Becoming a mom can be a very exciting and overwhelming experience. You are excited to meet your baby and so is everyone else. You have picked out the most beautiful crib, highly recommended baby bottles, the physician suggested breast-pump to name a few. Yes, you are all smiles just at the thought of bringing your little one home. But you know who else is excited? Your family and friends who may have already provided their welcoming or non-solicited advice. That’s right. Everyone and their brother has some tips and suggestions of how you should raise your child or handle certain things in general. Below are 6 common controversial topics every mama will face at some point in her journey.
- Co-sleeping vs. Crib/Room Share: At some point in every mama’s life, usually the first time you become a mom, the decision of where your child sleeps from the moment baby is born to toddler age and beyond will be a topic of discussion. The way you put your child to sleep tends to get a lot of people riled up. The questions you should ask yourself are, do I want my baby to sleep with me on my bed, or in her crib/bassinet or in a separate room? The moment you are discharged from the hospital and ready to take baby home, one of the few questions the hospital will ask is where your baby will sleep. This means you must, plan ahead and do what you believe is the safest and most convenient for you both.
- Formula vs. Breastfeeding: There are so many ways to feed your little one and you must do what works for you. Are you willing to give breastfeeding a try? Do you have enough breast milk? Are you pumping long enough and eating right to help increase your supply? Are you able to supplement with formula should your milk come in late? Are you concerned that baby is not getting enough? Is the baby having a hard time latching? Can you exclusively pump or breastfeed? These are questions only you will be able to answer so do your research about breastfeeding and formula ahead of time. Is the breast best or is just feeding your child all that really matters to you?
- When to start solids: You will have mom-friends and family members give their wanted or unwanted opinions about when they believe your child should start solids. But don’t forget that the only pace you are following when feeding your child is your child’s not a friend whose baby started solids at 4 months old or a family member that demands they start at a certain age. Always follow the pediatrician’s recommendations and follow your baby’s cues as every baby is different.
- Epidural vs. Natural/Vaginal vs. C-Section: Every mama-to-be will need to make this decision at some point and every mama will have a birth story to share. Some questions you should ask yourself regarding these subject areas are: do you have I birth plan? Do I want to be induced? Do I want a vaginal or c-section? Are there any harmful effects to baby and I if I got an epidural? Do I need to take a birthing class? What’s the recovery like should I choose to get a C-section? Thankfully, you can ask your doctor about any concerns you have but you must also plan ahead to better prepare yourself.
- Who do I want in my delivery room? Unfortunately this is always a sensitive area for mom-to-be. As if the whirlwind of emotions is not enough, determining who will be in the delivery room is just another thing to add to the list. Are you comfortable having specific people in the room like your siblings or in-laws? What happens if I tell my mother-in-law I don’t want her in the room? Will she be hurt and will this cause problems within the family? I personally suggest you talk to your partner ahead of time so you can both agree on who will be in the room with you. Most importantly, you don’t need extra stress added to your plate so always do what you feel is right.
- Immunizations: Vaccinations have been around for years and many parents still question if it is necessary or just causes problems for the child down the line. Again, do your research outside discussing and following your doctor’s recommendations. Are there side effects? Should I space the vaccinations out or follow the recommended health schedules (per country or region)? What happens if I choose not to vaccinate?
In the end, always do what works best for you. There is no wrong way to take care of your child if you are following your mama instincts and surrounded with a strong support system. There just isn’t.