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Dear first-time mama: You don’t have anything to prove

Instead of proving you can do what you did before motherhood, appreciate what you can do *because* of motherhood. 

Dear first-time mama: You don’t have anything to prove

First-time mama, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable and, believe it or not, it’s good. This is how we grow. Get stronger. Do better. Learn to ALWAYS keep a spare baby outfit in that diaper bag.


But the one mistake I hope you can avoid is this: Don’t try to prove something to the outside world during those early newborn days.

Tempting as it may be to prove you are the same person *just now with a baby,* don’t. There will be time to find yourself again soon. Probably sooner than you even realize.

Until then, though, appreciate the slowness and inherent grace of this season. Because I can tell you life will never again move at this pace—no matter how many more newborns you come to have.

I know this from experience. And I say this with a bit of remorse.

When my first was born, I was so eager to prove I could still run, write, engage in the world. So I did, because I could. I bet you could, too. I’m just asking you not to try. Because what I didn’t yet see was how quickly the time was going to go.

While there would be plenty of opportunities for me to do all those things again, there were only so many days I could snuggle my son as he sweetly slept.

There were only so many days I could wear him in a carrier for a leisurely walk around the block.

There were only so many days I could sleep in as long as he would let me with total disregard for any kind of formal wake-up call.

There were only so many days I could study his face as he made those uniquely wonderful baby expressions.

There were only so many days my husband, son and I could lie together on the bed and feel overwhelming joy for our new family—before the other overwhelming aspects of life crept back in.

Yes, I did those things. But I also did more, more, more on my mission to prove I could do all the things I had done before motherhood.

In doing so, I didn’t fully savor the amazing new things I could only now do because of motherhood.

When we welcomed our second child nearly two months ago, I committed myself to moving as slow as possible. Of course, that was easier said than done with a toddler also on our hands—but my efforts at non-efforts were fully rewarded by sweet moments of bonding with the baby who seems to change on a daily basis. (And, hey, at least I didn’t get around to writing this story that has been weighing on my mind until now.)

So now I know this from experience. And with a heart replenished by newborn snuggles: You won’t regret taking time to enjoy these slow, sweet moments of life.

The rest of the world can wait.

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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