One of my co-workers is expecting her first baby and they hosted a shower for her last week. I gave her (among other things) a make-your-own-wipe kit and explained how wonderful it is. It's something I wish I'd known about when my oldest was born and it got me thinking...what things do I wish I had known, or wish that everyone would know about? Here's my list of top 5:
1-Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's an awesome book, whether you are TTC or not. I wish I had know that much about my body and how it functions, and I wish I had known it in high school. Oh, the irrational, ignorant fears I could have alleviated! Honestly, I want my girls to read it when they are in high school, or at least the teen version I just heard about. Or maybe junior or senior year of high school, due to some of the content, but I want them to read it.
2-Bradley's Method AND epidurals. I wish everyone knew ALL their options going into childbirth and didn't make preconceived notions of what was right or wrong. I have had 4 epidurals and they are great. It's so relaxing to give birth without pain. BUT I did enjoy (yes, enjoy!) the labor with my youngest, when I didn't get the epidural until I was complete. I wish I would have held out just a little longer. It's more than empowering; it just felt right. Next time around, I don't want the epidural even offered.
3-Homemade wipes. I turned my nose at the idea at first, because all the "recipes" I'd seen contained witch hazel, and I hate that smell. It brings back icky memories of newly pierced ears in junior high. But the recipe I have been using for (wow!) 5 years now contains Baby Magic (or Johnson's, but it doesn't smell as good) Creamy Baby Oil and smells so nice! It's convenient, it's gentler on newborn's sensitive skin, it's cheaper, and it's easy.
4-Breastfeeding is so worth it. Fight through the painful start. If needed, take fenugreek or whatever other herbal supplement I took, to increase your production. If you don't need your production increased, freeze, baby, freeze. Stock that freezer full! (If you have too much and it's going to go bad, then donate it to a local milk bank at a children's hospital. They use it for preemies.) Do what it takes to make breastfeeding work, because it is so worth it. But don't feel guilty about feeding formula. It works, too. It's just not as awesome an experience as breastfeeding.
5-Run. Walk. Jog. Swim. Whatever. Make time to exercise, as soon as you feel up to it. While pregnant, with a new baby, when you're 50! It will make you feel more energized, more peaceful, and healthier. Truly, it's worth it. Make your significant other help you make time to do it. But find the time. It's like serenity-in-a-bottle, only healthier.
And just so you know, I'm not much of a nuts-and-granola kinda gal. But keeping an open mind about new ideas has really improved my parenting... and my sanity!