New parenthood is fraught with its ups and downs, laughter and tears, trial and error. I have lived through my own. Now I am lucky enough to participate in many of my client’s. From my experiences these are the most common 5 mistakes most parents make when baby arrives.
1.They aren’t prepared for the postpartum time.
In a previous blog I wrote on how ill-prepared we are as a culture for the postpartum time. It’s true and is a common mistake. We spend time researching pregnancy, preparing for childbirth, researching baby necessities, and room colors/style.
Once the pregnancy is over and baby is here, then what? You need a plan! What will mom need for recovery? How will household chores be divided and get done? Who will make meals? Grocery shop?Breastfeeding?Bottle feeding? The list goes on and on.
Talk about these issues early, get a plan and find local resources in the event you need help. Having a list of things such as: supplies mom will need for healing, local support groups, postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, doctors, even take-out restaurants, etc. ahead of time will lessen the stress of researching and shopping last minute.
2. They don’t know how to say “NO”.
People mean well. They really do. BUT everyone and their brother wanting to stop by immediately after baby is born is not always the best. You are tired, uncomfortable, and figuring out a routine. Throw in a curve ball such as learning to breastfeed and you might have overload. It is ok to ask friends and family members to wait a bit to come see you. A simple, “Thank you for asking, but we are just not ready for visitors.” is ok!
3. Parents not focusing on their relationship.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in all things baby. Couple that with sleep deprivation and it is easy to forget to connect with your partner. Let’s face it, bringing a baby into your world can be stressful and it is easy to take each other for granted. Take some time to talk, go for a short walk, or just relax in bed together. Keeping your relationship strong makes for a team atmosphere and let’s face the facts: Kids can divide and conquer. Strength in numbers, parents!
4. Parents lacking in self-care.
This is big for moms and dads. Not taking the time for yourself will cause you to crash and burn quickly. It doesn’t have to be a “big” thing you do for self-care. Something as simple as a bath, taking an hour to be alone, a walk, a massage, exercise, yoga…just do something you enjoy for yourself. Taking a little time for yourself will actually help you to be a better parent and partner!
5. Not asking for help
We want to do it all. Sometimes doing it all is not what is best for us or our families. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hiring a postpartum doula would help you tremendously with the transition. Maybe a postpartum doula is not for you. That’s ok. You will be surprised and how many people will be happy to help out. Little things like having a friend or family member over to do a load of laundry, cook a meal, hold the baby while you sleep or shower, run errands or whatever you can think of will take some of the burden off you and your family and give you a little break. Don’t be shy. Knowing when you need support is a sign of strength, not weakness!
Nurtured Foundation Postpartum Doula Services provides day & night doula care, lactation support, belly binding, infant massage instruction and various classes to the Cleveland, Ohio and surrounding areas. Please contact us for more information.