7 questions you'll (probably) Google as a new mum
You won't believe some of these new mum Google searches.
When I peed on a stick and watched a little red cross appear, never for a second did I stop to think that nine months later I would be asking Google if it's normal for my baby to crap 10 times a day. And that was one of my more tame questions, let me assure you.
When Rex arrived he brought with him hundreds of questions that, up to that point, I could never have dreamed I'd ask. Wanting to reassure myself that I wasn't the only one with what seemed like the world's most daft questions, I reached out to some other mums, who were kind enough to assure me that not only was I not alone in my random question-asking, but also shared some of their own.
With their permission, I've shared the best of a (very) long list of real-life questions new mums have asked Google. Brace yourselves guys, it's not pretty...
Q: When will my swollen foof calm down so I can sit comfortably again?
This was not one of mine, although I'll happily admit to wondering this myself in the days after my almost nine pound baby was, quite literally, sucked out of me and my bits then stitched back up again. In fact, in the last few weeks of pregnancy I found my lady bits to be, for want of a better phrase, much more meaty than usual and occupying way more room in my underwear (too far?). I also definitely remember needed an extra cushion or two to sit on for a while after giving birth.
Q: Are my insides going to fall out of my ass the first time I poo after childbirth?
This was one of mine, although pretty much every woman I speak to who has given birth has had similar thoughts. I was genuinely terrified to have my first poo after Rex, but I'm pleased to say it was nowhere near the awful experience I had imagined it might be (i.e. no, my insides did not fall out).
Q: How do you sterlise a bottle?
Another one of mine, as well as how long does a sterilised bottle stay sterile for, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit. This question genuinely baffled me in the first few weeks after Rex arrived. A baby has to have everything sterilised, I get it. But I could never get my head around how you keep stuff sterilised.
I would do a load of bottles at the same time, but then every time I opened the steriliser to get one out and use, remember feeling really confused as to whether the remaining bottles, now that they had been exposed to the air were still sterile. Convinced they then weren't, on the steriliser would go again, just so I could be sure they were ok to use. I honestly dread to think how much electricity that steriliser used in the first few months of Rex's life. Genuinely. My brain just could not work it out. I wish I could say I knew the answer now, but I don't. It's been added to my 'stupid shit to ask in hospital' list when this new arrival decides to make an appearance. Will let you know if I ever find out.
Q: How much formula should I give my baby?
Me again. And another genuine source of frustration and anxiety. After seven weeks of trying to breastfeed (and failing miserably), Rex moved on to SMA formula. And sterilising to hold said formula was not the only issue I encountered at the switch from boob to bottle.
The SMA tub had guidelines for what Rex should be eating, but often I found what I was giving him to be wildly different, which basically left me in a permanent state of panic about whether he was having too much or too little. The current spot in Google comes from Pampers.co.uk, which has a table with quite specific quantities of formula for different ages, but then also says to follow your baby's lead on intake, which will differ from day to day. The NHS website also offers solid advice, again, particularly stressing that the amount of feed will vary from baby to baby.
It's easy for me to step back now three years later and say I wish I hadn't worried about it quite so much. In the newborn haze it's easy to forget babies are just like us, and some days want to eat more or less depending on a variety of circumstances. If you're ever unsure about formula quantities or anything concerning your baby's health, be sure to get in touch with your GP or health visitor for advice.
Q: When can I first bath my baby after birth? And what should I use to wash him/her?
Before they sent Rex and I home from hospital, I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed with information. There was so much to take in, including when I could give him his first bath. I was quick to question why you might not be able to, but then was told about a baby's skin having a natural moisturiser after birth to help protect it from infection and quickly shut up. I still don't know the answer to this question - anther one I'm taking with me to ask when baby number two arrives.
Q: How can you put a sleeping baby down without waking them?
If I had the answer to that one, I'd be a millionaire. I'm convinced the tiny ninjas have in-built parent sensors and anytime you think about putting them down triggers an alarm. Answers on a postcard, please?!
Q: Is that colour/shape/size/consistency of poo normal?
If someone had looked at my browser history when Rex was born, they'd have been forgiven for thinking I was literally obsessed with poo. I could not fathom how such a tiny creature could sometimes expel so much crap from his bodies and not be even remotely affected by it. I also couldn't understand how it could change in colour so dramatically, despite a diet of just milk.
This, er, helpful visual guide from Baby Centre has more information (and some really gross poo pictures). But if you're ever concerned about your baby, in any way, contact your GP for advice.