Nightingale Night Nurses 2-2020-344

The Secret to Enjoying Your Baby

Posted in ,

It’s no secret that parenthood is hard. Between sleep deprivation, huge new responsibilities, and shifting relationships, becoming a parent is one of life’s most stressful transitions. But it’s also one of the most absolutely rewarding ones. The secret to enjoying your baby is having the practical and emotional support to help you land softly into parenthood. 

Support

Having support is the #1 secret to enjoying your baby. Wholesome support looks different for every parent. Support can come from family, friends, community members, colleagues, parent groups, therapists, doulas, and medical professionals. Each will provide a different kind of support, and every parent has different wants and needs. The important thing is that the support you have is solid – they show up for you when you need them. That can look like a sister who offers a shoulder to cry on, a colleague who drops off food, a doctor who truly listens to your concerns, or a friend who always picks up the phone when you need to vent.

Postpartum Care

Postpartum care is absolutely essential to starting parenthood off on the right foot. Actually, you should really be starting parenthood off with your feet UP! Great postpartum care will allow you to ease into your new role as you get to know your baby and heal your body. At-home postpartum care from a postpartum doula or newborn care specialist greatly reduces postpartum depression and raises parenting satisfaction. When your baby arrives, the world will seemingly pause on its axis as everything shifts to make room for the huge new love and responsibility in your life. But alas, the other responsibilities don’t stop. Having adequate postpartum care means that you’re not trying to do it all at once – cooking, cleaning, learning newborn care, learning to breastfeed. Doula and NCS’s also know that the secret to enjoying your baby is knowing people have your back. They’ll be there to connect you with other resources to help you thrive, like lactation support, counseling or pelvic floor therapy.

Knowledge

Learning to care for an infant and take care of your changing body is a huge learning curve. The secret is to get ahead by reading up ahead of time. Everything you need to know about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, and newborn care can feel utterly overwhelming. The key is to find resources that match your style and to have a trusted support system to follow up with, like a doula or experienced parent friends. Knowledge boosts your confidence as you move through the quickly changing stages of early parenthood. When you know what’s normal and expected, you’ll be less anxious and more relaxed.

Sleep

The thing is, no matter how well-prepared and well-supported you are, nobody feels good without adequate sleep. Many parents overlook this factor and figure they’ll just push through. But sleep deprivation quickly turns moods sour, makes those newborn care tips you learned harder to remember, and makes any sane person feel utterly crazy. The trouble is that newborns need to eat every 1.5-3 hours until they’re back up to birth weight, which means getting enough sleep will take planning and support. Take shifts with your partner, hire professional overnight support, nap when you can, and generally take it easy while you’re in a season of broken sleep. It’s impossible to fully enjoy your baby when you yourself feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. The secret is to skip past the guilt of that truth and plan for ways to prioritize sleep. 

It Takes a Village

It truly does take a village, but the age-old adage can feel like a slap in the face to modern parents who feel totally overwhelmed. In the absence of a traditional village, it’s time to make a modern one. Supportive online spaces can be wonderful places to learn about parenting and receive emotional support. Doulas and newborn care specialists are the “aunties” of modern parenting, bringing much-needed warmth and expertise as they make your lives easier – and help you get more sleep!

But perhaps the biggest hangup for modern parents isn’t the lack of support itself. It’s the belief that they don’t need or deserve it. Getting over this is absolutely essential to enjoying your baby and feeling good as a parent. With knowledge, practical and emotional support, and a plan to prevent sleep deprivation, you’ll be able to soak in that beautiful baby and feel confident as a new parent.