Becoming a new mother is one of the most gratifying experiences in life. From the very moment in which a woman finds out that she is pregnant up to the day of labor, and once the newborn is at home, women may have many doubts regarding how to proceed.
The most important thing for first-time moms is to keep calm: nobody is born knowing how to be a mother. First-time parents learn gradually how to proceed as the baby shows them what he/she needs.
The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.
Going into labor
Going into birth is the greatest fear for first-time moms. Apart from being desperate to meet the baby and see his/her little face, women usually think they won't be able to face the pain of labor.
For this reason, women should seek health care professionals who are able to answer every question that arises. There is comfort in knowing that the faster it finishes, the sooner you will be able to hold your baby in your arms.
Care for the newborn
First-time parents feel confident while they are still in the hospital surrounded by experts who can answer their questions and help them with the newborn.
Once they leave the hospital, doubts may start to fill their minds at certain moments in which they think that they won't know how to proceed. If the baby cries, do not lose your temper, since it may worsen the situation. There are many reasons why your baby might cry: being sleepy, needing a diaper changing or having colics while breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her baby lets him know he is safe and also reassures the mother-baby link.
Apart from pediatrician's instructions, first-time moms often seek advice from friends, mother, or grandmother since they are or have already been on motherhood. However, their tips may sometimes be contradictory to those of the pediatrician. Thus, you should always follow the pediatrician's instructions, since he or she is the expert. Besides, medical knowledge has moved forward over the past few years.
In other words, every child is different and at the very end it is the mother who better knows how he or she is and what does he or she need. In either case, here are some fundamental recommendations which may be useful:
- Bathing your baby: there is no need for bathing your baby on a daily basis; it is enough with four or five times a week. Their skin is too sensitive; therefore, using too much soap and water may be harmful.
- Overprotection: do not make the mistake of not letting anyone hold your baby on their arms. Although it is clear that ill people should not approach the baby, you should not become obsessed. Letting other people hold your baby will be beneficial for the baby, since he or she may get used to mingle with people earlier.
- Sterilizing your baby's equipment: while it is true that maintaining a very strict hygiene during the first weeks is very important, sterilizing everything the baby is about to use during his or her first year of life is a very common mistake. Exposure to small amounts of germs may help your baby's immune system creating natural defenses.
- Managing sleep throughout the day: while your baby sleeps during the day, it is unnecessary to stay in complete silence at home. Since your baby sleeps during almost all day, he or she should get used to usual sounds. If not, any noise can be a disturbance.
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