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Grandma Says: Tips for First Time Parents

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

My doula journey has guided me to ask my family many questions about babies and birth. These are questions that I would've never thought to have asked before, but I am happy to have asked. While preparing for my very first birth assistance I thought to ask my grandma for advice through her birthing experiences.

I asked her, "Grandma, is there anything you wish you would've known before giving birth?"

She waited a while and said, "hmmm...well first I would say to wear good underwear".

I laughed and she explained that you want to have on good underwear for when you go to the hospital-you should be able to understand the many reasons why. She then took a moment and began to reminisce.

"Take the time to feel baby move", she said. As baby is growing, swimming, kicking, turning, and moving about pause and enjoy these moments. She followed with, "Talk to them, normal, even while pregnant and you don't have to do 'baby voice'". Baby may not be able to speak with words, but they do have a way of communicating with you. Take the time to talk to them, read a story, show them your favorite songs, use your voice to comfort them and build a bond even prior to birth.

"Don't be hard on yourself...being a parent is OJT: On the Job Training". Parenting is not something that you just know how to do, this is something that will develop over time. "Each child is different, each birth is different, each moment is different", was the last word of advice that she left me with during our conversation. This lead me to understand that there isn't an instructional guide to parenting. There isn't only one way to deliver. There isn't only one way to care for your baby.One style of parenting may not work for all of your children.

I advise for you to speak with parents around you and ask for their advice. The saying, "it takes a village to raise a child", is beautifully true. Build your village by talking to family, friends, and loved ones. Speak with other parents and even expecting parents. You never know what advice someone can give you to ease the concerns you may be having.These will. be lessons that you will pass on to your children, their children, and even their children.

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