As a mum with 5 kids, one of the most frequent questions I get when I meet mums to be or new mums is “what is your best advice?”. To be honest I never really know what to say to this question – it is just so big!
Giving advice to mums can also be fraught with danger. It can be easy to for a new mum to take away from the advice that they are not doing a “good job” if they aren’t already doing what you have advised or it causes then internal confusion if they don’t like your advice.
So before I give advice, I tend to say something along the lines of this:
I am like a bower bird, I collect all different pieces of advice and take them home. I try it out and if it fits its stays, if it doesn’t fit it goes.
Now with that disclaimer, here is my advice to mums to be or new mums:
|1.||There is never a "right" time to have a baby. Sometimes you have to just have a go and see what happens.|
|2.||Take a photo of your breasts before you get pregnant. They will NEVER look like that again. (Regardless of whether you breast feed or not. Pregnancy changes them for ever.) And you will not remember what they used to look like.
|3.||Do appropriate exercise through out pregnancy. Being fit can really help your stamina through labour.|
|4.||If possible have at least four weeks off before baby is born. Going into labour well rested and having things prepared at home can help make the birth and transition to motherhood less stressful.|
|5.||As my lovely obstetrician told me "Labour is one 24 hour period of you life (I know if could be longer, but you get the idea!). When the baby is born, you are committed for life. Start thinking about how your life will change once baby is born.|
|6.||Have as many visitors as you can cope with at the hospital. It is much easier to have them there, then at home during the first few weeks of bubs life.|
|7.||Make the bed and get dressed each day as soon as you can. It was a psychological thing for me. I felt like I had at least made a start on the day, regardless of what happened next (which you never really know what it will be!).
|8.||Try and leave the house once a day. Even if it is a 15 minute walk around the block. Fresh air, change of scenery, social interaction all helped keep me sane!|
|9.||Try and take a nana nap each afternoon. I used to have nana nap for the first 12 months of my bubs life. It really helped me cope better when bubs would become unsettled and not want to be put down at around 5pm.|
|10.||Spend time just gazing at and adoring your baby. The new born stage is so bloody quick and so bloody gorgeous. Adjust your standards on the house cleaning, ironing etc so you can treasure the beautiful little person you have brought into the world.|
Over to you! I know you experienced mums will have fab advice to add. What is your best advice to mums to be and new mums?