Everyone and anyone will offer mom advice when she is pregnant. Everyone wants to share in the joy, as it is a wonderful experience. Most advisors mean well, but their advice is based on what worked for them. The problem is what worked for them is not necessarily what will work for others. Every mother is different, as is every baby and every pregnancy.
The other issue is that advice, good and bad, is easily accessible online today. Just because mom read it in a google search or social media article does not mean it is gospel. Many (most) contributors of this type of advice are not experts in the subject they are talking about. They may think and sound like they know what they are talking about, but don't be fooled and led astray. Moms need to research any questions and concerns they may have from reputable sources or ask their doctor.
Mom will hear suggestions on what to eat, what not to eat, how to sleep, how not to sleep, how to breastfeed, what not to do when breastfeeding and so on. She will receive advice on how to bounce back to her pre-pregnant shape and when to get pregnant again.
So, what do you do or say when offered advice? Smile nicely, thank the contributor, and store the advice in your brain. If you think the advice is valid and may help, try it out. Otherwise, delete it from your brain. Make decisions for yourself and your baby based on advice from your doctor and what works best for you.
15 You Are Eating For Two
You may be responsible for two people, yourself and the baby inside you, but you definitely do not need to eat for two. At least not for two adults, as the saying insinuates. The reality is that the baby will take everything it needs and you will be left with whatever nutrients remain.
So, if you are eating properly while pregnant, you will be consuming enough nutrients for both of you without piling on the calories appropriate for two people. It is best to stick to healthy food for maximum nutrients so neither of you will go without the important nutrients.
Cravings for junk food may hit you at the weirdest times. Indulge in the cravings if you are otherwise eating healthy. Without the healthy part, the junk food will take over steering you into eating habits bad for both you and your baby. Remember too, the healthier you eat while you are pregnant, the healthier you will eat after which will help bounce you back into shape.
14 Breastfeeding Is Easy
Breastfeeding is not easy and requires training for both mothers and their babies. Some babies take to it very easily, others struggle to get it right. Throughout that struggle mothers can end up sore, miserable and frustrated. It turns into a vicious circle because the more frustrated and stressed you get, the fussier and more resistant your baby gets. To say that babies sense your frustration is a major understatement.
If breastfeeding is turning out to be more difficult than you anticipated, seek help from experts. Don't be afraid or too shy to ask for help. Not from your friends or mother or mother-in-law, but from nurses or breastfeeding experts. Not that your friends or mother can't help you, but it is frustrating to hear different and conflicting advice from all the different sources. Even though they mean well.
Be persistent. You and your baby will fall into a routine, gaining comfort and confidence with each feeding. You will discover the most suitable breastfeeding technique for the two of you.
13 Bottle Feeding Is Not Ideal
As mentioned above, breastfeeding is not easy. There are a number of reasons why it might not be the ultimate answer for you and your baby. If you want to try it, go for it, but don't beat yourself up if it does not work for you. Bottle feeding is a healthy alternative today.
Baby formula is milk based, and created to closely mimic breast milk. It has similar nutrients and calories, making it a healthy alternative. Formula is also available in several convenient sizes to meet the needs of your baby. As your baby grows, you can purchase formula in advancing stages based on the age and weight of your baby. If you discover that your baby is lactose intolerant there are formulas for that too.
An added advantage to formula over breast milk is that your baby will not have to adjust to the difference in feeding techniques. This may not sound like a big deal, but many moms and babies get frustrated when weaning the babies off breastmilk onto bottles. Once babies get accustomed to the bottle feeding technique, they do not want to switch back to breastfeeding.
The greatest advantage of bottle feeding is that fathers and other family members (other than moms) can participate in feeding time. This makes it easier on mothers and allows for fathers to bond with their babies too.
12 Breastfeeding Will Help You Bounce Back To Pre-Pregnancy Shape
The problem with this tip is it is true, but can be very misleading and easily misunderstood. If you are eating healthy and exercising (don't over do it) while breastfeeding you will bounce back faster. This does not mean though that you can eat junk food on a regular basis and not exercise just because you are breastfeeding. Well, you can, but you will not bounce back as fast if you do (eat junk food) or don't (exercise)
Breastfeeding works in conjunction with, not instead of, healthy eating and proper (not excessive) exercise. Your baby will benefit from eating healthy while breastfeeding too, as many food items are hard on their digestive systems making them gassy and uncomfortable. This is particularly true for junk food that is high in fats, additives and preservatives. A happy and comfortable baby translates directly to a happy and comfortable mom.
