Moms share: 6 things I wish I had known about having a baby later in life "I am always around younger women with kids my child's age, and.
Last Updated: Oct 4, 2018
You just received an invitation in the mail for your best friend’s baby shower. That’s so exciting! As the day approaches, you pick out the perfect gift for the child. All you need to do now is to write a card to go with the gift. How do you know exactly what to write in a baby shower card? Do you have to address the card to the couple or just your friend? These are a few questions that may be going through your mind before the shower. Luckily, here you will find the answers to all of your baby shower card questions and more.
Jump to a specific section to answer your question:
Deciding who to address in a baby shower card can be difficult. When you first receive the invitation, make sure to look at what it says. Most of the time, if it’s going to be a couple’s shower, it will say. If you are still unsure about the kind of shower it will be, reach out to the host to clarify.
If it’s a couple’s shower, you should address both of the parents in the card. In the case that the baby shower is more traditional, and it is just being thrown for the mother, address the card to the mom-to-be. When addressing the card, think about your relationship to the recipient. For example, if you are close to the mother you can be a little more casual. You can call her by a nickname you have for her or just by her first name.
Sometimes people decide to have a baby sprinkle or a diaper party. These are both less traditional options for a baby shower. Fit the wording and the tone of the message to the kind of shower that is being held.
Examples for addressing:
When you are writing your baby shower card to the soon-to-be parents, you want to say exactly the right thing. Try and make sure that everything you say comes from the heart. If you do that, it is sure to sound more personal and genuine. The couple will most likely be getting a lot of cards and wishes, so keep it simple and to the point.
For a more classic card, consider sending a message that is more general. This is also a good option if you don’t know what the gender of the baby is yet.
If you and the couple are religious and you want to include this in the message, consider some of the following examples.
If you know the gender of the child, you may want to tailor your message to that. For example, if the couple is having a baby boy, you can mention it in your message.
You may know the gender of the baby, and if you do, why not include that in the card? If the couple is having a baby girl, mention that in the cards.
If the happy couple is having twins, you can get creative with your message to acknowledge the twins.
Even though the shower is being held for the parents, don’t forget about the baby. You should write a message to the baby in the card. This can be advice or wishes to the baby that you would want them to eventually see.
The last step to the baby shower card is signing it. When signing the card, think about your relationship to the parents. Sign off with wording that seems appropriate to your relationship.
When someone you know is about to have a baby, it’s a time for celebration. The couple will cherish whatever wishes you give to them in your card, so take time when writing the card. Tailor the tone of the card to the occasion and your relationship with the parents. Make sure to include a special message for the baby and sign the card with what seems appropriate. The couple is sure to remember your card and smile when they see what you have written.
“I love my baby, but sometimes I wish I had my own life back”: the ambivalence I've have been working in women's mental health for the past.
While often called “the most natural thing in the world”, breastfeeding can prove a huge challenge for many mums.
“I found feeding early on really traumatic… I really struggled,” says Rowan, who has just quit breastfeeding after combining it with bottle feeding for the first nine weeks.
“On day three she was screaming the place down and I was in bits, feeling like I couldn't give her what she needed.”
Charlotte adds: “My milk never came in so I've never had enough to exclusively breastfeed my son. I had a lot of guilt and self-recrimination… I felt like a failure before I'd even begun. And it shocked me that I couldn't, it really shocked me, I never anticipated that would be a thing.
“[But] though I understand ‘breast is best’… they do survive healthily into adulthood and don't become axe murderers if you give your baby formula.”
For advice and support with breastfeeding try the NHS, NCT or The Breastfeeding Network websites.
“The toughest challenge is people giving you advice or telling you how to do things,” says Laura of becoming a mum to daughter Ruby.
“It is so infuriating. Times have changed - stop telling me stuff I don’t want to hear! It’s constant, even people you don’t know start telling you stuff.”
Charlotte, who’s had comments about bottle feeding on the bus, agrees: “That’s been one of the things that has surprised me and horrified me. Strangers feel the need to tell me whether my child is warm enough or not. Ignore them - you're doing fine!”
“Not that I thought people were moaning before,” says Rowan, “But the sleep deprivation - I definitely didn't get it till now, it is epic.”
“You spend a lot of time just going, 'Is this normal? Is this normal?',” says Abby of the first few weeks.
