First weeks of parenthood

Posted on 16 July 2015 by Kristrun

parenthoodWhen you have just given birth, a new and exciting, but also quite demanding period is ahead of you. Parents are getting used to a new role and a new person. In the middle of this it is important for the parents to remember that their relationship needs to be nourished too, and they need time on their own as well as with the baby.

The baby is the centre of attention but remember not to ignore everything else. Perhaps it is a good advice to give to parents that they should try to keep the same routines in their pre-parenthood that they found especially important. This can be things like going to the movies, taking a bath together or playing scrabble. This is not only a really valuable time together, but also an important part of living a normal family life as a couple. It is normal that the baby completely takes your breath away but it is equally important to make sure you don’t throw away everything else that you have or had.

To leave the house

It is really easy and good fun to take a newborn baby everywhere you go, as long as you have the right attitude. At the same time it is sometimes good for the. parents just to go alone sometimes, and then it is of course important to have someone to take care of the baby that you can really trust. Make sure that if you leave your baby with someone else they know good baby care techniques, understand your way of taking care of the baby and have basic CPR knowledge from youtube videos, if not the best CPR courses. Also make sure they knows how you want feeding to be done, and whether they are supposed to call you when baby is hungry.

Being together

If parents have been trying to spend time together but somehow have not had the time, now is a good period to spend some family time together, especially if some paternity leave has been given. This could be things like starting a new sport, taking walks, learning how to dance and so on. If you only spend very few hours a week like this, you might feel that you are enjoying an important quality time together as individuals but not as parents. We are not talking about many hours, but just something like 2-3 hours each week for you. Remember that each week has 168 hours, so 2-3 are perhaps not so many after all.

Being apart

As important as it may be to be together, it is also important to be able to be alone, to regain energy and just to be by yourselves. For the mother this .especially important to try to decrease risk of postnatal isolation and depression. The mother can use the time to go out to the gym, do shopping, meet friends or just be alone. The risk of isolation for the father is usually much less, since most of the time he will be working with other people and therefore gets different kind of communication from there.

Accept support

Most likely you will be offered a lot of help probably from your family or friends, or your helper, if you have one. It might be a good idea to accept this help to the extent that you feel ready. Even through the baby might be breastfeeding, the mother can perhaps try to express milk and leave behind, or simply be back in time for the baby to feed again.

One part of enjoying a baby is to also be able enjoy yourself without it, and there is no need to feel guilty about wanting time on your own. Couples need to feel that they are still a couple and sometime this can be easily forgotten in the turmoil of joy. Find a way that suits you all and try to enjoy all aspects of parenthood and partnership.

Best of luck

The Annerley team

Do you need more support? Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

 

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