Hi, mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and blog manager here at Lactation Link. I’m a mom to 3 and am here today to talk about 3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood.
There are some things I wish I would have known as a first-time mom. From my thorough Pinterest research (snicker) I assumed that the best thing I could do for my baby was to create a beautiful nursery and buy a bunch of stuff. Spoiler alert: we didn’t use the nursery or much of the stuff. Baby slept in a pack n’ play next to our bed for most of his first year. Creating a cute nautical-themed nursery was fun, but unnecessary.
What I wish I would have done was prepare to learn how to breastfeed. I thought I would just figure it out at the hospital. The nurses were great and encouraged me but had other patients to help too. So I went home not quite knowing what to do. I devoured every book on breastfeeding at my local library and went to several lactation appointments and we eventually hit our stride. We had a wonderful breastfeeding experience for over 13 months which led to even better experiences with my second and third children. But learning how to breastfeed didn’t have to happen when I was sleep deprived and anxious about my newborn. If I would have had access to a breastfeeding class like our Breastfeeding Basics class, I know breastfeeding would have come much easier.
Here are 3 things I wish all women knew about during pregnancy to help prepare for motherhood:
- Obtain quality prenatal care. This seems like a given, I know. But if you’ve walked into an appointment with your healthcare provider and felt rushed, know that it’s okay to shop around for providers. Ask other mothers you admire who they go to for prenatal care. It’s nothing personal to switch providers. You deserve, even need to feel supported, heard and safe during your appointments. Feeling comfortable with your provider now will help you to feel safe and comfortable during birth. I switched providers early on during my first pregnancy and was glad I did! I started motherhood with a team of caring providers who lifted me up. Pro tip: You can switch providers as late in your pregnancy as you want!
- Prepare for birth. Take a quality childbirth class. Read positive birth stories. Surround yourself with women that talk highly of birth. Consider hiring a doula, someone who will guide you through the mountain summit of birth! Talk with your partner about what you expect of them during birth. There is no wrong way to birth, my only hope for you is to feel supported, safe and heard during birth.
- Educate yourself on breastfeeding. I actually intended to take a breastfeeding class when I was pregnant with my first. We went to the hospital for the class and the teacher had an emergency and could not come. There was not another class before my due date. Lucky you, you don’t have to worry about coordinating dates with your hospital! You can take a quality, peer-reviewed breastfeeding class on your couch! I so wish I would have had Lactation Link when I was pregnant. You’ll never regret learning more about how to prepare for caring for baby and breastfeeding. Have you taken our free Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It comes to your email and is a great place to start.
You might notice my list does not include “create a trendy nursery.” If only I could go back to my younger self and tell her that! But, I can tell you and that’s pretty close. But listen, if creating a beautiful nursery makes you feel prepared for baby, go for it! Nesting is a real thing and we all do it. Just don’t let that be the only thing you do. We cannot prepare 100% for motherhood because there is really no way to prepare for the intensity of joy, anxiousness, spit-up, poop and head-over-heels LOVE that comes with bringing life to the world. But obtaining quality prenatal care, preparing for birth and taking a breastfeeding class can help you visualize with confidence this new journey. Okay, mamas, what helped you feel prepared for motherhood?
More on preparing for motherhood from Lactation Link:
Thanks for stopping by,
Lacey Parr, BS, CLE