“After my first [baby], I wish I'd been told that you can bleed for six weeks afterwards. After my second, I wish I'd been told that the after pains get worse, so the next few days your uterus is contracting back you can actually have contractions that are really hard core. And that you breastfeed around the clock for the first two days.
"If I'd been told that, even though it would have been hard, I would have just known that it was ‘normal’.”
“The first time, Annie was an angel baby - I didn't realise how easy she was,” says mum of two, Jen.
“[Me and my husband] spent the whole of the first year just walking around high-fiving each other about how amazing we were. What I've found with having a second is that it's totally dependent on the baby you've got.
“As soon as you chuck in a bit of reflux and colic… those evenings are tough. I thought I knew how to put a baby to sleep. It's like no, she was just doing that naturally - it wasn't us at all!”
We know, we know: Breast is best for your baby. (World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and nosy strangers everywhere: Yup, we got the message!) But there are many situations when “the best” just isn’t an option. From feeling like a bad mom to the increased flexibility, here's what we wish we'd known about formula feeding.
You're not a bad mom. The breast-is-best message is omnipresent. And that's great. But with the surge in awareness about the many benefits of breastfeeding comes the flip side: guilt, feelings of failure and even shame in moms who can't—or don't want to—breastfeed or breastfeed exclusively. And that can translate into bucket-loads of unnecessary tears.
So we're going to say it and we'd like you to read it at least three times: "Feeding my baby formula does not make me a bad mom." Whatever your reason—whether your work schedule is not compatible with pumping, your baby isn't able to nurse effectively, you're having health issues or insert your reason here—formula-feeding is not a crime. There are many terrible things that can contribute to a bad-mom status. Feeding and nurturing your child does not qualify.
You won't be on the clock. The beautiful thing about the bottle is the ability to pass it around. Your hubs can feed the baby. So can your mom, your dad and your best friend. That little ol' bottle can magically take you, dear, sweet, sleepy mama, off the clock, and it eases that I'm-the-only-one-on-the-planet-who-can-feed-this-child pressure. And that means you can get some much-needed shut-eye. Of course, we know that you can feed a baby with bottles of breast milk, too. (Woot to the breast pump!) But that bottle of formula can sometimes be a new mom's ticket to rest and recovery. (If you are nursing, just be sure your milk supply is well-established before you replace a nursing session with a bottle of formula—it is a supply and demand game after all!)
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. They may not be shouting it out from the rooftops, but many (many!) breastfeeding moms also use formula. In fact, 42.6 percent of breastfed 6-month-olds are supplemented with the stuff, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So know this: You can breastfeed and give your baby formula. Regardless of what the lactation consultant says, you don’t have to choose.
You'll feel self-conscious mixing formula in public. Guess what: Breastfeeding mamas aren't the only ones who feel like the world is watching and judging their every public feed. There will surely be a time when you'll be struggling to shake up a packet of powdered baby formula and water in a bottle, your baby will be crying and you'll feel weirdly outed. Try your best to stop caring about the lady at Target who (you think) is giving you the stink eye. That sweet baby is yours, not hers, and you know how best to feed her. And for all you know, she’s watching you because she’s been there and she feels for you.
You can drink and eat whatever! Wine, coffee, spicy foods, dairy—anything and everything is on the menu when you're not breastfeeding! Since none of what you eat or drink gets into your baby's system you don't have to worry. So go ahead and indulge in all the things you missed during your nine months of pregnancy.
There's a lot of stuff to lug. Breastfeeders only need to bring their boobs to feed their baby—and a cover-up, if they're modest. The milk is always there, always fresh and always the perfect temperature! Formula-feeders, however, need to remember the supplies, like pre-made bottles, a cooler, extra formula, clean bottles and bottled water. It's a pain. And inevitably you'll space on something. You won't pack enough. You'll be out and about with a screaming, hungry baby and you'll need to hightail it home or to the store ASAP.
Going back to work will be easier. Leaving your baby at home after maternity leave is over is never easy. But if you’re formula feeding you won’t need to spend your work day scrambling to pump two or three times a day. Yes, pumping is totally doable for some moms. For others, it adds another layer of stress to the already stressful period of new-momdom and back-to-workdom. Formula, like it or not, can ease that burden.
