What I Wish First Time Moms Knew About Breastfeeding

What I Wish First Time Moms Knew About Breastfeeding | Baby Chick

What I Wish First Time Moms Knew About Breastfeeding

When I was expecting, the concept of breastfeeding felt vague and distant. I just knew that moms nourished their babies through their breasts, but there was another choice — formula — that many seemed to prefer.

Naturally, I was a little freaked out about everything from childbirth to changing diapers. I’m that person who attacks fear with knowledge, so before long I hit the books.

Among all the sleep training and diaper changing advice, I found clusters of general tidbits about breastfeeding. I learned that:

  • “mother’s milk is liquid gold”
  • Feeding promotes a unique bond between mommy and baby.
  • Breastmilk has all kinds of nutritious advantages over formula.
  • It provides babies with these magical, invincible antibodies for protection throughout childhood.

By the end of my pregnancy, I was set on exclusive breastfeeding. It was the path for me. I wanted the very best for my baby. But, frankly, nothing prepared me for how hard and emotionally taxing this journey might be. No one told me it wasn’t smooth-sailing at first, and that if I encountered rough waters, I shouldn’t feel bad. I shouldn’t give up. And I shouldn’t let someone else make the choice for me about how I’d feed my child.

Here’s what I wish first time mothers knew about breastfeeding. If you’re on the brink of motherhood, I hope this helps you enjoy feeding your baby with more confidence.

What I Wish First Time Moms Knew About Breastfeeding

Your Milk Doesn’t Come In Right Away

Did you also envision a happy baby who knew how to feed right out of the womb, or was that just me?

Some articles I read painted an image of flowing breastmilk, bonding and bliss immediately after birth. When this wasn’t the case, I felt like I failed at the whole mom thing right out of the gate.

I thought giving birth would trigger some magical milk switch in my body. I’d set baby to the boob for an endless supply. Instead, I got stitched up after a c-section as my newborn was whisked away to get washed, weighed and warmed. Because such is life sometimes.

My milk didn’t come in that day or the next. It started coming in on the third day, as my doctors pressured me to supplement with formula because “baby needed to eat.”

Sure, baby was getting droplets of liquid here and there, but mature mother’s milk was nowhere in sight. and you know what? That’s okay.

When you first give birth, your breasts let down colostrum, a sticky, thin substance affectionately called “liquid gold.” It’s chock-full of protein and antibodies, and it’s exactly what your baby needs, even if in tiny doses.

READ MORE
10 Tips to Conquer the First Month of Breastfeeding and Beyond

If you’re anxious to produce more colostrum, try hand-expressing it between feedings. When you’re still in the hospital, your nurse or doula can coach you through it.

Once you get a few droplets of colostrum through hand-expression, feed it to baby with a tiny spoon. Finger feeding is okay as well. Don’t get pressured into supplementing with formula if your plan was to breastfeed exclusively. No, your baby isn’t starving, and yes, she’s getting all she needs until your full milk comes in.

Latching Doesn’t Always Come Easy

Though newborns have a natural rooting reflex, they don’t automatically get the latching thing down. They need some coaching and encouragement.

If you’ve had a vaginal natural birth, direct skin-to-skin with your baby might be possible as soon as he’s born. This promotes latching. Under most circumstances, though, it’s a learning process for both mom and baby.

Since my son was born via c-section, we didn’t have the opportunity for immediate skin-to-skin contact. Like all other newborns whose moms receive pain management meds, he had a little bit of residual medication in his system. Both of those factors probably interfered with latching at first. I didn’t know that having an epidural might affect my baby’s latch.

Your Medical Support Makes All The Difference

Before we left the hospital, my medical team was there to coach us through the initial feeding phase. But while some of the professionals were eager to help us breastfeed successfully, a few decided that making it work shouldn’t be my priority.

