As soon as you announce it to the world that you’ll be having a baby everyone bombards you with advice. Some of it good, some of it weird and some of it pointless. There are just too many examples for me to even try and quote…but since you are reading my blog, chances are you’ve probably experienced this or are currently experiencing it yourself. If you haven’t then I am sorry for assuming.
That being said, here is my top 5 best advice I wish I had listened to when I was pregnant and before I had a baby:
1) Don’t go crazy buying all the baby stuff before – stick to the essentials! A huge pram or baby cot is not one of them! For a list of the most useful items to buy a baby before they arrive click here.
2) Use a pump to stimulate your breasts and collect collostrum from 38 weeks onwards. Using a pump to stimulate the breasts has been recommended to me by lactation consultants as a great way to also bring on labour (after 39 weeks only) as well as to help ensure a good milk supply after birth. However the biggest perk, if you happen to have a tiring birthing experience, by freezing the colostrum you already pumped before birth, means you have something ready for dad to help feed the baby while you can take a few hours to sleep and recover before the whirlwind reality of motherhood comes hitting you like a brick and the sleep deprivation settles in.
3) If you live in UK, make sure to join an NCT group if you can spare £200! It is totally worth it. Not only will the information you get and things you learn help you feel at ease with everything, but the 8 moms attending with you will become your village, your support system and help you keep your sanity during the maternity leave. The free NHS classes are cool too but nowhere near as good as the NCT courses.
4) If you come from Romania, or another country in the developping world which is considered a hot spot for Tuberculosis make sure to request the BCG vaccine in the first month of your baby’s life! The NHS provide it free of charge only for a short time after birh and it’s not readily available so make sure to mention it to your midwife early on!
5) Put your baby on a nursery waiting list from birth of earlier, to ensure they get a place! Some places in the UK get filled up very quickly and if you plan to go back to work you won’t be able to get childcare available if you don’t plan early. I was lucky enough the chosen nursery was just opening a new location and was taking on kids, so I secured my daughter’s place only 6 months in advance. Some places need two years notice. Don’t get caught out, especially if you want a place rated ‘outstanding’ !
I could go on, but I don’t want to risk boring you or becoming pointless! As the only thing that’s for certain, is that you can’t quite comprehend it all yet – until you’ll be at least a few months post baby!
Good luck and enjoy the ride!