You'll still feel close to your baby. Feeding a baby, whether with a breast or bottle, is a warm, nurturing experience. Snuggle that baby right into the crook of your arm. Gaze into those I'm-so-happy-to-be-eating eyes. Smell that sweet baby smell as you burp her over your shoulder. Watch her nod off in your arms after her belly is full. Breastfeeding moms don't corner the market on warm-and-fuzzy-feeds—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Dads can play a bigger role. When there are two brand-new parents who don't know anything about anything, it’s pretty overwhelming to have just one be 100-percent in charge of feeding the baby. Bottles allow both exhausted, love-struck, overwhelmed parents to share in the responsibility and the joy of feeding their new bundle. Yes, Dad can feed breast milk (we’re not saying he can’t) but with formula, one person isn’t the designated milk maker.
You'll need support, too. Today, a new mama can find breastfeeding support any which way she looks, thanks to La Leche League, lactation consultants, online message boards and local moms' groups. But when a formula-feeding mama needs some support, she'll likely be met with some head-scratching. The truth is, all new moms need support. Women aren't born knowing the best angle to hold the baby to feed, what temperature the bottle needs to be, which formula to select, or how to burp. And she may just want to connect, talk and bond with other moms who either could not breastfeed or decided not to. Or just get some support for the choice she made—without being made to feel guilty about it. A good place to start: The site and community Fearless Formula Feeder started by mom Suzanne Barston.
There's no guess work. One incredibly reassuring thing about filling a bottle and watching your baby drink it is that you know exactly, down to the very last fraction of an ounce, how much she has consumed. A huge worry among breastfeeding moms is simply not knowing how much the baby has eaten. Boobs aren't transparent. There are no lines of measure to gauge. With bottles, you know.
It's expensive! Pretend your baby is 6 months old. She's likely drinking about 32 ounces of formula daily. Say you're using powdered formula (the most affordable kind) and you picked, say, Similac Advance Powder, which runs about $37 for a 34-ounce tub (Diapers.com pricing) which makes about 30 8-ounce bottles. That gets you a little over a week in bottles. That adds up to some serious dough. Maybe formula should be called liquid gold, too! The good news is that many companies will send you valuable coupons to help with the cost—so sign up on their web site. And once your baby is a year old, you can switch to plain milk.
Others will make you feel bad. Whether they mean to or not, chances are at one time or another a friend, a member of your family or a complete stranger will say something that'll make you feel less-than-awesome about formula-feeding your baby. Heck, sometimes they don't even have to say a thing. You may be at a playdate where everyone else is breastfeeding and you're the odd bottle-feeder out. Your BFF may innocently say, "Oh, I thought you were breastfeeding." Your well-meaning MIL may flat out say, "Breast is best, you know." It's going to happen. Be prepared to hear it and move on.
It's about your health, too. Breastfeeding is fantastic for babies. Not one single person on Earth can dispute that fact. But many people seem to forget that breastfeeding can be less fantastic for some moms. Breastfeeding can be exhausting and stressful. It can be painful. It can be frustrating. In the end, the decision to opt out of breastfeeding (or half-and-half it), can be the best thing for mom's mental and physical health. Always remember the oxygen mask rule: Place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others. You can't be the best mom to your baby if you're completely stressed out and unhealthy yourself.
Bottles are temporary. When you're a new mom, it can seem like the bottlefeeding stage will last for eons. It doesn't. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you trade the bottle for a cup by 18 months. While, um, that may not happen right on schedule, it's good to know that soon—very soon—the bottle will go the way of the bassinet, the swaddle and the sling and the way you chose to feed your child will no longer be on display all of the time. Plus you can introduce milk at 12 months, so you won't be mixing formula even if your baby is still using a bottle.
Being a mom is about more than feeding your baby. It's easy to let it breast-or-bottle define what kind of a mother you are. Try your very best to not let that happen. What makes you a good mom is the love, affection and attention you show your child. Are her basic needs covered? Is she safe? Is she warm? Is she fed? Is she loved? Then you, my friend, are doing a fantastic job. Period.
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Mom of two Holly Pevzner is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google +.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.
Congratulations to having a baby, new baby quotes, wishes for new born girl or boy.
Despite progress, plans and strategies, it will be some time before we have a maternity service that gives all pregnant women the choices, care and facilities they deserve.
Many of those necessary changes were already being promised 16 years ago when I was awaiting the birth of my first baby. Lucky enough to access the National Maternity Hospital’s community midwife domino scheme, I was given the antenatal care, labour and birth I didn’t know I wanted. Another birth, and a collaboration on a pregnancy guide with a midwife under my belt, and I’d learned how fortunate I had been.
