• 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.