When my son wouldn’t latch on the first day, a nurse gave me a nipple shield to facilitate the feedings. I wish I knew that a nipple shield should be used after a few days as a last resort. It can further confuse baby’s latch if introduced too soon. I was scared into supplementing with formula by the third day of my baby’s life. I wish I knew that my milk wouldn’t come in immediately, and that bottle-feeding would definitely prevent my baby from learning to latch sooner.

A couple of professional angels made it possible for me to feed my son for as long as I did. On our last night, a seasoned nurse came by as my fussy baby struggled to latch. She took away the nipple shield and whipped out a small spray pen. She spritzed the shield and gave it back.

“Sugar water,” she said. “You’re welcome.”

That little droplet of sugar water motivated my little guy to wake up and work on his latch.

READ MORE
5 Reasons Your Baby Wants to Breastfeed AGAIN

Consult A Lactation Specialist

My postpartum hospital stay lasted four days. A jaundiced baby and a mama whose blood pressure wouldn’t go down is a recipe for a longer stay. That entire time, I struggled through our latching ordeal. With mixed emotions and disappointment, I tried latching, pumping, and supplementing with formula.

On our last day, my team sent over a lactation consultant . . . What? Is that a thing?

During our visit that was entirely too short, my consultant taught me how to hand-express my milk. (It’s more effective than pumping during those first few days.) She showed me how to properly position my baby, taught me some tricks for waking him up during feedings, and how to tell when he was full.

She talked to me about cluster feedings. She was appalled that my doctors made me supplement before they called her in to help. Most importantly, she taught me to speak up for my right to breastfeed. I felt more comfortable with that one professional while feeding my baby than I had with the various rotating doctors.

When in doubt, ask for a lactation specialist. If your hospital doesn’t’ have one on staff, ask your pediatrician or doula for recommendations. A specialist is your number one advocate for breastfeeding. She might be just what you need to get to that finish line with confidence.

Dads Can Feed Breastfed Babies

One common reason why some moms choose not to breastfeed is: No one else can be in charge of feeding. It’s understandable, honestly. Moms need a break sometimes; a nap here and there while daddy feeds the little one sounds heavenly, for instance.

But guess what? You don’t have to compromise your resolve to breastfeed in order to let daddy share in the fun. Dads can feed the baby too if you’re able to express milk.

Since I was already supplementing with formula, we bottle fed the milk I pumped. There were better options, though. Bottle feeding a breastfed baby can create nipple confusion. Babies are instinctually resourceful. They don’t want to work for their food if they discover it’s not necessary. Since milk flows easier from a bottle, babies introduced to that aren’t keen on going back to the breast.

Dads can simulate breastfeeding. That’s what this dad did when his wife couldn’t breastfeed due to medical reasons. He got a lot of flack for it on social media, but he wasn’t afraid of the public’s judgment if it meant doing what’s best for his baby. This is a genius alternative if your baby’s dad is up for it.

READ MORE
6 Rules to Get the Best Latch

You’re Not A Failure If You Don’t Continue Breastfeeding

In a perfect world, I would have breastfed until my baby weaned himself, perhaps around a year old or so. I wouldn’t mind if it was longer than that. But we all know plans and parenting don’t often go hand in hand, right?

My milk started drying up by the sixth month. Between pumping, feeding, and trying to increase my milk supply, I was too exhausted for anything else. My life was all about fenugreek, Mother’s Milk tea, hand-expressing (it’s more effective than pumping sometimes), and marathon breastfeeding sessions with a baby who was increasingly frustrated.

I knew my milk supply was decreasing and that maybe I wouldn’t be able to do much to bring it back up. The truth is, my supply was never so abundant that I could stop supplementing with formula. But as a mom who was desperate to breastfeed, I was in denial.

Then, the feelings of failure flooded over me. How was I unable to feed my child for a full year? How could I let my supply get so low? How could I give up at this point? It wasn’t fun feeling like a malfunctioning mommy.

