Martha (mother of two boys: A is 5 and W is 3) was so generous when she answered my questions that a part 2 was necessary (part 1)!
Note: After reading about Martha's post partum depression, I realized that I don't know much about the subject. If some of you had PPD, I would like to know about your experience. From what I understand, PPD is a very delicate subject...a taboo for some people. If you don't want to comment directly on my blog, you can always send me a private email. Thank you!
What are your tips on breastfeeding?
Don’t give up! I found out two weeks after I gave birth to A that he wasn’t latching on properly. But once I got that straightened out, everything went smoothly. W latched on immediately after birth and had no problems.
Also, if they try to push a bottle at the hospital tell them no, you want to nurse. If the baby is hungry both of you will figure out how to properly breast feed. I don’t know anyone that says I wish I hadn’t breastfed my baby, only people regretting not nursing.
What are your tips on the first few weeks after birth?
Those weeks are hard. Remember to take a little time for yourself – sit down with a cup of tea, take a shower, wear "real" clothes and brush your hair. You would be surprised how much better you feel when you’ve taken care of yourself too.
With A, I had undiagnosed post partum depression. It was very, very difficult for me, and I wasn’t honest with myself during that period. Truly try to evaluate how you are feeling, and ask for help. It wasn’t so much that I felt sad but that I felt extremely overwhelmed, anxious, and scared. I didn’t realize that these are key signs of PPD, so I did nothing about it. Your spouse is there to help, love, and nurture. And he will, especially if you talk to him about how you’re feeling.
What are your tips on baby learning / education?
Babies learn naturally. I don’t feel there is a need to over-stimulate with activities. Bonding with your baby is most important in the early stages. Don’t worry about when things are happening. Both my boys learned things at different rates, and developed at different times.
The Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf philosophy really influenced our early childhood experiences and I highly recommend You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin-Dancy. It is really helpful in having a soothing start to your child’s life, and what learning experiences work well with children and babies.
Thank you again Martha.