The bottom line, whether breastfeeding or using formula, be patient with your bounce back strategy. A pound a week is normal, more is not healthy.
11 Babies Are Expensive
Once again, true but misleading. Babies are expensive, especially when they grow up. They do not have to be over expensive at a young age though. Many parents fall into the trap of purchasing expensive nursery furniture, clothes, toys and accessories for their babies. This misguided belief can lead you astray and well into debt. Babies grow so fast that they outgrow fancy nursery furniture, toys and clothes before you get your money's worth out of them.
You can save your money for when they start asking for specific items. Peer pressure will ensure that happens. Until that happens your kids will not realize they are not wearing designer labels, playing with outrageously expensive toys or sleeping on or in a top of the line bed. Your friends might though, but if they make any disparaging comments, it might be time to find new friends. The reality is babies and toddlers are quite content playing with cardboard boxes and Tupperware containers. Have you ever noticed a one year old at their birthday party? They are enthralled with the wrapping paper and packages, not so much with the contents of the packages.
10 Exercise Is Dangerous When You Are Pregnant
This is another half false and half true baby tip that could lead you astray. The reality is exercise is good for you and your baby as long as it is reasonable. The reasonable part is simple. If you never exercised before you got pregnant, do not start jogging when you are pregnant. Walking, yoga or swimming, however, would be a great place to start. If you were an exercise buff before you got pregnant, you should continue to exercise. Tennis and jogging in your last trimester might be tricky as would any other sport that requires sudden or jarring movement.
Keep in mind that exercise before, during and after pregnancy will help you bounce back to your pre-pregnant shape. It is also a healthy lifestyle for your baby to be part of. Children learn by example, and you are their greatest role model.
9 Fathers Cannot Parent Babies As Well As Mothers Can
This is downright false. While we still have not found a way for men to give birth to babies or breastfeed them, men can do pretty much everything else. The smartest women (and the most enlightened) will encourage their babies' fathers to participate as much as possible in the day to day care of their children.
Men have evolved over the years to where they are comfortable, confident and just as capable looking after children. That is in most part due to the fact that more women are working outside the home when their children are still young. Double income families are the norm today, as is paternity leave. Any man that wants to keep his woman happy will help out with household chores and childcare.
The other smaller part is that men these days are much more comfortable showing their softer, nurturing side. This mother believes this softer nurturing side is very attractive.
8 Co Sleeping Is Awesome
Co sleeping might seem advantageous with a newborn when sleep is what you crave most, but can lead to bad habits if prolonged. Babies get into a routine very quickly so establishing and encouraging good sleeping habits early is important.
Experts say that babies that sleep with their mothers do not sleep through the night until a much later age than babies that sleep in their own beds. This is especially true for breastfeeding moms and babies. The reason for this is because babies can sense (smell) their mothers and think they want to be fed when she is in bed with them.
Co sleeping is convenient for babies and moms as neither is disturbed much during middle of the night feedings. However, this also leads to babies not feeding sufficiently because they fall back asleep before they get a full feeding in. This in turn leads to more frequent feedings.
Another downside is for dads not on paternity leave (assuming mom is). A desire for an uninterrupted sleep often leads to dads moving to another bed in the house. This may be a good form of birth control, but long term it is hardly conducive to a healthy relationship between parents.
7 You Cannot Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding
This statement is another misleading fact. If you are breastfeeding exclusively, meaning no bottle feeding whatsoever, the chances of you ovulating are greatly reduced. Breastfeeding increases the hormone prolactin which suppresses ovulation but does not deplete it completely. This means the chances of you becoming pregnant are slim, but still possible.
If you are both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, ovulation will return to your cycle sooner than if you breastfeed exclusively. This also happens if your baby sleeps through the night at any early age. This is because your prolactin hormone levels will fluctuate if you are not breastfeeding exclusively day and night.
Your monthly cycle will be erratic if you are replacing breastfeeding with formula feedings. The fact that an egg is released from your ovaries two weeks before you get your first period after your baby is born means that you are fertile during those two weeks. So, if you do not want to get pregnant again right away you might want to consider birth control.
6 It's Advantageous To Have Your Children Close Together In Age
Some families prefer to have their children close together, others want and plan to have at least a few years between theirs. There is no right and wrong decision here. Some mothers take longer to feel ready for another pregnancy than others. It is a personal choice and not one someone else should decide for you.
