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What every expectant parent needs to know - from new parents who have just been there.

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

When you are pregnant or a new parent you go searching for advice, knowledge, and information about all things pregnancy, having a new baby and being new parents. You might read books, download an app, listen to podcasts or watch you tube videos, but lets face it the best advice comes from parents who have been there and done that and can speak from experiences.

So we asked mums on our social media groups their top 3 tips that they would give to other expectant and new parents to help them through, tips which they wish they had been given themselves. We collated all the responses and have put them together in this blog just for you.

Once you get to the end we promise you will feel empowered, positive and so much better about yourself and the amazing parent you are or are going to be…..

Rest, accept help and remember it’s a huge change, you are doing your best – Ammie

Find out where the breastfeeding support is before you give birth, so you know where to find help, go along even if you think everything looks fine with the latch -you wont regret it. Surrender to the process and be led by your baby. – Rebekah

You will never sleep again for years and 5am is a lie in 3 years in! So try and get people around you to help you while you sleep. Also when people say is she sleeping through…lie and smile sweetly or you will get comments – Olivia

TREASURE YOUR SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN. Totally second what Olivia said x – Lauren

To ask and accept ALL OF THE HELP! It’s not the time to try to do it all yourself…if people want to help out, then let them or delegate jobs out. – Naomi

1. Breastfeeding, while “the most natural thing in the world” (as I kept being told) is bloody hard to establish and get right. Get help and get nipple cream. It does get easier and it’s so worth it, but you’re not failing if it isn’t working.

2. Prepare for newborn life as much as you prepare for birth!

3. Rest like your life depends on it. Forget about the visitors and baby groups until you’re healed and feeling up to it! There is no rush! - Ria

Don’t let doctors and midwives boss you around. You know your body, trust your instincts, and stay strong. Make sure you have a knowledgeable advocate with you x x – Alex

Research everything about feeding baby, if planning to breastfeed then all the nuances and good practice. – Irina

Make the most of having time to yourself and only having yourself to worry about. Know where your local breastfeeding support groups are (if planning to breastfeed) – Meg

1. Make sure you do your pelvic floor exercises!

2. Go into breastfeeding with an open mind, its not easy for everyone and you are certainly not failing if it doesn't work out.

3. Be ready for many baby poo conversations! Its all about the colour/consistency/quantity, and yes, you will start giving the colours their own names...curry orange and army green lol – Katie D

Do what feels right for you and your family, don’t feel pressurised by other people. – Helen

1. Pelvic floor

2. Allow yourself time to heal

3. It’s ok to not be ok. Talk to people! – Katie K

It is okay if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you. You are not a failure if you cant do it! Baby clues can last longer than a few days for some and it is important to talk about it. Don’t compare your self to others. – Sonya

Trust your instincts!! Always. There is no stupid question. Its not just you. It is really fcking hard. – Katie H

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it (use resources available)

2. Ask a parent what you actually need to buy and second hand stuff is great

3. Go to the cinema as you’ll never go again! – Joanne

If it's your first baby-

Birth is physical, like a heavy weights session, prepare like you would for that. Recovery will be quicker if your body is used to a work out. Get a massage before & after.

Explain to your midwives that you actually want to use the EBRAN/BRAIN in labour, it's not just there cos you heard about it in HypnoBirthing, you actually want to be involved and know why things are happening in your birth not told they are happening.

Even if your contractions are coming every few mins you are unlikely to be 4cm dilated unless its been quite a while. Hold off a bit longer before going in if you can. Being sent home is pretty disheartening. – Judith

1- baby fits in your life you don’t fit in theirs! Go out meet your friends take baby with you!

2- ALWAYS trust your instinct

3- follow this group, join in on the walks, it a great way to meet new people, I’ve made some VERY good friends on this group and if I hadn’t my pregnancy and now would be completely different! – Ria O

Everyone will have advice and opinions but you don’t have to listen because not everyone is right x

Don’t join eleventy billion baby groups, join a couple that feel like ‘you’ x – Aimee

1 C-sections are fine

2 Formula is blooming marvellous

3 Sleep when baby does – Sarah-Beth

The bond you can get from baby wearing is fantastic…..

And it’s ok to have days and moments that you don’t want to fully interact with your kids!! It is only human to want space. - Kisa

Mu guilt…. No matter what you do you will always feel it. Just means you are a good mum and you are trying your best. – Jaye

Expect the first 6 weeks to be a blur – that’s normal – take it as it comes x – Alison

Don’t be talked out of pain relief, you wouldn’t have a broken leg reset without it, don’t be a martyr! – Sarah

Don’t let anyone belittle your birth story or tell you theirs was worse etc. Everyone’s different and personal and no one has the right to comment on your experience. – Alison G

Do try and enjoy your baby while they are a baby! It’s precious because it is such a short time. Only lasts a year and then they walk, and everything changes! – Michelle

Believe in the 4th trimester! Newborns just want to be on you and that’s a beautiful thing. Get a sling and if you don’t manage to leave the house and stay in your PJs all day it just doesn’t matter – Emily

Around 6-8 weeks it gets easier. Also that everything is a phase (the good and the bad!) – Jo

Not to invite people to meet baby. As you feel the need to get up and dressed and tidy. Wish I said call me and we can make a plan x – Vicky

Sleep when baby sleeps it will help with nighttime wake ups. If there’s help around take it. Don’t try and do everything, if you miss hoovering for a week don’t stress. – Natasha

Enjoy it. Don’t be frustrated. This too shall pass. – Helen H

Sleep when baby sleeps! – Immie

1- Birth plans can lead to disappointment, have ideas about what you think will work for you and be prepared to try or have all things. 2 – listen to all the advice but know you don’t have to try any of it. 3 – you are doing better than you think you are. – Sarah

It will get easier – Jane

They will sleep eventually and sometimes breast isn’t best and bottle is just as good too. – Melissa

If you don’t feel up for visitors, delay them. A 1-week-old baby and 1 month old baby will look the same to them. A bottle of formula here and there will not kill your milk supply if you are breastfeeding. Don’t feel like a martyr. Happy mum = happy baby. – Karen

If you feel like crying…just do it. It’s natural and honestly, we’ve all done it. You are a brilliant mum and just remember that there is no right or wrong way to do things. You’re baby will know no different.

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture so if you feel crap because your little one isn’t sleeping that’s normal….it does get better but in the meantime if someone can help look after the little one while you sleep or shower please take them up on it. – Nameeta

Babies are easy but teens are a nightmare and it comes round so quick. So enjoy the cute cuddles, don’t sit on your phone when you can be getting involved, ditch the Fairweather and flaky friends and family (or just don’t get caught up with them) and ensure you’re a firm but fair parent right from day 1. Plus those hormones and new routines are a b*tch so never think you’re weak for asking for help. – Steph

My 3 would be to buy this book – Positive Birth Book. It is hard and amazing at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive. Say yes to help. – Layla

Take photos at every opportunity. Each phase will only last a couple of weeks, just got to ride it out. Always tell them how much you love them x x – Hannah

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