Parenting advice from the experts

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Dr. Neeti Wyckoff (Ellet office), mother of three boys 7 and younger, including a baby born Feb. 25: The single piece of advice that I have for new moms is to take time to take care of yourself.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked the 15 providers at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics who are pregnant or recent new moms to answer this question: Now that you are a new or expectant mother, what is the single best piece of advice you have to offer fellow new moms?

Dr. Neeti Wyckoff (Ellet office), mother of three boys 7 and younger, including a baby born Feb. 25:

“The single piece of advice that I have for new moms is to take time to take care of yourself.

“Being a new mom can be overwhelming and often you become consumed with your little one. Your whole life changes and revolves around this tiny little being. Your thoughts are completely focused on your baby. You wonder if you’re feeding the baby enough, why is the baby gassy and the list goes on and on. Sometimes when we become so over focused on keeping our baby happy, that as a new mom you can stress yourself out. Often you’re so busy expending all the energy you have on your baby that you forget to take care of your basic needs.

“If you start to feel that way, I tell new moms to take time out away from your baby to recharge yourself. It may mean taking a nice long nap, getting a haircut or spending dinner with friends or family. Just an hour of doing something for yourself will let you see the bigger picture that everything will be OK, and eventually your baby will sleep through the night.”

Dr. Terri Linnon (Boardman office), first-time mother of a baby girl born March 26:

“Have lots of patience with yourself and the baby.”

Dr. Katrina Regula (Fairlawn office) has a 1½-year-old son and a daughter born March 2:

“For new moms, try to make sure the moms get some rest when the baby is resting, because when the mother is able to have a little sleep, that just makes everything seem better. The stresses are easier to deal with.”

Dr. Andrea Knighton (Ashland office) has a 2-year-old son and another son born in April:

“Stop trying to worry about getting everything done. Just enjoy the time with your baby while he’s little.

“I know that’s what everyone says, but it really does go by so fast. I know I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible!”

Dr. Caridad Martinez-Kinder (Ellet office) has a 2-year-old boy and is expecting a baby girl within a month:

“Take time to both bond with the newborn but also know when you need a break. Find time for yourself.”

Dr. Erin Donley (Boardman office), expecting her first child, a baby girl, in August:

She’s not a parent yet, so she said she doesn’t have any firsthand advice or experiences from motherhood to share.

Dr. Ellen MacRitchie (Medina office), mother of two young boys and expecting a girl in October:

“My best piece of advice is having a loving, supportive family around you. I wouldn’t have survived — and continue to work full time — without my husband helping me every step of the way and pitching in.

“Trust your gut — most of the time it is correct.

“Get used to the house not being perfect — no one cares. You will have more time to enjoy life and your kids if you are not worrying about having everything put away.”

Dr. Jennifer Snyder (chief resident officially joining the Green office in July), expecting her first baby in August:

“I recommend that parents shop around for their pediatrician. It’s important that they are in a convenient location (expect those sick child visits) and that you have a feeling of comfort with the medical staff.

“I know being a mother will make me a better pediatrician. I will be able to relate to what my patients are going through. And I have already learned from them as some of them have given me tips and advice on what to expect.”

Dr. Sarah Ayers (Kent office), mother of a 1-year-old daughter and expecting a baby in September:

“Each stage is very short lived, so you should embrace it for everything that it entails — the good and the bad. Enjoy every second because it goes so fast. Make sure to give as many hugs and kisses as you can while you can!”

Dr. Neelam Yi (Wadsworth office) has twin 3-year-old boys and is expecting her third child in October:

“Be patient with yourself as a new mother. Be patient with your child.

“Try, try again. If something isn’t working, be innovative. Try a different approach or a different way.”

Candace Horvath, nurse practitioner (Warren office), mother of a 19-month-old son and expecting another boy in October:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Having a new baby is hard work, especially when your own body is trying to heal. When family and friends offer to help cook, clean or run errands, let them.”

Dr. Teresa Moon (float physician), a first-time mother whose baby girl was born in March:

“If you can, breast-feed your baby. Besides the health benefits, breast-feeding also allows mom and baby to form a unique bonding experience. It may be difficult at first, but stick with it as it will get easier over the first few weeks.”

Dr. Carrie Lehman (Tallmadge office), first-time mother whose son was born April 9:

“The single best advice would be to just try to enjoy them being a baby, because they aren’t that very long. Don’t get fixated on the crying and the feeding and just try to enjoy it more. That’s what I’m trying to do. They grow so fast. I see that in my office every day.”

Dr. Lisa Light (float physician), a first-time mother whose son was born Nov. 26:

“I have a lot of advice for new moms but the most important is to slow down and enjoy this wonderful time. Your baby will grow up fast and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss it.”

Dr. Lysa Aemmer (Barberton office) has two young children and is expecting a third child in September:

“They grow up fast. Treasure each moment.”


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