10 Pieces of Postpartum Advice as a First Time Mother


There is so much to prepare for as a first time mother. While helpful, the amount of resources available can be a little overwhelming. So, as a first time mother, here are 10 pieces of postpartum advice I wish I had received.

The nurses know everything.

Trust them. We had somewhat of a traumatic birth, going from a planned all-natural birth to an emergency C-section very quickly. The doctor who performed my c-section came in, pulled the baby out, and left without ever introducing himself. To this day, I have not spoken to the man who has literally had his hands inside me. But, the nurses…they helped me through. There is one NICU nurse in particular at Clark Memorial, who taught me everything that no one else had yet. She talked me through: swaddling, helping my son, Jack latch on, breastfeeding techniques, and pumping correctly. All of the postpartum advice she gave me was invaluable. Most importantly, she was always sharing the latest news of the world with me, while I was sitting in the nursery.

Regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, your boobs will be huge.

I went from a B cup to a very, very full D cup in a few days! Even when you think they can’t grow anymore, because they grew a lot during pregnancy, they will grow more. They will ache and probably leak when a baby cries. You may or may not have any idea what to do with them or how to feed your baby properly with them.

Find someone who can give you advice on lactation.

Some folks might tell you it’s the most natural thing in the world and we were built to feed our babies. True, but you and babe are both new to this and you aren’t built to just know how to do it. Even if the hospital offers consultations, go ahead and book a consultant to come visit in the first 24 hours you’re home from the hospital. A quality lactation consultant is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). We worked with an amazing lactation consultant from Latched Louisville.

You will have a break down.

About three or four days after coming home from the hospital, we had just put the baby down and were sitting like zombies on the couch. I looked at my husband and said, “This is forever” and just started crying.

It felt like I would never sleep again, like everything would be this hard forever and I wasn’t going to come out of it all the same person. I was wrong and it is all okay, but you’ll hit that wall at some point and feel like it won’t be.

Therapy, therapy, therapy.

Build your support team before baby arrives. If you can, find someone to have on deck in case of postpartum depression or anxiety or if you just need to process life with a new baby in general. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and sometimes you just need to be heard without having a little person glued to your boob for an hour. I had a great experience with Bloom Counseling, and they specialize in postpartum support.

Buy yourself new panties.

I’m not talking about those granny panties to hold in your deflating belly, although I highly recommend some high waisted ones from Kindred Bravely if you’re in the market. I’m talking about a pair that you would have rocked before baby. Maybe go up a size to be safe, but get something that makes you feel like your old self even if you’re rocking them under some maternity leggings.

Pamper yourself.

I bought myself a bunch of comfy, but cute clothes that I could nurse in: jumpsuits with button fronts, new tank tops, and more leggings. It guaranteed I had things I could wear all the time that felt good to wear both physically and emotionally.

Sex might not be on the table.

It might be months. It might not feel good. It might feel great. You honestly might be too tired. It’s a total wild card and you and your partner just need to have that discussion before baby arrives.

Pelvic floor therapy is life changing.

Three months postpartum, I asked for a referral to pelvic floor therapy, not really knowing what it was. I just knew that I needed some help down there, if I was ever going to have sex again. Let me tell you, it is interesting. You and your therapist will be very familiar with the tone, strength, and abilities of your lady parts. Oh man, can you tell the difference! If you pee when you laugh, run, or sneeze, go to pelvic floor therapy. If sex is painful, go to pelvic floor therapy. Your vagina will thank you. The only place in Louisville covered by insurance is Dunn Physical Therapy and they absolutely rock.

Your partner will still love you.

This is true, even if you can’t have sex for a while. Even if you haven’t showered in days and you smell like baby spit up. Even if you feel gross and not at all like your sexy old, pre-baby self. Just communicate and I promise your relationship will not suffer, but will be stronger than ever.

Motherhood isn’t a perfect journey, but we are all trying our best. What piece of postpartum advice do you wish you had received as a first time mother?


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