This issue is very topical at the moment, with new NHS statistics making the headlines. According to a recent poll, one in five women suffer psychologically in the first year of giving birth. Rather dishearteningly, nearly half of NHS groups fail to provide a service for such women.
Bonding with your baby is extremely important as the baby had been an important passenger for 9 months.
Your baby has got to know all your little ways, your happy moods and sad times. He knows you more than you think. You have been his only contact with the outside world for the last nine months, so he needs your help in feeling good about himself.
Spending lots of time with your newly born baby and physically reassuring him that you will always come back is important. Even though your baby does not yet have language skills, tell your baby what you are doing, where you are going and what is happening. It’s so important!
For the first seven years of your child’s life, Mum and Dad are the most important people, so use this time to influence your child positively.
It is unrealistic to expect that parents get on all the time, but never fall out in front of your child and if possible, not even within earshot. Treat your partner lovingly to create a good role model for the baby. They pick up so much on energy. If you are having problems then see if you can get outside support so that the problems are dealt with outside the home.
Obviously, your baby crying is the main way they communicate with you, and it is only by practice that you learn to work out whether they want milk, winding or their nappy changing. The more in tune you become with your baby’s cries, the more likely you are to know if there is something really wrong and trust your intuition.
If you are able to, then breastfeed, but if this is not for you, accept the situation and make the most of bottle feeding. Realise that quite often your baby will be sick and this is normal, don’t worry or stress about the things which will be happening. Of course to you they may be new and so different to what you’ve read in the Baby books. Trust me when I say real life is nothing like they portray it. There are lots of different ideas as to how long to breastfeed and there is no right or wrong. Your baby will benefit from the closeness you generate as a result, so it is worth having a good go!
As much as you can, have the attitude that babies are both positive and negative factors in your life. Certainly for the first few months of their life, your life will be disrupted, especially your sleeping patterns. If at all possible, ask for support from your family and friends – it doesn’t mean you are a failure if you ask for help! In the past, whole communities supported the children rather than only the individual parents. It does seem better to have the baby sleep in the same room as the parents for some time as the baby feels the energies of the parents and feels comforted.
Tell me about your first few months of being a new mum. I would love to hear all about it! [ This was taken 24 hours after having my baby! I remember being petrified about caring for such a little bundle.]