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Inside: This is everything you need to know from pregnancy to baby’s first year and beyond. These tips and advice are what I wish I’d had as a first time mom!
I put down my bright red pregnancy book while I rubbed my belly.
The book was well worn from reading it so often over the previous eight months. I had studied every page and committed everything the author said to heart.
I was ready for birth.
Or so I thought…
Here’s What Happened
As it turns out, nothing in that book really prepared me for what happened during labor and delivery and the time I spent in the hospital after.
Not to mention the 6 weeks postpartum.
Talk about being blindsided!
“Why weren’t there more resources out there about birth? Why is no one talking about this??” I wondered to myself.
So I decided to do something about it.
I wrote my first post about first time mom labor tips and my readers loved it. So I wrote more posts about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenting advice and they became just as popular.
It became clear to me that one of my missions as a blogger was to help new moms navigate pregnancy, motherhood, and beyond so no other woman was caught as unprepared as I was.
So here we are!
I’ve listed all of my motherhood posts on this page to give you the best resource as a first time mom.
Getting pregnant for the first time (or second or third!) is such a fun experience!
Once the initial shock/excitement wears off, you’ll want to share your news with your loved ones. But what’s the best way to tell your husband or family and friends?
I’ve put together over 60 baby announcement ideas that you can personalize to share your big news!
Sharing your pregnancy on social media is such an important part of the modern parenthood journey, but it can be tricky to narrow down what theme you want to use with all of the creative options out there.
One popular choice for couples is to use a letter board! They are very trendy and can be used throughout the pregnancy and even baby’s first year of life.
Whether you want to use a clever saying, have your other children in the photo, or get the whole family involved, you’ll love all of these 40+ ideas for sharing your exciting news with family and friends!
If you’re a first time mom, you may not be aware of all the foods to avoid during pregnancy. While you may have some strong food aversions or weird cravings, there are also several foods and beverages that you should consume in moderation or totally eliminate from your diet.
Something as seemingly innocent as a deli sandwich can actually pose a health risk to you and your growing child.
But, don’t worry, there are still plenty of foods you can eat. And food restrictions are a small and temporary sacrifice of pregnancy.
Along with pregnancy announcements, you should consider doing a gender reveal for your loved ones.
Have someone record your reaction, whether on video or through pictures. You'll love seeing the joy and excitement on everyone's faces as they find out your baby’s gender for the first time.
Check out all 35+ gender reveal ideas to help you share your exciting news with those you love!
Baby showers are a rite of passage for a new mom! Once you've set your baby registry, you'll want to start thinking about your baby shower as well.
I've seen so many cute and creative themes out there, so to help you with your planning, I put together a post with some of the best modern baby shower ideas.
Some of the themes include:
Where the Wild Things Are
Modern Aloha Theme
The last thing you may be thinking about when you’re pregnant is exercise; the thought of doing a burpee just makes you want to throw up!
With everything else you have to do to prepare to be a new mom, it can be difficult to think of good pregnancy workout ideas.
But once you’re feeling better in the second trimester, getting a good pregnancy workout can boost your mood and energy! Not to mention, keep your body in shape for delivery.
Check out all of my favorite free pregnancy workouts for a quick burn.
All expecting mamas should consider getting maternity photos done at least once during their pregnancy; even if they feel self-conscious!
To give you some motivation (and inspiration) I’m sharing lots of creative maternity photography ideas.
Some photos are super glamorous and fancy while others are more casual and laid back, but be assured there are photos for every style and mama!
I’m also sharing some tips I’ve learned over the years to make sure your pictures go as smoothly as possible.
Guessing baby's gender is something fun to try as a first time mom (or, even a fourth-time mom like me!).
While gender prediction methods might not be scientifically backed, they are definitely entertaining. Have fun with family predicting baby's gender or even include it as an activity in your baby shower!
Some of the fun methods:
Baby's heart rate
If you’re a first time mom you may be surprised to learn about something called “implantation cramping”. Who knew becoming pregnant could feel so much like a period!
It doesn’t happen for everyone, but many women can experience mild cramping when a fertilized egg lodges itself into the uterine lining.
Waiting to confirm a pregnancy can be stressful for a first time mom, and even more so for those who’ve been trying for a while.
So, how soon can pregnancy be detected?
