Motherhood notes: 12 things I’ve learnt from being a mother every new mom should know

 

A couple of weeks back, one of my dear friends gave birth to a baby. As soon as I congratulated her, I went back to that time of my life. She was happy, tired, confused and all that I had been. I wanted to talk to her, tell her all my experiences and cheer her up. But neither of us had the time, especially the new mother. Here I gather all that I want to tell her and my other friends before my memory fails.

Pains

1. Constipation, anal fissure, hemorrhoid are all real. Use a stool softener as long as you are advised to by your doctor. I swear by two prunes after meals.

2. And mood swings are damn destructive. You are one sensitive sack now. Family doesn’t understand you always. It is normal to feel resentful too. And even more normal to not feel the bonding immediately. Talk to someone who understands you.

Feeding

3. Breastfeed, as soon as you can. If you feel your latch is a problem, watch videos on kellymom or bellybelly. Track pee and poop counts (these words aren’t gross anymore). Feed when the baby wants and don’t time feeds. If you feel your latch still hurts, please visit a lactation counselor.

4. For unavoidable reasons, if you could not breastfeed, don’t fret. Some of the best moms I know have formula fed their infants as they couldn’t breastfeed despite their best efforts. It is your choice too. No one has the right to make you feel guilty.

5. Though the advice ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ sounds atrocious and careless, it is sadly true. Express some milk and store so that your partner can feed the baby some time. The baby is your family’s responsibility. Get some deserved sleep, dear friend!

6. The weight of the baby is important, but you can relax as long as your baby regains birth weight by the time the doctor says and doubles birth weight by six months and triples birth weight by 12 months.

Cloth diapering

7. Try cloth diapers if you are planning to use disposables. In the long run, they are cheap, eco-friendly and definitely look cuter. Despite the fact that they are expensive, there are good Indian brands which are half as pricey as the international brands and offer the same quality, sometimes even better than popular brands. But if you are already planning to use saree and dhoti flats, forget about cloth diapers, they are only going to drill a hole in your pocket, and boy it’s a rabbit hole and there is no coming back.

There is this baby

9. A baby cries mostly for four things, hunger, diaper/dress change, comfort and … colic. A crying baby has to go through this three step process: feed, change and hold. But with colic, check with your pediatrician; follow his suggestions while working on your intuition. Most times gas is the culprit and by holding her straight against your body you help her pass gas. Give pedaling massage with a little oil of your choice. If it doesn’t help her, check for lactose intolerance and the likes by your pediatrician.

10. It is advised to always put the baby to sleep on the back to avoid SIDS. Don’t have loose clothing or sheets or pillows on the bed.

11. Give tummy time to your baby under your supervision. If you find him struggling and crying, continue some other time. Start with even 30 seconds tummy time for a couple of days and then increase it gradually. Tummy time helps avoid a flat head or Plagiocephaly, which is caused by the baby always lying with their head in the same position.

12. Wear your baby. Don’t cringe at the sight of expensive baby carriers. You can start simply with just a thick cotton saree and graduate to the complex and costly ones if needed.                                                                                                                             

 — To be continued.

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