I wish I knew then that I was far from a failure. I tried very hard to breastfeed from day one. We both hurtled through some minor medical challenges. I contended with a weak initial support system for breastfeeding. I pumped after each feeding, and when my baby wouldn’t latch, he still had the benefit of his mother’s milk.

I’m not a failure because I couldn’t continue to breastfeed. Neither are you. If you struggle with milk production, there are options for you to prolong feeding your baby. If you feel like you’ve exhausted every option and you’re just unable to sustain milk production, you aren’t a failure. You’ve given your baby all the milk you can produce, and every bit counts toward her overall well-being. If you still want your baby to benefit from breastmilk, you can look for a local donors’ bank or a mom who produces more than she needs. That’s what I did when I finally accepted that my breastfeeding days were over.

As a new mom, it’s important to arm yourself with information. It’s also great to make goals and picture ideals, but plans don’t always pan out, and breastfeeding is no exception. The best you can do is advocate for your choice to feed your baby, and take avenues that enhance your chances of success. That in itself counts as a positive experience.

About the Author /

Bernadetta Pracon is a freelance writer and a mom to one little boy. She enjoys coffee, loves dogs, and appreciates her freelance lifestyle.

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Her tips are gold! 💰 {Click 🔗 in bio to read them!}⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenalt⁠
📷: @courtney.tracy⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #homeschool #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #learning #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #homeschoollife #homeschooling #homeschoolrocks #homeschooler #homeschoolfamily #lifeofahomeschooler #homeschoolmoms #homeschoolkids #homeeducation #homeschoolfun #homeschoolmama
"Domesticity does not equal motherhood. 🙅‍♀ "Domesticity does not equal motherhood. 🙅‍♀️ I once sat in a class where teenage girls said they needed to learn how to cook, do laundry, and clean if they wanted to one day be good moms.

I stopped and told them that cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning are part of being an ADULT. Those are not the things that make up motherhood.

But I get where they got that conclusion.

You always hear women say they aren't good moms when they don't make homemade lunches, prepare cupcakes for the bake sale, show up to the doctor with kids who have brushed hair, or get the laundry put away in a decent time. 'I'm such a bad mom. I sent store-bought Valentines to school with my kid.' 'Mom fail. I didn't get the laundry done.' 'I'm a failure as a mom. I don't make homemade bread/cookies/whatever.' NO.

Your 'success' as a mother is not defined by domestic duties. Domestic duties are part of being an adult.

While your children do need to be changed and fed, that's not the summation of MOTHERHOOD. Anyone can change and feed children, including dads. You can hire someone to clean your house and feed your kids, and you'll still be a mom.

And if you weren't a mom, you'd still have to clean your house, cook food, and do laundry.

You're not a bad mom because you didn't do laundry in time. Let's stop combining domestic duties with motherhood, because they just aren't the same. Yes, moms do domestic things. And they raise children. These are two separate things.

Your housekeeping is not your motherhood, and you're giving away power when you combine the two and judge one against the other.

You are a good mom because you love your child, and you try to help them learn the things they need to learn. You worry about your kids, you spend time with them, you plan for their future, and so much more.

You might be terrible at domestic duties (I don't know) or you might be the best housekeeper in the world. But neither end of the spectrum--or anything in between--determines if you're a good mom or not.

