Working as an Obstetric Social Worker in a busy maternity unit, I am often told by new parents that “nothing could have prepared them for what it is REALLY like to become a parent”.
Often they tell me they really couldn’t have pictured the huge mix of emotions, the challenge of feeding a newborn, and the healing that takes place in the first weeks.
When we start to talk about the process of adjustment that is taking place for them and their baby, they will often tell me that they already feel completely overwhelmed by the information overload. So much advice out there, so many opinions and how to know what to listen to.
I often reflect on what we should be telling parents to be. What parents really need to know. So I have aimed to keep this piece really simple.
For the first 12 weeks your baby...
The creator of Calmbirth, Peter Jackson, once told me something I’ve never forgotten.
He said ‘the sound of a newborn crying can be likened to the sound of a smoke alarm going off. They make the same sound whether you’ve burnt the toast or the whole kitchen is on fire.’
I spent the next decade soothing four boys while they cried saying to myself…….. “it’s just the toast.”
This seemed to help me to feel less panicked when my babies cried.
The average healthy newborn cries around 1-2 hours a day at birth, yet many new parents find this level of crying pretty rattling – especially when it’s happening in the middle of the night as is most common in the first weeks .
Tracking forward a few weeks what many parents don’t know is that the peak of...
The fourth trimester – how to survive the first 12 weeks with a new baby
Working in a busy private hospital I get the pleasure of working with many new parents who are adjusting to the first few days of parenthood.
The experience is very different for everyone.
There are ups and downs, there is joy and there is pain. There can be trauma and healing, and a brand new set of worries to manage around “getting it right”.
It is good to know is that it’s normal if the post birth experience is a mixed one. The main thing is to ask for help and know that the intensity of the first few weeks and months does settle.
In the meantime, here are my top six tips for surviving the first twelve weeks.
One - Surrender to the fourth trimester
Your baby is here, but they would much rather be in the womb.
Everything you experience in the first few weeks is much more about your baby managing the sensory stimulation (sight, touch, sound) of...
These comprehensive, learn at your own pace courses give you access at any time to videos, audios and documents that covers the core areas of development when reaching these milestone moments as a parent or grandparent.
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