So what would I tell a younger self now if I was preparing for birth?
Geography, economics and your own health may limit options. However, where and with whom you give birth will have a huge impact on how you give birth. What suited your best friend may not suit you.
Whether you choose a private obstetrician, midwife team, public hospital team or independent midwife for a home birth, research their policies and practices, and make sure your personal hopes and concerns for the pregnancy and birth can be accommodated. For example, will you need the reassurance of regular ultrasounds and other antenatal screening tests? Or will your hopes for an active birth without routine interventions be facilitated?
Back away from Google. Some discerning reading and antenatal classes can help decide what kind of birth you would like, and understand why it might be possible.
Pregnancy brings lots of new, but normal, symptoms. However, if something is bothering you or doesn’t feel right (including your baby’s movements), keep telling your doctor or midwife.
These could be your greatest birthing aids.
While it does not affect women, Group B Streptococcus, a common transient bacteria, can pass to your baby during birth, causing life-threatening illnesses. Check if you will be screened, as this is one test not routine for all pregnant women in Ireland (so is a 20-week anomaly ultrasound). If you test positive, antibiotics are given during labour.
It can take hours (or even days) of short irregular contractions – “pre-labour” – to prepare the cervix before it starts to dilate. Full labour contractions will gradually increase in regularity and strength. You won’t be talking through them.
Tell your maternity unit if you do not want them broken.
Heat pads for pain relief
Drinks and snacks. If food and drink is restricted during labour, suck glucose sweets
Flip-flops, because shared showers can be very messy
Earplugs and an eye-mask to help you sleep on busy wards
A dilated cervix: Or they’ll send you home! Contractions should be about four to five minutes apart.
An empty bowel: If you thought constipation was uncomfortable during pregnancy, imagine how it’s going to feel as a baby pushes out against your large intestine.
An open mind: You cannot predict how your labour will go. On the day, your plans to demand an anaesthetist during admission could evaporate as you realise you are coping fine; or your hopes for an active birth could be overtaken by the need for the intervention of a skilled obstetrician.
A voice to be your voice: Enlist whomever will be accompanying you at the birth to represent your wishes and concerns, and to ensure you are treated with the respect you deserve.
Ask for the delivery room lights to be dimmed. Block out the world around you by putting on headphones and listening to music (if it isn’t an irritant) or your hypnobirthing tapes.
Walking, swaying and changing position regularly can help you cope. Use birthing balls and other aids for support and relief. Water works – you may be lucky to have access to a birthing pool. If not, use your bath or shower while at home.
Just when you think you can’t go on . . . it’s almost over. An intense feeling of panic, restlessness and overwhelming emotions probably means it’s time to give birth.
Don’t give birth on your back. If you are not restricted by an epidural, use an upright or all-fours position to birth your baby.
Request delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin contact: Some units will even facilitate skin-to-skin after a C-section.
Remember that newborns look odd: In real life babies can be purple, slimy and have funny-shaped heads.
After the birth, there’s the after-birth: If, like me, you weren’t paying attention at the antenatal class, the discomfort of delivering the placenta can be a shock.
You may not bond immediately: An instant rush of love for your baby is not guaranteed. It’s also normal to be underwhelmed.
Don’t expect to be fed: If your baby is born in the evening or night you may get only tea and a biscuit afterwards. This is where the stash in your bag becomes essential.
You will still look pregnant: Your bump and any swelling will be around for a while longer.
You will bleed a lot, and for a long time: Your new (temporary) best friends will be massive maternity pads and dark pyjama bottoms.
Take all the painkillers you are offered: Regardless of how you gave birth, you will be sore. The only reason you may not want those painkillers is because the last ones haven’t worn off yet.
After-birth pains are a thing: As your womb contracts you will experience cramping. They will be strongest while breastfeeding. They really kick in on your second child.
Breastfeeding is not easy – at first: Don’t let difficulties in the first few days put you off breastfeeding. Investigate “laid- back” feeding as a possible easy introduction for you both.
Consider a visitor ban: Do you want your boss, or even your sister-in-law, watching you get to grips with breastfeeding or sobbing through the third-day blues?
Going home with your baby will be terrifying: But the terror eases. It will all worth it.
Louise Ní Chríodáin is co-author of Bump to Birth to Baby, an ebook guide. See bumptobirthtobaby.com
After having your first kid, you think you know the drill, but baby no. 2 can bring some surprises. Looking back, here's what I wish I had known.