Housekeeping is NOT motherhood."
Words & 📷: @pauseandconnect
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodrising #uniteinmotherhood⁣
And especially now, EVERYTHING is on my mind and i And especially now, EVERYTHING is on my mind and it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Providing for my family, raising a healthy and well-rounded child, taking care of the house, the pets, nurturing my relationship with my partner. The weight is heavy, but at the same time, I am so grateful for what I have and to be a mom. ❤️⁠
📷: @babysleep_answers⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
FOR REAL! Check on your friends with toddlers. We FOR REAL! Check on your friends with toddlers. We are NOT okay. 🤪🙈
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
How you feel at bedtime on what feels like day 382 How you feel at bedtime on what feels like day 382 of quarantine. 😑⚔️💀😂⁠
📷: @thedecentmother⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #bedtime #goodnight
God bless all of the mamas (expecting and beyond) God bless all of the mamas (expecting and beyond) out there! 🙏⁠ Our hearts are with you all during this time. 💕
📷: @thegingypants⁠
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DISCLAIMER: This is a USED expired PPE from @thegingypants basement. (She is an RN.) Please consider donating any UNUSED MASKS to your area hospitals who are in dire need. 💕
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #pregnant #pregnantlife #expectingmom #pregnancy #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
My "coworker" can be such an a$$hole. 😒⁠ 📷 My "coworker" can be such an a$$hole. 😒⁠
📷: @macaroniandmomjeans⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #toddlerlife
"30 hours of labor ended with an emergency C-secti "30 hours of labor ended with an emergency C-section... not what we planned but I learned pretty quickly that night that having a plan for bringing a human into the world is a fool's errand. All that mattered was that he got here safely. Having him in the middle of a global health crisis was also not in the baby prep books, but here we are. Holding him and healing my body in a maternity ward that's eerily quiet from us not being allowed visitors or family at this time, but strangely serene. All we hear are monitors beeping and the coos of our infant son. Maybe the sound of the 100th episode of The Office @ryanhurd and I have binged while in here. The admiration we have for the doctors, nurses + healthcare professionals that took care of Hayes & me during our stay cannot be measured in this post. They risked their health every day to make sure ours was okay. I can't think of anything more selfless than that. Ultimately, I can't thank every single mother enough for going through what you've gone through because I had NO idea how hard it could be, and I'm a measly 4 days in. The world is changing before our eyes and so am I. That's been a peaceful thing to cling to during these uncertain times. Thinking of you all. 🖤" - @marenmorris and her birth to her son Hayes Andrew Hurd 💕⁠
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Congratulations, @marenmorris! You are already an incredible mother. Don't dwell on the things that happened that didn't go as planned and that were out of your control. You are safe, you are well, and you have a son. You are a warrior. We are over the moon for you and your family.  Motherhood is an amazing thing. A hard thing. But oh so worth it. We can't wait to watch your motherhood journey. Love & health to you and your family. ❤️⁠
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#birth #covid19 #coronavirus #hospitalbirth #csection #ceseareanbirth #bellybirth #newmom #childbirth #newborn #postpartum #cesareanbirth #pregnancy #momlife #motherhood #newbaby #motherhoodunplugged #babiesofinstagram #babyboy #family #firsttimemom #mommylife #motherhoodrising #momsofinstagram #mommychick #babychick
It's gonna get crazy up in here.⁠ 🧺 (Another It's gonna get crazy up in here.⁠ 🧺 (Another day in the life of quarantine/ motherhood...)⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #laundry #weekend #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🧘‍♀️ Exercises You Should Do Before Givin 🧘‍♀️ Exercises You Should Do Before Giving Birth⁠ 🤰
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Pregnancy and birth are physically taxing events, but they can also be empowering experiences. 💪 Exercising during pregnancy can help the birth process go more smoothly as well as offer other incredible benefits: lowered stress, better posture, less back pain, and less complicated postpartum recovery. 🙌 Best of all, you’ll feel more powerful and in control of how your body is changing and growing. 💗 While most exercise is great even for pregnant women, there are some exercises you really should do before giving birth. Here is what you should do and WHY you should do it. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip  #momtobe #pregnancylife #pregnancyguide #mamatobe #exercise #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #fitpregnancy #fitmom #preggo #pregnancybasics #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
🗓️ Great Ways to Structure Days Spent at Home 🗓️ Great Ways to Structure Days Spent at Home⁠ 🏡⁠
