The Support You Need When Caring for Your Newborn Baby
Taking home a newborn baby can be a very stressful thing for new moms, as they learn how to breastfeed, soothe their crying newborn, all while running on little sleep and maintaining their prior responsibilities. And while husbands or partners will generally be the primary source support, during this adjustment phase, new moms will need a lot of external assistance from family members and friends, as well as professionals.
Of course, it is equally important that new moms stay away from potentially negative influences. By seeking out the right people to share the load, new moms can have more time to enjoy their new baby!
Friends and Family
When a new baby arrives, friends and family are often the first ones to lend a hand, as they share in the excitement of the new addition. Of course, not all have equally helpful advice and support to offer. That is why it is important to be aware of who to include and who to avoid before your new bundle arrives!
- Who to Include
- Other Moms: Many new mothers are surprised to learn that so-called maternal instinct doesn’t teach you everything you need to know about caring for a newborn. That’s why, being around other moms (both first-time moms and more experienced ones) will be a great source of support for you – not only because they can provide you with helpful parenting tips, but more importantly, because they understand what you’re going through.
- Friends You Can Count On: There are a lot of things you may need help with during the first few weeks of your baby’s homecoming, such as grocery shopping, housekeeping and meal preparation. While you’re still pregnant, talk to friends you trust about helping you out with such things, and then be sure to call them when the occasion arises.
- Neighbors: Chances are that at some point or another during your child’s life you will be calling on your neighbors to help you in some shape or form. That is why developing a relationship with them early on is such a good idea. If you haven’t already been formally introduced to your neighbors, try bringing over some baked goods or inviting them over for a potluck.
Who to Avoid:
- Anyone Who Is Not A “Baby Person”: With all the excitement a new baby brings, you don’t want to have people around who are going to bring negativity to the occasion. Everyone has someone in their lives who is a self-described, “kid-a-phobe”; the problem is that sometimes these people can also be some of your best friends. That is why befriending other moms – or single friends who love children – is so important for new moms.
- People Who Preach:
When it comes to friends and family, we all have well-meaning individuals in our lives who feel the need to give us advice about everything from housework to relationships – even when we don’t ask for it. To avoid any unnecessary hostility, try to avoid these people during your first few weeks as a mom. It’s also a good idea to have a courteous but firm reply ready for anyone who may try to offer you some unsolicited words of wisdom.
Even with the best familial support, there are still certain things new moms need that only the experts can provide. From health care to breastfeeding help, there are just some people no new mom can do without.
- Pediatrician: Having a good pediatrician is an absolute must for any new mother. Not only will they care for your new baby’s health, they are also an amazing resource for parenting tips and advice. Ideally, you will already have your pediatrician selected before your baby arrives – preferably in late pregnancy. Before selecting your pediatrician, talk to family and friends as well as your ob/gyn. You may also want to prepare an interview for the pediatrician to make sure you select the one you are most compatible with.
- Lactation Consultant: Breastfeeding can be a challenge for new mothers, which is why having a professional there to teach you how, can be a great way to ease you into the adjustment. Lactation consultants help you to teach your baby how to latch on, and can help new mothers get through any difficulties they may experience regarding painful nursing, low milk production or inadequate weight gain.
- Night Nurse: While not a necessity, having a night nurse can be a very welcome way for new moms to get the rest they need to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. Tip: This would make a great baby shower gift for any mother-to-be!