Having a baby is a whirlwind of emotions and exhaustion that can cause a great deal of us to make decisions we would not make in our right mind and leaving plenty of moms with regret about their birthing experience. Maybe our hormones or lack of sleep influence our decisions. Maybe we just do not know any better in the moment and make a choice on a whim.
It has become custom for moms to read anything and everything before having our babies because we want to know the best way to care for them. Obviously we cannot know everything so sometimes we fall and falter. Sometimes we trust our nurses, doctors, and caregivers because it's their job, not ours, when we really shouldn't. After all, this is our baby not theirs.
Those first 24 to 48 hours after baby is born are full of pretty serious decisions that we need to make. We often make them while on some type of pain killer from birth, stitches, or a C-section. We make them while we're engulfed in a hormonal baby love and utterly sleep deprived. It certainly does not help if we are overwhelmed with visitors or trying to navigate the difficult course of breastfeeding. All of these things can lead us to make choices that we regret or swore we'd never do.
15 Visitors = Danger
When we have a baby, everyone and their mother wants to come and visit right away. We are so tired. We are trying to form a bond with our new family member. We want to rest and enjoy the peace and quiet. Heck, we want to enjoy our new baby! We do not want everyone we have ever met coming to visit us, but we often feel so pressured to say "yes." It's totally normal to feel that way, but it's also totally normal to say "no thanks." So many people will say that nurses can be the bad guy, let them!
We often regret that we were overwhelmed with visitors instead of just relaxing. After all we just gave birth, we need our rest too. We want to welcome our new baby, but we do not need to introduce him/her to every single member of our extended family in his/her first week of life! People will get over it!
14 Not Pushing Through The Pain
Developing a breastfeeding routine right away makes it so much easier so many of us regret giving up too soon. We might also regret supplementing with formula because the bottle nipple may also cause nipple confusion. When we are so frustrated and exhausted, it is so easy to give up on breastfeeding at the first sign of a struggle. In fact, there are quite a few mommies who do not push through the pain and trouble and reach for the formula. While that is great for many of us, a lot of mommies grew to regret it in the coming weeks, months, and even years.
There are a great deal of moms who have their hearts set on breastfeeding and because it is a "natural process" we expect it to come naturally. Luckily for some, it does. But there are many moms who are not so lucky. Breastfeeding can often have a learning curve which does deter many moms from sticking with it. We often regret giving up because it doesn't "come naturally" to us so we think it isn't for us.
13 The Binky Regret
There are so many people who regret giving their baby a pacifier in the hospital or letting a doctor/nurse do it because it can cause nipple confusion. Using a pacifier can make it more difficult to breastfeed which is probably something many of us struggle with at first anyways. Sometimes we just want to soothe our newborn and if a pacifier does the trick we are just too tired to fight it.
Many of us regret using a pacifier right away because it can cause us to be unsuccessful when it comes to breastfeeding. The pacifier can also be one heck of a habit to break so there are many of us who try to avoid it at all costs. We might do it out of desperation or a poor lapse in judgment. Sometimes we simply have not heard about nipple confusion and just do not know better.
12 Ignoring Kangaroo Care
So many people have started utilizing "kangaroo care" or skin to skin time with their newborn babies. It has a great deal of medical benefits, but there are still many moms who do not utilize it or hospitals that do not authorize it immediately. There are countless reasons why women miss out on the opportunity to have skin to skin bonding with their new baby, and a great deal of these women regret it.
Skin to skin can help moderate baby's temperature, heart rate, and so much more. Plus it is great for bonding. It can also help with baby's rooting and natural instinct to breastfeed. After all, we are the only thing our baby has known for 40 weeks. If we miss out on this, we find ourselves missing it after it's too late. We wish we would have had the opportunity or taken it.
11 The Doctor Doesn't Always Know Best
We think that because the people who care for us in hospitals have medical degrees and we don't that we should just listen to what they say. There are so many moms who don't question medical staff or get a second opinion when it can be necessary for us and our families. It is more than okay to question a doctor or nurse's opinion, suggestion, whatever. It is our right as patients and as parents it is our duty to get all of the information possible to best protect our kids.
We are our babies' advocates, and that is far more important than worrying about offending a doctor or bruising someone's ego because we don't just take what they say. Questioning our doctors can get us more information to help us understand or maybe it will encourage us to go with a different caregiver.
10 Forcing The Snip
Whether we do it or not, there are regrets on both sides of this choice. This has become a highly debated procedure over the years as we make this rather serious decision for our brand new sons. There are decent arguments from both side, and it turns out there are regrets about how it happens from both sides as well.
We regret making such a serious decision for our boys no matter what we pick. If we go ahead with it, we wonder if we will cause them any pain, lack of feeling, and so on. If we pass, we worry about being picked on, wanting it later and it hurting more, or just looking different. There is really no way to win because no matter what we do, it might come back to bite us. It is a pretty big choice to make for someone else, but we better get used to it because we'll spend almost 18 years making pretty big choices for our kids (just hopefully not about their private parts).
9 The Bye-Bye Baby
So many people say that we should enjoy the nursery while we can because when we get home we won't have the extra hands and help. Other moms swear they would never send their babies to the nursery because they are hours, a day old and they just want to enjoy them. While there is no "right" answer here, one common regret moms have is about nursery use.
