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  • Kerry Paradis

Some Tips For First Time Mothers

Picture of pregnant mother photographed by Kerry Paradis outside her studio

For those of you who don't know me, I have two beautiful daughters, Alanah and Ariah. They are 3 and 5 years old now, but it feels like they were just born yesterday. I remember all the joys of pregnancy, the advice that everyone was offering and know just how overwhelming it all can be. I am by no means an expert, but since I have been through it, I can offer a few pieces of advice that I have learned. If anyone wants to offer additional advice, you can check out my Forum Page where I have a section, "New Mothers Advice". I know you probably have a mixture of fear and excitement and I can honestly say, it is the greatest accomplishment and experience in the whole world. There is nothing more rewarding than bringing a new baby into this world. Below are just a few pieces of advice that I think you should consider:

Before the baby

Every pregnancy is different

Trust me on this, everyone is going to tell you what to expect when you deliver. You will hear some of the worst stories and will be asking yourself, "Why would they tell me this?" Just because someone had a bad experience, doesn't mean you will! Worrying about the worst things that can happen will only make things harder on yourself and at the end of the day, your baby will come out the way they come out. Just educate yourself on basics and let nature take its course.

Come to grips with the fact you may gain weight

Even if you are one of those people who can normally eat whatever you want and never gain weight, you are going to gain weight. You are carrying another human inside you that is going to need to eat all the time. I have friends who gained 60 pounds when they were pregnant and lost it all pretty fast shortly after. Those people are an exception. Just accept the fact that you are going to have to eat for two and it is going to take some work to lose the weight. I have a good friend who is a personal trainer who I use to help me stay in shape and I am not a new mother. Raising kids takes everything out of you and finding time to lose the weight is normally not at the top of the list. I would have taken a good nap over a good workout any day in the beginning so stop beating yourselves up!

You may need two sets of maternity clothes

It is hard to tell how much weight you will gain with each child. I gained more with my first than my second. One mistake I made my first time around the pregnancy block was expecting that the maternity clothes I purchased in the second trimester would fit by the end of the third. In my second pregnancy, I tried to compensate for this mistake by buying clothes that were slightly too big in the hopes they’d last all the way to the end (which, despite my best efforts, they still didn’t). If you come to grips with the fact that two sets of clothes may be necessary, you won't feel as bad. I know how hard this can be. You feel fat and ugly and now you have to go buy more clothes. Guys have no idea how good they have it.

Don't waste your money on the best of everything

I know we all want to give our kids the best of what's out there, but there is a line between this and wasting money. One thing that comes to mind are changing tables. We wanted to have a nice changing table to change our baby on. When it comes down to it, you will probably change the baby more on the floor or where ever is more convenient. I can probably count on my one hand how often we used the expensive changing table we had. Kids outgrow things and ruin stuff so fast. Consider buying used stuff in the beginning. It will save you a ton of money! I am not saying some things shouldn't be new, but don't think everything has to be.

Don’t buy infant clothes

You may not be able to resist a few pieces, but don’t go crazy. People will be giving you plenty and you will most likely just use the same few pieces right out of the dryer. And don’t take the tags off of anything until you absolutely need to. Before my first child came home from the hospital, I washed every item through 6 months and folded them in her drawers. She never wore three quarters of them and I couldn’t return or re-gift a thing.

Don't listen to everyone's 100 full-proof tips on how to get speed up the labor or delivery

You will hear it all. If you do this it is guaranteed to work! I even heard someone tell me that I had to eat a certain type of pizza while in the shower and I would go into labor. I am completely serious! At the end of the day, the baby comes when he/she is ready. My doctor told me to stay active and walk regularly. Some will say eat spicy food. If there was one thing that worked for everyone, wouldn't your doctor tell you?

After the baby

Stay away from Google and WebMD

I am not saying there isn't a lot of good information out there, but you will worry yourself sick if you aren't careful. Depending on how you put in the search will determine what set of answers you get. I tried not to be too nervous about every symptom and incorporated some common sense. If you are really concerned, just ask your pediatrician. That is the only person who you should base any medical advice on.

Don't constantly measure your child against those Mom365 Blogs

I have to admit, at first when I became pregnant I used to like to see what the baby is doing inside my belly, but once the baby is born, give this blog a rest. It will tell you your child should be doing this and that at certain stages and if your child isn't, you start to panic. One thing that I realized is kids are all different. One of my kids was already doing everything it said and the other wasn't. I was worried my child was behind. I am not saying that isn't the case, but there is a lot more that goes into it than some general baseline they put. If you are worried about your child's progression, ask your doctor.

Always carry extra diapers in the car

Keep an emergency diaper kit in the car. I remember showing up for our first pediatrician appointment with no diapers, no wipes and no change of clothes. It takes getting used to carrying around all of that crap, and newborn diaper blow-outs are inevitable. Be prepared.

Enjoy every second

Not because it goes by so fast (and it does,) but because as exhausted as you may be, the first few months are truly the easiest. If you should have another child, you will wonder why you thought a single newborn was so tough. But you’ll never believe it until you’re there. I think it is hard now with the ages of my kids, but parents tell me that this is the easy part. I guess the bottom line is, the bigger they are, the bigger the problems will come to be. I dread what my kids will be like once they are teenagers.


There is a lot of advice out there. Use your best judgement when listening to others, including me in this blog. You will figure out what works best for you and that is all that matters. Like I said earlier, if you want to contribute to all those expecting or new mothers out there, go to my Forum page and post your knowledge.

Newborn Pictures

If you are interested in newborn or baby pictures, you will want to book at least 3 months in advance. You can check out my newborn home page here. You can also check out the related posts of newborn photography if you need more insight. As always, if you have any questions, you can email me.

Picture of Kerry Paradis from Kerry Paradis Photography

I was born and raised in Perry hall (Baltimore area) and have been living in Harford County Maryland for close to 15 years. I have two daughters that keep me very busy and a very understanding husband that helps keep me sane :) I love all kinds of photography including Newborns, Weddings and Family. For the past several years I performed shoots out of my house, but recently opened a photography studio in Joppa, Maryland next to the “The Great Hall” Wedding Venue at the Millstad. My studio allows the perfect lighting to capture the best pictures and it is surrounded by 40 acres of property that is used by a ballet studio and gymnastics facility. There are plenty of places to photograph! I also have some favorite beautiful spots in the area that I like to photograph at as well. Whether you are looking to capture the first days of your baby’s life, the important times with your family, Senior Portraits for your High School Graduation, or walking down the aisle on your special wedding day, I would love for you to consider me! I do not take any of my business for granted and feel blessed to do what I love for my career. I invite you to check out my website and subscribe to my email list for exclusive discounts and updates. I try and write these blogs in a way that might answer some questions you may have. If you ever have any ideas for my blog, shoot me an email and I will be happy to see what I can do. Feel free to check out my testimonials.

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