The journey to motherhood is an exciting one, full of expectations and sweet memories. I was 24 when I embarked on this journey, and I must confess, it’s not been an easy one.
I can remember being so clueless about what I needed to do as a mum, even though I babysat my nieces and nephews while growing up. I thought being a mother would be so easy for me with my experiences until I became one. This is in fact, the only way one can actually know what motherhood and parenting are all about.
As a mum you should know the following:
- It starts with pregnancy. As soon as you start thinking of getting pregnant, start taking folic acid supplement daily. This is very essential for your baby’s development. When you lack folic acid, your baby could develop what is called spina bifida, a medical term describing a birth defect, where the baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly.
- Prevent the stretch marks: Treating stretch marks with creams can be very difficult and disturbing. Preventing them with deep moisturizers such as shea butter and petroleum jelly during pregnancy is always better.
- Feed Your Cravings: yeah! Those cravings are part of the beautiful momemts in pregnancy, do not miss them. Some mums suffer loss of appetite in pregnancy though, especially during the first trimester. Blame the raving hormones in your body trying to fix your little human. Try to eat the little you can, and do not worry about it. You will feel much better after a short while. If it becomes unbearable, seek help from your health caregivers.
- Enroll into Antenatal care as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Follow all your appointments and undergo all the tests and scans prescribed for you.
- Take all your routine drugs, they are essential for you and your baby.
- Take enough water to stay hydrated
- Downloading a pregnancy app will help you track your baby’s growth and development every week.
- At 20 weeks gestational age, you can request for an anatomical scan to find out your baby’s gender. This will guide you in preparing baby’s nursery and choice of baby items while shopping.
- I personally make sure that all i need for delivery, recovery and baby care, are ready at 35 weeks. You wouldn’t like to be taken unawares with baby’s arrival.
- The full pregnancy period is 40 weeks, starting from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. Full term babies are expected to be born between 37-42 weeks gestational age.
List of items to buy
While choosing clothes for a newborn baby, you should bear the baby’s comfort in mind. 100% cotton clothes are highly recommended for kids. Remember also, that babies grow so fast. You do not have to buy many wears for a particular age and size.
- 4-8 sleep suits
- 4-6 onesies
- 8 pair of socks
- 2 wash clothes
- 3-4 caps
- 6-8 pants
- 6-8 shirts
- 1-3 seaters or jacket
- 2 blankets
Essential Nursery items
- A cradle or crib
- A fitting mattress
- 3-5 baby cradle sheets
- Rocking chair
- Baby play mat
- Baby wardrobe
- Daiper pail
Baby Care Essentials
- Baby bath or soap
- Baby shampoo
- Nail cutter or baby scissors
- Small and medium sized combs
- Diaper cream
- Hypoallergic laundry soap
- Baby diapers for a new born.
- Baby wipes
- Teething rings
It is highly recommended to feed your little one with breastmilk only, for the first six (6) months of life. However, babies can also be fed with formulas if, for one reason or the other, you are not able to breastfeed exclusively. To ensure your baby is always fed when necessary, you would be needing the following:
- Breast pump
- Breast milk storage bags
- Nursing pads
- Five 4 ounces feeding bottles with nipples
- Five 8 ounces feeding bottles with nipples
- Nipple cream to prevent cracking of the nipple
- Bottle brushes
- Lots of bibs
- Sterilizer and/or sterilizing tablets
- Hot water flask
- 2 Baby cups and spoons
- Baby car seat by age and size
- Baby carrier
- Play mat
- Baby stroller
- Baby bag
Essential Items For Mum
- Long maxi pads for post partum bleeding/discharge.
- Sitz bath
- Comfy pyjamas
- Sanitary pants
- Nursing bra
- Botton/zip-down dresses for easy feeding.
Tips For Nursing Mothers
- Maintain personal hygiene to avoid giving your baby germs and diseases. Nursing a sick infant can be very consuming. Wash your hand with soap before feedind, after diaper change, after using the toilet or sneezing. You wouldn’t like to be the cause of your baby’s illness.
- Sleeping with baby on same bed is one the causes of sudden infact death, SID. Infants should be made to sleep in their own cradle.
- If you must breastfeed with sleepy eyes, please move well into your bed so that baby will not slip off your hands to the floor.
- Do not force-feed your child as this may lead to suffocation and death. Feeding time should be fun and interesting.
- Sleep training your baby from cradle will help you with good time management.
- Get as much sleep as possible. The “sleep as baby sleeps” advice that is usually given to new mums may not always be possible. Nevertheless, it is important that you get enough rest as a new mum. Ask for help from your partner or relatives when there is need for it. Employing a domestic staff will also help a great deal.
- Stock up your freezer with soups, stew and other foods. you will need them a great deal.
- Get some household appliances like washing machine, dish washer, electric blender, etc. They will help make your chores less stressful.
As a mum of three adorable kids, I know that no book or article on motherhood can serve as a one-size-fits-all. But then, reading from peoples’ experiences will provide the guidance and ideas you need to start this journey smoothly. Welcome to motherhood! You can do this.