If you’re a mom-to-be, you may think you’re experiencing regular old headaches, but, changes in your pregnant body can be a trigger for these frequent and usually mild bouts of pregnancy head pain.
So, when do these start, how long do they last, and what can you do about them?
Here’s everything you need to know!
Think you might be pregnant?
If you’re a first time mom, the wait to take a pregnancy test can be agonizing. You’ll likely be excited and super aware of every little change and feeling in your body, hoping for some sort of confirmation.
So, how soon
can you take a pregnancy test?
Many people mistakenly think pregnancy is calculated from conception or the date of their first
As a first time mom, you’ll want to learn all the details of the pregnancy timeline and what a new mom needs to know.
Here are some easy pointers to start!
If you’re a new mom, you may be anxious to feel any signs or symptoms as confirmation of your pregnancy.
Or, you may be wondering when to brace yourself for some of those not-so-pleasant pregnancy side effects.
Here’s everything you need to know about the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and when they should appear.
As a first time mom, you won’t know exactly what to expect from pregnancy, or what the normal early symptoms are.
It’s important to note that you won’t experience too many tell-tale signs of pregnancy until after your first missed period or a positive pregnancy test, but there are a few early symptoms to look out for.
Here’s what you need to know about early pregnancy cramps and what they really mean!
You’ve heard the horror stories of nausea, food aversions, and back pain, and unfortunately, I can’t say those aren’t true . . .
BUT, pregnancy is different for every woman and can even be very different from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Here are some of the less-than-great
and good things you might experience while pregnant.
If you’re a first time mom, you might be wondering where to start.
There is so much to learn about your changing body and the way a pregnancy should progress.
So, here’s some baby bump 101!
Pregnancy is a journey filled with lots of ups and downs, exciting changes, and some not so fun things, too.
While you may have fears about delivering your baby as a first time mom, there’s a lot to get through before that point!
Here's the low down on which trimester most moms agree is the hardest.
As a first time mom, there’s nothing worse than being pregnant and sick.
You’re limited in the medications you can take and even foods you’d normally eat for comfort.
So does elderberry syrup or gummies make the list of safe medication for pregnant women?
If you’re a new mom, you probably don’t know which medications are safe during pregnancy. And it can be difficult to sift through all the options when you’re already experiencing cold symptoms.
When it comes to medications, there are plenty of no-no’s, but lots of approved options, too.
Is Vicks one of them? Here’s everything you need to know!
You’ve probably heard about the dangers of eating soft cheese, deli meats, and sprouts while pregnant.
But, what about cream cheese?
If you’re used to adding a smear to your morning bagel, you probably don’t want to break your routine.
Here’s what you should know about pregnancy and cream cheese!
If you’re a first time mom, you’re probably wondering what foods are safe to eat. You’ll likely experience cravings or food aversions as part of your pregnancy symptoms.
If you have a hankering for cheese, you’ll want to be careful with what you choose.
So, is feta cheese safe for pregnant women?
Here’s what you should know!
What do you do when those seasonal allergies kick in or cold and flu season hits during pregnancy?
There are lots of approved medications for pregnant women that can bring you much-needed relief. Depending on your symptoms, you’ll want to research the best options that maximize results for you and minimize harm to your growing child.
If you’re suffering from a runny nose, sinus pressure, or upper respiratory allergies, you may think to reach for Sudafed. But is it safe?
There are so many things to do and NOT to do while you’re pregnant and so many things a first time mom should know. It can be a little overwhelming and even confusing.
If you're looking for the answer to whether or not you can eat sour cream when pregnant
this post is for you!
Arming yourself with the best resources and information will ensure you and your baby stay protected throughout your pregnancy.
So, what do you do when you’re pregnant and sick?
are medications that are doctor approved to treat cough and cold symptoms. Here’s what to know about Robitussin DM.
There are a lot of “no’s” moms-to-be face during pregnancy because there are plenty of foods, drinks and medications that shouldn’t be consumed.
Is Gatorade is safe to drink during pregnancy?
Here’s what you should know!
If you’re a first time mom, you may be concerned about gaining weight, not gaining enough weight, and understanding the differences between healthy weight gain and overindulgence.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you need, while maintaining a healthy body.
There is no perfect time to start a family and no one can ever be completely prepared to bring another life into the world!
You have to just take a leap and see where life takes you.
