Lifestyle, Motherhood

My First Month As a Mama

Being a first time mom I think I’ve annoyed everyone around me with all my questions and queries! Ultimately the choice lies with you whether or not you will use a pacifier or bottle feed your baby. I am so glad though to have made a decision on my bottles and pacifiers. Although I planned to breastfeed I wanted to be prepared for anything so I’ve gone with NUK’s collection, mostly because they’ve been orthodontically approved. I planned to use a pacifier instead of thumb sucking to soothe baby too as advised by my pediatric dentist. Once again this is a personal choice, many moms feel like they do not want to use any foreign teats when soothing and feeding their little babe which is totally okay too. 

Breast is best! 

I am learning quickly that with a baby planning, albeit an effective guideline, often doesn’t work out. This is what happened with me and breastfeeding. After spending thousands on a very capable and kind lactation consultant coming to me and consulting me almost daily I still struggled, and continue to struggle to get my baby to latch onto the breast! 

I had a few complications during my birth and shortly after which gave my baby a little slow start to latching onto breastfeeding. When I say we struggled I mean there was blood, sweat and tears involved, I’m sure many moms can relate to those challenging moments. Breastfeeding was not only challenging for me but excruciating at the same time. 

Eventually my consultant could see I was beginning to struggle not only physically but mentally and emotionally. She suggested I sort out some of the initial problems like getting babes tongue tie sorted out from the minute she noticed it, which had hindered baby’s range of motion. We sorted this out within the first week but because he was born a little earlier he continued to struggle with latching on. We tried, and continue to use shields to assist him which should work as a medium term solution. However baby still wasn’t feeding well nor gaining much weight so we were forced to think of a plan C! I began to express milk and bottle feed baby which I will admit was emotional for me as I had dreamed of breastfeeding my baby for a number of years.

Why orthodontically approved dummies and bottles are important: 

They are not round, but rather shaped like the breast while breastfeeding. They come highly recommended by most orthodontists in South Africa because they ensure correct jaw development by being the correct shape, soft and taking up as little space in the mouth as possible, allowing baby’s jaw to develop optimally. Most new moms don’t know that using a pacifier or bottle that is not orthodontically approved can lead to an open bite, something I suffered with and needed braces for! I wanted to give my son, and my wallet, the best chance at optimal orthodontic development so getting the ortho stamp of approval was important to me. 

We’re hoping to work our way back to breastfeeding as baby grows older but I will continue to use NUK’s range for my baby as he progresses. Really happy and proud to be a NUK mama! 

Thank you to NUK for answering all my questions and my sister in law, who is a Paediatric dentist, for giving me the thumbs up on this one!

Biggest takeaway 

In my month of being a mom and giving birth to my baba I have learnt one important lesson;  to go with the flow, quite literally! I’m a really one of those people who is obsessed with a plan and a structure in order to feel in control and confident. My baby has taught me to be more instinctual and follow his lead in finding something comfortable that works for us. I’ve also learnt that things change quickly so I need to adapt too! Finally I’ve discovered a new found level of patience I never knew existed. I am the most impatient person I know so for me to be able to deal with a fussy baby is a real challenge, as I’m sure it is for most moms. Exercising patience has given me control over my situation and assisted me in other parts of my life too! For my mental well-being I’ve decided to let go and follow my baby’s lead – I’m sure he has more exciting and life changing challenges in store for me as time goes! Wish me luck! 

Xo Aisha 

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