8 Self-Care Tips for New Parents

http://mommysbliss.com/8-self-care-tips-new-parents/

Imagine sitting up in your bed nursing your babe at 3 am. Quietly looking out the window, while your partner sleeps blissfully next to you.  Your baby coos and finally drifts off to sleep.  You gently place your sweet little baby in the bassinet next to the bed, simultaneously saying a prayer for a successful transfer.  It worked! Now your eyes close.  Dreams enter.  And then, not five minutes later, baby cries and you do it all over again.  Sound familiar?

How about this one?  Home alone with your darling baby.  You offer a bottle.  Baby, with a full belly, spits up between your breasts all the way down to your elastic waistband and you realize that you are desperate for the shower that feels so far away.

I could create a million of these scenarios with a million variables. Older siblings, twins, single parents, visiting family, social pressures, public places, you name it.

As a parent, doula, educator and lactation support person, I hear and see new parents regularly with their shoulders hovering somewhere around ear height.  If not fully at the end of their rope, they are darn close to it.  And why?  My guess is because we are constantly hammered with the idea that babies are more precious than their parents are.  It’s simple really.  We will suffer so our children don’t have to.  Makes sense, right?  They are just babies after all.

But by setting ourselves up in this way, we all suffer, babies too. In the short term and the long.  And, you know what, we know this.  We know that if we are going to take care of others we have to take care of ourselves as well.  We know this because on airplanes, every single time the flight attendant tells us we have to put our own mask on first.  It’s hard though, right?  I mean, how can we put our mask on when we can’t even find it?

(Click link at top to read the rest of this guest post from the amazing Samantha Huggins, Carriage House Birth co-owner and certified intuitive birth doula.)

30 Birth Photos That Show Pure, Beautiful Love

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/30-birth-photos-that-show-pure-beautiful-love_us_58068a7fe4b0b994d4c24b9a

(click link above to see some amazing photos of ALL types of labors and births…)

Oh, my heart…

No matter how a baby’s birth unfolds ― whether it’s a first-time mom having a C-section, or a third-time mother fighting through a labor that lasts two full days ― childbirth is hard and it is messy.

But in between all the, well, laboring are moments of love. Love between partners, love between families and doctors, doulas and midwives, an)d that very special love when parents and babies lock eyes for the very first time.

Here, talented birth photographers share photos they’ve captured that celebrate those moments of pure joy and connection in childbirth.

 

Photo by Capturing Joy Birth Services:

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15 Things I’d Want to Tell a New Mother

http://cupofjo.com/2016/05/first-year-baby-breastfeeding-sleep-training/

(click link abouto read the blog post)

A few of my friends had new babies this spring, and while looking into their wide, shell-shocked eyes, I remember what it’s like to have a wriggly tiny life in your arms. Everything seems chaotic and hazy and wonderful and exhausting. Here’s what I’d tell those new mothers…

First off, the first thing I would say — which is 10,000% true — is, IT GETS EASIER.

A reader left the loveliest comment years ago: “Bless you, new moms. If you’re trying, you’re doing a great job.”

Here are a few posts that may help during the first year:

1. Here’s what no one told me about breastfeeding, including a book that saved me.

2. 10 tips for traveling with a baby, like our happiest discovery: sit apart on the plane!

3. Fresh air cures everything and somehow seems to cheer everyone up instantly.

4. Don’t forget to kiss your partner.

5. A baby food epiphany! A pear + a spoon.

6. Breastfeeding in public? You go right ahead, mama.

7. 8 questions to ask a new babysitter. Friends have sometimes lamented that they can’t leave their baby with a stranger. But this person is only a stranger until you meet them. At least in our experience, a nanny will soon feel like a beloved new member of the family.

8. Trust your gut. I love this motherhood mantra from Amy Poehler: “Good for her, not for me.” Plus, a few wonderful parenting books, if you’re in the mood.

9. Work/life balance is not easy! I struggled for years and still don’t have it totally down. But here are a few mothers’ day-to-day stories.

10. How to keep up your marriage after kids. (Loved the comments.)

 

Tips For Dads On How To Be Involved During Pregnancy

http://blog.daddyncompany.com/my-life-as-a-dad-2/tips-for-dads-on-how-to-be-involved-during-pregnancy/

Pregnancy can be a confusing and even tough time for expectant dads. There’s so much mixed emotion – they’re a melting pot of excitement, nerves, love, hopes, dreams and fears. Yet most often, there are too few opportunities for dads to channel this energy into meaningful action that helps them feel involved during pregnancy. Many report being on the fringe of their experience, feeling unimportant, lost and left to figure it all out in isolation.

In my professional experience as an expectant and new dad specialist, expectant dads are hungry for more opportunities to be more involved during pregnancy. They want it to feel more ‘real’, to feel more connected to their pregnant partner and her experience, to their baby and to their becoming dad journey and themselves as a dad.

 Dads know it’s an important time – for them, their partner, their relationship and family – and have a sense that there is more to it than they are aware. They just don’t know what they can or should do to change their experience – and it’s not their fault. We should be doing MUCH more to prepare dads for fatherhood and birth than we are!

(click to read blog on blog.daddyncompany.com)

New Dad’s Advice: Just Hire a Damn Doula!

http://goodmenproject.com/families/new-dads-advice-just-hire-a-damn-doula-jrmk/

So, your partner is expecting a baby. That’s amazing. You’re surely getting unsolicited advice from all angles. Well, here’s another piece for the pile: Hire a damn doula. When my pregnant wife first proposed hiring a doula, I issued my standard response when asked about paying someone to perform a service: Nope, I can do that shit on my own.

Oh, how ignorant I was. The more I researched what doulas do, and the more my attorney wife presented me with rock-solid arguments in their favor, the more I came around. Looking back now, I have no idea how I would’ve made it without our doula.

The dominant American cultural approach to pregnancy, labor, and post-partum care is off-kilter in plenty of ways. We’re the only industrialized nation without mandated maternity leave; and paternity leave is seen as a joke, something for lazy-ass sissies. Also, we don’t take doulas as seriously as we should. If you, as a birth partner, have heard of doulas at all, you may think they’re granola-crunching life-coaches. I’ve noticed some O.B.s seem to have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to doulas, as if not being able to perform a C-section means you have an unimportant place in the birthing process.

But doulas are awesome. They are highly trained, they are highly experienced, and, perhaps most importantly, they have your back.

CLICK to read the rest: http://goodmenproject.com/families/new-dads-advice-just-hire-a-damn-doula-jrmk/#sthash.HJPG6UtI.dpuf