If you are currently pregnant (or that your partner is pregnant), or you have just become a parent for the first time, it is an exciting and challenging time!
Newby moms and dads have a great deal to adjust to, so it is important to start the process as soon as you get the news!
So what can you do to make this journey as happy and smooth as possible and how can you help your partner prepare for this new, exciting stage in your relationship?
1. Communicate, communicate! From the first
moment you find out that you are pregnant, begin to talk to your partner about the implications and ramifications for yourselves as individuals and also as a couple. Becoming a parent and co-parenting with your spouse or partner presents many and varied challenges – to talk about and explore these beforehand will stand you in good stead for when the baby arrives.
2. Operate as a team and be there for each other. Ask your partner what he/she needs from you at the various stages of the pregnancy and after the birth. A strong, mutually supportive relationship at this stage will ensure that when the baby arrives, an immediate family bond is established, which becomes a strong foundation for the future.
3. Look out for signs of emotional distress in your partner. Pre- and post-partum depression and anxiety is quite common and mostly goes unrecognised. Although emotion fluctuations are normal in pregnancy and post-delivery because of strong hormonal fluctuations, if you notice that your partner seems depressed and/or anxious for
days on end, if she has trouble sleeping and stops doing her usually daily activities, it is important that you encourage her to go for counselling.
4. Make sure you are prepared for the delivery (both practically and psychologically).
Whether you opt for a natural birth or for a caesarian section, be aware that things don’t always go according to plan, so it is important not to get too invested in one option as circumstances may dictate a different scenario entirely.
5. Get support from outside.
The first weeks as new parents will be a roller-coaster ride! Make sure you have adequate family and/or friends around for support, as well as nursing/breastfeeding/medical backup.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.