New hope, new life.
This year’s Easter celebration is uniquely special for me and my husband because of an answered prayer—the impending birth of the newest member of our family, baby Zaro.
There is light, there is hope, and there is life. Every single day, there is that unexplainable excitement that is fueling us to be better individuals—and more so, better partners in life.
We also look forward to a new life (or is it lifestyle?): Parenthood. We know that this new journey will be filled with challenges. And so, just like all expectant parents out there, we will make sure that we are prepared for this new beginning ahead of us.
Here are helpful tips for first-time parents:
Seek help. For expectant moms: After carrying your baby in your womb for nine months and after going through painful labor and delivery—you will need help.
This can come from doctors, nurses, family, friends, and of course, your husband. Get all the information that you need when it comes to nursing or bottle feeding. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or your parents for advice on how to cradle, change diapers, burp and care for your baby. Give your body the time to fully recover. While you are doing that, you can ask help from your parents or relatives to assist you in taking care of your newborn. If no family member is available, you can always hire a trusted baby specialist to play the role. Make it a habit to communicate your thoughts with your husband. Some new moms experience postpartum depression, so it is crucial that your husband knows what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.
Practice. Spending time with newborns can be a big help. I find it helpful that I am spending some time with my 8-month-old nephew. When he was born, I was able to cradle him. I learned that proper hygiene plays an important role in handling newborns. Washing or sanitizing your hands before cradling a baby is very crucial. I was also advised to support the head and the neck of my nephew when laying him down and when holding him upright. It is also a no-no to shake the body of your newborn if you want to wake him/her up; a tickle in the feet or a gentle touch on the cheeks can do the trick.
Bond with your newborn. Studies found that bonding with your newborn contributes to his/her emotional growth, which also helps in his/her physical development. There are many ways by which you can bond with your baby. The simple touching strokes can absolutely make a difference. As parents, you have that innate ability to make your child feel special. You can also consult your doctor about infant massage so you will be enlightened about its benefits.
Aside from plainly cradling your baby, you can also sing lullabies to your precious one to strengthen your bond. Parents’ voices, while stimulating the hearing ability of newborns can also make the parent-child bond tighter.
Do not worry. Panicking cannot help you as first-time parents.
“Many new parents have overblown physical reactions to spitting up, vomiting, and other things a baby does,” New York City psychoanalyst Leon Hoffman, MD said.
He explained that a newborn can absorb the anxiety of his/her parents, so it is better to be relaxed at all times.
Let your newborn cry. “Babies are designed to cry,” Atlanta-based pediatric nurse Jennifer Walker, RN said. She underscored that even your newborn was well-fed and perfectly diapered, he/she could still cry. In relation to this, she advised first-time parents to check first if something is really wrong, such as, if the baby has rashes, fever, severe swelling and other valid causes for alarm. If there is nothing serious, remember that most of the time newborns just cry because it is part of their nature.
Get enough sleep. After putting your baby to sleep, try your best to sleep as well.
Walker added that there’s no need to wake up your baby just to breastfeed. It is more important, she said, that the mom and the baby get enough sleep.
Take care of your marriage. Having a child may be overwhelming for first-time parents.
John C. Friel, PhD. Friel is a licensed psychologist with private practices in Reno, Nevada, and Minneapolis emphasized that it is very important to keep your marriage bond tighter.
“Staying connected within the marriage when you first have a child is really important and can be overlooked. Any weakness in that relationship will get magnified by having a child. And while you have to focus a lot on the new baby, you must somehow maintain a sense of being a couple,” he explained.
The journey towards parenthood requires two individuals who understand, respect and love each other. Sail on this new journey together and surely, you will never get drowned.
Let us celebrate a new and meaningful life. Happy Easter Sunday, everyone!