I think it’s safe to say (and parents, let me know if you disagree), that NOTHING prepares you for the amount of work, sleeplessness, and questions that you have when you bring home a newborn. My first month as an intern, the supervising attending physician and I went to see a newborn brought into the ER, and while we were in the room, he asked me to pick it up. My eyes opened wide as saucers, I looked at him, trying to send silent signals that could be interpreted from “But I dont know what to do” to “Are you KIDDING ME?? WHAT IF I DROP IT??”. Clearly, he ignored them, and he and the mother waited expectantly. I reached to pick up the infant– probably in the same way that I’d pick up an ancient scroll–gingerly, and from the corners, when he gestured with his hand to put a hand under the bottom. I SEE. Sweep under the bottom. so THAT’S the secret.
When he walked out, he turned to me and casually said “Dont worry Darria, when they’re born, they all come out with a baby book too”. And I realized….I knew so much about the infant physiology, their timeline, their milestones, but i knew NOTHING about babies.
Most new parents can likely say the same thing, so fortunately, there are AMAZING people and services such as Christine Sweeney and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Parent Connection, which is a fantastic program where they connect new mom’s with “Mentor Mom’s”. They also have a large assortment of New Mom Groups (for ANY new mom, regardless of where you had your baby), and specialists such as Sarah Massey, a BIDMC Lactation Consultant to give you the details on feeding–when to do it, how often, and what to expect.
Because, let’s be honest–babies don’t come with a book, but there are THOUSANDS of books, websites, and cracker-jacks out there just waiting to give you advice. So, reach out to the above resources and watch the video to get information from the real experts.