Hooray for you! You managed to make it through pregnancy and deliver a beautiful baby. Or perhaps you waited way too long to adopt a beautiful baby. Either way, the baby is home -- now what? Worry! That’s what it seems new moms seem to do best.
I asked moms of the Twitterverse, as well as expert pediatricians Dr. Melissa Arca (@Melissa_DrMom) and Dr. Natasha Burgert (@DoctorNatasha). I then enlisted the help of Jenny Dunlap (@GoodAcorn). If you aren’t following all these fab moms on Facebook or Twitter and you are a new mom, do so immediately! Jenny of Good Acorn has an extremely welcoming community of moms (both new and old), and everyone is friendly and ready to help other moms.
1. SIDS - No doubt, this has long ben one of the biggest fears for a new parent. Let me introduce some math to keep your fear at bay. In 2010, there were 3,999,386 births, according to the CDC. A CBS news article from March 2012 states that roughly 2,500 infants younger than one year died of SIDS. Small, small percentage. True SIDS (not suffocation or infanticide) is very rare.
2. Breastfeeding - Will it work? Can I do it? There are tons of resources available to new moms from lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups and online communities (Kelly Mom is a great one!) Rest assured, new mama, whichever way you decide to feed your baby is the best way. Don’t listen to the haters. All moms should support each other.
3. Colic - This is the fear that strikes every new mom when the crying begins. When will it end? For each baby, it’s different. Seek help if you have a colicky baby. Know this: it will end.
4. Sleep - Two questions emerge on this topic. First, will the baby ever sleep through the night? Short answer, yes. I have three children and each one slept through the night moments before I was about to lose it. Second, will I ever sleep in again? As a mother of a nine and seven-year olds, I assure that you will.
5. Germs - Well, folks, germs rule the world. Not all of them are bad. Kids are little germ factories. We all survived. The best tip is to wash your hands. Often.
6. Sex After Baby - Will it ever happen again? Yep. Otherwise we would all be only children.
7. Pumping - To pump or not to pump, that is the question. There are tons of resources out there and your hospital or birthing center usually has someone on call. The Le Leche League and Kelly Mom are big help too.
8. Soft Spot - Will it ever close? Is the shape and size normal? How careful do I have to be? You can easily solve this worry by asking your pediatrician.
9. Umbilical Cord - When will it fall off? How do I clean it? They should talk to you about this at the hospital, but if not, a quick call to your doc can solve this. Good news is that within a week, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
10. Poop - Oh, the poop! The hot topic of every new mama. Color? Consistency? Smell? What’s normal? Talk to your doctor if you have a concern.
11. Breathing - Newborns breathe “funny” sometimes and have periodic breathing. This is mostly normal, but of course, with any concern, call your doctor.
12. Losing Weight - It never happens as fast as we’d like it. Here are two ways to lose the weight: working out and eating right. You can get your body back, but it will likely take time.
13. Stretch Marks - You either get them or you don’t. Blame your genes.
14. Flying with Baby - As a mom that took her son on 11 airplane trips his first year of life, I can say with confidence that it can be done. Pack well. Boob, bottle or pacifier for take-off and landing. Extra clothes and extra formula if you aren’t nursing. Trust me, the baby is easy to fly with. The toddler...not so much.
15. Sanity - This comes from Krisinda S. on Facebook (and I have to say I cracked up when I read her comment, but as a mother of three, I immediately knew what she was talking about): The jury is still out on whether sanity ever return.
While you can’t stop all the worry, you can at least calm those worries down. Talk to your doctor for any medical concerns. For general questions, ask a mom friend, your mother or join an online community of new moms. As mothers, we should support one another. Raising happy, healthy children is an important job and one we can’t do alone.
Cheers to you, new mama! As they say, they will grow up before you know it!