In between sleep training my 6 month old & (attempting) potty training with my almost 3 year old, I recently had the privilege of reading Maria-Lianos Carbone’s book, ‘Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year’ and it brought back all of the feelings & memories of being a first time mom.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I remember spending hours pouring over parenting blogs and websites written for pregnant women. I spent hours gathering information about every aspect of pregnancy, labor & parenting a newborn that I could think of. But when I finally went through labor myself & brought home my first bundle of joy, I remember thinking, ‘WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS?’
It turned out that while people were quick to share their excitement and words of encouragement about how to care for a new baby, they were close-lipped about all of the less than pleasant aspects of labor and postpartum recovery. Nonetheless, Maria-Lianos Carbone was not at all afraid to incorporate the gory details in her book.
If you’re looking for an honest account of what to expect when you give birth and bring baby home, this book is for you. It is perfect for first time, expecting mothers. Carbone packs a ton of information into an easy to read format, including some of the things that you probably won’t hear from your friends and family.
For example, every expecting new mom has probably heard about all of the amazing benefits of breastfeeding. It’s healthy for baby & helps mom to lose weight and it’s the natural way that babies have been fed for thousands of years. Beautiful, right? What expecting moms probably haven’t heard is that breastfeeding is difficult and painful.
With my first, I had to pump and use a medicine dropper to feed my baby in the hospital because I couldn’t get him to latch. It was exhausting & frustrating. Only after visits with not one, but two lactation consultants was I finally able to properly feed him. With my second baby, I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze since I’d successfully nursed my first for almost a whole year. Not so. During the first two weeks after baby number two arrived, I had cracked & bleeding nipples. It still makes me cringe to think about it.
Carbone isn’t afraid to discuss these not so beautiful challenges that new mothers experience, including the challenges that she herself faced. Carbone generously opens up about the difficulties she encountered after becoming a mom, including her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety. She includes an excerpt from her journal during the time that she was struggling with PPD and her words will resonate with every mom. Carbone writes:
“I’m completely and utterly exhausted. I don’t know if I can handle this. Will I be a good mother? Will I be able to give him the best life? This is the most important job in my entire life. I can’t screw it up.”
Carbone’s honesty about the difficulties that go with parenting is not just for new mothers. I think just about every mom has experienced these same feelings at some point in their parenting journey.
‘Oh Baby!’ is the perfect book to prepare expecting mothers for what’s to come. Carbone covers every aspect of bringing baby home from the first diaper change, to the first doctor visit and the feelings of nervousness that you might experience around leaving the house. She includes stories from other women about their challenges during the first year of parenting, which is reassuring for new mothers, especially those who may not have a network of other women going through the same experiences. She also gives practical tips, lists and recipes to help guide you through your first year with baby, making this a great book to keep around for reference, even after you’ve finished reading it.
I absolutely recommend this book for first time moms-to-be. ‘Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self Care Survival Guide for the First Year’ is simple and easy to read while still packing in tons of solid information. It would make a great shower gift or gift to mom at any time during her first year of parenting.
About the Author
Maria Lianos-Carbone is publisher of http://amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle and parenting blog for women.
Raincoast Books is an award-winning Canadian book distributor based in Vancouver, British Columbia.