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Just saw a post on Facebook that a local anchor is pregnant.  The following statement was “do you have any advice for the new mother”.  Hmmmm, I thought to myself, do you lie and tell an expecting mom “ oh the world will never be the same in the best way possible” or do I tell the truth? And everyone you meet has advice (most of it unsolicited).

Then there is the happy, happy , joy, joy advice or the polar-opposite, worst case scenario advice.  “Oh I know someone 28 weeks and she gave birth to a dog that had a baby head and fish fins”.  I don’t care who you tell or what week you say you are someone has some horrendous story they want to tell you about the week you are.  WHY??

When one of my dearest friends became pregnant when my son was 7 months, I unloaded on her.  Nothing scary, just the truth. (as it was for me).   Why sugar coat it, she’s already pregnant.  So, here it is.  My best, truthful advice.

✽Being pregnant is lonely and joyful at the same time.  You might as well be a snowflake.  No 2 experiences are alike.  You take comfort in phrases like “me too” or “oh, I had that”.  But truly, no one has the same experience.

Advice:  Talk to a LOT of ladies who have been through pregnancy.  And, all types.  Don’t be afraid of the answers.  You never know when that advice will pop into your realm of thinking and ease your mind.

✽  You CAN NOT eat whatever you want.  I cannot say this strongly enough.  It does NOT just fall off when you breastfeed and chasing a toddler won’t take it off you either.  Watch what goes in your mouth.  If you have a craving satisfy it but back it up with something good for you.  I believe cravings are our bodies way of telling you what you need.  BUT, try to find it in healthy form.  DO NOT eat gallons of ice cream just because you can.  (Yeah, I did that.  And, now 4 years later I’m doing weight watchers!!) Refer back to “ having a toddler won’t take it off you either”.

✽You do NOT look as bad as you feel.  I have to say there is some truth to pregnant women glowing.  I think it’s all that water we drink.  I see pregnant women in my shop all the time and they really are beautiful.

✽Rely on your partner.  While I say it’s lonely in terms of experience, there is so much joy to share.  Let your partner do things for you.  Give them that cliche of “running to the grocery store” to satisfy a craving.  My husband loved that.  It was a great way to let him contribute to the well being of his child.

✽Keep positive, healthy people around you.  This is a good time to get rid of baggage and people that drag you down.  You don’t have to unfriend them from Facebook, just hide their feeds.  Don’t take their every phone call.  Start to ween them off.  They are the one’s that have never contributed to the friendship and always drain you.   You need every ounce of your energy for the journey that lies ahead.

✽Get some mommy friends.  Join a mommy’s group.  AND, make sure it includes all kinds of opinions.  My favorite mom, who was just an acquaintance, was my “what not to do” mom.  Watching her in action with her kids made me more aware of how I didn’t want to act.  That sometimes helps more than what to do.

✽READ< READ and read some more.  There is a TON of advice out there.  And, until you meet that little baby you won’t know what info you are going to need.  REMEMBER: parent the child you have not the one you want.

 ✽Breastfeeding IS beautiful.  BUT, it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  And, the more mom’s you talk too, the more you will realize there are a ton of things that can go wrong.  If I ever wrote a book about breastfeeding I would title it “Natural my A**”.  It can and will work, however; be prepared.  It can take a LOT of work.  Stick with it and then do what is necessary to make sure your child is well fed.  **this will make some of you really, really mad.  I subscribe to the “I support you campaign”

✽Laugh a lot.  It is amazing what our bodies go through.  Cry, it just feels good.  But, then laugh again.  Laugh at your size, laugh at your ankles, laugh at your CRAZY thoughts.  I developed a weird case of turrets.  I once flipped off someone in traffic that let my husband (who was driving) go in traffic.  He was horrified and I laughed hysterically.  I really felt like I had gone temporarily MAD!! Too this day, we laugh about a few stunts I pulled like that and are to awful for writing here!!

✽RELAX.  Breathe deep.  Yes, things can go wrong.  Horribly wrong.  AND, more often than not, things go magically RIGHT.  Our bodies were made to do this.  We have so much information readily available at our fingertips if it doesn’t.  So, focus on positive.  You can make a birth plan if it makes you feel better…but it probably won’t happen.

✽Above all else:  Believe in your mommy instincts.  That baby growing inside of you is giving you a gift.  It is an innate ability to KNOW what is right you and for your baby.  If you feel something isn’t right, keep talking till someone listens.   TRUST that voice.  It was given to you as a gift.  Accept it, use it.






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