We might send our babies to the nursery so we can get some much needed sleep, but they mess up and give our baby formula instead of bringing him/her back for a feeding. Sometimes though we get home after being up all night and day while in the hospital just to realize that we won't be getting any sleep at home either. We wish we would have taken advantage of having nurses and a nursery to care for baby while we took a nap or got some much needed shut eye.
8 Cutting The Leave
For many women, maternity leave is just not an option. Maybe we can't afford the time off financially or maybe our career just cannot afford us taking the time off. Either way, there are so many women who go back to work right after having a baby. Six weeks is always an important time to heal, and it is also incredibly important for bonding with our babies.
Some of us are just work-a-holics who could not bear to not be working for six weeks. It may be beneficial for our bank accounts or careers, but it can be damaging to our breastfeeding journey and essential bonding time with our baby. We miss so much time with our kids, and we often regret every second especially those in the very beginning of their lifetimes.
7 Obsessing Over The "Snapback"
The "snapback" is all about how quickly we lose our baby weight and look like our pre-baby selves. It has become such an obsession with our society lately, but if we spend all of our time worrying about the snapback we aren't enjoying our new baby. Our body just did an incredible thing, but birth also puts a great deal of stress on our body. It's okay to take it easy, and many of us who overdo it often regret it shortly after.
When we over do it, we set back our own recovery which makes it harder to keep up with our newborn and endless diapers. Our body took forty weeks to look this way, we do not need to obsess and losing it all before we even walk out of the hospital. That's an insane way to live!
6 Lack Of Pain = Lack Of Brain Power
Love them or hate them, use them or pass on them, pain medications have become a part of many women's birthing experience. We use them in labor, after, for stitches, and for c-sections. Some women who need the pain medications to manage pain from a c-section or episiotomy, etc. are encouraged to use them and stay on top of them while in the hospital, but they eventually regret it for a few reasons. Some of these medications can make us drowsy which is not cool when we are already SO tired from having a newborn. They can also keep us from being aware and enjoying our new baby and making sure we are getting all of the necessary information.
There is also the issue of addiction that is getting to be so prominent when taking prescription painkillers. Staying on top of our pain medications can greatly improve our recovery. It makes it easier to move around and take care of baby. There are many of us who want to be tough or avoid the drugs, that end up regretting it because we are in too much pain to enjoy our new baby.
5 The Birth Photo Mistake
We all think those moms who bring buckets of make up to the hospital or put mascara on during delivery are so vain, but are they really? Our birth pictures with our new baby will be priceless memories that we will display for decades to come probably. Some of us just prefer to not look like death in the pictures, and that is totally okay.
We get caught up though in the experience obviously or are just too proud to want to wear make up in the first place. It's okay to want to look good for these pictures. They are important, and it might even make us feel a little more like ourselves. It might seem silly or vain, but once we have our pictures and look at them we might seriously regret that we didn't put on any make up.
4 Not Preparing For The Worst
When we give birth, we are seriously crazy hormonal and emotional. Some of us are sleep deprived or on strong pain medication. This is not the time to make any serious type of decision. Many of us have these things planned out ahead of time before baby is born, but that is not always the case. Sometimes we decide upon baby's arrival and we pick the wrong people!
This is a HUGE decision for many families, but when we aren't thinking clearly it's okay to wait. We might regret making a choice when we were emotional and things were super fresh. Then we are in the awkward situation of taking it back or just dealing with it for good. Some moms prefer to wait a few months postpartum to see how everything is going and when emotions and hormones have mellowed out.
3 Ever Heard Of Mombie?
It is so easy to lose ourselves in our new addition. Those eyes just melt away anything else the has ever mattered, but so many moms regret losing themselves entirely to their new baby. We overwork ourselves, and want to do it all without help from anyone else because we are so obsessed with our child.
If we are so overworked, we will never enjoy our time with our new baby. We will be too tired to want to bond because we will be worried with the five million other things we have to do. It's okay to ask for help or accept it. People want to help so we can enjoy our time and our baby. When we lose ourselves, it can be a slippery slope to "baby blues," resentment, and regret.
2 Quitting The Day Job
It is love at first sight when we meet our babies. Our lives and world completely change, and many moms cannot imagine how they are ever going to leave this tiny precious human in daycare for 40 plus hours a week. We don't blame them, but when we are hopped up on hormones is not a time to make such a serious decision. Many women who quit their jobs on the spot instead of waiting until closer to when they would actually have to go back to work regret it.
Our jobs are just as much a part of our identity as motherhood for many of us, and we can do both. Our jobs give us a way to still feel like an adult, and a means to have some time to in the adult world. If we quit just because we have a baby, we will likely regret it.
1 Waiting For the Next Stage
We spent our kids' childhoods hoping for them to grow up, and we spend their adulthood missing when they were kids. There's no winning. So many of us are at fault for being excited for when our newborns could eat, sit, crawl, walk, etc that we miss so much of their newborn stage. We often regret that we didn't just enjoy the silent, sleeping snuggles while we could because once they're gone, they're gone. We cannot do it over again which leaves a whole lot of moms with a whole lot of regrets.
While there isn't much "fun" about the newborn stage as they don't talk or walk yet, there is so much that is so precious that will soon be gone. If we don't enjoy it, we are doing our babies and ourselves a serious disservice.