26 Things to Know Before Giving Birth!

Image: TheLawOfPhotography.com

Photo - Michael Law

There are many lessons that new mothers-to-be can learn from other new moms! Work It Out Baby has found the perfect doctor & new mom who candidly shares some imperative information for all new mommies! Keep in mind that pregnancy is a different for everyone and always consult your medical care provider with any questions or concerns.

Dr. Amber Brody is a Physician in Family & Geriatric Medicine & Assistant Clinical Professor of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and at the Touro College College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Brody, says “YES!  I’ve found a few tips are necessary that I must pass on.  The majority of tips
I’ve ascertained from fellow moms who are friends, family, or work colleagues of mine and also from a few books I’ve read.”

26 Things to Know Before Giving Birth!

  1. In the first few weeks, take it hour by hour versus day by day.
  2. Following birth, the next 48-72 hrs in the hospital will be the toughest of your life!  Let your newborn be taken care of by the wonderful hospital nursery staff while you get some rest and a shower.  Your baby will be brought to you every 2-3 hours (day and night) for feedings.  Take advantage of the free babysitting.  Take this time to be in a calm and quiet environment and be cognizant of the new mommies around you.  Try to keep visitors (not only in the hospital, but also at home) to a minimum for the first three weeks.  This is invaluable irreplaceable bonding time for you and your baby.  Plus, you will be exhausted.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  4. I read several baby books.  Do not expect your baby to be “textbook.”  Every baby is different.
  5. You’re going to make mistakes.  It’s okay.  You are still human when you are a mother.
  6. The breastfeeding diet is tougher than the pregnancy diet.
  7. Floss and shower and brush your teeth when you can!
  8. Stock up on protein bars.
  9. If you can’t breastfeed do not be too hard on yourself.  If your baby is good at latching on try to give him or her the breast at least for the first week so they get the colostrum (high in nutrients and antibodies).
  10. You will get hemorrhoids from giving birth.  Have Tucks pads ready at home.  Also you will bleed for about six weeks.  It should be like a light period. Have pads at home (regulars) and panty liners.  Change your breast pads daily to prevent mastitis.  Have ibuprofen or acetaminophen at home: Your groin will be sore.  Also your back will be sore from carry the baby and from breastfeeding.
  11. During the first few weeks the baby really is a bit of an object instead of a human that reacts to you.  Give it a few weeks and be patient.  The smiling and cooing and eye contact will begin before you know it!  That being said; at birth they know you by your scent.  The bond is instant!
  12. Talk and read to your baby.  Their brain is developing.
  13. Be sure to pick your baby up even when they are quiet and content when sitting in their chair or swing or crib and not crying.  You do not want to teach them that they must cry in order to be picked up.
  14. Put the diaper cream in the perianal space without actually entering their anus.  This is where skin breakdown is most likely to occur because of moisture from the wipes being trapped there.
  15. Have medications ready such as acetaminophen, gripe water, simethicone, colic herbal solution, saline nasal mist, ointment, diaper cream or ointment to prevent diaper rash, and diaper cream or ointment to treat diaper rash.
  16. Take the breastfeeding class offered at the hospital   Breast really is best.
  17. Have lanolin for your nipples and pack it in your hospital bag.  Three days into breastfeeding (or less), you may want to give up.  It takes almost three weeks until your nipples stop hurting at every latch.  After that, it becomes painless and second nature and highly rewarding.
  18. Co sleeping happens!  A newborn wants to hear your heart and your breathing sounds and feel your skin.  My daughter would not sleep anywhere but on my chest for several weeks.  Do your research on sleep; however remember: studies have shown that “Back IS Best.”
  19. Have at least six nursing bras ready for when you come home from hospital.  Wear them 24/7.  At night wear a sleep nursing bra or tank top.
  20. A few grooming tips to live by:  cut your nails, no earrings, or necklaces, file baby’s nails, hair in a ponytail.
  21. Clean between baby’s fingers, toes, and skin folds.  You’ll be surprised what you find.  I use dry baby wash along with microfiber baby washcloths.  There is no need to shampoo their hair often.  A wet washcloth will clean his or her hair just fine.
  22. Barley is great for breast milk.  Look up its multiple sources.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  23. Learn to use your non-dominant arm.  The baby will be occupying your dominant one.
  24. Have paper plates and plastic cups stocked.  This time in your life should be spent with your baby, not doing dishes.
  25. Yes, you may have spider veins and/or varicose veins, and/or stretch marks.  Wear them with pride!  You are a part of the mom club now.
  26. No new mom can go it alone.  Take the time to join support groups online or in person, or create your own support group.

Dr. Brody is currently seeing patients in the Urgent Care setting at the Duane Reade Walk In Medical Group in the Upper West Side.

The above information is not designed to and does not furnish medical advice, treatment, professional diagnosis, opinion or services to you or to others.  Do not use the above information in place of your medical provider’s care.  If you have medical questions or concerns, please consult your medical provider.  Dr. Brody is not liable for any diagnosis, information, advice, or treatment you acquire via this site or publication.

Doctor Amber Brody's new bundle of joy! Photo Credit: Michael Law