The worst thing about being a first-time mom is the doubt. You doubt yourself about everything. You try to put a good face on it. But in your alone time, you break down in the shakes because you are afraid you are going to break your baby in 17 different ways before you even get her out of your belly. The list of things that can go wrong is longer than the list of things that can go right. You are scared senseless. And that fear is not entirely unfounded.
The second worst thing about being a first-time mom is the advice – the endless, unsolicited, insipid advice. Oh lord, just make it stop! Now that I think about it, that might be the worst thing. The never-ending stream of advice is truly awful. And thanks to the internet and social media, there is nowhere to hide. You always suspected that some of your friends were idiots. This period in your life will remove all doubts.
That said, they are well-meaning idiots. And they love you very much. Moreover, some of that advice is actually spot on. It can be hard to know which advice is good and which is, well, not so much. Here is some you have surely heard before. It’s the good stuff:
Boost Your Energy and Milk Supply
Breastfeeding is hard work and it literally takes a lot out of you, especially if you have twins. If you don’t do something to boost your supply of both energy and milk, you will find yourself, well… drained. The friend that told you about the breastfeeding protein powder deserves a gold star.
You can drink protein shakes and enjoy tasty energy bars that help boost that which a breastfeeding mom needs the most. More to the point, it helps you take care of yourself. Your newborns completely depend on you for everything. You do them no favors by not taking care of yourself. Like the instructions on every flight, in case of emergency, take the oxygen to supply yourself, then help the person you are with. That goes double for babies. You have to take care of yourself if you want to take the best care of them.
Get the Right Nursing Bra
When you’re breastfeeding, a bra is no longer just underwear. It is a vital tool for you and your baby. Avoid the most common mistakes when buying a nursing bra. An example is a size. Many make the mistake of buying a bra that is too big because they think bigger is better. This is not true. What you need is a bra that fits properly.
Another common error is thinking the pregnancy bra will suffice for nursing. That is not true. While you want support from both, the nursing bra will have cups that are easier to lower and more padded cups to prevent leakage. There are plenty of areas where you can save money as a new mom. But a nursing bra is not one of them. Take your time and find a good one.
Don’t Assume Your Baby Is the Exception
Try not to take this the wrong way: While your baby is special to you, your baby is not special generally speaking. In your lifetime, babies will be born by the billions. Yours is one of them. If you fall into the belief that your baby is special, you might miss warning signs of common infant and newborn problems. You can also fall into the trap of thinking that something is wrong with your baby when they are perfectly normal. Your baby is special in the same way that every mom’s baby is special. Try to keep some perspective.
Buy the Best Camera You Can Afford
There will only be one first step, first word, and first giggle. You don’t want to entrust those firsts to some garbage smartphone camera. The reason you want the best camera for all the special moments is because 20 years later, the quality of pictures will be so far beyond what we have today, the pictures you take right now might not age well. So get the best you can because you can’t go back and retake those pictures. You get one shot for the really important ones. Make it a good one.
Sometimes, your annoying friends are right. Give a special thanks to the ones who advised you to get milk and energy boosters, to get the right nursing bra, to keep a level head about your baby’s specialness, and to get the best camera you can afford.