Monday, August 8, 2011

Mags Said: Advice to New Parents

I will be writing this from the mom perspective... not really a surprise I suppose.

  1. Get out of the house daily.  Do not get house-bound, this is especially important in the winter.  Get out, meet friends, go to new moms' groups.  I think my post-partum depression was affected by me closing myself off from others.
  2. Take a little time for yourself every day.  Even if it is 30 minutes to have a shower, it is important for you to have a life besides your precious baby.  If you are giving all the time you will start to feel that you can't do it all.
  3. Let your husband (partner) do things.  They may not bathe the baby like you would, diaper as quickly, or handle crying in the same way.  This gives bonding time as well as time for you to take a baby break.
  4. It is perfectly fine to listen to people's advice and then ignore it.  Somethings may have worked for them and not for you.  If it is parents/in-laws it could be that laws/doctor advice/science has changed things.  When I was a baby there were no car seats, now I wouldn't let my child not be in a car seat.
  5. Pregnancy/labour/child birth/newborns are all difficult things to deal with.  They are exhausting both mentally and physically.  You need time to rest and recover.  Sleep/rest when you can.  Especially in the early days I would nap with Robbie, sometimes lying on the couch, sometimes in our bed.
  6. Don't feel bad to leave your baby for an hour or two.  This was a hard one for me.  Robbie was born at 36 weeks and spent 5 days in the nursery before being allowed to come home.  I had been in the hospital for 2 weeks prior to giving birth due to gall stones.  I got to the point of exhaustion and Sean forced me to come home to sleep for one night.  I felt so bad leaving Robbie but Sean was right, I needed some time away from the hospital.
  7. Don't let other people make you feel guilty.  Totally hard to do!  As a parent you will often feel enough guilt that you don't need to have other people make you feel guilty too.  
  8. Allow yourself time to grieve if something does not go the way you want it to.  I really wanted to breast feed, I looked forward to it.  Then I had a preemie; all his energy was used to latch on.... I was devastated that I was not successful at doing what I thought was best for my baby.  It took me a long time to accept that while formula was not my first choice that it was still ok.  I still wish I could have breast fed and knowing what I do now I think I would have tried harder/insisted on more help from day one.
  9. Take lots and lots of pictures.  They grow and change so quickly!
  10. When people come to visit or ask how they can help - take the help!  This is one thing I did not do - take help when offered.

                                                      Robbie and I @ about 16 hours old


trooppetrie said...

I agree it is hard, ,my last baby was born 9 weeks early, i spent 5 weeks in the hospital before that. I hated leaving her but that was my baby and she needed a well rested mommy

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