I asked my friend Michelle Smith, owner and founder of Embracing Babies, Certified Postpartum Doula, and Sleep Coach, what advice she would give first time parents. She wrote this wonderful article for me to share with you all:
Congratulations! You are pregnant! Or, maybe you just had a baby. You have read every book with the terms baby, pregnancy and birth in the title and in some ways you feel more prepared and in other ways you actually feel more overwhelmed than before. One book tells you to co-sleep, the other tells you to keep that baby next to you in a crib, the third says put baby in the crib on the first night. One book says let your baby cry it out, the next book says never let your baby cry. The problem with all of these books is that they often times disagree with each other leaving the person reading more confused after putting the books down than when they picked them up in the first place.
Here’s the thing, too much of anything is never a good thing, information included. As a Certified Postpartum Doula, I have come across hundreds of moms who have memorized quotes from several books and come to me with more questions than the moms who sort of just “wing it” or go with the flow of things if you will.
The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Pregnancy is your journey into parenthood and while books are wonderfully packed with information, they are instantly out of date once printed, they don’t update themselves with new studies as they come out, and they have never met you or baby.
You see, one size doesn’t always fit all. Sure, there are blanket statements that can be true for many, and statistics are based on facts, but even still… You are the only you there is, ever was, and ever will be. The same goes for your baby. So, what should you do? Follow your instincts primarily, add a healthy serving of research and reading, and lastly- don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help. If you always do your best, and ask for help when it’s needed…You will not go wrong. You are going to be the exact mommy / daddy your baby needed. You will learn as you go, and your baby will love you every step of the way.
~ Michelle Smith IAT, CPD
A little more about Michelle Smith~ In addition to being the owner and founder of Embracing Babies, is a Certified Postpartum Doula, Sleep Coach and Postpartum Doula Trainer. Michelle also writes educational articles for birth and postpartum magazines. Michelle’s past experience includes being a high profile, professional nanny for over 14 years. She is a member of ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association), and INA (International Nannies Assoc). She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA but travels to clientele both in and out of the country. Michelle can be contacted by visiting her website: www.EmbracingBabies.com