I prepared so much for my baby that I forgot to prepare for my own transformation

https://www.mother.ly/life/i-prepared-so-much-for-my-baby-that-i-forgot-to-prepare-for-my-own-transformation

   

 

    

(Click to read the blog on mother.ly)

How Men’s Bodies Change When they Become Fathers

https://parenting.nytimes.com/health/fatherhood-mens-bodies

As an anthropologist who studies human fatherhood at the University of Oxford, I’ve run up against a widespread and deeply ingrained belief among fathers: that because their bodies haven’t undergone the myriad biological changes associated with pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding, they’re not as biologically and psychologically “primed” for caretaking as women are.

As a result, they feel less confident and question their abilities to parent: Will they be “good” parents? Will they bond with their babies? How will they know what to do?

As my own personal and professional experiences dictate, the idea that fathers are biologically “less prepared” for parenthood is unlikely to be true. Much of the role of parenting is not instinctual for anyone. (I remember the steep learning curve of those first days of motherhood — learning what each of my baby’s cries meant, mastering the quick diaper change and juggling the enormous amount of equipment necessary just to make it out the door.)

And while the biological changes fathers undergo are not as well understood (nor as outwardly dramatic) as those of mothers, scientists are just beginning to find that both men and women undergo hormonal and brain changes that herald this key transition in a parent’s life.

In essence, being a dad is as biological a phenomenon as being a mom.

(click link at top to read on nytimes.com)

SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT, SELF SOOTHING AND ‘GOOD’ BABIES: WHY WE NEED TO STOP SETTING MOTHERS UP TO FAIL

https://raisedgood.com/sleep-through-night-self-soothing-good-babies-stop-setting-mothers-to-fail/

“Is he sleeping through the night?” asks a stranger.

“She’s too clingy. You really need to stop picking her up.” says a friend.

“Is she a good baby?” asks a woman at the park.

“He should be self-soothing by now. Consolidated sleep is critical for healthy brain development.” proclaims a sleep trainer.

“You’re creating a rod for your own back.” exclaims a grandmother.

“I hope you’re putting her down drowsy but awake.” advises a mother at a meetup.

“Feed, play sleep! Feed, play, sleep!” chants a daycare worker.

“You’re not nursing him to sleep are you? That’s a bad sleep association. How do you expect him to learn to fall asleep on his own?” questions a health nurse.

“Oh, he’s just manipulating you, dear. He’s got you wrapped around his tiny eight-week-old little finger.” says a mother-in-law.

“If you don’t put your three-day-old baby down to sleep in a crib on his own you’re risking suffocation and death. It is the only way babies are safe from SIDS.” states a pediatrician.

These are the loud lies of infant sleep that our culture repeats from one generation of new mothers to the next, as if on autopilot.

Without questioning the roots or validity of these statements.

Without an understanding of the biological needs of babies.

Without knowledge of what normal infant sleep looks like.

Without an appreciation for how most cultures around the world care for their babies (and why).

These mistruths are dangerous, not only because they’re false, but because they’re full of unrealistic expectations that set a new mother up to feel like she’s failing. To doubt her own abilities. To worry that there may be something wrong with her or her baby.

(click link at top to read blog in entirety)

New Study Reveals Moms Need a Full Year for Recovery After Giving Birth

http://redtri.com/new-study-reveals-moms-need-a-full-year-for-recovery-after-giving-birth/

Growing a baby a beautiful experience, but it’s also demanding on your body. New mothers may be told by books and doctors that they’ll be back to “normal” within six weeks of giving birth, but a new study has found that most women take much longer to recover.

Dr. Julie Wray, a researcher at Salford University in England, interviewed women at different stages of post-partum life. She found that the standard six-week recovery period is a “complete fantasy,” and it can take a full year to recover from childbirth.

It’s not just physical recovery that’s needed, but mental as well. Many feel the pressure to get back on their feet soon after childbirth and feel it may be necessary to head back to work as early as six weeks.

Wray found that recovery should start in the hospital. Back in the day, women spent more time in the maternity ward learning how to take care of their infant and getting breastfeeding advice. Now, some women are discharged as early as six hours after giving birth and expected to just go with it, according to Wray’s research.

“The research shows that more realistic and woman-friendly postnatal services are needed,” Wray concluded. “Women feel that it takes much longer than six weeks to recover and they should be supported beyond the current six to eight weeks after birth.”

Recovery after childbirth is different for everyone, but the general consensus is that a full year to heal the body and mind is much better than a month and a half.

New ‘postpartum house’ in Calgary believed to be one of first of its kind in Canada

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/moss-postpartum-house-setl-open-in-may-1.5027012.

Being a new mom can be overwhelming, even if everything goes smoothly with the labour and delivery.

But many new moms find themselves driving all over the city for followup appointments or seeking help for postpartum issues after the baby arrives — from complicated labour, breastfeeding problems to postpartum depression.

Paige Barlow wants to change that by bringing all that support under one roof.”I noticed there was a big disconnect after parents had their baby with support,” said Barlow, who has worked as a postpartum doula for about seven years. “And it was very difficult for a new mom. They’re often breastfeeding in the car and having to put in multiple locations for multiple appointments.

“So I thought by putting everyone under one roof it would make it more convenient and easier for moms to support their new baby, and families in general.”

Barlow plans to open Moss Postpartum House this spring, and it may be the first postpartum house in the country.

“I noticed there was a big disconnect after parents had their baby with support,” said Barlow, who has worked as a postpartum doula for about seven years. “And it was very difficult for a new mom. They’re often breastfeeding in the car and having to put in multiple locations for multiple appointments.

“So I thought by putting everyone under one roof it would make it more convenient and easier for moms to support their new baby, and families in general.”

Click link above to read about this amazing new place for new moms on cbs.ca

After Birth: How Motherhood Changed My Relationship With My Body

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/opinion/pregnancy-babies-birth.html

I love my baby. But I was unprepared for how childbirth would change my body.

I thought I was pretty well prepared for the birth of my son. I had loads of friends with kids, I was an aunt, I’d attended a prenatal course, read (bits) of the many books recommended to me. And yet I discovered afterward that I was completely unprepared for the physical changes my body went through in pregnancy and the recovery that would follow. Obviously giving birth is one of the most extreme things your body can ever go through. So why was the aftermath also such a shock?

(Click link at top to read this op ed piece on nytimes.com)

Why Listening to Other Parents On Your Child’s Sleep is Often A Complete Waste of Your Time

http://evolutionaryparenting.com/listening-to-other-parents/

Parents today have often been bombarded by other parents telling them the things they need to do to improve their child’s sleep.  Often these things are based on cultural norms which inform on things like sleeping location, sleep training, feeding surrounding sleep, and so on.  Many families end up worried they are doing something wrong because so many others tell them they are.  They hear families telling them how happy they are and how much sleep they are getting and all these behaviours that felt so normal, so instinctive, and so right suddenly seem questionable.

The problem is that there are many scientifically-backed reasons to just flat-out ignore these families.  So before you let one more person worry you, let’s look at why these people’s statements mean absolutely nothing.

(Click link above to read the rest on evolutionaryparenting.com)