I sat down and interviewed a long-time Health Possible donor, Registered Nurse, and new Mom about her experience and transition from the healthcare workplace to full time at-home motherhood.
From one mom to others, during her pregnancy, she observed a million ways to do things as a mother and had to take what worked best for her and leave the rest. It took observation, analysis, and hearing other mom’s methods to really learn and understand what methods of parenting would be the greatest fit for her and her family personally. With an overload of information, she had to weed through the garden of opinions and insight being given to her.
What she learned along the way was a great emotional lesson for her, but also something that drove her to make sure other Moms get the positives, lessons she can leave behind – right here at Health Possible.
Tell POSITIVE Birthing Stories
As if pregnancy is not automatically scary enough considering the changes it brings to a woman’s body, and without someone else’s horror or pain stories, she explained that more often than not, other mom’s primarily wanted to tell her about the worst or scariest parts of their births… Oh god.
While hearing about someone’s difficulties might be important to be better mentally prepared – and its important that moms are felt that they’re heard and related to in a sense – our donor said that it would be fine to hear about those things if she was the one asking for the information. Like anything else, there is a time and a place for everything, however it’s not exactly the moment someone says ‘they’re pregnant’ to bring up birthing horror stories. Now, as a Health Possible interviewer and writer who is not a mother, even I can sense that this type of talk cannot get a new mom excited to give birth, so why is it the first thing being shared?
Birth is scary enough to even think about, plus no one will have the same exact or identical preferences or experiences from one mom to another. Overall, lesson one from this brand new mom to soon-to-be mommies is: Try to limit the people who start those horrifying flashbacks, and avoid also becoming the mom who shares this kind of information with other pregnant women against their desire to hear it. Look for, surround yourself with, and tell others POSITIVE birthing stories. Empowering mothers and instilling confidence in their abilities every step of the way became our donor’s goal – they have already heard enough to know that it’s going to take some work.
Careful Not to Mom the Mom
Every mom on earth has her own way of doing things, or at least they want to have their own way. Our unique bonding memories and traditions are what make parenthood and family-life so extra sweet – that special way your mom made pancakes, meatloaf, tucked you in, all of it is it’s own “way”. So naturally, what works best for one mom does not mean it will work best for the next.
This includes little things like how or when the baby sleeps, how, when, or how often the mom exercises while pregnant; a lot of details that could make a mom feel like a bad mom when she’s not necessarily a bad mom, she just wants to make her own decision. Plus, mom’s decisions are primarily based on available evidenced based research and doctors’ input, which are the most important factors and the first source to get facts.
The advice being this: While people of course only want to help, simply try not to pressure a mom to live her life differently, especially if it’s helping her get through the pregnancy and it’s perfectly healthy. If you’re the pregnant one – don’t feel pressured by or badly about your methods of motherhood because they are not like someone else’s. All mom’s need to do what is best for them without the back and forth of the hundreds of people they know who have already been through it. Let us all just go through it and lend a listening ear, be supportive, and let others know they’re doing great. This is more helpful than you might think.
Take Care of Yourself
If you spend all of your time researching and worrying about those back and forths of every Mom and their stories, it will become information overload and exhausting to find your [own] way. Naturally, we want to do what is best for our baby and how do we know what that is unless we research, read, and talk? In the grand scheme of things, find the one or two people you really want and trust advice from, and start making decisions that benefit your baby, yourself, and your lifestyle so you can be excited and happy doing it.
Prioritize your baby in addition to your exercise, diet, sleep, and trim the fat around your social circle however much you need to. For this Mom, that just meant disabling social media and removing herself from groups that brought on stress and endless second-guessing. Note, that does not mean it has to be forever, but it will help you focus on what’s most important – your baby and your excitement to have them.