23 Feb 5 Essentials For The New Parent
If you could go back and re-do your early parenting, what are some things you would prioritize? For me, I’ve got some things. I bet you do too.
Today, from the shoes of an experienced Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, there are 5 things that I know to be essential for the new parent. The transition from “we’re expecting a baby to “now we have our baby” is very often a dynamic combination of happy/joyous experiences and frustration or anxious uncertainty.
The experience of living with your baby can be really different than what you had envisioned, and that’s ok. As much as possible, let’s make sure that you have or give yourself:
1) Time – “OMG why can’t this be easier?!”
I see a lot of new parents expressing frustration or worry, about ‘things’ not happening quickly enough. A lot of pressure is felt by some of these parents to:
- Have completely new systems and routines running like clockwork within days of their baby’s arrival.
- Establish breastfeeding routines quickly that include comfort, peace of mind, ease of function, and a happy baby.
- Lose as little sleep as possible and again, predictability.
- Get back at it, like yesterday -work, play, outings, projects, etc.
What I wish I could impress on these families is the need to let adjustments take time. Rare is the new parent or the new baby that can reliably establish predictability without the need for flexibility in their learning curve.
New babies need to be given a lot of grace amidst their transition to life on the outside, and new parents assume the struggle of giving that grace to both their babies and themselves.
2) Space – “NO, now is not a good time for me or my leaky boobs…”
Sometimes it’s tough to balance the need for time at home without visitors and the desire to say ‘Yes’ to each person’s request to visit or invitation to an outing.
I know that for me, it was easier to do the half dressed/just-trying-to-get-baby-to-latch days when I wasn’t expecting a friend to stop by. It was easier to let myself rest and let the house go a bit, if I wasn’t expecting company.
If this is you: *High five* from one who gets it.
Setting some boundaries early on around visitors, as well as how often you intend on accepting invitations to go out, can offer peace of mind and the freedom to simply be, taking the time you and your family do need.
3) Support – “It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
When I say ‘support’, I’m talking about identifying the people who will come alongside you and help you figure out this parenting gig in the way or ways that work best for you.
This can be a variety of people!
- Close friends who are available and who you trust will be unbiased toward your decision making.
- Family you believe will nurture you and your needs during this time.
- Professional Postpartum Doula support that is not only warm and comfortable for you, but also skilled and knowledgeable in helping you navigate new parenthood.
Arranging for a one or all of these options for support as new parents is one of the single most important details. I cannot stress this enough.
With trusted and unbiased support by your side, your transition into parenthood will be smoother and more enjoyable with your goals likely being met much more quickly.
4) Community – “Village? What village?”
Everyone says, “It takes a village.” And that’s cool, unless you don’t have a village.
If you don’t already have that village, or a solid community of people you would call your village, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Are you a Facebook user? There are many pregnancy/parenting avenues and groups to participate in. If you’re not particular about any one parenting style and are local to the PNW, think about joining Pregnant and Parenting In The Northwest .
Do you prefer in person meetings and groups? Check with your OB, Midwife, or Doulas for suggestions about local to you meetups. Many long term friendships and connections are formed through activities like these!
5) Resources – “Where do I find the low down about this.”
One of the most helpful things for new parents, is the ability to access information and resources about the dynamics they are experiencing.
Your OB, Midwife, and/or Doulas can help you with extensive local resources such as:
- IBCLC and other lactation specialists
- Parenting Support Groups
- Postpartum Counselors and Therapists
- Postpartum and Pediatric Chiropractors
Give yourself the peace of mind of creating a list of necessary or potentially needed parenting resources early, so that you avoid a scramble for help later. And let us know how we can help!
Doulasnorthwest.com | (360)602.1564 | email@example.com