Who's the expert on your baby?
From the moment you conceive everybody has their opinion on how you should raise your baby, from what kind of birth you have, to how to feed your baby..........
In my postnatal group 'Bonding & Beyond' I often hear new mums chatting about pushy in-laws, strangers and even well meaning friends, all sharing on the way you parent and look after your baby.......So who's the expert?
Well I'm here to tell you always trust your gut instincts; mum really knows best!
You may not have all the answers, but you're doing your best! There may be times when you need help from others, but hey who doesn't need a helping hand in a new job?
You may even need to call in the experts from time to time; read a parenting book; ask a friend, or seek advice, but this doesn't mean that you don't know your baby best.
You are learning to read your baby's cues and will often know why they are crying and what they need.
Everyone has an opinion:
It can get so confusing as everyone will give you a different response. Remember guidelines are just that!
There is room for you to make decisions based on these recommendations, like weaning babies onto solids. Just as you're getting your head around the, not always obvious, art of supplying baby with milk along comes another challenge, when to wean?
Guidelines will tell you, you should wait until six months whether they are breast or formula fed or both, and many people you rely upon for advice, your mum, your sister, your friend, your parenting book 'expert' or your health visitor may all have a different opinion and this can make the whole 'when to wean' so confusing, but often mum's will tell me their baby is already starting to show signs of readiness.... Don't forget Mum really knows best!
Do you feel an internal pressure from your gut? Do you have an inner voice that is telling you to try harder, to be a better mum, and do even more?
Or are you being bombarded with an external cacophony of judgments and opinions? Everyone has them!
As a new mother, you really want to shift to the internal. Listen to your heart, not the external mutterings of people who don't know your baby like you do. Think about how you want to mother, not how anyone else wants you to mother.
If you feel internal guilt – from your heart, your gut, your head – then change. Remember who's the expert on your baby? Mum really knows best!
Remember breast or formula is fine!
Some mums I chat with at my post natal groups tell me they feel pressurised into breast feeding and feel its not for them. So if you’re considering formula feeding quite early on, don’t let yourself feel bullied into the ‘BABIES NEED BREASTMILK ANTIBODIES!’ stuff.
We don’t live in a country drinking brown puddle water. Those are the babies that need anti-bodies. Remember who's the expert on your baby? yes you! Breast or formula is your decision!
I think in the end, that’s what parenting comes down to. It’s all just a bunch of ebbs and flows. Every stage of child development has it’s pros and cons, it’s challenges and it’s silver linings.
We’re all doing a hard job … whether we have one kid or ten. So first time parents, don’t let those parenting veterans get you down. You’re doing a great job and remember Mum really does know best!
Positive affirmations for Motherhood from a Doula friend:
- I am a great mother. My new baby is lucky to have me!
- Breathing in, I know I am a great mother. Breathing out, I AM a great mother!
- I believe in myself as a capable and wonderful mother
- I am proud of myself for attempting new things
- I allow others to help me with tasks
- I nurture myself and take care of my needs as well as my baby’s needs
- I give myself credit for all I have learned as a mum
- I am successful in taking care of my baby
- I speak kindly to myself
- I treat myself with kindness and respect
- I know that i am the best mother I can be
- I trust my feelings and insights as a mother
- Peace comes when i let go of trying to control every tiny detail