Congrats! Your baby has arrived.
You’re settling into this whole feeding, changing, and sleeping thing and learning all about how to do life with your newborn. In the moments of bliss and in the moments when life seems so much harder than you expected, we’ve got 4 tips to help you get the support you need as a new parent:
1. Be Kind to Yourself
Being a new parent brings a pretty steep learning curve. You’re mastering infant care, learning what your baby likes (which may change often!), and trying to meet your own basic needs too. Welcoming a child into your home means a transition in how you care for yourself physically and emotionally. Your needs may get shuffled to the bottom of the pile. Parenting requires much of you, so don’t forget to give back to yourself. Your well-being is important too.
What’s one thing you can give yourself today?
Maybe it’s a…
- walk outside to enjoy the sunshine
- soak in a bubble bath
- TV night where you make popcorn and watch an episode of your favourite show
- coffee and a muffin from your favourite cafe
- dinner by take-out
Only you know you. What will help you to take a break, gain some energy, or a get a rest?
2. Say Yes to Help
The truth is that it is hard to juggle all of the tasks required of a new parent. And, it isn’t easy to ask for help. It may feel risky, so practice saying yes to a few small things first – with the people you trust the most. Have a list ready so that when your friends or relatives ask, you can let them know what you need (or what you don’t need).
There’s no task too mundane to ask a friend for help with.
Loading your dishwasher, picking up a few groceries, bringing a meal (and one for the freezer), folding your laundry, vacuuming, or dusting are just a few tasks you can consider. Yes, you can even ask them to clean your bathroom.
Ask them to help you with Tip #1 (Be Kind to Yourself). Get them to pick up your favourite treat, hold your baby so you can shower, or accompany you to your next appointment. Let them help you take care of yourself in whatever way works for you.
Receiving help is a gift you are giving to them and to yourself.
3. Stay Connected
It can be isolating to be a new parent. Know that you are not alone. Who are the people in your life that you can pick up the phone and call? Maybe your best friend or another parent that you trust? It’s ok to let them know how you are really doing. The real life stuff, being honest and vulnerable, is what great friendships are made out of.
You may also want to consider connecting on-line with mommy/daddy groups, visiting a local baby activity time (libraries are great for this), or stopping in at your favourite cafe to people-watch. You’ll likely find differing opinions about every topic and people will offer their own tips and experiences, sometimes without being asked. Remember that what is best for others may not be what is best for you, and vice versa. Keep the advice you like, trash the rest!
Most importantly, find people that can offer you non-judgemental support.
That means honouring your choices, respecting your decisions, and loving on you. No matter what.
4. Hire a Postpartum Doula
Perhaps you feel that you don’t have a supportive network, or you have some support but want to bump it up a notch. As an experienced professional, a postpartum doula will tailor their services to meet your needs. Want the whole package of support? A postpartum doula can provide you with all of the above.
We get how important it is for you to feel supported as a new parent. That’s why we’ll take the time to connect with you so that you know you have someone in your corner. We will offer non-judgmental support of your birth, feeding, sleeping, and parenting choices. If you’re facing challenges, we can help you trouble-shoot while honouring your preferences. We also provide hands-on help at home, from infant care to light housework and meals so that you can focus on your family. And, you can choose how often we come to your home – from a few hours to 24/7 care over days, weeks, or months into your baby’s first year.