I’m excited to be chatting with Brian and Cathy about their experience being first time parents. Baby boy is currently 7.5 months and they talk through their challenges, ups, downs, and things they learned along the way.
We’ll cover the following questions and I provide some of the recapped answers below:
- How are you doing today and where’s the baby right while you’re on this call? Grandma is watching him.
- How do you navigate childcare and getting help from the family from the grandparents? Grandparents are a super good help.
- How have things changed having a newborn for the past year?
- Do you have more respect and appreciation for your parents after becoming a parent yourself?
- What kind of research about children was the most useful? E.g., talking to friends and family about their honest experiences (conversations that weren’t sugar-coated), watching Youtube videos for product reviews for cribs and baby items, taking classes about birthing were helpful but didn’t talk enough about the post-birth care.
- What are some things you’ve learned that you didn’t realize? E.g., the stages / consistency / color of babies poop (black tar color vs. brown colors), vitamins and minerals, etc.
- What’s been the most disturbing or shocking experience so far? They share their story of a diaper blowout where the poop got everywhere on their bed and falling down the hall due to sleep deprivation.
- Most surprising moment? We talk through the challenges of pumping, unmanageable swelling, and the risk of infection from clogged milk ducts; using massaging and hot water cloths to help soothe clogs. And finally using a sterilized needle to run above the nipple to unclog the ducts and release milk. The challenges of infections from clogged ducts.
- What to do when having an issue, e.g., when did you know to talk to the doctor to ask about questions? They were luckily able to message their healthcare provider online and not go into the office during the pandemic.
- What are some things you’ve learned as a parent so far that have really helped?
→ Learning to tell the difference between different types of cries and whining, e.g., when he wants to be picked up more. Learning to communicate and reassure the baby when he’s trying and letting him try and struggling with support. Not doing everything for him, but watching and reassuring him. Learned a lot more about cleaning diapers.
- What are Facebook groups for mom’s with similar due dates?
→ It really helped to be part of a mom’s group on Facebook with other women who have the same due date of March. Was able to find out a lot more about how / why baby clothes are for can be unbuttoned and keep the baby clean that way. Learned about car seats as another mom was a registered car seat safety technician who was giving recommendations and tips and safely attaching car seats.
- How did you learn about pumps, how do the payments work, and what does insurance cover?
→ It also helped to research pumps beforehand. You used to have to go and buy it, but now most insurances nowadays have several ranges of pumps that you can get under the insurance for free, e.g., Modela, Spectra (pink). Mom go the Spectra because it’s quiet, lightweight, and portable. The flange is the part that attaches to your breast and is interchangeable with different bottles, so you can use the one you’re using to feed instead of pouring it into another bottle. Got advice from friends, sister-in-law, etc. Pumps have a big range, some people even own 3 pumps to have at different locations, e.g., office, family’s house, parents house, etc.
→ You can also rent breast pumps at the hospital, and they’ve improved a lot since back in the day. Some are portable or run by rechargeable battery and no one would even know that you’re pumping in the other room (some have no cords and can even hide in your bra). You can even get hand-me-downs from others and reuse: you can just replace specific parts, e.g., new cords, flanges, bottle parts off of Amazon. Some parts might not be able to be used because the suction doesn’t work as well. They’re very shareable, e.g., My pump has machine use that’ll last for 3 or 4 years with 6x a day usage. Mine has a 30 minute timer and shuts off. There’s all sorts of formats, e.g., power pump session that’s 1 hour long (20 mins pump, a pause for 10 mins, and then 30 minutes pumping again). Insurance covers it and usually after 2 years you can get another one.
→ Learned about pumps through friends: “I like this one vs that one” who weren’t shy to show me how it worked. The most helpful thing was going through my insurance so I could see the different offerings (some are free, $0, and some you have to pay a little more based off features like being rechargeable or quiet). Youtube helped a lot in figuring out Spectra vs. Modela.
→ I contacted the insurance but had issues on their website, so calling them was good! The pump providers will tell you what’s covered and how much: their websites have links for you to fill out your info (your insurance provider and group #) and they use that info and call your insurance for you.
Check out the full conversation here on YouTube!