If I had it to do over again
If I had the opportunity to go through pregnancy and first childbirth again, knowing what I know now, these are the things I would do differently, and the things I would do the same.
Things I would do over:
- I would restrain my intake of sweets and other junk food during the third trimester and after the birth. Then again, maybe that indulgence was what got me through the experience emotionally. However, it also left me with some extra fat cells that are feeling at home in my body.
- Start pumping earlier – I didn’t start until six or seven weeks, when my supply was probably already established at just the level River needed. As a result, I never had excess and I didn’t get much pumping. I imagine it would have been hard to return to work and continue breastfeeding at 12 weeks. But I did enjoy the one-on-one time with baby, without having a machine attached to me as well. Maybe I’d start a bit earlier if I had it to again, but not a lot.
- Get a hospital grade pump right away – I didn’t research pumps and didn’t even realize there is a difference between hospital grades and those you can purchase in stores. I’d buy one used on ebay (as I ended up doing when River was 8 months old). Lactina Selects are now running about $350 used and seem to maintain their value pretty well.
Things I would definitely do again:
- Hire a Doula
- Have a good swing available from day 1
- Arrange for household help for the first two months – especially, someone to pass the baby off to in the mornings after sleepless nights
- Use cloth diapers
- Do prenatal yoga
- Treat myself to prenatal massages
- Get out of the house and continue on with life, taking baby along for the ride
- Have at least five months maternity leave
- Involve my husband in as many aspects of the experience as possible.