Things I didn't know before I was a momma.

Misconceptions, old wives tales, limiting beliefs.  They all pop up in a big way during the first stages of parenting.  I struggle with them almost daily and make sure I sift through their chaos and commotion to listen to my own inner knowing.  There are some things I have learned that I am so grateful for having discovered and am happy to pass them on for the benefit of new mommas or mommas to be.  Here they are: 1. Breastfeeding was hard.  Very hard.  But once you get over the first big hump, you're home free.  Teething could hurt again too though.

2. Swaddling is not necessarily the cure all, but it is very helpful.

3. Hanes cotton T-shirts for the first two-three months postpartum are AWESOME.

4. Talk to your baby and always tell them what is going on.  They DO understand.  Everything!

5. It's never too early to start elimination communication.  They tell you when they need to go from day 1.

6. You don't have to start Baby Signing at 9 months.  Some babies are early communicators and can benefit from it way before.

7. "Laborland" is a real place.  I was there.  It's what most supported me through birthing my little one.

8. If you're ever questioning anything about your baby, just look into their eyes.  They are giving you the answer.

9. Lansinoh doesn't always work (it didn't ever work for me anyway).  Cold Soothies (aka hydragels) are IT.

10. Babies do not need antibiotics or rice cereal.

11. You don't have to feed a child until they clean their plate/finish the bottle.  You feed a child until he/she tells you they don't want anymore.

12. Babies don't "just cry".  They are trying to tell you something and cueing you that they need something.  It's so important to stay aware.

13. It's not necessary to force your baby to do anything (unless it's compromising their safety and even then, certainly not in a mean way).

14. Babies will teeth on everything EXCEPT their teething toys. :)

15. A support group of like-minded women with babies your child's age is essential.  ESPECIALLY if you're not working.

16. It goes by faster than you can imagine so enjoy it.

17. There is always help so go ask for it and find it.

18. Postpartum depression does not only last a few weeks postpartum.  I still get baby blues to this day. (the placenta capsules DO help in the beginning!)

19. Throw the books away and connect with your baby.

20. Take lots of pictures and videos! :)

21. Your husband may become even more attractive when you see him with your child.

22. Resentment.  You will feel it one day because sometimes parenthood feels like some kind of trap.  But the resentment comes and goes.  Just ride the wave.

23. Dr. Seuss is the best doctor ever.

24. Sesame Street is just as great now as it was when we were kids.  It has kept its integrity and stayed true to its goals of teaching children a love of learning, music and of creatures of all colors, races, creeds and kingdoms!

25. Breastfeeding- for SO MANY reasons- is one of the most amazing things a woman will ever do.  One minor perk in particular that I really appreciate (especially when the diaper explodes) is that exclusively breastfed baby poop doesn't smell. :)

26. Nearly a decade of yoga and moolabandha don't necessarily prevent postpartum bladder incontinence. :p

27. Colostrum can start coming out a few weeks before baby is born (imagine my surprise when some yellow/orange fluid started coming out of my nipples after a warm shower one day!)

28. The body makes its own special "painkilling" hormones to help us dilate, get through birthing, breastfeed and feel relaxed.  I'll take millions of years of natural and divine intelligence over anything artificial any day, thank you.

29. 7am becomes a reasonable time to wake up. (sigh...)

30. Five things that soothe and empower me as a momma: Smiling even when I feel like I don't want to. Napping. Drinking tea (Motherwort is wonderful for mommas). Loving and pampering myself. And the momma mantra-"This too shall pass".

Happy Parenting <3