It’s cold. It’s winter. Schools are delayed often because of weather conditions. Seeing or hearing the word delay used to mean I’d go into work 2 hours later (former elementary school teacher here!), but now delay has a whole new meaning to me!
Today’s blog is about delays when you’re a mama!
🌀Delay rushing to the birth center/hospital
🌀Delaying cord cutting
🌀Delaying baby’s 1st bath
Delay rushing to the birth center/hospital — my water broke at 11pm on a Thursday. My husband was working 3-11 so he wasn’t home yet. I didn’t jump in the car or dial 9-1-1 to catch a ride on an ambulance. I called my husband and my midwife. Then I talked to my parents. I checked my bag, took a shower, and went to bed. Contractions started around 2am but I stayed in bed and tried to rest the best that I could. By 8am I was ready to drive 45+ minutes to The Midwife Center. It’s not like the movies! You don’t immediately rush to the place you’re having your baby once your water breaks! Studies have actually shown that it’s best for women to labor at home for as long as they’re comfortable before heading to their center. Keep calm, shower, eat, rest — DELAY going anywhere too soon.
Delaying cord cutting — I recently read a news story that made me feel sick to my stomach. A local mom gave birth in the bathroom of a car dealership (okay I’m a germophobe but that’s not the part that got me!) When the called 9-1-1 the operator told the husband to take off his (filthy dirty OMG) bootlace to tie off the cord! What terrible advice! Obviously I’m not a medical professional but any google search can tell you that’s awful and outdated information. You should allow the blood to flow from the placenta and unto your baby! The info graphic below explains some of the benefits. We waited quite a while before my husband cut the cord. What a beautiful moment. If/when we have another baby I’d like to look more into ceremonial cord burnings! Whatever route you choose be sure to DELAY cutting/burning the cord several minutes so that your baby gets everything they need!
(Image via Pinterest- Wendyrful Doula Birth Services)
Delaying baby’s 1st bath — old school practices were to whisk the baby away from the mother after birth to weigh, examine, and even bathe the newborn baby. Know better, do better, right? Babies and mamas (or even dadas) should have uninterrupted skin to skin after the baby is born. There is no need for infant hats and such. Mamas body will help regulate baby’s temperature. Babies should stay in the room with their parents while all tests, weights, and other measurements are being taken. (This is a great thing to ask your midwife/ob before delievering, btw!) First baths can cause stress for the new baby (and mama) and lower baby’s body temperature and blood sugar. When babies are born they are covered in vernix while naturally protects their brand new skin. They have amniotic fluid on them which reminds them of their first home in their mama. Washing this off too soon could negatively affect your breastfeeding relationship. Daddy gave Everette his first bath when he was 8 days old. It was adorable and nerve wracking! He was so tiny and new! I can’t imagine anyone but daddy giving him his first tubby! Our birth center didn’t give baths, thankfully, so we were able to bath baby on our own timeline. Side note: We absolutely loved the 4Moms infant tub that fit in the kitchen sink! My sister bought us a Blooming Bath flower bath cushion for the baby’s bath. These two items were essential to the first months of tubby time!
Delaying visitors — This can be difficult for some new parents. Yes it is awesome to have friends and family bring you meals and help with household chores, but it is also okay to say “no,” “not right now,” or “in x amount of days we’re taking visitors.” We didn’t have visitors for the first four days. I thought my family was going to kill us. They were all dying to see and hold our brand new baby. We wanted to show him off and have everyone love on him too, but we needed time to adjust to being a family of 3 (okay 4 if you count our first fur-child, Winnie). Everyone was respectful of our wishes. People literally dropped off meals, cases of water, and even gifts. They would leave them on the porch so we wouldn’t be bothered! How cool is that? I’ve seen others suggest visiting hours and even having friends/family reserve time. We didn’t go that route but we didn’t need to either. Once we allowed visitors they were respectful of our time. I had no problem asking for the baby back when he showed signs of hunger and needed to nurse. Delaying visitors really worked for us. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your visitors to help. They’ll be happy to unload your dishwasher or fold your laundry in exchange for some new baby cuddles! One thing I learned early on and don’t regret one bit is that laundry, dishes, and messes can wait! You can never get your newborn snuggles back. (As I cuddle up with my giant sleeping 18 month old right now!)
Delaying solids — Okay so you’ve been rocking this mama thing. You’ve been nursing, pumping, or bottle feeding for months and you’ve got this down! But now your pediatrician recommends starting some solid foods. Um, what!? That’s how I felt. At our 4 month visit our doc suggested starting baby rice cereal. My baby was still a tiny baby! What was doc thinking? The World Health Organization says that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of their lives! Young babies don’t have mature enough guts to start processing solid foods especially processed foods like rice cereal and baby oatmeal. I didn’t feel comfortable with the info so I researched and reached out! My mama intuition wasn’t wrong. I absolutely love this meme from kellymom.com! Your baby is only a baby for a tiny little while. Don’t rush it! Delay solids until your baby meets all of these criteria. (For the record- I never ever gave Everette rice cereal or baby oatmeal. His iron was always perfect and he has always eaten whole/real foods. Don’t be bullied by your doc!)
I’ve learned so much from fellow mamas, our classes at The Midwife Center, and of course the Internet. I’m definitely no expert but I love learning more and sharing information! If you learned something new or could teach me something new please comment below!