But, here are some stats that might help you gauge when to start that journey.
This baby registry checklist is second to none with everything you need and nothing you don’t. And to make registering easy, I made a free checklist printable for you to download!
Here are three of the best first time mom books covering topics from pregnancy, to baby sleep, to parenting.
As a first time mom you may feel the need to overpack for your delivery, but it’s not necessary! Check out the 11 essentials you’ll need during your stay, plus grab my free hospital bag checklist printable.
Check out the 8 baby essentials for the first 3 months you need to get, especially if you’re a first time mom. These are the secret weapons you need for a successful newborn stage!
All of the breastfeeding essentials any first time mom needs. Plus 3 extra items that make the nursing process a whole lot easier!
As your friend and fellow mama, I’m here to tell you all the things about labor and delivery you probably won’t get from your doctor or even the best books.
Some of it is super gross, but it’s better to know than to be caught off guard.
And some of these things are worse or better with additional deliveries so this list is for second and third-time moms too!
Being induced can be scary as a first time mom, so here’s exactly what will happen at the hospital during a scheduled induction.
With so much first time mom advice out there, it can be tough to know what’s helpful and what’s not.
This post has only the best tried-and-true tips from pregnancy and birth to newborn care to organization to encouragement!
As a new mom, you may not be prepared for the hair loss and engorgement that comes after having a baby, so here’s a peek into those postpartum body changes!
The postpartum phase can be a difficult transition period as your body goes through a weeks-long recovery process, all while caring for a newborn.
The more information you have, the easier this process will be and the more energy and focus you’ll have for your baby.
So, here’s everything you need to know about the postpartum timeline and how to survive!
There are lots of technical terms to learn as a first time mom. Trimester, prenatal, postpartum, postnatal . . .
It may be overwhelming and even confusing at times.
One of the most common questions is whether there is a difference between postpartum and postnatal.
Let’s clear that up today!
We’ve all seen those super real post-pregnancy photos of women in their mesh panties and diapers. This is exactly the kind of thing you’ll be rocking for those first days and weeks postpartum!
So, how long does postpartum bleeding last?
Here’s everything you need to know about bleeding after birth and how to handle it.
Every first time mom wants to learn as much as they can about labor and delivery, but the postpartum timeline is just as important to understand.
It’s normal and natural to experience vaginal bleeding after birth, but it can also be dangerous in certain circumstances.
Here’s everything you need to know about postpartum bleeding, including what to do if your postpartum bleeding stopped then started again.
As a first time mom, you may experience some or all of these physical and mental discomforts that come after giving birth.
But, don’t worry!
We’ll walk through each of these changes and how to deal with them.
While this may seem like a long and scary list, most of these symptoms are temporary and can be easily managed!
Many women experience thinning hair or changes in hair texture within the postpartum timeline.
This may pale in comparison to how your body feels after giving birth, but it is a concern for many women and can have an effect on your mood and self-esteem over time.
Thankfully, hair loss as well as most postpartum body changes are temporary and there are things you can do to improve your symptoms.
As a first time mom, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed, experiencing some lingering pain and some mild negative emotions known as the “Baby Blues.”
But, if you feel that your decrease in mood is more than just temporary sadness, you may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Here’s everything you need to know about how postpartum depression feels and what you need to do, next.
We often get so caught up in the physical aspects of pregnancy that mental health can be overlooked.
But, mental health is
just as important, and postpartum depression is the biggest disorder to look out for.
Here’s what you need to know about the causes of PPD, what symptoms to monitor, and how to seek treatment and help.
If you haven’t experienced depression or postpartum depression before, it can seem daunting and even scary.
You probably have lots of questions with the main one being when you can expect relief.
Here’s some information on what to do if you feel you may have postpartum depression and how long you can expect it to last.
Many first time moms struggle with separated abs and loose skin after birth.
Some of these changes can be permanent (and are an amazing badge of honor), but there are treatments you can try to make improvements and feel more like your normal self.
Here are some proven tips to tighten your stomach after birth!
Crying is very common after pregnancy because there are several things that can affect your emotions.
It’s totally normal to cry and even feel a little depressed for the first few weeks postpartum.
Here are some of the side effects that can cause you to cry and negatively affect your mood, plus tips for how to deal with them.