Those that say they want their children close together may prefer to get their child rearing over with quickly. Or they may feel their children will get along better in later years if they are close in age. Others feel they want to enjoy each child separately so they plan several years between their children.
Then there are circumstances beyond your control that may dictate when your children are born. These could be financial, health, career or relationship related. Regardless of what you decide, close together or further apart, make the decision based on what works best for you, your family, and your circumstances.
5 Vaccines And Antibiotics Are Harmful For Your Baby
The suggestion that vaccines, antibiotics and other forms of modern medicine are harmful or not important for your baby is a dangerous one. Research and advances have evolved so much in the past few centuries that the western world is envied around the world for its progress in medicine. These advances include vaccines to prevent and medicine to cure many diseases that have currently been wiped out here.
The same cannot be said for other countries around the world where their children and adults still suffer from these same preventable diseases. To downplay or badmouth these advances, causing parents to question their importance or refuse to get their children vaccinated is a slippery slope to disaster.
For every child that is not properly vaccinated here we move backward a few decades in our attempt to keep diseases under control. You are responsible for ensuring your children get their vaccinations on schedule. Their health depends on it!
4 Alcohol Can Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night And Ease Sore Gums
This one is, or at least should be, a no brainer and obviously not a good idea. Alcohol may help adults sleep (this is debatable), but is not recommended for babies or children. Babies will settle into their own routines including when they sleep through the night. When they wake you up in the middle of the night because they are hungry they need to be fed. Tricking them into thinking they are not hungry with alcohol or any other means is not the answer. An old wives tale involved putting whisky or brandy on a baby's pacifier to numb their gums when teething.
Feeding your child alcohol is not just morally wrong. From a medical standpoint, giving your children alcohol is downright dangerous. The human body recognizes and treats alcohol as a toxin that is processed by the liver in a healthy adult. Like most other organs, a baby's or child's liver is not yet equipped to handle any toxins, including alcohol.
Bottom line? Don't put alcohol into your baby's bottle or on their pacifier
3 You Will Spoil Your Baby If You Pick Them Up Every Time They Cry
Picking your baby up when they cry will not spoil them. Babies are not manipulative. They do not cry for no reason. Spoiling them implies you are giving them something they do not need. I t has been proven that babies need and thrive with attention, love and human contact.
When babies cry for no obvious reason (assuming they are well fed and dry) it can be very frustrating for parents. Trying to comfort and calm a crying baby is not spoiling them. Not-so-obvious and invisible reasons include digestive pain or discomfort in the form of gas, food intolerances and allergies or constipation. If babies are too hot or too cold they might be cranky. Other reasons for fussiness can include a hair wrapped around a finger or toe or an annoying clothing tag. If a snuggle in a warm blanket doesn't help, remove their clothing and check your baby from head to toe to see if you can find a reason for the fussiness.
Never worry about spoiling your baby with a loving cuddle or snuggle.
2 Electronic Devices Are Healthy For Children
Modern technology is wonderful and an important part of society today. However, your baby and small children should not be exposed to an excess of electronic devices at any age. Unhealthy habits are formed by excessive use of cell phones, gaming systems and even television. This applies to adults too. Your habits will rub off on your children as actions speak louder than words.
There is nothing wrong with allowing your children to watch a favourite show on television. Using the television as a babysitter though is wrong. Replacing cognitive stimulation in the form of puzzles, reading, or coloring will delay your child's development. Similarly, sitting inside glued to a television set instead of partaking in physical activities indoors or outside is not healthy for your children either.
Like most things in life, moderation is the key. A healthy lifestyle balance is best for children and adults alike. Fresh air and sunshine are much better for your kids than modern technology.
1 Children Deserve To Be Raised By Two Parents
Children do deserve to be raised by two parents as long as both adults are responsible, nurturing and loving parents. Much more important is that children are happy and healthy. Whether or not a child's parents live together in the same house is not as important as it was once thought to be. It is now considered more important for a child's well being that their parents have the child's best interests at heart, whether they live together or not.
A child raised within a disrespectful, physically or mentally abusive adult relationship will struggle emotionally for many years. In fact these children often have trouble establishing healthy, loving, respectful relationships with their own partners. A parent that removes their children from living in those conditions is far more respected in society today than one who stays in such a relationship. Children will eventually realize that an emotionally and physically healthy and stable environment is best for everyone involved.
Sources: WebMD, HealthyChildren.org, The Bump, Baby Center
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