5

votes

Single greatest piece of advice you'd give a brand new mother.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM

My younger sister is having her first child (my first ever nephew) any second now (she's due today) and I want both of them to be as healthy and happy as possible. I've already threatened her with the hellfire of my older brother wrath if she doesn't breast feed the kid and I've pointed her to a lot of awesome resources that she'll probably never read. She's not paleo at all and probably won't be for a longgg time, if ever.

That being said, talking to a non-paleoer, what would be the single piece of advice you'd give a brand new Momma?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I flipped a coin, but this would have been my second choice...good advice.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on November 19, 2011
at 01:46 PM

Yep, that's always a good one!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 18, 2011
at 09:34 PM

This really difficult to do in many children's activities, unless other parents buy into the reasons. I remember Mom taking me out of Girl Scouts because the women in charge refused to offer healthy snacks. There are many who thought she was crazy for feeding us Raw Whole Milk and for cooking every meal and packing every lunch, but I'm so happy now to know I've had much less "poison" than the average woman my age. I think one advantage she might have is that people are much more aware of allergies, so just stating her child could die from Wheat, Corn, Soy, exposure may be enough warning. :)

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1025)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:19 PM

My response to "is she sleeping through the night yet?" (cause everyone asks it) is always "she sleeps like a baby!".

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:51 PM

Same with your answer, Travis!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Oops! Sorry, not one single piece of advice... Definitely would be to get someone to cook food ready to be eaten though!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:03 PM

I wish someone would have done this for me when I had my kids! Everyone wanted to help tidy the house, but not cook...

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14 Answers

4
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on November 17, 2011
at 11:00 PM

As a mama who nursed her first for several years and is going strong with the second (20 months), I'd agree with the above advice. I'd also tell her to perfect her smile and nod. People ask all sorts of annoying and/or dumb questions ("is she a good baby?" "does she sleep through the night?" "have you started cereal yet?"), and they also love to give advice, so a good solid smile-and-nod can go a long way!

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1025)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:19 PM

My response to "is she sleeping through the night yet?" (cause everyone asks it) is always "she sleeps like a baby!".

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on November 19, 2011
at 01:46 PM

Yep, that's always a good one!

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:28 PM

With an infant, no matter how tempting it is to try to get something done, sleep when s/he sleeps, you need it!

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 18, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Babywearing and cosleeping. Basically LOTS of skin to skin.

2
Medium avatar

on November 17, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Find some way to get her to eat liver every week. Have a butcher make sausage where 1/4 of the meat is liver and it's heavily spiced, put it into chili...whatever it takes. That alone is probably going to make the biggest difference for the health of both of them. Pregnancy and breast-feeding leach out a lot of vitamins and minerals that need to be constantly replenished.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:03 PM

I wish someone would have done this for me when I had my kids! Everyone wanted to help tidy the house, but not cook...

1
D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on November 18, 2011
at 03:31 AM

Truthfully? New moms get PLENTY of advice. It's almost always well-intentioned, but it can be pretty freaking stressful (hello! cortisol!) and annoying to be bombarded by people -- even your beloved brother -- telling you that you MUST do X and you must NEVER do Y with they sometimes explicit, but nearly always implicit, suggestion that if you fail to do so, you clearly don't love your child and/or the advice-giver.

I would suggest that most new moms need unconditional love and practical support from their loved ones a hell of a lot more than they need advice.

1
Df7cf48be85c91165f9f39f1fe462e41

on November 17, 2011
at 11:30 PM

Aside from breastfeeding, proper nutrition from the very start of life is so important. If I had it to do all over again, I would've never let my kids get a taste of sugary, salty, crap foods. I would've fed them right from the beginning to hopefully avoid them craving and becoming addicted to that kind of junk. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats/eggs/fish etc would've been given from the start of solid foods. Also, I would've made sure that water, coconut water/milk, and occasional fresh squeezed juice were the main options for hydration after cessation of breastfeeding. No soda, Gatorade, koolaid crappy drinks.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 18, 2011
at 09:34 PM

This really difficult to do in many children's activities, unless other parents buy into the reasons. I remember Mom taking me out of Girl Scouts because the women in charge refused to offer healthy snacks. There are many who thought she was crazy for feeding us Raw Whole Milk and for cooking every meal and packing every lunch, but I'm so happy now to know I've had much less "poison" than the average woman my age. I think one advantage she might have is that people are much more aware of allergies, so just stating her child could die from Wheat, Corn, Soy, exposure may be enough warning. :)