Unfortunately, household work doesn’t disappear the moment you become a mom!
But, for the first several days and weeks of your recovery, you will need to take it easy. This is especially true if you had a cesarean section!
So, when can you get back to household work?
While you may be anxious to get back to your regular activities after giving birth, there are several things you’ll need to avoid during your first 6 weeks postpartum.
Doing any of these things may harm you or your baby or prevent a quick recovery.
As a first time mom or a mom who's trying breastfeeding for the first time, you might not know what to expect.
I've listed all the surprising things about breastfeeding and how to deal with them in this post.
(I've breastfed four babies and I didn't know some of the things listed below, so it's worth a read for even the most experienced mom!)
Most women experience sore nipples, dry nipples, and in extreme cases, even cracks and open wounds. Thankfully, your virgin nipples should toughen up within a few weeks.
In the meantime, it’s important to care for your body with creams and ointments.
In this post, you’ll find 12 of the best nipple creams to treat tender nipples and dry skin. Each product is listed with their pros and cons and are all mom-tested and mom-approved.
If you’re having issues with a proper latch, you’ll likely experience sore nipples and you may even develop open wounds. Another common side effect of improper latch is what’s referred to as lipstick nipple.
This is a condition where the nipple temporarily changes form during nursing because of misplaced pressure. The nipple will appear slanted or tapered like the tip of a newly opened lipstick tube.
While it’s a common occurrence, If you notice this nipple shape after a round of nursing, you’ll want to take steps to correct it. Doing so will help you avoid needless breastfeeding pain and prevent insufficient milk supply.
Here are the 40 of the best breastfeeding tips from seasoned moms!
Get tips for successfully feeding newborns, soreness, milk production, and more!
At delivery with my third baby, the nurse informed me that I weighed 226 pounds!
I could not believe it! At my six week postpartum appointment, I had lost 20 pounds and weighed 205, but I still had another 35 pounds that I wanted to lose.
I had tried so many different weight loss methods in the past, and none of them worked long term. So I decided to try something completely different.
If you’ve experienced depression before or have new depression symptoms post birth, you’ll want to seek help from your doctor.
They will give you the best advice for your unique situation and body.
However, you should also educate yourself on the safest medications to take while breastfeeding to make sure you receive the best possible care.
Learning to breastfeed can be a complicated process for the first time mom, and on top of that, there are several foods, beverages, and medications that aren't safe for nursing mothers.
So, should protein shakes be on your list?
After giving birth and dealing with postpartum body changes, you will be exhausted, overwhelmed, and will probably experience some “baby blues.”
It can be hard to distinguish which issues are causing what emotions.
Breastfeeding can contribute to both positive and negative feelings and this can vary from woman to woman and even from pregnancy to pregnancy.
But, don’t worry, I’ll help you get to the bottom of it!
If you’ve wondered how breastfeeding works, wanted to understand your milk flow, or learn ways to improve milk supply, this post will address all your burning questions.
And you’ll find helpful resources and information to ensure your baby gets proper nutrition.
Breastfeeding can be frustrating and confusing for new moms, but once you get the hang of it, it can also be a very special way to bond with your baby.
The short answer is, yes!
A fortunate side effect of birth is a significant break from any visits from Aunt Flow. Most mothers will go at least 6 months before experiencing their first postpartum period.
But as hormone levels change and adjust, your period will sneak back in. It may also look and feel different than what you’re used to.
So, let’s dive into some specifics.
As a mom to be you need two things: good mom friends and all the newborn help you can get!
While I can’t be there to help with your newborn, I can spill all of the secret tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years as a mom of 4.
Some of these are great baby hacks for dads, too. You’ll definitely need all hands on deck with a newborn.
Knowing how to get a baby to sleep can seem like a mystery when you’re a new mom.
Just follow the newborn sleep tips I share in this post and you’ll be in good shape!
Night time can be trying for a new mom. You’ll likely be exhausted after adjusting to a newborn sleep schedule and working in night feedings and diapering.
And it’s an even bigger challenge when baby won’t fall asleep in between feedings. This could be due to multiple factors, and one of them is because they aren’t warm enough in their crib.
Here are some easy ways to keep your baby warm at night without overheating or jeopardizing their safety!
As a first time mom, you’ll likely spend a lot of time cleaning stains of every kind. Unfortunately, that includes stains from baby poop. At some point or another, you or the baby will find yourself covered in it.
