Self-Care for New Families and Parents

Bringing a new baby home often feels overwhelming and exhausting.  The regular feedings of a newborn, physical recovery from birth, and changes in relationships contribute to the shock experienced by new families. A myriad of information on parenting exists and most theories focus on either the needs of the mother or the needs of the baby.   There is no perfect formula to parenting and no answer that works for every family. Viewing parenting as a relationship can help parents navigate a way that works for their family.

The relationship between a mother and child is symbiotic.  The needs of both members must be met consistently and appropriately or the relationship is jeopardized.  Ensuring the mother is physically, emotionally, and spiritually nourished is essential to her well-being.  When a mother’s needs are unmet, she may feel resentful, depressed, or overwhelmed. When a mother is unbalanced, she cannot provide the positive energy needed for her infant and soon neither party is nurtured optimally.

Self-care is an important part of wellness and feeling positive towards the mothering role. Self-care may include exercise, innercise(breathing, yoga and meditation practices), good nutrition, and activities that make the mother feel energized and good about herself. Couples must take the
time to nurture one another.   When the needs of the mother, baby and couple are met successfully, parents feel confident and families become stronger. Finding the balance and harmony is more important than following a prescribed method of parenting.

Today’s guest author is Jamie Bodily, postpartum doula.