Finding peace with TMI

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When expecting first time moms ask me for advice, one thing I encourage time and time again is for her to trust her gut and to do what SHE feels is right. We hear “opinions” from “experts,” from family and friends – all well intentioned but it was seriously mind numbing for me.

We hired the “best” birthing doula, night nurse and pediatrician – we were stoked to have them on our team leading up to my labor yet two weeks after Wesley was born, our heads were spinning! Feed the baby on a schedule or on demand? Is he nursing long enough? Wake the baby for feedings or “never wake a sleeping baby?” Sleep training at three months!? Pump to keep my supply “up” or is it supply and demand? Swaddle during naps or use jammies only? Writing this out right now, I’m SMH that this once felt so heavy…

And of course the “experts” we hired would have strong opinions! Our granola doula and by the book night nurse had contrasting suggestions on baby care – the pediatrician that our night nurse recommended, recommended against what our night nurse strongly advised. (Insert head spinning, here.)

As I look back, none of it was a huge deal, we could have flipped a coin and felt fine with the result (all except sleep training a three month old). We ended up trying a little of this and that – Wes’ birth weight loss was above average, so we had to wake him up to feed him for three straight days. Yes, we woke a sleeping baby – but he’s one happy little chunk because of it and we were able to keep him on breast milk, which was a priority for me. We tried a schedule but it just didn’t feel right waking him up to feed after his weight increased. So we did “schedule with flexibility” and everything worked itself into a beautiful rhythm in time.

Whatever the parents think is right for them and the baby, is right for them and the baby. Our night nurse thought we were crazy for feeding on demand but what's it to her -- and to anyone else for that matter? Every baby is different and every parent is different. What works for me might not work for you and it goes the same for babies and baby care. 

The stress I felt when considering all these “suggestions” came from giving them too much weight and I let the noise drown out my own maternal instinct. I thought these experts knew more about Wesley than I did and I let myself be persuaded to try things that weren’t for me. I ignored that little feeling in my chest that was trying so desperately to guide me. 

There’s not a one size fits all with anything in life. Take all those suggestions, consider them, choose the ones you like best and get rid of it if it’s not working for you anymore. Trust that you know what's best for yourself in every situation. You are the expert of yourself and your baby. 

What are some “expert” opinions you struggle with? How did you come to choose your own path? Tell me about it in the comments section below!