CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE PARENTING
The birth of a baby will bring about
many changes in the lives of new
parents. Many of these changes are
ones that new parents are more than
willing to make. Many will be easy to
adjust to. However, the lives of new
parents often change in ways that
neither new mothers nor new
fathers anticipated. Here are some
things new parents should expect
and prepare for after their children
parents expect to be tired after
their baby arrives, but few are
prepared for just how tired they will
New mothers are
exhausted by not only the hard work
of childbirth. They may also find
that because of their new babies'
schedule, they rarely get to sleep
more than a few hours at a time.
This is true for new fathers, too.
This is why it is very important for
both parents to get all of the rest
that they can. New parents should
not ignore signs of fatigue, because
lack of sleep can lead to more
*Unpredictable emotions. It is
estimated that roughly 50% of all
new mothers experience some
degree of postpartum depression. It
most commonly occurs around the
third day after delivery, but it can
strike at any time during the first
year. It is commonly believed that
dropping levels of estrogen and
progesterone trigger the depression
that many new mothers feel.
*Parenting advice from practically
everyone. Everyone from close
family members to friends will offer
new parents some bit of parenting
advice. Some well-meaning friends
or family members may even tell new
parents what they're doing "wrong."
It is best for new parents to tune
out most of the advice they will be
getting about child care and
parenting. Instead, they should try
to get all the facts they need; then
make up their own minds about
what's right and what's not.
Written by Kristin Zolten, M.A. & Nicholas Long, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics,...