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Parents

14 Things All New Moms Should Know

You're doing fine, I promise.

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1. Everyone has a ~strong~ opinion on how (and what) you should be feeding your new baby, and the pressure, anxiety, and guilt about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding can be overwhelming.

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Hot take: Whatever method of feeding works for you, your baby, and your pediatrician IS THE RIGHT CHOICE.

2. If breastfeeding is what's right for you, it might be harder than you thought.

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Nursing can be really difficult, painful, and frustrating. It can be disappointing when something you thought would work out so "naturally" doesn't go your way, but there are lots of resources for help, and, eventually, you will figure out what works.

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3. Those damn hormones will have you crying more than you ever have before. Sometimes you won't even know why.

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Your body has been through A LOT. And all of a sudden there's this tiny little creature who depends on you (and your partner) for everything it needs to survive. It's PERFECTLY NORMAL to be all over the place emotionally.

*If you think you might be suffering from post-partum depression or anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here.

4. There will be blood.

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Somehow, nobody mentioned to me that I would basically have a period for about six straight weeks after having my baby. But it happens, and those giant hospital pads become your new best friend.

5. There is no sleeping.

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It gets better, I swear. In the meantime, take care of yourself and take your friends and family up on offers to hang out with the little banshee while you get a nap in.

6. You might have phantom contractions.

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Yup, another FUN FACT nobody warns you about! Even weeks after your baby leaves your body, you can still experience random contractions here and there.

7. While you're still recovering from birth, or the long, arduous process of adoption, people are already making jokes and comments about when you're gonna have "the next one."

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As I was leaving the hospital with my 4-day-old son, the nurse said "see you in two years!" If I wasn't holding a precious newborn, I might have taken a swing.

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8. It's normal to want to call your pediatrician, your mom, your other friends with kids, and turn to the internet before making any decisions.

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Look. You're sleep-deprived and overwhelmed by the brand-new responsibility of keeping this tiny human alive. But you've got this, I promise. Just take a deep breath and trust your instincts, because you know what's best for you and your little one. And it's ALWAYS okay to ask for help when you need it.

12. Friends and family really, really want to see you and the baby.

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It's okay to say no if you're not ready or up to it. But also, it can be a wonderful thing, on your own terms. Take people up on their offers to bring you food or to sit and keep you company or to hold the baby while you take that nice, hot bath — or even (gasp!) a NAP.

13. It really does take a village.

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Parenthood is more than a job, and at times it can feel like a heavy load to carry. The good news is that you don't have to do it all to be a good parent. Ask for help. Lean on others. You may have a supportive partner to share the struggles (and joys!) with, or maybe you're doing this on your own. Either way, find your village — friends, family, or local mom/parent groups can give you the extra support and help you need.

14. You're doing it right, and it's all going to be okay.

NBC

There will be times you will be filled with self-doubt. That's normal. Just know that you know what's right for your child. Just love that little creature in the way that only you can, and don't forget to love yourself just as much.

You got this. I promise.

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