We all need a little extra help sometimes... Postpartum Doulas are professional caregivers with specific training to "mother" your family after birth. What this looks like depends on each families needs. From caring for baby while mom rests, to breastfeeding assistance to making nutritious meals these dedicated caregivers strive to take care of the day to day basics for families. They make sure each family feels nurtured so they can focus on the important job of healing, bonding with their new baby, incorporating their new baby into the existing family structure and more. If you are interested in learning more or hiring a Postpartum Doula visit www.DONA.org
Often our pets were the first babies we ever brought home! Don't forget to consider their well being as you bring home your newest baby. Pet owners are often suprised by the reaction of pets to the new baby and many pets end up in shelters as a result. Taking time to consider how to help your pet adapt to your new baby can relieve potential stressors down the road. Many pets are startled by the cries of a new baby, preparing your pet by gradually exposing your pet to potenial new sounds can help you to learn how your pet responds and help you adapt accordingly. There are CD's or downloads available online. Additionally bringing home something that smells of the baby to your pet prior to bringing baby home, setting boundaries for your pet to stay out of baby only areas and managing your pets routine can help make this transition fory our pet successful. Remember NEVER leave a baby alone with a pet under any circumstances for the safety of your baby and your pet! For expert help for families with dogs visit Familypaws.com and check out their Dogs and Storks program as well as many other helpful tips and a free Ebook!
Labor is hard work....being in good health, eating right and physical fitness can benefit you and your baby. Any woman can work towards fitness and it is one of the best things you can do for a healthy pregnancy! Talk with your provider about what that could look like for you. Small, simple steps are best! If you are already in great shape that is wonderful, you can typically continue your normal routine. Of course you should consult your provider if exercising causes discomfort, pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms.
Making a plan for future child care during pregnancy is important for families that will need these services. Whether looking for an occasional sitter for date night or full/part time care if both parents are going to be working; there are MANY options to consider. Deciding what type of care (family, nanny, babysitter, daycare center etc), who will provide it and the financial impact on the family are good basic starting points for starting a discussion.
Many new mothers may find breastfeeding overwhelming at first. Breastfeeding is natural but each mother and baby must learn together and create their own breastfeeding relationship. You have probably heard the first 2 weeks are the hardest and that is pretty accurate. However, when you are struggling nothing else seems to matter. Support in the home, talking with experienced family and friends and getting educated encourage breastfeeding success. If you need more help there are many great resources starting with your healthcare provider, breastfeeding specialists, and local groups such as the La Leche League. Sometimes, just a little help is all you need to turn struggles into successes.
The baby has arrived and now you have the next 18 years to take this wiggling helpless creature and raise them up to a full fledged adult. Your own life experiences will shape how you parent as well as the role models in your life. Honestly much of parenting is on the job training. Getting a head start on thinking about your journey as parents can be a good exercise for families to learn your basic desires for your child's future especially if this is something you never considered before now. Of course every baby is different and every parent faces unique challenges. Being on the same page as your partner or understanding where your differences are can lead to successful cooperative parenting that will benefit the whole family. Parenting classes can also be helpful tools for all parents as you commit time and energy into learning more about your own child and his/her gifts and needs.
Okay, it may seem kind of corny but connecting with other mom's going through the same things you are can be a lifesaver. When you are up to your ears in laundry and diapers you may feel like you are all alone. Rest assured moms all over are feeling the same way. Getting out of the house, making new friends and finding potential playmates for your little one are all great benefits of hanging out with other moms. A couple national groups are MOPS and MomsClub with local chapters in many cities. If you prefer you can create your own group, try the local YMCA or search online locally for a group that fits your needs.
Car Seat Safety
Your baby's carseat is about to become an integral part of your life. Choose a carseat that is safe, functional and affordable and you can ensure you start off on the right foot. It is important if you are planning on getting a "new to you" carseat that it has never been in an accident and it is not expired or recalled. NHSTA research shows that 7 out 10 seats are installed incorrectly so you will want to take the time to have your seat/installation inspected by a professional before you plan on bringing your baby home.
For more information and to find a station near you, visit the NHTSA Car Seat Inspection Locator.
(Information on registering your seat, safety recalls and carseat laws are also available from the NHTSA site)