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.)

The Lonely Terror of Postpartum Anxiety

https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/the-lonely-terror-of-postpartum-anxiety.html

(click link to read this really important piece on thecut.com)

I’m lying awake, gazing at the gentle rise and fall of my 3-month-old’s chest. He’s a delicate infant, constantly surprising me with his smallness, like his sister did when she was born four years earlier. In recent weeks, my son has begun stretching out the number of minutes between nursing sessions. He can go for two hours without eating now, or two and a half if I’m lucky. This means I have more of a chance to sleep, at least in short spurts. But every time I drift off, I jolt awake in a sweaty panic.

I am on high alert all the time these days. I tell myself that this panicky feeling is normal — I have a new(ish) baby, after all. But it doesn’t feel normal. I have constant visions of my son suffocating in the night. I think of waking up to his cold body. I spend nights imagining a thousand unlikely, tragic things that could happen to him.

HERE’S HOW TO HELP A NEW MOTHER (ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE DOESN’T ASK)

http://raisedgood.com/how-to-help-new-mother-especially-when-doesnt-ask/

As a new mother, I had a knack for giving the impression that I didn’t need help.

My village lives on the other side of the globe, so it was borne out of necessity, but I wonder if it was more than that. As new (or not so new) mothers, I wonder if we feel as though we’re letting ourselves down if we show that we’re vulnerable. Are we falling short if we admit that we simply can’t do this alone?

That we have one hairy leg because our survival strategies have devolved into shaving one leg one day, and the other the next. And we forgot the second leg…for a week. That we eat breakfast for dinner on a semi-regular basis. And that if one more well-meaning person tells us (as if we’ve forgotten) that we really need to take care of ourselves, we’ll scream.

Because, before becoming mothers we were used to feeling productive. To meeting deadlines. To getting the job done and feeling like a valued team member.

But motherhood shatters that reality. And although it’s bittersweet, thank goodness it does. It softens us. Slows us down. Stops the treadmill of a results driven society, forcing us to reassess what we truly value in this one short life of ours. As parents, we need to redefine success in the context of a journey, with a destination we will never see.

(click to read on raisedgood.com)

The Neonatal ICU Gets a Makeover

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-neonatal-icu-gets-a-makeover-1498443000

Hospitals are taking premature infants out of isolated incubators and into rooms where they can have close contact with their parents.

Hospitals are rethinking the way they care for premature babies.

The traditional neonatal intensive-care unit puts preterm babies—those born before 37 weeks—into incubators in a room with six to eight other infants. But hospitals are starting to realize that premature infants benefit from close physical contact with their parents.

One of the latest NICUs, in Beacon Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Ind., was designed around this idea. There, families can stay together for weeks or months in private rooms that facilitate skin-to-skin contact—also known as kangaroo care—between parent and baby.

(click to read on WSJ.com)

4 HUGE BENEFITS OF AN UNDISTURBED FIRST HOUR AFTER BIRTH

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/05/02/4-huge-benefits-of-an-undisturbed-first-hour-after-birth/

The first hours after a baby is welcomed into the world may have short- and long-term consequences. Evidence has shown that newborns who are placed skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth have better  respiratory, temperature, and glucose stability, and significantly less crying that stipulates less stress.

“Because the first hour after birth is so momentous, we have named it ‘The Sacred Hour’ at our hospital,” explains Raylene Phillips, MD.

(click link at top to read the rest of the article on collective-evolution.com)