For seven years, I ran a monthly in-person breastfeeding support group and a Facebook breastfeeding support group. In that time, I answered hundreds of phone calls and emails from new moms.
The questions many moms had definitely pertained to things related to breastfeeding, like whether their baby had a good latch or if they were making enough milk. But they were also concerned about things all new mommies are concerned about, whether they are breastfeeding or not.
They wanted to know whether it was normal for their newborn to only to nap well if they were sleeping directly on their mom or dad. They wanted to know why their three-month old was still waking up at all hours of the night. They wanted to know why their two-month-old only took cat naps. They wanted to know why their 12-month-old still woke up in the middle of the night.
(click to read on scarymommy.com)
If your parents and/or your partner’s parents are still alive, chances are you’re having conversations about what happens after the birth of your baby. And when parents are becoming grandparents for the first time, the intensity is generally heightened. Complex shifts are underway as children become parents and parents become grandparents. As you birth yourself into parenthood, huge tectonic shifts occur in the bedrock of your relationship with your parents. Your relationship with each other has developed over years and decades—solidifying your roles as parent and child. They are used to being the parent with all that that involves, including decision-making rights over parenting styles.
(Click link at top to read this great piece by Britta Bushnell on mindbodygreen.com)
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)
Mama, I see you crying in the shower.
I hear your thoughts as they mislead you into believing that you’re failing.
I sense your fear. Your worries. Your uncertainty.
Your overwhelm. Your grief. Your yearning for the life you’ve left behind.⠀
And I see something else.
I see you holding your baby as your tears fall.
(Click to read post on raisedgood.com)
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)
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)