Nothing is quite like getting thrown into the fire like becoming a mom. There is all this focus on pregnancy, and birth prep, the baby shower and the nursery, and next to none on what to expect when you are postpartum and how the heck to look after a newborn?! That weird breathing where they stop breathing for a few seconds, is that normal? What do you do with their belly button? How often should they be feeding/pooping? What can you do to help yourself feel better in the early days?
Questions like this are the type of key information that most first time moms are missing when they are sent blissfully unaware home from the hospital. We need to do better at helping and supporting new parents while they navigate the first year of their baby’s life.
I wanted to do something about this knowledge gap, so I asked 10 experts in pregnancy, postpartum, babies and toddler what their top tips are for new parents. This blog post is the 2nd in a series I wrote on the topic, so if you missed the 1st one click here
10 Tips for New Moms from a Registered Dietician, Naturopathic Doctor, Child Safety Expert. Psychologist, PhD, and a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
1) Returning to Exercise- Starting with foundational breath, learning to connect with your core and pelvic floor is your best bet for building a strong foundation- Reena Parekh, Pre and Post Natal Fitness Coach
2) Picky Eating- Keep offering foods even if they reject it and make sure to switch up how you serve it (flavors, textures, temperatures, etc etc)- Alyssa Miller, Registered Dietitian
3) Birth- Trust your body and your baby. Don't let societal pressures or policies change your perspective about what you want and need while pregnant, going through childbirth or postpartum during this pandemic- Dr. Jessica Dupont, Naturopathic Doctor and Birth Doula
4) Baby Eczema- Steroid creams can help, but they are a band aid solution. Get help figuring out what your baby’s eczema triggers are- Dr. Alexis Reid, Naturopathic Doctor and Founder of Eco Chic Movement
5) Car Seat Safety- Feeling overwhelmed about your car seat? There are certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians all across North America who can offer you hands-on, in-person assistance that is either very low cost, or often times, free! You can find a local technician in your area by visit safekids.org (US) or cpsac.org (Canada)- Holly Choi Co-Owner Safe Beginnings First Aid
6) Pelvic Floor- Attention to your pelvic floor ideally should happen BEFORE you are pregnant - a solid conscious conception plan should include many health promoting behaviors including understanding pelvic floor fitness and function - whether is it reducing the likelihood of pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain or improving pelvic floor status through pregnancy and the postpartum periods - engaging in pelvic floor fitness ahead of pregnancy is most protective- Dr Sinead Dufour PhD- Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, Associate Clinical Professor
7) Tantrums- "My child is not trying to give me a hard time, they are having a hard time"- Chelsea Bodie & Caitlin Slavens Mama Registered Psychologists
8) Breastfeeding Difficulties- Breastfeeding through food reactivity is absolutely an option as is specialized formula. Know that you can decide what is best for your feeding decisions and you can feel comfort in that- experience, it’s just another day at work for your provider-Dr Trillitye Paulin- PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology
9) Birth Plan- A super strong birth plan has very little to do with the template you choose. The most important thing is to research the why behind everything you put on your plan and to have a strong advocate voice to ask for what you want- Lizzie Bolliger, Birth Educator.
10) Relationships- Schedule a weekly check in with your partner. Taking 10-20 minutes once a week, without distractions, can help build connection and improve communication around difficult topics. Prepare a list of questions that you might choose to use in every meeting- Dr Tracy D Registered Psychologist
If you enjoyed these tips and want to learn more, join the waitlist for The New Mama Summit for 4 Days of FREE Motherhood Education for the Expecting and New Parent
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Dr Alexis sees patients virtually (for those who live in Ontario), and is currently accepting new patients. Click here to book your appointment