10 Question New Moms Are Afraid To Ask

Having your first baby is a beautiful and special time in your life, but after the initial moments of bliss you might start to feel anxious about having to care for your new arrival.

There’s definitely a learning curve when it comes to being a new parent, and it’s fine to have questions about the do’s and don’ts of motherhood. Babies don’t come with an instruction manual…although sometimes it feels like they should!

Of course, for first-time parents it can be overwhelming to perform even the simplest of tasks. You’re going to have a lot of questions, and that’s okay! Some might even be downright embarrassing but how will you ever know how to do something unless you’re bold enough to ask?

You shouldn’t have to struggle through your first few months of parenthood. Have something you need to get off your chest? We’ve all been there! Here are 10 questions most new moms are afraid to ask (but shouldn’t be!).

Am I a bad mom if I formula feed instead of breastfeeding?

There’s no reason for this to be such a controversial topic, but somehow it always is. It seems like people always have strong about opinions on breastfeeding moms vs moms who use formula, but the truth of the matter is simple: it’s nobody’s decision but your own. Women have a wide range of reasons for opting not to breastfeed.

Whether they have low levels of milk production, they find breastfeeding too painful or they simply don’t want to do it, formula feeding your baby does not make you a bad parent. Of course, there are a multitude of known benefits to breastfeeding, but every situation is different and sometimes breastfeeding isn’t the right option for everybody. You may feel pressured by the term “breast is best” but as long as your baby is getting nutrients and is gaining a healthy amount of weight, the method of feeding shouldn’t matter one bit.

How do I know if I’m feeding my baby the right amount?

Most newborns eat every two to three hours, but even by that logic it’s still sometimes hard to tell if you’re giving them an adequate amount of nutrition. Questions regarding how much to feed a newborn are super common, so asking about your little one’s eating habits is nothing to be embarrassed about.

You might even assume that babies will stop eating once they’re full but that’s not always true. Especially for breastfeeding mothers, an overflow of breastmilk can result in the baby taking in more milk than they can manage. There are a few telltale signs that your baby is getting fed too much or too little at feedings such as excess weight loss or gain, irritability, sleep disturbance, regurgitation and uncomfortable gassiness.

What if I don’t immediately bond with my baby?

You’ve waited nine long months to hold your newest addition and you likely envisioned your motherly instincts taking over right away. While it is true that some women feel an instant attachment to their baby, that’s just not the case for everyone. Think about it – after you give birth your entire life changes within moments. That’s a lot to take in!

It’s important to know that every experience is different for new moms, and sometimes building a connection with your newborn simply takes time. It’s common for mothers to feel guilty and even shameful about feeling indifferent towards their child, but these feelings are both normal and usually temporary. Luckily, there are many ways to strengthen your bond such as skin to skin contact, spending quiet time together during feedings and talking to your newborn so she can get familiar with the sound of your voice.

Am I holding my baby too much?

Holding your precious bundle of joy is one of the many perks of new parenthood! It’s normal to want to hold your baby all the time, but some women may wonder if their extra affection could have a negative impact in the long run. You may have heard that holding your infant “too much” could inhibit their ability to self-soothe.

Maybe you’ve even heard that it will “spoil” them, but many experts tend to disagree. One doctor at John Hopkins University insists that “babies don’t learn until they’re about nine months that they can cry to get you to do something for them” so there’s no real need to worry about holding your baby too often. And let’s be honest…is cuddling your baby really a crime? We don’t seem to think so.

What’s the deal with my baby’s bellybutton?

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord is your baby’s primary source of oxygen and nutrients. It has an important job while in utero, but it’s no longer needed once your baby is born. The cord is clipped shortly after birth and a small piece of it is left on your child’s bellybutton. It might look off-putting at first, almost like a scab, but having an umbilical cord stump is the norm for all newborns.

Over time the umbilical cord will dry out and fall off all on it’s own, but it’s important to properly care for the area until that happens. Cleaning the bellybutton with rubbing alcohol and folding down your child’s diaper at the waist after every diaper change will reduce the risk of infection. Once your baby is around two weeks old the cord remnants have fallen off and their tummy will start looking as cute as the rest of them.

Is the color of my baby’s poop normal?

If you’ve been shy about talking about bowel movements in the past, that will all change once you become a parent. You’ll be getting the scoop on poop way more than you even imagined, so brace yourself for countless in-depths conversations about your baby’s bodily functions. Newborn poop comes in all different colors and consistencies.

You might initially be alarmed at seeing a rainbow of shades in your baby’s diaper but fear not – this is absolutely normal. Your newborn will likely have black poop during her first few days of life, and shades of yellow, orange, tan and dark green are all common depending on if she is consuming formula or breastmilk. In the rare instance that you notice gray or white poop, call your pediatrician to rule out potential health problems involving the liver or overall digestion.

Why is my baby constantly moving around in her sleep?

If it seems like newborn baby isn’t exactly “sleeping like a baby” then you’re not alone. From birth until around six months, you will likely notice your baby’s jerking and twitching motions in her sleep. Don’t worry, your little one isn’t feeling restless, she’s experiencing REM sleep, which is critical to her development.

REM stands for rapid eye movement, also known as active sleep. During this time, babies frequent flailing around might look strange to us, but they’re actually completely comfortable. The twitching just means that their brain is starting to send signals to their limbs to encourage future mobility.

Should I wake a sleeping baby?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “never wake a sleeping baby,” but there are certain times when interrupting your little one’s sleep can be beneficial. For instance, if your baby isn’t gaining enough weight you might get the green light from your pediatrician to wake her for routine feedings.

In the early stages of life, it’s crucial for your baby to gain weight and if that means having to disrupt her sleep to accomplish that then so be it. Another frequently used technique to get your infant to sleep longer periods at night is to wake her up right before you go to bed. She will still be sleepy, but awake just enough to get an extra feeding, also known as a “dream feed”.

How do I change my baby’s diaper?

If you’re a first-time mom and you have little to no experience caring for babies, you might want to take a crash course on the basics even before your little one makes her debut. It’s fine to admit that skipping out on the parenting classes and reading the baby books has left you feeling unprepared, but don’t panic!

Diapering your baby is something you’ll catch onto rather quickly. If you opt for a hospital delivery, be sure to ask the nurses if you have any questions. After all, they are there to guide you and help you learn how to care for your baby. There are plenty of things that can make new moms nervous but changing your baby’s diaper doesn’t have to be one of them.

When will I start feeling like myself again?

With all of your attention on your newborn, you’ll probably let your own self-care fall by the wayside more often than you want to admit. It’s normal to focus all of your energy on your baby, but it’s also important to remember to care for yourself in the postpartum period. Whether your baby was delivered naturally or via C-section, the process of having a baby can take a toll on your body.

Most women find themselves feeling better in six to eight weeks, but every new mom recovers at her own pace. It’s important to get postpartum checkups from your doctor to discuss any issues you may be having. Take it from us – there is no question they haven’t already heard by now. Don’t forget that it’s important to take proper care for yourself so you can be your best self for your baby.