What I Look Forward to Doing Differently for Baby #2

Since giving birth to Ariana and especially since getting pregnant earlier this year, I've been keeping a mental list of the valuable things I've learned when it comes to taking care of both newborns and myself in that postpartum phase. There are a few things that I'm looking forward to doing differently this time around, even though obviously, some things are out of my control.



Labor and delivery

Before giving birth to Ariana, I was of course aware that birth plans do not always go according to plan. With guidance from my doctor, we planned for me to be induced two days after my due date. After Ariana was born, she spent a few days in the NICU. It was a comparatively very short and minor stay compared to so many babies (and my heart goes out to all NICU babies and parents!), but it was certainly something that was hard on us. It wasn't something we anticipated dealing with, and I remember feeling so clueless the entire time about what was going on, even though the nurses and staff were wonderful.

One of the biggest things I hope for this time around is a smoother and shorter labor and delivery experience, and most of all, to have our baby in the recovery room with us (and to go home after two days!)


More baby-wearing!

I purchased a Solly Baby wrap before Ariana was born and even practiced using it with a teddy bear. When she was an infant, I honestly didn't use it as much as I thought I would - mostly just for neighborhood walks.


Now that I'm somewhat more familiar with what maternity leave will be like, I'm looking forward to using it a lot more, especially so I can multitask and do things around the house, or take both girls for walks around the neighborhood.


Getting out more

Once I returned to work after maternity leave last time, I looked back and wished I had gotten out a little more, rather than honestly being 'quarantined' much of the time at home. My first time raising a newborn was certainly challenging, and the schedule was unlike anything I was used to. And of course, we wanted to protect our newborn from flu and RSV and all those fun things.


While I wasn't dreaming of going on road trips or anything big if I ever had a second child, I was looking forward to visiting family and friends more or even going for short drives just to get out of the house.

I'm not sure exactly what Spring 2021 will look like with COVID, so I might end up staying at home as much as I did for my first maternity leave and a large portion of 2020 (I still consider the 8 weeks of the stay at home order my maternity leave with an 18-month old.) But that doesn't mean I can't plan to get my butt out of the house for more walks, backyard time and fresh air. Ariana loves to play outside and since the time will spring forward, I can picture lots of playtime in the backyard for her while the baby and me hang out on a blanket! There might even be some backyard tent camping in our future. 

Easier nursing experience

First, I want to say there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! We started supplementing with formula when Ariana was two months, and she has always been happy and healthy. It was hard on me to take that step initially, although I know it was the right one. I still nursed and pumped until she was around nine months, and we kept a reserve stash of frozen milk that lasted until she turned 1.


I hope to not stress as much about breastfeeding this time around, but I also hope my production and supply will be better. (Look, I'm still cheap and formula is NOT cheap.) I've done a lot of reading and research in the past year and a half, and have some techniques and other tricks saved.


I also plan to switch pump brands from Medela to Spectra. I used the Medela Pump In Style last time (and ohhh how I did not love that thing), and am planning to get a Spectra S1. I've heard from so many moms that it has better output compared to Medela. I also like that there are adapter pieces you can buy so that you can still use Medela bottles to pump, especially since I have a container full of Medela bottles.


I'm also looking forward to using glass bottles for feedings. A friend passed down her collection to me, making them both secondhand and plastic-free!

Baby food

I loved making baby food for Ariana with a hand-me-down Baby Bullet. I've since passed it along to another mom friend, and I plan to get an all-in-one baby food steamer and blender. I knew right away that it would be much easier in general to do everything with one appliance. It also helps that our rice cooker and steamer kicked the bucket during quarantine earlier this year and we haven't replaced it. (Stove rice FTW!)


Better self care

I saw a pelvic floor therapy specialist last time around 10 weeks postpartum, and it really, really helped. Especially with this being my second baby, I want to be proactive in getting pelvic floor therapy during my postpartum recovery.


I took a postnatal vitamin for the first couple months after Ariana was born, and this time, I'm planning to take some for a lot longer. After diligently taking prenatal vitamins for nearly 9 months, it just makes sense to keep giving myself vital nutrients in the postpartum phase. Bonus if they do help with milk production!

I'm also hopeful that I'll be able to ride the postpartum waves better throughout this baby's infancy. I first saw a therapist who specializes in postnatal counseling when Ariana was around 8 months, and since then, it has made a world of difference for me. I've continued my therapy throughout this pregnancy, and am relieved that I have this support in my corner as I head into that postpartum phase. I think it will help even in ways I haven't yet anticipated.

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