1
Medium avatar

on November 17, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Make sure the baby is breastfed. This along with going through the birth canal is how we get the good bacteria that have a huge impact on our health. IMO a lack of these two things is responsible for many of the diseases we see in this country, especially autoimmune diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases as this compilation of research shows http://courses.washington.edu/nutr526/news/biospec.htm#_Toc516479386. Some studies have also shown that our good bacteria affect brain development http://blog.autoimmunetherapies.com/gut_buddies/2011/03/30/gut-bacteria-may-influence-brain-development-and-behaviour/. Also, it's important for the mother to have a stress-free pregnancy and do as much as possible to keep her cortisol levels in check (see questions on PH about how to do that) because research shows that this has an effect on how children respond to stress for the rest of their lives http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4286512.stm.

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Whoa - hard question - just one piece of advice...

Hmmm for the next few days my biggest piece of advice is what goes in must come out - and it will come out - no matter how it happens it will happen! Hydrate and moisturize before during and after.

For motherhood - listen to yourself - and figure out how to do it as you go. You can plan all you like - but the little person coming out has no use for your plans.

DON'T stress (too much) and ask for help when you need it - and take help when people offer, even if you don't think you need it.

Try to take a breath and enjoy it and take too many pictures.

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:26 PM

I know you've already mentioned it in your post, but it would absolutely be breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed! For as long as possible. I would also advise acquiring some method to wear your baby. I loved my sling, but whatever she likes and will use is the best choice.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 17, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Get her D level checked and sun/supplement to sufficiency. Supplement magnesium citrate as well.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I flipped a coin, but this would have been my second choice...good advice.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:51 PM

Same with your answer, Travis!

0
6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on November 18, 2011
at 08:15 PM

give her a copy of 'Nutrition and physical degeneration'.

0
Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 04:28 AM

Oh, goodness. One of the main things New Mom needs to learn to do, is ignore the well-meaning counsel of adults who will invariably tell her things like: "Enjoy this particular phase of your child's development, because it's just so precious and it goes by so fast, and what follows isn't as..."

Sheer gibberish. Every phase of this child's life is glorious, and must be seen as such. My son is now 13. He's a fantastic 13. When he was 3 months old, that too was marvelous. I spent my share of time with my baby son in my arms at 2:00 in the morning, walking around the living room singing and cooing during his various periods of discomfort. I remember thinking: "This is life, this is amazing, this is beautiful, I'm so tired, this will pass, I hope I never forget it, I thank Life in all its myriad forms...."

One thing that isn't clear from your question. Is there a dad in the equation? I hope so. I mean, a father who's up for the whole shebang? And I don't mean a mere sperm donor. Too many kids now don't have a functional one, or one who's even there are at all.

0
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on November 18, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Every family is different, so don't stress about other people's judgmental remarks. Because there will be plenty. Not feeding my kids gluten, doing lots of baby-wearing (instead of using a stroller), co-sleeping... Whatever you do people will judge you because parenting is about as personal as it gets. Ignore it ALL, and do the right thing for YOUR family.

0
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:02 PM

First of all, I'd advise her NOT to take antibiotics during delivery unless it's a life or death situation... They're routinely prescribed for women who've been labouring for over 18 hours after their waters have broken in the UK!

Obviously, interventions sometimes are necessary during birth, but trying to birth naturally (in a squatting position) rather than on ones back on a bed etc. helps with the birth and the recovery after birth.

Good breastfeeding support is a MUST!!! I'm in the UK and we have breastfeeding support networks, but it's hard to find good support after birth on hospital wards when mother is feeling very vulnerable - especially if the birth wasn't great.

So, breastfeeding support - if a supplement needs to be given, then try not to give by mouth or certainly not by bottle - a supplementary feeding system or a cup will be better than a feeding teat.

Invest in a sling/baby carrier as baby benefits from skin to skin contact as well as being able to get stuff done while baby is attached (it's amazing what you can do with a baby on the front of you :-).

Rope in as much support as possible to get some food cooked and frozen ready to defrost and shove in the oven/reheat. This is major issue! It is so hard to get much done when there's a baby around. Are you able to help out by making any meals that she can store for reheating/cooking?

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on November 17, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Oops! Sorry, not one single piece of advice... Definitely would be to get someone to cook food ready to be eaten though!

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