I remember sitting on our bed crying, overwhelmed with contradicting “advice” from different nurses, different forum moms, etc. when I was a brand new mom to A. When to breastfeed, how often at night, to wake her or not wake her to feed. I finally found the answer that would help lead me through that first season and into this new season of motherhood:
Follow your own intuition.
This isn’t a lesson I constantly “got” though. I would let “advice” come creeping into my mind that made me question things or ignore my gut instinct only to find my intuition was once again right.
I’m not saying I’m a mama that knows it all, or what’s best for others. What I am saying is that I know what’s best for my babies by queuing into their needs and listening to my intuition.
When you are a first time mom you are usually pretty prompted by articles and opinions to be a big puddle of worry. If the baby doesn’t sleep in its own space, on its back, swaddled – you will risk it’s life. If you don’t wake and feed every 2 hours – your baby will starve. Oiy. There were so many nights that we walked A around trying to lull her to sleep in all hours of the night because we were just so worried about just sticking her in bed with us because we “shouldn’t” even though I knew how light of a sleeper I am. I’m so lucky that with the second time around I knew how to listen to my baby and my intuition. We had discovered our parenting style with A and are confident in it which is so important as a mother – confidence that you have your nest under control. It’s also important to let go of what other people think that you “should” be doing and take it for a grain of salt.
This time it felt good to be confident and educated in my decisions so I could be laid back and not sweat things that didn’t matter. When I was in the hospital with B and nurses would be doing their first round 24 hour checks making sure he was eating at exactly 2 hours, etc. I was confident in telling them that he hadn’t eaten within their timeframe but that I wasn’t concerned because I knew he would eat when he was hungry (and he did. And the lactation consultants totally agreed with me). I wasn’t at all stressed this time around. The nurses were fine with my decision to have him sleep on my chest at nights to skin-to-skin with me because we told them that we felt that was best for him. It felt good to be my own advocate and the advocate for our child this time around. It felt good to be laid back and focused on those first moments at face value and not if I was doing things right or not.
When we brought him home the transition was good. We knew the important of skin to skin affection for both bonding with me and bonding with Ryan. I wanted to help B’s circadian rhythm by syncing it with mine so we chose for him to sleep on my chest and it worked very well for us and co-sleeping throughout the night so we all get sleep. I’m confident in modestly breastfeeding when we need and not needing to make a mad rush to a car or public restroom because when baby needs to eat, he needs to eat. It feels so good to be confident so early in this season of motherhood because it took months to get her with A. I was confident in a convertible car seat instead of an infant car seat because I knew that babywearing was my desired choice for errands rather than a car seat and I was confident in going out quickly because there was no learning curve in babywearing for me.
In short – this time, motherhood feels a lot easier in caring for this sweet little new life. It feels good, it feels sweet and I’m soaking every tiny bit in.
5 day old newborn Photos by Verte Photo