Posts Tagged ‘new parent’

New mom fatigue

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

wiped-outYou’ve welcomed your beautiful new baby to the world and have now brought him home. Having a new baby can be an exciting and joyous event. But it can also leave many new parents, moms especially, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Some moms might feel that compared to the first few weeks of life with a newborn, childbirth was the easy part!

Between the endless feedings, sleepless nights and other responsibilities, many women feel really, really tired in the weeks after birth. You may find it hard to balance taking care of a new baby, yourself, your family and your home. Take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. These feelings are normal. You can take steps to help you find more energy and overcome new mom fatigue.

Get plenty of rest – When there’s a new baby in the home, sleep is on everyone’s mind! Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, often in about 3-hour periods. In the first few weeks of a baby’s life, it can be hard, if not impossible, for mom to get a solid stretch of 6 to 8 hours sleep at night. Try these steps to help you get the rest you need.
• Sleep when the baby sleeps, even if it’s just for a quick nap.
• Place the baby in the baby’s room.
• Put off other household responsibilities (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.).
• Limit visitors.

Eat healthy and be active – Eating healthy foods and getting exercise can help you have much needed energy and feel rested.
• Eat healthy foods.
• Drink lots of water.
• With your health care provider’s OK, get active.

Look to family, friends and others for help – As much as you may want to be “super mom,” no woman can be everything to everyone. If someone offers to help, say yes! Ask your partner, family and friends for help when you need it.
• Share nighttime parenting jobs.
• Ask guests to help out.
• Take advantage of babysitting offers.
• If you can afford it, hire some help for a little while.

Caring for a new baby can be a wonderful time in your life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, remember that the newborn days won’t last long. Soon, you’ll be better able to manage your time and energy and enjoy these first precious moments in your child’s life.

Guest Post: Growing Into “Dad”

Friday, June 19th, 2009

james-soohoo-and-babyMy name is James and I am the host of the March of Dimes community for NICU parents (www.share.marchofdimes.org).

In honor of Father’s Day, I have a confession. Very few people know this, but I didn’t have that BIG moment when my son took his first breaths. The nurse whisked him away quickly to clean him up. When she was done, she tried to hand him to me and I backed up a little and said “no thank you.”

Later that night when my wife finally had her room, they wheeled his little…well, I’m not sure what it was (it looked a little like a hamster cage) over to us. She picked him up and held him. It was probably a beautiful moment that I wasn’t paying attention to. Instead I looked at my watch, wondering how to gauge the appropriate length of time I needed to stay in the room without calling attention to myself. I figured 20 minutes. I lasted 17.

The next day wasn’t much better. I could have been back at the hospital by 8:30 am. I was up and ready to go, but managed to find things to do at home. I arrived at 2pm and that was because my mother-in-law doesn’t have a car and needed me to drive.

When I got there, I was terrified and ambivalent. I knew my life had changed. “Dad” was a word that I didn’t know how to wear. It was like trying on my father’s clothing. Not only that, but it was clothing that was too big for me.

I would like to, of course, report that when I did finally walk through the doorway…that it was instantly better. It would get much better as the days passed and I can say that I absolutely adore my sons and love being a father and wouldn’t go back for all of the money in the world.

That day…well, my wife handed him to me and I instantly felt weak and needed to sit. My brother took a quick picture and I briefly managed a half smile but what I was thinking was “what is the appropriate length of time I need to sit here, holding him, without causing attention to myself.” I lasted 45 seconds.

New baby? Here’s some interactive info.

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Newborns send signals to their parents about how they feel and what they need. But as a new parent, most of us don’t know how to read many of those signals.  The March of Dimes has a free, engaging, interactive program that explains how infants respond to the world around them. Here is some of what it describes:

How babies signal that they’re hungry, tired, don’t feel well or want to play
How sleep patterns change over time
How a newborn responds and moves
How to manage a crying baby

To read more about it, know what you need to participate (software/hardware), and to join in, click on this link.

Newborns send signals?

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Enough Already!

Just closed to door the last of the well-wishers, new grandparents and friendly neighbors pushing advice? Whew! Now it’s just you and your new baby, right? But now what?

It can be nerve-wracking to be alone with such a tiny being relying on you for everything. Every new mom and dad feels this way. Deep Breath. Did you know that newborns send signals to their parents about how they feel and what they need? But as a new parent, you may not know how to read those signals. This fun and interactive site helps you understand your newborn a little better. Check it out.