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Adjusting to parenting

Publicity – Rosie Moore & son with midwife Juliet Thorpe 007

Adjusting to parenting, particularly for the first time, can be hard work at first when recovering from birth, coping with learning new skills such as establishing breastfeeding, catching up on sleep whenever possible and learning how to care for a new baby.

Even though parenting is rewarding it can be challenging and it’s perfectly normal to have good days and not so good days. Extra support from family and friends can be very useful especially at the beginning. Letting people know what help is needed and accepting offers of help can make a big difference.

It takes a while to feel confident and comfortable looking after a new baby and it takes a lot of energy and patience. Talking to family and friends can help and your midwife may be able to provide some tips to help you if you are finding it difficult to manage.

The change from ‘life before baby’ to ‘life with baby’ can be huge for some parents. There may be financial issues and lifestyle and career adjustments to deal with, along with learning how to look after a baby and be a parent, and some parents can experience negative, confused and /or unhappy thoughts about these changes. These experiences are usually a normal part of the adjustment process but if they become overwhelming it’s important to talk about these feelings with a trusted person such as the midwife, well child nurse or GP.

If there are aspects of the birth that didn’t go as planned or if breastfeeding is not going as well as hoped, sharing your story and talking things through with your midwife or another trusted person can help move issues towards a resolution. If you would like to discuss the midwifery care you have received there is a resolutions committee to help resolve concerns or questions, this is a free service. The committee includes a consumer representative nominated by local consumer groups.