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If you have kids of any age at home right now, you know by now that structure and routine can help any day go more smoothly. 🙌 Building good habits and activities into your daily routine can provide opportunities for educational learning, play, stress-reduction, nourishment and rest. ❤️ Certainly, not every day has to be structured. And it’s healthy to allow for spontaneity and free time when you’re home together with family. But if you’re looking for a roadmap to build a new daily routine with your children during this season of social distancing, read on for a few fresh ideas! These are some easy tips you can start to build a great structure to your days spent at home. ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #socialdistancing #homeschool #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #momsofinstagram #learningathome #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #homeschooling #family #familyroutine #familyschedule #home #structure #parenting
And this is truer now than ever before. 📷 from And this is truer now than ever before.
📷 from the hilarious @honestlymommy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
👦 Potty Training the Montessori Way⁠ 🚽⁠ 👦 Potty Training the Montessori Way⁠ 🚽⁠
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Potty training can be one of the most challenging endeavors of your baby’s first few years. 😫 But this is a great time to get started if your little one is ready. Rest assured, there are several methods and strategies out there to set you and your baby up for success! 🙌 We decided to borrow some lessons from the Montessori philosophy and apply these lessons to potty training. While potty training the Montessori way may not be for everyone, many parents have used this method and loved it!⁠ Here's what we've learned and how it could help your family. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @curlylittledreams⁠
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#pottytraining #momlife #pottytime #toddlerlife #parenting #toddler #pottytraining101 #pottytrainingtime #nomorediapers #cleverparenting #childdevelopment #toddlers #potty #motherhoodrising #parentingwin #itsmypotty #kids #toilettraining #pottypeople #motherhood #babychick #mommychick #montessori
The struggle is real. 😳⁠😬⁠ .⁠ #coronav The struggle is real. 😳⁠😬⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #socialdistancing #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🎒 8 Tips from a Homeschooling Mom⁠ 👩‍🏫⁠
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If you’re like many parents and caregivers right now whose children are suddenly home all day instead of at school, and you are now facing the prospect of a crash course in homeschooling, you may have said once (or a hundred times) I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!?!? 😰 You are not alone, I promise!⁠
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I have been homeschooling for years, and yet this pandemic has my family’s entire world turned upside down. We’ve been missing our library dates, ballet classes, afternoons at the playground, chess club, but most of all: our friends. My usually-somewhat-agreeable child has been downright combative and emotionally on-edge these past few days, poor thing. 😢 This quarantine is so hard on everyone, but especially our most vulnerable . . . which includes our children. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading about the hows and whys of homeschooling as well as this mama's great tips to help you and your child start learning at home!}⁠
Article by: Bree Von Lopez⁠
📷: @watsonhomestead⁠
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#homeschoollife #coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #homeschool #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #momsofinstagram #learningathome #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #homeschooling #homeschoolrocks #homeschooler #homeschoolfamily #lifeofahomeschooler #homeschoolmoms #homeschoolkids #homeeducation #homeschoolfun #homeschoolmama
🎵 And IIII . . . . I must confess my hands are 🎵 And IIII . . . . I must confess my hands are clean⁠
When I'm not with you I save our lives⁠
Give me a siiiiign . . . hit my baby now online 🎶⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#coronavirus #covid19 #quarantine #quarantinelife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🤰 10 Ways to Prepare Your Family and Home for B 🤰 10 Ways to Prepare Your Family and Home for Baby Number Two⁠ 👧👶
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Congratulations mama! You're pregnant with baby number two. 💗 How exciting! 🥳 I know, you probably have a ton of thoughts and questions racing through your mind like, "Am I REALLY ready for another baby?!" Or how about, "How do I prepare my family and home for baby number two?!"⁠ 😳
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They're all reasonable questions. However, I want you to remember something. Remember that you probably felt unsure about some things during your first pregnancy and guess what, YOU GOT THROUGH THEM! 💪 Here you are again and yes mama, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOO!⁠ ❤️
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To help you ease some of those worries, we’re sharing 10 ways to prepare for baby number two!⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📸: @by.sofiehammer
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip  #momtobe #pregnancylife #pregnancyguide #mamatobe #babynumber2 #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancybasics #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick