Motherhood

‘Ten Things I Always Tell Pregnant Women’

'Ten Things I Always Tell Pregnant Women' by doula Erica Chidi Cohen

A conversation with Erica Chidi Cohen feels like one big pep talk. A doula, author and co-founder of LOOM (a education hub for pregnancy and parenting in L.A.), Erica has attended more than 300 births. “You’d think after so many years I’ve had my fill of babies,” she says. “But I’m always overwhelmed by the pure joy that fills the room. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a mother and child take each other in for the first time.” Her guidebook, Nurture, comes out tomorrow, and here Erica shares 10 things she tells new mothers…


BECOMING PREGNANT

Fertility. During the conception process, sometimes you need a little help. Adoption or surrogacy or IVF, it’s all great. We should all be empathic and sensitive about how people come to parenthood. You’re a mother, you’re a mother — no matter how you got there.

Listening to your gut. When you’re pregnant for the first time, you may feel vulnerable, and so many people will give you advice. Sometimes that advice isn’t right for you. So, trust to your intuition. That can show up in your body in lots of different ways — basically, if you’re having strong feelings, that’s your intuition speaking to you. Listen to that voice.

Body changes. Be gentle on yourself. The changes in your body are to bring a person into the world. Find comfortable clothing; nightly baths might feel good. It sounds woo-woo, but every day before you leave the house, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “I love you.” Looking and talking to yourself can feel emotional; you might even cry. It’s a quick practical thing to do to reconnect with a part of yourself that doesn’t typically get a lot of nurturing.

THE BIRTH PROCESS

Packing a bag. If there’s a toilet paper you like, bring it with you. Most hospitals have one-ply! Feel free to bring your robe, pillow or anything else that will help you relax. Also, everyone calls it a “birth bag,” but it can be a wheelie suitcase!

Natural birth. We need to stop using the term “natural birth.” The concept of natural birth is divisive and inherently competitive. All birth is natural. It’s as simple as that. If you want to have the intense sensations of labor and you’re coping well, go for it! If you have a hard time with pain or you have bad associations from trauma, that’s totally okay. You have the inherent right to choose how you want to navigate your birth experience, and those choices should be free of judgment. You should be celebrated for moving through the process of pregnancy and birth, however it unfolds, unmedicated, medicated or cesarean. THERE IS NO UNNATURAL BIRTH. It’s not Westworld. It’s all natural.

Managing labor. Pain in labor is different from any other pain. It’s sophisticated. You won’t feel it continuously for hours — like when you sprain your ankle. You’ll have little breaks between contractions. Whether you’re unmedicated or medicated, here are a few things that might provide comfort: soothing music; an essential oil diffuser (lavender, neroli or both — I’ve seen an instant mood change when doctors/nurses walk into rooms with aromatherapy); a focal point, like bringing a picture into the room and looking at it during contractions; massage; and moving or swaying. Repetition and rhythm can feel good. One client played “Push It” over and over when she was pushing!

Choosing your team. Don’t feel pressure to have your whole family in the room. Labor is an intimate event. Would you want 10 people in the bathroom with you when you’re peeing? Maybe not. Whatever feels best to you is okay. If you need someone to blame it on, blame it on your care provider. Blame it on me!

Helping as a partner. I like having ice chips and frozen grapes on hand (you can keep them in a cooler). Massage can also feel good during labor. Go for long, deep pressure strokes, versus light brisk rubbing. If you’re unsure if your technique is working, here’s a great tip: No news is good news. When a women is in labor, if she doesn’t like something, she’ll let you know!

NEW MOTHERHOOD

Feeding the baby. The most important thing is that you feed your baby. Whether you breastfeed, pump, use formula or do a mix, your baby will be just fine. If you do hope to breastfeed, book a lactation consultant to come to your home within the first seven days. No matter what; set it and forget it. If it’s hard to afford, put it on your registry. It will be the best money ever spent. The first two to four weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest, and a lactation consultant can be a sanity check. After that it generally gets much easier.

Mental health. If you have a history of depression or anxiety — or are starting to feel off — tell your care provider early on in your pregnancy. Mental health is grossly under-discussed in pregnancy, especially since perinatal depression affects roughly 15 to 25 percent of pregnant women. You don’t have to suffer through it. For some women it might be best to take medication; you can work with your provider to make sure that’s safe.

Same goes for when you’re a new mom: You don’t have to grin and bear it. So many mothers internalize those feelings and try to deal with it on their own and it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s a quick assessment guide and a guide called How Do I Talk To My Doctor (SO SO GOOD). The The Postpartum Stress Center has provider recommendations, too. In New York, there’s the Motherhood Center, as well.

FOR EVERYONE

You did it, you’re doing it and you’ll continue to do it! You are already a great mom. Be gentle on yourself while you cultivate your parenting muscle, and make room for mistakes. No two mothers are going to move through this journey the same way, and that’s a good thing, because your baby needs that special magic only you can bring. I’m thrilled for you, and I’m so proud of you. You’ve got this.


Thank you so much, Erica. Here’s her new book, if you’d like to see. xoxo

P.S. The hardest two months of my life, and a pregnancy survival guide.

(Photo of Erica by Nicki Sebastian for Dôen, published with permission.)

  1. Julia says...

    It took me really long to understand that when having a baby, there is a permanent process of development and you never reach the point when you have “figured it all out” :-) Everything is a phase, so there is no “My baby lets me sleep the whole night (forever)” – it might all change the other day. So you must learn to be really, really flexible and spontaneous which might take a couple of years until you realize how many amazing skills in terms of creativity, flexibility etc you have acquired.

  2. Mary says...

    I have always said – Unless you’ve given birth to an alien, it’s a natural birth!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!!! :)

  3. Alex says...

    I read this post about a month ago (am currently 16 weeks pregnant) and I still think about it all the time, and just returned to re-read it. I loved and am trying to absorb every bit of her advice, especially the advice to look in the mirror and to say “I love you.” I tear up thinking about it.

  4. When I was pregnant, someone told me I was the most beautiful pregnant woman they’d ever seen (I can assure you that I was not). It made my day/month, so now when I have pregnant friends I make sure to give a similar comment. Most pregnant women are feeling not-so-great about themselves, so that quick pick me up is so easy to do and means so much!

  5. Tammy M says...

    Thank you SO much for this informative post! My daughter is 18, but I still remember the birthing/early months process. With all the criticism and negativity online I’m always thankful I didn’t have the internet to add to my Mommy Guilt! However, this post is a bright light in the darkness – honest, inclusive, welcoming and lovely. Thank you!

  6. This is WONDERFUL. Inclusive, kind and honest. I have worked in a neonatal ICU and as a pediatric critical care flight nurse for years and I feel like the advice she gives coincides with all of support and encouragement I try to provide at work. There is no wrong way to have a baby There is no wrong way to feed a baby or to parent a baby or to feel after having said baby. You (and your spouse or support person if you have one) are new at it and so is the baby. It is like learning a new dance. You may not be the best at every single step and it may not come easily at first but what you end up with is your own beautiful dance routine that works for you and your little family.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that comment so much, micheline xo

  7. I just love this post (and all the encouraging and supportive comments!). I had an emergency c-section due to severe preeclampsia. I live in a granola-y part of the country (Seattle) with ‘natural births, doulas, and breastfeeding’ less of an expectation, more a way of life. Needless to say, I was completely devastated by my highly-medicated delivery, followed by a three-month NICU stay. It seemed that everyone around me was having the birth I always expected to have. What I learned is that there are no expectations or guarantee with conception, pregnancy, or delivery. The best laid plans might be blown up in a split second. You just have to be ready for it, open to changing course, and gentle on yourself in the aftermath. This was an incredibly hard lesson for me when my husband and I were in the thick of things, but looking back now, and looking at our strong, healthy two year old, we’ve learned to celebrate our resilience and our birth story.

    • pck says...

      Ah yes, same here. I spent a long time grieving that hypnobirth I didn’t get…and I’ll always be a teency bit sad when I see a newborn baby handed directly to its mother – instead of whisked off to a lonely night in the NICU like mine was.

      But when I look back on it two years later, I actually did get the birth I’d always dreamed of — that of a peaceful warrior ushering in an exceptional child. It just didn’t happen the way I’d always pictured it.

      Glad you’ve found some measure of acceptance (celebration!), too!

    • Emily says...

      I feel exactly the same. My sister had three home births and I had an induction with a NICU stay, and an emergency C-section with yet another NICU stay. But, honestly, this is apparently how my babies come earthside. They don’t want to leave and then they have a bit of trouble adjusting, and now at almost 2 and almost 5, they are healthy, hilarious, and incredible rambunctious! I truly believe that the most important thing is that babies come out as safe and healthy as possible, no matter how that happens! But, I do feel sad about never leaving the maternity ward with my babies and having to leave weeks later from the NICU. Spending the night away from your just born baby feels so horrible it’s hard to describe. But, now as tough as all that was, it feels like such a quick blip in their life story.

  8. catherine says...

    thank you!!! We still need to debunk so many of the myths that surround birth and pregnancy, the pressure to breastfeed etc. great you are doing it!

  9. Natalie says...

    I wish LOOM existed in NYC! Anyone know if something similar exists here? Would love to get more info on becoming a doula and working for a company like LOOM….!

  10. Dana says...

    What a beautiful, positive, uplifting woman, especially her perspective on natural birth. I heard a quote recently about how we would never laud a man for a “natural vasectomy.” With that level of pain, it is never assumed men would try to endure without medication. Why is the balance and expectation so different for women in pain?

  11. Nic says...

    My baby is turning 6 months old in a couple of days. It felt like yesterday that she was born. How did it become half a year? Half a year of hazy days, lack of sleep, anxiety, tears, crying, saliva, poo and pee all over me. Still, it feels like just yesterday I was convulsing in the delivery room and after almost a day I met my daughter for the first time. She was so raw and her whole body shook when she cried. When she suckled for the first time, her eyes opened and looked at me and I couldn’t really think of anything else but that she was perfect.

    To all the new mothers, it’s such a ride but it gets better! I remember her being 6 weeks old and I was constantly filled with panic and worry and was always almost on the verge of tears. Now she’s almost 6 months and most days I feel like I’m got it almost sorted (haha). I’ve managed to go swimming, go for runs by the beach, gone out to meet friends, even snuck out for a secret solo movie while leaving her with my in laws to do a ‘grocery run’.

    You can only take care of her after you’ve taken care of yourself.

  12. Sophia says...

    I think it would be great if you did a piece on fertility. It’s something that so many women struggle with.

  13. Jessica says...

    I’m 38 weeks pregnant with my second child. I was unable to breastfeed my first child and it absolutely devastated me, for reasons I couldn’t even articulate at the time. Now I know:
    1. Getting a baby here is a miracle.
    2. Feeding a baby is a miracle.
    3. Maintaining your own mental and physical health is a miracle.
    4. Everything else is bullshit. :)

    Bravo Erica!

    • Liz says...

      ME TOO. Thank you for saying all of this. I am also a doula and worked with two lactation consultants who both said “you are doing it right, and your baby is doing it right, its just not working” and I was crushed (low supply, sloooow letdown, yeast infection in my breasts). So I pumped exclsuively for 10 months and though I am proud I was able to do that, it was a nightmare for my emotional and mental state. I still feel a lot of grief of not being able to breastfeed via breast. I am sending you ALL THE VIBES and cheering you on for whatever happens with second feeding journey.

    • Cheryl says...

      I love this!

    • Dawn says...

      YESSSS!!! This is a beautiful post!
      I had so much trouble breastfeeding and it was devastating to me too. His frenulem was clipped, we tried 2 lactation consultants, lactation supplements, an osteopath, SNS systems, etc. I was so stressed out and sad that I couldn’t feed him in a way that was supposed to be “natural”. I ended up pumping and supplementing with formula. Luckily the second time around, I was much easier on myself. Now that my youngest is out of infancy, I can look back and say that we made it! Both kids are healthy and happy and the details of birthing and feeding are not important.

      We need to support one another instead of judging. Good luck with baby #2!

  14. Nicole says...

    This was such a beautiful post. I wish I had read it before my two were born. Thank you for helping all women, Erica!

  15. B says...

    I’m a first-time mom, and my c-section is scheduled for Friday, so this couldn’t be more timely! My little bundle of joy has been breech for quite awhile, and, while I’ve tried everything to try to get him to flip, he’s quite content to keep his head in my rib cage. I’m totally fine with a c-section, but other seem to be very disappointed for me, which is frustrating to hear when I just could not be more excited to meet the little guy.

    As I told my MIL when she nearly cried over the news, I didn’t get pregnant to experience spontaneous labor and a vaginal delivery; I did it to end up with a baby. I feel so thankful to live in a time and place where these medical advancements are available to me so that I can bring this kid into the world with us both safe, healthy, and happy.

    Thank you, Joanna and Erica!

    • Good luck with your C-section birth! My first and only (so far!) baby boy will be turning one this Friday! I remember being where you are last year at this time, and I can’t tell you how amazing of an experience and journey it will be for you. The road to recovery (and figuring out motherhood) is not always an easy one, so take care of yourself, momma! Congratulations!

    • (mine was a C-section too due to baby boy being breech/not wanting to turn!)

  16. K says...

    I love what Erica has to say here! I’m all for this brand of solidarity!
    I was super fortunate to be pregnant at the same time as several close friends. We have all made somewhat divergent choices in birth and parenting, (birth center, hospital, friends in the delivery room, staying home, going back to work, co-sleeping, sleep training) and I have LOVED discussing it all! There’s kind of an understanding that it’s all driven by genuine concern and curiosity – “what’s working for your fam right now?” “Have any ideas for teething/ tough nap times/ pumping/ awkward in-law situations?”

    Especially in those early months, everything changes so quickly you’re always just doing the thing that works for you in that particular week. Hearing a trusted perspective from a friend is so comforting when you find yourself having to change gears (again!) and take a new approach. Thanks for always bringing that trusted perspective! Solidarity!

  17. Julia says...

    I love this post! We’re about to celebrate my son’s first birthday next week, and I’ve been reminiscing a lot about my labor and delivery! One thing that I was not expecting was how unusual the timing of contractions could be. I had irregular contractions for 2 days before I finally went to the hospital (they say to go when they’re about 5 minutes apart, if I remember correctly, and mine kept coming at weird intervals of 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, so I kept waiting for them to get more regular and they never did). When I finally did go, they told me I was already 7 cm dilated! I was so surprised, and we had a baby 8 hours later!

  18. Laura Angell says...

    I was told breastfeeding feeding would get better after a week, then after a month, then after six weeks, etc …it took us 4 months! Horrible, nipple torture!! After 6 months of hell she breastfed till she was 3 years old.

  19. I loved reading this post! I’m 21 weeks pregnant and can already can see how motherhood brings on so many expectations and judgments. Social media seems to have made it even worse. I often wish I could time travel back to when my mom was having kids. She probably was a bit more isolated but she was also less judged and more sheltered from other’s opinions!

    You should do a post about things to say/not say to pregnant women! Except the only thing you should really say it, ‘you look beautiful’ or ‘I’m so excited for you.’ Unless you are a super close friends. I get most annoyed by body comments. I am tall and have a long torso so I am not showing as much as other women do around this point of pregnancy so I get a lot of ‘really? you are XX weeks along’ or “Gosh, you aren’t showing as much as you should/I did” comments. I am sure they are well-intentioned but they make me feel paranoid. On the flip side, friends have received comments like, “are you sure you aren’t further along/you calculated your due date correctly/you aren’t having twins?” A lot of these comments come from other women which is sad because we should know better than to make comments like this!!

    • ellen says...

      I’m 30 weeks and also taller/long torso-ed and currently just have a little bump. People commenting on my size admiringly makes me feel so uncomfortable and even sort of guilty, because it’s always in comparison to them or other women — i.e., I/my daughter/my friend was huge when she was 30 weeks! And I’m like….I’m just tall! That’s it! So strange to me that there’s a virtuousness assigned to being smaller when the reality is that you’re just along for the ride with whatever your particular body is going to do.

  20. Holly says...

    During my first pregnancy I was very afraid of the unknown – you name it and I worried about it. Specifically, I was concerned about not having my own doctor there to deliver the baby, needing an episiotomy, complications with the baby, and feeling intense pain. Ultimately I tried to talk myself out of feeling so anxious by truly believing/embracing the idea that I would get exactly what I needed during my labor and delivery, and it helped a lot. It gave me something positive to focus on and in the end my daughter’s knotted umbilical cord resulted in a dramatic delivery that included many of the things I feared, but the doctor (not mine!) and nurses who cared for me were EXACTLY who I needed in those moments. They were gentle, efficient, encouraging, funny, and empathetic. I had never met any of them before and I’ve not seen them since, but for those six hours they were the most important people to me and I am eternally grateful that they were there to help me meet my beautiful daughter.

  21. Chelsea says...

    “THERE IS NO UNNATURAL BIRTH. It’s not Westworld. It’s all natural.”

    Bless you!!!!! My mom STILL gets guff about having 3 c-section babies.

  22. Tracey says...

    Due with number two in a few weeks and reading this today helped calm my anxiety about having another (even though my first was the exact textbook, non-medicated labor I dreamed of… I know things may not go as perfectly again). Thanks, Joanna, for featuring Erica today!

  23. Bets says...

    All birth is natural… so simple but so important to share. Thanks for this post, can’t wait to read her book.

  24. Erica has such a kind tone and encouraging attitude. I’m not planning on starting a family for a few years but I will definitely circle back to Nurture when the time comes.

  25. Kathryn says...

    What a lovely post. I know at least one person that each of these tips pertain to. Also, thank you for talking about perinatal depression. With the pervasive pregnancy myth that it is a wonderful and glowing time, depression during pregnancy is almost never talked about. I experienced severe depression with my second child, and luckily my doctor is informed and addressed it right away, but I know it is something that many doctors miss. Also, during that time, your essay on depression was a lifeline, it was comforting and a useful tool to communicate my feelings when I couldn’t. Thank you for bringing the whole woman to your discussions.

  26. Susan Rudolph says...

    I never post here, but this is fantastic.

  27. Okay, I love her. Such great advice, and I love that she is not judgmental about the type of birth you choose. She’s right- birth is amazing no matter how it happens.

    Also, a lot of hospitals have lactation consultants that work there and area available to new moms. Definitely definitely see one if you’d like to breast-feed. Bonus, you don’t have to pay extra for them. Breast-feeding hurts at the beginning, which was such a surprise for me, but it really does get better.

  28. Heather says...

    Thank you, Joanna, for sharing this post. You posted about baby registries right when I found out my 3rd round of IVF worked, and now you’ve posted this right as I’m bringing home my infant son from the NICU and experiencing all sorts of emotions surrounding his traumatic birth, unexpected interventions during labor, and, now, my low milk supply. You have such a knack for timing and it makes me feel like you’re a close friend who quietly slips what I need to read into my blog reader exactly when I need to read it. ❤️

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thinking of you, heather! sounds like it was really tough. i’m sorry you had to go through that. thinking of you and your sweet little man. xo

    • Jessica says...

      Hang in there, mamma. Standing with you.

  29. Bev says...

    My 3 c-sections and IVF are amazing scientific advancements…. but “natural” they are not ;)

  30. Nidhi says...

    Just what I needed to read! I’m due on the 27th Oct and this article pumped in so much positivity in me. Thank you Erica & Jo.

    • Ah!! This makes me so happy! Good luck with everything! <3 <3

    • B says...

      My c-section is scheduled for the 27th! Wishing you well, whether our kids are birthday twins or not :)

  31. I love this and I love these comments!

  32. Jill says...

    I’m pregnant with my first baby and due TOMORROW(!!!) and this is the single best thing I’ve read my entire pregnancy. I love her no judgement attitude. What a fantastic post!

    Now I’m off to pack TP in my hospital bag…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how exciting, jill!!!!! thinking of you xoxoxoxo

  33. Jan says...

    What a wonderful article. I wish I had read this a few years ago before the birth of my first daughter. Instead, I’ll send the link to all my pregnant friends!

  34. This is a lovely post. Birth is one of my favorite subjects, but because of the competitiveness that often comes up for people, it can be hard to talk about. I had three homebirths (and one insanely hard recovery and six weeks of intense pain breastfeeding, and two easy healing/feeding), and I so want my friends to feel lifted up in their own choices and experiences. When you did something different, people can feel judged just by you sharing, and that’s tricky. I am happy for and proud of them as long as they felt supported and cared for in their birth, however it happened…that’s still lacking in so many cases.

  35. Alison Briggs says...

    What perfect timing – I just had my second baby 2 weeks ago – and that last part – for everyone – really amazing and just what I needed to read today! Thank you!

  36. What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL post. I am not pregnant and this already makes me feel more relaxed about the idea of it!

  37. What an incredibly beautiful perspective!! Thank you, Erica, for your acceptance and calm in this often-stressful area.

    I wanted a “natural” birth when I was pregnant with my first. My sister, a labor-and-delivery nurse who specialized in high-risk cases gave me the best advice – to hold my plans and wishes loosely because there were so many variables in labor and delivery, to focus on birthing a healthy baby. This helped me so much.

  38. Sara says...

    What a beautiful pro-woman – really pro-people – post. Thank you, Erica, for the creating your loom platform and sharing the work it feels you are innately built to do. As a mama to a 2.5 year old and 5 month old, after reading this, I just feel *better*. Great share, jo.

  39. Emilie says...

    I’m due with my first baby in two weeks so this post is especially well-timed! And I am now adding toilet paper to my hospital bag. Good call! Also loved the nonjudgmental tone. I’ve been surprised at how people’s militancy comes out around issues of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Isn’t it feminist to be able to make your own decisions about these things?

  40. Nina says...

    Beautiful post. I’m pregnant with my second and find it much harder this time around, both physically and mentally. I’m so very grateful for the health care providers that take the time to talk to us. My OB is my rock at our visits. I see him once a month right now and he is able to comfort me and bring me to a calm place I can’t seem to get to on my own. I always tell other expecting moms and new moms, if you don’t like your provider or have a gut feeling about them, it is never too late to switch. Make sure you find someone that makes you comfortable, does not rush you, and listens to you. I know it’s hard for some women but you may have a choice so don’t feel like you need to stick with someone who you don’t trust. Same goes for your pediatrician! I talk to ours like he’s family and vice versa. He’s going to be part of our lives for the next 18 years so that dynamic is important.

  41. Nora says...

    I hope her book is a best seller and changes the culture of competitive conceiving/birthing/parenting. It’s just insidious! I was lucky to miss the first two (I was young enough when I had my first, I didn’t even know any other pregnant women) but competitive parenting really colored how I experienced the precious years when my kids were little.

  42. Becky MB says...

    The best thing I heard before the birth of my first daughter is “the miracle of childbirth is the child.” A OB/GYN friend told me this after hearing that my baby was frank breach, very much stuck, and that I would be having a C-section no matter what. I was gutted. But her words buoyed my spirits and you know what? I had the happiest, most peaceful, beautiful, intimate C-section and the miracle of it all was Louisa Ann’s arrival. I remember my friend’s words and pass them on to others.

  43. Peggy says...

    This is AMAZING! It made me so happy to read such supportive and practical advice. As a mama of 3 beautiful babies, born in 3 totally different ways – this touched my heart. Can’t recommend instinctive parenting enough. And trusting yourself. Beautiful. Thank you

  44. Mette says...

    What a fantastic post. Thank you.

  45. Simone says...

    This post brought me the most incredible sense of calmness after a stressful day at work and babies are not even on the radar for me yet – just trying to finish my diploma!

  46. AK says...

    I wish everyone, everywhere was this supportive and accepting — we need more people speaking out that however you get it done, hot-tub or stirrups, boob or bottle, birthing and nourishing a baby is simply a success.

  47. Amira Mikhail says...

    I love how Erica is so non-judgemental about the whole experience! I too have always thought the word “natural” shouldn’t be used to describe one type of birth to another – as she said, they’re all natural! And whether to breastfeed vs. bottle feed formula… yikes! We’re about to welcome our second son via a surrogate and have had no choice (with either of our sons) but to feed formula and I am TOTALLY ok with that. But other people don’t seem to be. It’s nice to read a REAL article about becoming a mother and hear from a professional that each decision is a personal one that shouldn’t be judged by others. Thanks for keeping it real and positive Erica!

  48. Whitney says...

    I love this. As a pediatrician, I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. Especially, however you become a mother, it is awesome – and however you choose to feed your child, they will be fine. Actually, however you feed them, they will thrive! I can’t tell you the number of women who I’ve talked to who feel guilt about not being able to solely breastfeed. Breastfeeding is awesome! But if you can’t or choose not too, that’s great too. Babies who are adequately nourished will grow and develop well no matter whether they are formula or breastfed.
    AND – postpartum depression/anxiety is real. Please please please tell your pediatrician or OB or midwife if you’re feeling not right postpartum.