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A letter to the newly pregnant mom from her midwife

I can’t wait to meet you and hold your hand on this journey to meeting your baby.

A letter to the newly pregnant mom from her midwife

Dear newly pregnant mama,

The time between that stick turning blue and your first appointment with me can feel like absolute ages, so I wanted to share a few thoughts until I see you.


I am so excited for you

I promise the rest of this letter is about YOU, but I just want you to know that I am so excited for you. Midwifery isn’t my job—it’s my life. I have been in love with all things pregnancy and birth since I was a little girl. Seriously, instead of tea parties, I used to “deliver” my dolls’ babies. I am honored to guide you through your pregnancy and birth, and promise to take good care of you and your sweet baby.

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It’s okay if you’re not overjoyed

TV shows and movies would have you believe that you must feel nothing but bliss at the thought of being pregnant right now. But it’s simply not true. If you’re feeling blissful that’s great, but it’s also okay if you’re not. Maybe you weren’t planning to become pregnant (almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned, FYI, so you’re not alone.) Or maybe you’ve been trying for a while, and now that you’re pregnant, you’re suddenly having cold feet. Or maybe you’re simply overwhelmed by it all.

That is all okay, and normal. It doesn’t make you any less of a mom. You are a woman who is experiencing a tremendous change, that effects every aspect of your life. It only makes sense to be at least a little nervous. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of your body. The peace will come.

It’s also okay if you are beside yourself with joy right now

Don’t let anyone steal your sparkle, darling. Revel in the excitement of being pregnant. We moms gets so consumed with worry and planning that sometimes we forget to be excited and just in it. So if you’re feeling it, go ahead and glow. Rub your belly even though it’s still small. Talk to your baby. Daydream about their nursery. And above all, marvel at your amazingness—I do every day. ?

Let’s talk prenatal timeline

The timeline will vary depending on your particular story and who you are getting care from. Generally speaking though, most women have their first prenatal visit around eight weeks—you can probably get in the schedule now if you want to make an appointment!

If everything is healthy, I’ll see you once every four weeks for a while, and then more frequently as you get closer to your due date. At that first visit I’ll help you figure out your due date, do a physical exam and probably some lab work to make sure you’re healthy. Check out some tips for giving your baby a great start.

Eight weeks is too early to hear the heartbeat with the doppler (the little machine we use to hear that oh-so-sweet-beat.) But starting in your second trimester, we’ll listen for the heartbeat each visit.

As your baby grows, I’ll use my hands to gently feel the baby’s position and size in your belly. There will be other tests throughout your pregnancy, but I’ll prep you for those as we go.

And because I know your curious—let’s talk about that first ultrasound ?. The ultrasound schedule actually depends a lot on your story. We may recommend doing one at that first visit, or you may not get one until 12 or even 20 weeks (which is when we can tell the sex, by the way.)

Oh, those 1st trimester symptoms

They can be a total beast. Nausea, fatigue and breast pain are pretty common. The best things to do are rest and eat frequently—keep a container of saltines in the bathroom. Every time you go in there, eat a few. Snacking will help keep the nausea at bay. Most women feel a lot better around 14 weeks though, so hang in there. And if you have severe symptoms, like not being able to eat or drink for 24 hours, please come see me or go to the emergency room.

Empower yourself

To the extent that your comfortable, learn about pregnancy and birth. Knowledge will allow you to give birth in awareness, make decisions along with your healthcare team, and (I believe) enable you to enjoy the whole process more. I highly suggest that you take a birth class—and I’d LOVE for you to take Motherly’s FREE Birth Class, taught by yours truly!

This is your pregnancy + birth

People are going to be so happy for you and very eager to share their thoughts and ideas. It’s well-intentioned, but can be overwhelming—very overwhelming. Please remember that this is your pregnancy and birth. Only you know what’s best for you and your baby. This is the start of parenting where you will make decisions every day about how to best take care of your baby (and yourself.)

Home birth or hospital birth, epidural or unmedicated, the list goes on and on. As much as you can, try to tune out the “noise” around you. Ground yourself in what you know to be true about your body and your baby, and go from there—your intuition won’t steer you wrong.

The word midwife means “with woman”—and I am so with you, mama. I can’t wait to meet you and hold your hand on this journey to meeting your baby. You’ve got this.

XO,

Your midwife

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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