My Best Advice for Mommy-To-Bes

I want to firstly say, I'm not out to offend anyone with this post. That's not my intent.

I've been thinking about this post for quite a while. On Grand Manan, most of us know everyone else, and I have opportunity to basically know which kids Harper will be in school with. Our group of mamas have all delivered and we'll be moving on to the next group soon. {Side note, I find it weird no one is due in December!}.

I remember this time last year, being a first time mom, I was totally lost. I had no idea what was coming, besides the horrible things people said, like "you'll never sleep or shower again." And all that fun stuff. I was pretty active on during my pregnancy. I loved my Birth Month Board, a group of other mamas who would also be delivering in February. Some of us are still pretty tight! ;) I was able to ask questions, without too much fear of being judged, or yelled at.

Unfortunately, this meant that I could see what other people were talking about too, and some people had some SERIOUS plans for themselves and their babies. They had typed birth plans with beautiful cover pages, ready in their midwife's hands, so that every little thing was planned and controlled.

Much of this said things like:

- I will NOT ......
- There will be NO....
- I will be EXCLUSIVELY doing....

Maybe I'm wrong, but I found some people made goals (or rules) for themselves and others that didn't seem even remotely flexible.

I feel like if I had set a bunch of standards for my labour and delivery, my experience would have been extremely negative.

I had no idea what it was going to feel like or what my personal pain tolerance is like, so how can I say I WILL NOT take pain medications or an epidural?

I didn't know that my baby wasn't going to be breathing when she came out, so immediate skin to skin was out of the question.

I never anticipated that my child would be in the NICU for 5 days, and that whenever she was put to the breast, she would scream and scream and not suck {no suck reflex, fancy that!}.

Please don't get me wrong. If you CAN go without pain medication, by all means, do that. I think skin to skin is fantastic, and scientifically proven to be beneficial to both mother and child. I think breast milk is the best way to feed your baby, whether you choose to breastfeed or pump, but if you choose to feed your baby formula, like I did, I support you as well.

So, all that being said, my advice is this:

Be flexible.

That's it.

I went into my labour and delivery with the idea that I would see what my pain tolerance was like, because I didn't like the idea of taking morphine, seeing as I'd never had it before, and I knew that it can cause the baby to not breathe as well. BUT, I knew that if it got to a certain point, I would do what I had to to get through. And I did, after trying a bunch of other pain relief techniques. I had read some about the benefits of delayed cord clamping, and though that would be great, if it was possible. If not, no big deal. I wanted to give breastfeeding a shot. If that didn't work, I would try to pump. I made a conscious decision not to beat myself up if anything didn't go the way I wanted it.

This is the exact opposite of what I was like leading up to the delivery. I had everything planned. I had my nursery done, all my baby clothes prepped and ready, all my cloth diapers ready to go. My pump was prepped and sterilized.

But when they handed me the Birth Plan to fill out, I had no idea what to put in there. I'd never done it before {obviously} and I had heard terrible stories of people having these grand plans for their delivery and having them blow up in their face. So, I decided to just go with the flow. Not something that comes too naturally to me. I didn't want to hate myself if I couldn't breastfeed.

So, that's it really. Just try and be flexible. Give your best to the things you want to do, but PLEASE don't hate on yourself if it doesn't work out. You delivered a baby! You're AWESOME! No hating!

The first time we got to really meet her, before they took her away to the NICU.

Our little NICU baby LOVING the lights


  1. Great advice, momma! Love this and your blog! What a sweet girl you have!


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