Motherhood: The best and worst resources
Before you start! This is Part 2 of my Best and Worst series, so click here for Part One!
You’ve peed on the stick, found out you’re pregnant and now the frantic preparation begins. How do we know which resources to bother with and which to avoid? In Part 2 of my Best and Worst series I will outline some of the best and worst resources for pregnancy/parenting in an attempt to save you stress, or in some cases, cash.
Google: Google is a very scary place when you’re pregnant. As soon as an unknown symptom presents itself the urge to get Googling is stronger than ever. Within 12 hours of having a positive pregnancy test, I experienced some spotting and so of course, Google told me I was having a miscarriage. Google also told me this late at night and so there was no way I could call my mum, a fellow mum friend or my local GP to check if Google was overreacting. So there I was, coming down from the greatest high in my life, convinced I was in for devastation. After a sleepless night, a blood test and some tears my GP eventually assured me that I was experiencing a very normal implantation bleed and that my pregnancy was viable.
It is so important to seek medical advice from a trusted source; that is, a qualified midwife, GP, obstetrician etc. Tread very carefully when browsing the Internet. There are a lot of uneducated people online misinforming naïve women, such as myself.
Expensive Mum Clothing: Other than good quality bras, the rest of the clothing you purchase during pregnancy doesn’t need to be expensive. At 10 weeks I dropped $300 on two bras, a pair of leggings and a long sleeve top. All of which were too small by the end of my pregnancy (admittedly I did gain 25kgs). I quickly realized that the best places to be shopping for maternity clothes was Kmart, Target and Crossroads. Also, once that baby is out, all you want to do is wear clothes that are NOT maternity; however, you’re still losing weight like there’s no tomorrow and so the clothing you buy will be temporary. So head on back to my favourite three stores!
Capsules: We were warned that our baby would be long and that a 6 month capsule wouldn’t last very long and so we invested in a 12 month capsule which had higher height markers. Aren’t we clever? I loved the idea of my baby going from car to pram or café without waking and so I insisted on the capsule. We have done this less than 10 times and she’s 9 weeks old. I had a c section and the capsule is too heavy to lug in and out of the car and she transfers straight to the pram and goes back to sleep. The capsule, I’ll admit, was a waste of money for us. In hindsight, we could and should have gone with a 0-4 car seat and saved the cash.
Bath products/skin care: What we’d give to have skin like our babies! We were sure we needed to spend up on dermatologist recommended bath and skin care products. Again, we were wrong. Turns out, olive/coconut oil is the best thing for flaky skin. Drop it into the bath water or massage it into their skin. The more products you put on them, the more money you lose and it’s possible to make their skin even more irritated.
A great wolf pack: It is true that it takes a village to raise a child. We are only 9 weeks in and my goodness I can appreciate those who have been at this longer and with multiple children. It is hectic! Which is why it is crucial to have a great wolf pack around you. One that is filled with supportive, non-judgemental and loving friends/family who will encourage you and raise you up. People who will offer practical assistance; loaning baby items (bassinets etc) cooking food, hanging out washing, changing the odd nappy or simply boiling the kettle.
The first six weeks by Midwife Cath: This book has easily been the most helpful resource for my husband and I in preparation for becoming parents. There is a lot of information out there for mums to learn about their pregnancies and labour etc. However, preparing for when the baby is actually home from hospital is a whole new ball game. Cath Curtin has been a midwife for 40+ years and has a very loving and simplistic approach to taking care of babies. We have followed her advice from the get go and have had a very calm and settled baby who has been sleeping through the night from around week three (sorry to the sleep deprived Mums!).
Quick disclaimer- we are well aware that we got lucky and at no point does Cath promise your baby will sleep through the night within the first couple of weeks. However, she does teach us to be calm, well-rested parents, working as a team to ensure minimal tension and a settled baby. Thanks to her advice, we have felt empowered as parents and confident in our approach to caring for our baby.
Ovia App: I used a couple of Apps in the beginning, but Ovia was by far the best App for pregnancy. Each week I would receive updates for what was happening with my baby this week. I could compare my baby to fruit/veg, toys, cute animals or a Parisian bakery item (ideal for the pregnancy cravings!). There was also an online forum to chat to other mums and ask simple questions about heartburn management tips, pram choices etc.
Gumtree: This site saved my husband and I over $1300! We purchased our cot and matching change table second hand (we bought brand new mattresses etc), a feeding chair, bottle warmer etc. If you start looking early enough you can find what you are looking for in very good condition and save yourselves a lot of cash! You can also sell on any items you no longer need (my unnecessary capsule) to replenish some of the funds you’ve had to part with!
Practical Items: There were a few very practical gifts/items which I couldn’t separate to make it into my top 5 best resources (and they make great baby shower gifts!)
- Bottle warmer ($10 second hand on Gumtree)
- Portable bath/change table (I use Vee Bee by Valco Baby)
- Spit cloths
- Medical kit: baby Panadol, olive oil, thermometers, Bonjela, Sudocream, cotton balls, saline etc. All of the things us first time mums have no idea we will need. So helpful!
There it is, my best and worst resources, but are there any others I’ve missed? Let us know below!