By Bianca Carter
A growing belly welcomes much more than just the pregnancy glow. From the second you announce your pregnancy, so many people, not just close friends and family, will offer you their words of wisdom on how to take care of both yourself and your growing baby during this delicate time.
Many will offer their helpful advice on where to get the best pregnancy products or items that are essential to have for the baby’s arrival.
You’ll even get conflicting advice from time to time and it can be overwhelming, especially for a new mother. The advice from the people that are the closest to you will most likely be the advice that resonates and sticks with you over time.
The mom “hacks” (otherwise known as shortcuts) from other mothers on how-to change a diaper in 30 seconds while dodging being peed on at the same time, or the how to get your baby to sleep through the night at two weeks old may seem golden to the soon-to-be-mom, but the best piece of advice you’ll ever get may not be shrouded in what you should or shouldn’t do, but rather an acknowledgment of your own instinct and trust in yourself.
As a first-time mom I got all the questions that are typical when pregnant. Things like, “Are you having a boy or a girl?” or “Have you picked out a name yet?” and the “When are you due?” questions that typically precede any sort of pregnancy advice.
But one day while sitting in the doctor’s office an older lady struck up a conversation with me. She asked me questions not about being pregnant, but more about me and who I was, where I went to school and who my family was.
Shortly before my name was called she mentioned to me that I shouldn’t listen to what everyone else says about how to take care of my baby; the best thing I could ever do was to listen to my gut and do things my way.
At first it didn’t really seem like any sort of stellar advice, but after I thought about it for a while, it dawned on me that she was completely correct. When I was a teenager, a close aunt of mine always boasted that the beauty of being an adult was that you could do whatever you wanted and make all of your own decisions, and needless to say, I couldn’t wait for that kind of freedom.
Having your own child gives you a certain type of freedom as well. From the moment that the baby is born you as their parent are responsible for raising that child in which ever manner you see fit.
That goes for all of the advice you get, too; it’s your choice what you do with it. The best advice I ever got was sitting in that office. It made me realise that I have the ability to choose my own way, my own method, and it gave me that same sense of freedom I experienced when my aunt would talk about being an adult.
The truth is, you have to trust yourself and the decisions you make as with any other area in your life. Some people may feel fearful to make their own decisions from time to time out of the fear of making the wrong decision, but let’s face it, life is about making mistakes and learning from them, and that goes for parenting, too.
There are no perfect parents. At some point you’re going to make mistakes or wish you had handled things a little differently. You know the saying, “hindsight is 20/20.”
So the best piece of pregnancy advice I ever got is the same one I always give. Trust yourself and your gut and do things your way; it’s your decision.
Now, doesn’t that feel good? Freedom!
Love and hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor (CLC), founder of Bun in the Oven, and weekend radio personality on Y98 radio. For more information, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at http://babybunintheoven.com.