Second guessing your choices, feeling constant regret over the decisions that you make for your kiddos, wondering if you are doing it all right...scratch that- wondering if you are doing ANYTHING right, this is part of the wonderful world of parenthood. The barrage of parental decision making starts right out of the gate, like when you pee on a stick. Truly there is no easing you into this stage of life that is about to last for a good eighteen years plus. When it comes to making choices for your children the learning curve is steep, like Mount Everest steep, and anytime you have to make calls on the fly you will be faced with occasional regret and remorse.
No worries mamas. Even though your hormones will try and convince you that you suck at life and are in no way capable of raising a human, chances are your kids will be far less affected by your child rearing decisions than to you. This my friends is known as mom guilt and no one is immune from it. Consider this new layer of worry part of The Parenthood Welcome Package.
Here are fifteen decisions moms make on their baby's birthday that they sometimes find themselves regretting.
15To Placenta Or Not To Placenta?
I'll be honest, I never once considered eating a part of my own body. Placenta pill popping was never something I thought about doing with any of the kids, but after suffering from some serious physical and mental health issues following the birth of one of the girls, I kind of regret not chowing down. The placenta is a seriously powerful organ and consuming it after it has served it's purpose for baby has some major health benefits. Snacking on your placenta might help ward off postpartum depression, help with reducing postpartum bleeding and pain, increase breast milk production and assist in mother -baby bonding feelings and attitudes. When it comes to placenta preparation you have a variety of choices: you can have your placenta ground into easy to swallow capsules, throw it in a smoothies or fry it up in a pan.
14Cutting The Cord Too Soon
For years cord cutting has been a ceremonious moment that fathers everywhere have looked forward to following the birth of their little ones. Until recently umbilical cords were cut immediately, but that philosophy is changing and you might regret not hanging onto your cord a bit longer. If your doctor is still hung up on the old ways of severing you from baby you might want to consider knocking those scissors out of his hand. It is now believed that the cord should not be cut until it turns white and stops pulsating. This way all of that precious umbilical cord blood can be transferred back to the baby's body giving him or her the iron supplies that he or she needs to ensure a healthy start at life. The truth is babies need that blood more that originally thought, it turns out umbilical cord blood makes up roughly one third of your infant's blood supply.
13Not Giving The Baby A Chance To Breastfeed
When it comes to feeding your baby remember that the best approach will always be "Fed Is Best." That said, a lot of moms write off breastfeeding almost immediately. They either feel that it will be too time consuming, taxing on their bodies or counterproductive to their lifestyles and therefore don't ever truly consider doing it. Breastfeeding seems like it should be the most natural process on the planet, but the truth is it can be complex and stressful until both mom and baby get the hang of it. It is easy to throw your hands up and say forget this, but if you don't give it a whirl you might end up regretting your decision. Breast milk benefits are crazy abundant. Mama's milk can help ward off conditions such as allergies and asthma, and help infants fight off infections and illnesses such as ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illness just to name a few.
12Should You Keep It?
When you have a baby you may be asked if you will be banking your child's cord blood. Go ahead and decided if you will be doing this prior to the big day because it really isn't something you want to be pondering while you lie in a hospital bed trying to process the fact that you just pushed a human out of your body. Banking is kind of pricey, ranging from one to three thousand dollars in the first year of storage as well as an annual fee following year one, so it is easy to just pass up right off the bat. You may end up regretting not looking at this option more critically though because it could truly save your child's life. Umbilical cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat dozens of disorders in the future such as Leukemia and Lymphoma.
11Not Doing Skin To Skin Contact
Chances are after the baby is born mothers will have two options of care staring them directly in their exhausted and swollen faces: immediate skin to skin care or swaddling. While this doesn't seem like a huge decision to make compared with a few of the others, it is worth giving some thought to. Skin to skin care, or Kangaroo care, has been proven to have some hefty benefits when it comes to baby. Keeping your newborn pressed against your skin can help to regulate their body temperature and aid in their ability to immediately catch on to the whole breastfeeding thing. If you forego skin to skin cuddling you may end up with some emotional regret as well. You will never get those first few minutes of motherhood back so make the most of them!
10Saying No To The Vitamin K Shot
It might feel strange and unnatural to have medical staff and personnel come into your room and fill your newborn with artificial ingredients, but should you choose to nix the Vitamin K shot you may end up full of regret. The Vitamin K shot is actually not a vitamin at all and is rather a compilation of synthetic vitamin k, aluminum, and polysorbate 80. This newborn cocktail can help safeguard your infant against Vitamin K deficiency which can lead to internal bleeding. Furthermore it helps in bone health as well as your baby's blood clotting abilities. So yes, this injection is one you may regret passing on. That being said, it will probably still break your hormonal heart to see your six pound baby get poked with a giant needle.
9Pretending You Don't Need The Medication
Believe me, I get it. You want to live up to the whole Mothers-Are-Hard-As-Nails persona. Honestly though, you may want to rethink that whole tough cookie approach when it comes to the post birth drugs and medications, especially if you have just come out of a cesarean section. It gets downplayed all of the time but the fact is C-sections are major surgeries, so take your pain medications. You now have a human being to care for around the clock and that is tough work. It is damn near impossible when you compound the demands with abdominal pain so earth shattering that you can barely breathe. You do not get any awards for enduring the pain drug free so take what your doctors recommend and allow your body to heal up.
8Rushing To Pick A Name
Choosing your son or daughter's name too soon is one regret that you will have to live with until you die! It's easy to feel pressured to give your little bundle of joy a moniker the second they leave the womb, but the truth is they won't have a clue if you sit on a few choices for the first forty-eight hours of their life until you land on one that you truly love. Take it from this mom of four kids, you are going to be spending a lot of time in the next few decades yelling that name so make sure it rolls off of your tongue easily. My personal advice is to make a short list of names you like during those nine long months of pregnancy and then spend some time getting to know your new pal before you make this monumental decision.
7Rooming In With The New Baby
One hundred years ago there was no "rooming in" happening when it came to childbirth. Women had babies at home and were back on their feet cooking, cleaning and tending to their herd of minions in no time. That is just how things were, but that all changed when birthing babies became a medically based process done in area hospitals. There seems to be two camps when it comes to rooming with your newborn: those who believe that you need to be next to the baby every second of their new lives and those you think mothers need a little recovery space during the childbirth experience. I have done it both ways and honestly I regret thinking that I needed my newborn next to me 24-7 with my first daughter. Tending to all of her needs in those first forty-eight hours made recovering from surgery and exhaustion nearly impossible and in all honesty we will be housemates until she flied the coop for college. A good rule of thumb is you can not take care of others if you don;t take care of yourself first.
6Skipping On Eye Ointment
Applying Erythromycin ointment to all newborn baby's eyes is standard practice and unless you actively opt out of this, you can count on your baby getting a dose of it applied to their eyeballs. After it was found that some sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea could cause blindness in newborns after they pass through the birth canal, medical professionals adopted the better safe than sorry approach. If you have been unfaithful or suspect that perhaps your partner has sought affections elsewhere, you might end up regretting not taking doctors up on this antibiotic. Blindness is irreversible and it seems like a pretty huge risk to take with your child's eyesight.
On the other hand if you are totally squeaky clean you may end up regretting getting the goo. Babies gather up a slew of bacterial exposure while shooting out of the birth canal and those germies are imperative to strengthening the child's immune system and digestive track. Messing with nature may disrupt the body's delicate balance and do more harm than good. See, I told you regret would find you no matter what choices you make as a parent. Do the best you can.
5Inviting Your Entourage To The Hospital
Before the baby is born it feels like a great idea to have everyone you know be present for the big day. Your parents, siblings and besties all get a front row seat on the welcoming committee when you are expecting your first child. First grade teacher, elementary school bus driver, the check out lady of your local grocery store? Invite them on over! Your baby is going to be so adorable you will surely want to show her off to the universe right out of the gate. The idea of having a rotating influx of visitors always seems like a great plan, until you actually give birth. Having a baby is taxing as hell and can leave you without enough energy to lift your ice chips to your mouth. I gave birth to my first daughter at five in the morning after laboring for twenty hours. My guests were lined up at my recovery room two hours later. I was so tired and in so much pain I wanted to die, not chit chat and take pictures. Give yourself time to recover before hosting a hospital room party.
4Saying No To The B
Ordering up the Hepatitis B shot for your newborn is one of those things that has become controversial over the past few years and both people for and against it feel incredibly passionately over their decisions. In the parenting world nothing gets moms and dads hotter than the vaccine debate. The Hep B vaccination is designed to safeguard your baby against liver disease that stems from the disease and many parents choose to protect their baby against all that they can right off of the bat. You might especially regret not getting this shot if you have been living the wild life and may have exposed yourself to sexually transmitted diseases. Hep B can be passed down from mommy to baby, so if you are in a population that may have exposed yourself to such sexually transmitted diseases, you may want to reconsider this vaccination.
3Rushing Into A C-Section
This one is tough and the regret can be a pretty serious one. Often times labor doesn't quite go as planned and emergency situations cause enough concerns for doctors to abandon ship and head straight to the operating room to get that baby out asap. Many parents fight off having to undergo major surgery for as long as possible hoping that the scary situations will pass and in the end they will be able to stick to their birth plans and push the baby out the good old fashioned way. Again, no awards will be given out for successfully achieving a vaginal delivery over a cesarean and you may end up full of regret for not taking your doctor's advice when it comes to delivery methods. Remember, they know what they are doing and if they feel like you or the baby are in any kind of danger during labor you probably want to let them do their job and keep you both safe.
2Not Taking Maternity Leave
Not all mothers even have much choice when it comes to taking time off after baby so let's address this first. In the United States maternity leave is a luxury compared to other industrialized countries. Some mothers have to return to the workforce weeks after giving birth whether they want to or not. If you are fortunate enough to have some options when it comes to maternity leave consider them all. Money is great and it will be tempting to get back on the horse and return to your profession quickly, but taking a full three months is golden. Once you recover from the actual physical part of birth, there are so many other areas of life that need some attention before throwing in another layer of demands such as work. If you can, give yourself the time you need to adjust to this new life of yours. You also won't regret a few extra weeks of cuddles on the couch with your new baby.
1Beg The Doctor To "Tie Your Tubes"
I had such a tumultuous second pregnancy I begged my doctor to tie my tubes up as tight as she could manage so that I never had to endure nine months of sheer hell ever again. Luckily for me she managed to talk me out of my decision based on the fact that I was a hormonal hot mess struggling with some serious mental health concerns and under the age of thirty. I am forever thankful to her for being my voice of reason or the twins would never have come along a few years later! When it comes to shutting down the baby making shop you will want to be sure about your decision and make an educated and RATIONAL decision regarding it. Don't rush into tube tying if you are a special kind of pregnant-crazy like I was.
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