connected to their pregnant partner and her experience, to their baby and to their becoming dad journey and themselves as a dad.

 Dads know it’s an important time – for them, their partner, their relationship and family – and have a sense that there is more to it than they are aware. They just don’t know what they can or should do to change their experience – and it’s not their fault. We should be doing MUCH more to prepare dads for fatherhood and birth than we are!

(click to read blog on blog.daddyncompany.com)

Why Doulas are Expensive (and why you’re glad they are)

http://www.cordmama.com/blog/2015/3/23/why-doulas-are-expensive-and-why-youre-glad-they-are

I spent all of my 30 hours of early labor at home, and most of my six hours of active labor there as well. I continued to delay calling my doula, not knowing how much longer I would be laboring, and certain that I needed that “tool” in my tool belt to realize my goal of an unmedicated, birth center birth. My doula met us at the birth center, and two and a half hours later my daughter was born in the water and placed on my chest.

Now, I won’t break it down for you (though my husband might) what it cost us per hour to have doula support for my final 2.5 hours, but what I will tell you:

It was worth every single penny. 

(click link above to read article)

No, Please Don’t Visit My Newborn

http://www.mothering.com/articles/please-dont-visit-newborn/

“My husband’s grandmother left a message saying she was coming over. Right. Now.

I’d been putting her visit off. I wanted the first week with our newborn to be a closed circle made up only of new mother, new father, and new baby. Benjamin was a wonder to us with eyes that hinted (I swear) of ancient wisdom. This time was our initiation into family life. It felt sacred to me in the way that life-changing experiences can. I didn’t want it muddied with polite conversation or awful clichés like “you look great.” (click link to read entire post)

– See more at: http://www.mothering.com/articles/please-dont-visit-newborn/#sthash.HRLBZKhT.dpuf

A Time To Heal- A Look at Postpartum Recovery

http://theleakyboob.com/2010/12/a-time-to-heal-a-look-at-postpartum-recovery/

I often see or hear of women pushing themselves to return to normal as quickly as possible after birth.  In a hurry to get their life and body back they jump into a myriad of activities at warp speed, often just days after giving birth.  Riding on the birth and baby high, pumped full of adrenaline yet restless from the last few weeks of pregnancy, particularly if they felt like a watched pot, these women fill their schedule, attack their house, and find new projects determined to not be slowed down, impatiently trying to control and master this new version of normal.  These women are often viewed with admiration and awe and the media highlights celebrities that are back to their prepregnant weight by 6 weeks or were spotted out jogging at 3 weeks or were back on the set of their TV show at 10 days.  This is held up as the epitome of a strong woman, give birth, bounce back, conquer world.  After all, women in China squat in a rice field, push their baby out and throw them on their back then return to work, right?

It’s as though we’ve forgotten to celebrate.  We’ve forgotten how important it is to rest after a hard work and enjoy the fruit of our labors.  We’ve forgotten that while pregnancy and childbirth may not be an illness our bodies still need to recover from the taxing physical and emotional demands of the endeavor.  Pregnancy, labor and childbirth may be a normal part of life but it is anything but easy.  The change a woman’s body goes through are massive to say nothing of the emotional journey as well.  Ignoring this reality can have serious consequences for our bodies, our emotional health, our breastfeeding relationship with our baby, our mothering, and our families.  Do not underestimate the potential for damage if we neglect our postpartum healing.   (click link above to read a fantastic blog about postpartum recovery)

More about Postpartum Recovery in the Postpartum section.

Parents Misled by Cry-It-Out Sleep Training Reports

Parents Misled by Cry-It-Out Sleep Training Reports

*First author is Angela Braden, journalist at Science Mommy

Mainstream parenting media are asserting once again that the cry-it-out sleep paradigm is harmless to babies—this time in the form of a two-paragraph morsel as one of the “sleep myths” Parentsmagazine “sets straight” in “Rest Assured” (July 2014 issue). The myth is listed as “crying it out is bad for your baby” and goes on to conclude that au contraire, “whatever sleep training method feels most comfortable for you is just fine.” Never mind how the baby feels. “Just fine”? Yikes! Parents typically does an excellent job educating and supporting parents to raise healthy, happy kids. But alarm bells went off for us when we read this lapse. (click link above to read the article on psychologytoday.com)

57 Thoughts Everyone Has When Trying To Get A Baby To Go To Sleep

57 Thoughts Everyone Has When Trying To Get A Baby To Go To Sleep

 

1. Here we go, it’s bedtime. Hopefully this won’t take too long.
2. I’ll be back downstairs to watch the film/game at 8 – no problem.
3. This is a moderate amount of screaming, I can deal with this.
4. I’m a great parent, this will be over in no time.
5. OK, it’s gone up a gear; this is a stage 5 screaming session…

(click link above to read on Buzzfeed)