What I Wish I’d Known About Having a Baby

Advice for New Moms

What I Wish I’d Known About Having a Baby

Today we are talking to one of our ICBP mamas — Katie, age 36, kids: Patrick, 7-months and August, 3-years-old about what she would tell her pregnant self if she was given the chance.

If I could go back in time and give my pregnant self some advice before became a mother, I’d have four pieces of wisdom I wish I could impart.

New moms worry and that's ok!

New moms worry and that’s ok!

1. Everything is a stage

This applies to both my pregnancy and motherhood journey. Those parts of pregnancy that were horrific — which for me included non-stop vomiting, constant nausea, and horrible heart burn (glamorous, I know) — they passed relatively quickly.

Today I was looking at my beautiful seven-month-old son and thinking how he was worth every single day of feeling sick and horrible. I honestly had forgotten all about that part of my pregnancy until a friend reminded me.

While you’re in these difficult stages, it can feel like it may never end, but I wish I could go back in time and remind myself that it does and will end. Now I just need to remind myself of this when my 3-year-old wakes me up in the middle of the night.

2. It’s ok to worry

I’m not saying that worrying should be your default state, but I had a hard time getting pregnant and once it finally happened, I was a wreck. I felt guilty for feeling worried when what I should be feeling was overwhelming relief and joy.

However, looking back I wish I’d cut myself some slack. Being pregnant is not easily physically or mentally. Instead of trying to wish my worries away, I should have talked them out with my husband, family, and friends and acknowledged that they were normal.

Don't worry about all the things you need, focus instead on taking care of yourself

Don’t worry about all the things you need, focus instead on taking care of yourself

3. You don’t need so much stuff

As a way to control a situation that is not controllable (pregnancy and childbirth) a lot of new moms-to-be focus on making certain they have everything they need once the baby is born. In truth, there was very little I actually needed and almost nothing that I couldn’t send my husband out to get at any hour of the day.

Focusing so much of my energy on procuring things left me with an overly cluttered house. I wish I had focused all that energy on taking care of myself rather than registering for every little thing I thought I might need.

4. Stand up for yourself 

It's ok to tell people that you aren't interested in hearing their stories or advice

It’s ok to tell people that you aren’t interested in hearing their stories or advice

This applies to both pregnancy and motherhood. Nobody knows your body or your baby as well as you do so any advice — even if it is well-intentioned — can feel intrusive. It’s ok to push back and say you appreciate the thought but you aren’t interested in hearing any birthing horror stories, allergy horror stories, advice on sleeping, etc.

Hearing so many different pieces of advice from so many different people left me feeling confused. It wasn’t until I actually had my babies that I realized I had to figure it out for myself. Every child is different and as their mother it’s up to me to learn what they need.

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