I’d like to think of myself as the typical concerned new mother, who may be just a touch paranoid.
All I can think is that I can’t mess this up!
I have never loved another being (outside of my mom) the way I love this baby girl.
Hence, the paranoid first time mom.
1. Find a pediatric practice that fits your needs as a mother.
I chose our pediatrician based on a referral from a colleague of mine. I felt like she was a good mother and I trusted her judgement. Turns out that was one of the best decisions I made as a new mom. This practice allows you to send emails with questions and pictures for non-urgent medical needs. And they will respond within 24 hours max! I cannot tell you how many pictures of poopy diapers and skin irritations I’ve sent in the last 9 months. I’ve even emailed them questions about patient exposures I’ve had at work and how that would affect my daughter. They also have a nurse available by phone after hours if a parent has an issue.
I didn’t realize the value of this until I learned that Tiana’s pediatrician didn’t offer the email services. I wouldn’t have survived thus far without it
2. Do what works for you and your baby.
After you have your baby everyone you know will, all of a sudden, become a baby expert. Even if they’ve never had a baby themselves! My mother always gets on me, because I have always have to respond when people give me advice I didn’t ask for or advice I don’t agree with. That’s become even worse now that I’m a mother.
For example, my family is not really familiar with breastfeeding or the tendencies of breast fed babies. I knew that breast milk digests faster than formula and that she would need to eat more frequently. I never had an issue with that. I was also fine with her waking up several times to nurse, while my family was not. Everyone was convinced that my milk wasn’t satisfying her and that I needed to give rice cereal to my 2 week old baby. I was livid and told them absolutely not!
At first I was patient and tried to explain to them that just because they did something back in the day doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to do now.
When you know better, you do better.
Once we passed that hurdle, they felt like the volume of milk she was getting was not enough, because she wanted to nurse all of the time. They were uncomfortable not being able to see how much milk she was actually taking in. I had to explain to them that breastfed babies nurse for more than just nutrition. They also nurse for comfort, to suckle, and to be close to mom, among other things. Our nursing journey works for us and I don’t see the need to change it to appease others.
3. Follow your mother’s instinct.
Since becoming a mother I have become obsessed with baby poop and eczema. I know what color my daughter’s poop should be and I can spot a bump before she ever scratches. The pediatrician kept telling me that the mucus in her poop wasn’t alarming to her, but Dr. Google told me differently. I ended up taking my baby to an allergist! Sure enough the mucus was a result of her being allergic to dairy and eggs.
I am so happy I followed my instincts even when everyone else thought I was overreacting.
4. Set others up for success when caring for your baby.
I have created a worksheet (after laughing at one of my friends for initially doing this) that has all my daughter’s allergies, and where the Epi Pen is located. It has the poison control number, and emergency contact numbers for me, her dad, and grand parents. And it also has things like nap times and her likes and dislikes.
5. It’s Ok to be over the top
When you become a mother, for the first time, everything changes. Your whole life changes. It’s OK to follow your own journey. It’s also OK to ask for help, and to make sure you get the help you need (not what everyone else around you thinks you need!) It’s OK to be a little paranoid. After all, this is a little human being that is now totally dependent on you, and that’s a bit of a scary thing. But trust yourself. You’ll be OK too.
What kind of mother are you? Do you find yourself being way more concerned than other new moms you encounter? Share with us below.
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