It’s pretty much inevitable!
Newborn poop can be difficult to get out, so here are some foolproof tips to help!
While it’s not always a pleasant experience to change a diaper, it’s very important to learn how to prevent diaper rash and care for your baby’s delicate skin.
If you see those tell-tale red spots on your baby’s bum, it’s time to take action! Unchecked and poorly treated rashes can lead to discomfort and even serious infection for your little one.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to prevent diaper rash, what products to try, and how to treat an existing rash.
If you’re a first time mom, bath time for baby may seem a bit intimidating. You’ll have to get baby clean while keeping them safe and warm. And, that includes washing baby’s hair.
Luckily, there are lots of great tools and resources to aid with baby bath time.
Taking monthly baby pictures is an easy way to document your little one’s growth.
Here are 23 creative monthly baby photo ideas that are simple and cute!
Even if you don’t plan to spend a lot of money on baby’s first birthday, you can still make it memorable with a creative theme.
This post has several cute parties from some of the most creative moms on the internet. And not only for little girls but really cute and creative boy first birthday party ideas too.
I know you’ll love these ideas as much as I do!
You’ll have a lot to learn as a new mom, including how to get your baby to sleep at night.
While every baby is different, there are plenty of well-tested tips out there to add to your arsenal.
So, here are several easy ways to help your baby sleep at night, plus advice for your daily routine.
As a first time mom, you’ll be thrown headfirst into newborn baby care.
In these early days after birth, you’ll also be dealing with postpartum body changes and trying to adjust to a newborn sleep schedule.
There’s a lot of new information to remember, and one of those things is how often to bathe your baby.
Here’s everything you need to know about newborn bath time and some tricks to make it easier!
Ahhh, poop! One of the “joys” of motherhood. If you’re a first time mom, you’ll probably have lots of questions about this and other aspects of newborn care.
Some of these topics aren’t the most glamorous, with poop being one of them!
If you’re concerned about your baby not pooping or notice constipation symptoms, here are some tips to help!
As a new mom, you’ll want to savor every milestone and stage your baby goes through. And it will all happen so fast!
Before you know it, your newborn will be crawling, and then walking, and then terrorizing the house!
So how long do you have to enjoy the baby stage?
It’s so fun to watch your baby hit new milestones! If you’re a first time mom, every little change will be super exciting. Your camera roll will probably stay full!
One of the first milestones for baby is being able to hold up their head.
If you’re wondering when you should expect this new development, I’ve got you covered!
Dealing with spit up?
This is a common, yet less than joyful motherhood experience you’ll have to endure. If you’re a new mom, be sure to add plenty of burp cloths to your baby registry checklist!
So, how long does spitting up last?
There are plenty of do’s and don’ts, important milestones to know, and adjustments to make as your baby constantly changes.
Food transitions are another key time for a developing child, so this is one question you can mark off your list:
When are cheerios safe for babies?
You’ll wish you knew these clever mom hacks sooner!
Here are 35+ genius mom tips and tricks to make parenting a whole lot easier.
Do you have a finger sucker?
Whether it's the thumb or one of their other fingers, you'll want to try this affordable product that can break the habit in a few days!
The trick to potty training is that there is no trick!
Just follow the simple potty training advice below and you’ll have the most successful experience ever.
They add to the clutter. They’re loud. They’re annoying. And they are expensive.
However, toys that actually promote creativity and open-ended play are essential to child development and learning.
And those are the only ones we have left in our house!
Have you tried various consequences for talking back with your child and nothing seems to work?
Check out the 4-step approach that’s sure to stop the bad behavior.
In this post you’ll learn how to set limits using enforceable statements and strategic training sessions.
This method works for even the most stubborn children!
Teaching kids responsibility involves empathy and logical consequences, so here are several emphatic statements and what to do when you can’t think of a logical consequence.
What does a first time mom need?
More than anything, a first time mom needs amazing friends and family as well as fantastic resources.
To help you make the transition to motherhood as seamless as possible, I created several printables including baby sleep schedules, a 4 week meal plan, and a stain removal guide.
As a bonus for joining my weekly-ish newsletter, you’ll get access to all of those printables (plus a few more!)
Click here to download and subscribe or you can use the nifty box below.