It’s easy to get swept away while you’re pregnant with all of the information about giving birth. How does it work? What are all the medical interventions? Do I want those interventions? Where should I birth? A hospital? Birthing center or home? Do I truly want an OBGYN or should I use a midwife and doula?
And then for those of you that are like me, who weren’t planning to become pregnant, you have to almost do catch-up figuring out what you can/can’t eat and what to expect each month of your pregnancy and is this feeling normal or that feeling normal? And what do I need to buy for the baby?
So as you can imagine, in between working full-time and being exhausted and throwing up and trying to take care of the house, I was reading. A lot. Trying to figure out what on earth was going on inside my body and what to expect with delivery, which – as they say – was anything but what I expected.
Through all of that, not one person recommended that I read up about what to do when the baby actually got here. How ridiculous is that?? Here I was reading countless books and websites about pregnancy and birth and I had no clue what an infant actually needed by way of sleep or how to maintain my milk supply to the fullest. I thought babies slept when they were tired and breastfeeding was natural and the milk would just keep coming as long as I was feeding her. Color me stupid.
So don’t make the same mistake I did. You can save yourself a lot of grief (and guilt!) by reading about infant care, baby sleep habits, feeding habits, how to breastfeed and not lose your milk supply and all of that other good stuff that will completely creep up on your exhausted new-mommy-self after the baby comes. As one of my other mom friends said “why spend your entire pregnancy reading about something that lasts for 48 hours – at most – when you should be spending it reading about your baby that will be yours to figure out for the next 18 years!”
This is not to say that you shouldn’t read about pregnancy and birth, but don’t get so consumed with it that you forget about the actual raising the kid part. I suggest you do it now! When you don’t have a crying baby that you’re trying desperately to figure out what on earth is wrong. These books were recommended by our pediatrician with regard to infant sleep and comfort: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and The Happiest Baby on the Block
There are tons of books out there though. Some people prefer a no-cry method and might get good use out of this one The No Cry Sleep Solution.
As for breastfeeding, try this one: New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding.
And you may want to pick up a book or two about what to expect during the baby’s first year. I still haven’t managed to catch up to that part, because we’re still working through breastfeeding issues. **sigh**