A newly born child in the family brings a great deal of joy and excitement. But it can also be a stressful period if you are the parent. There are a number of things that will preoccupy your mind. If you are a new parent, it can be even more stressful for you.
Your mind will be constantly on many things. Your baby will keep you awake and even the slightest cough can send you into frenzy. Small health issues like rashes may occur or it could be something more serious like colic or fever. Your baby will definitely keep you up at night. You are at the receiving end of health care and advice from doctors, parents, friends and the internet. This information overload itself taxes your senses. While this is very natural, you will find yourself getting burnt out. Hence it is important for you to also take care of yourself.
Tips for managing the stress:
- Plan ahead- Sit down with your partner and make a plan about your schedules once the baby arrives.
Ask important questions about finances, timing, health and who gets up in the middle of the night. Ask philosophical questions about whose advice you may consider and whether picking your child up every time is required.
Make a list of available people resource – baby sitters, doctors, family members, substitutes at work, nurses etc. Also try juggling in night outs for yourself and with your partner.
Another tip is to be flexible with this plan as your baby is actually a life altering change. Give yourself time to get used to your baby and your plan.
- Get help – If there are people around you that you trust, please do ask them for help. Don’t be a superhero and try doing everything by yourself.
If your parents are available, they can guide you in child care. They can also take care of you. If you have the resources, you can employ someone to take care of the household chores or cooking the meals as this takes a load off you. If you have friendly neighbors, they can run to the stores for you or help you fix something. Today, we also have phone apps that render a lot of services to us at a single swipe.
- Stay connected to your partner- Hug your partner often. Talk to them about the stress you are facing. Be accommodating of the other partner’s feelings as they are also stressed. Schedule sometime alone for the two of you. Your support will mean a lot to your partner right now, especially to the partner who stays home to take care of the baby.
- Sleep – Sleep deprivation is a natural consequence here. You need to catch up on your sleep as much as possible. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Take turns with your partner about who wakes up that night. Sleep is vital as it keeps yourself fresh and can even save you from postpartum depression.
- Exercise – As much as possible, you should try getting in some exercise, even if it for a short time. Do some yoga or stretches. Go for a swim. If you can, go running outside as it will clear your mind and help you be stronger. Exercise provides that energy boost and makes you feel good. Do not feel guilty about taking time out to do this. The healthier and happier you stay, the better care your child will receive.
- Save energy – Your baby and you are the most important to be looked after now.
Do the housework at a minimum. It is okay to ask for help from others but do not get stressed if there are chores that remain undone.
Sit or lie down more. Adopt breathing and relaxation techniques. Do whatever it takes to conserve energy.
- Take care of your emotional health – This can be a very overwhelming time for you. If you are the mother, your hormones and changing body are also making their demands.
This is a time where you go easy on yourself. If you feel vulnerable, talk to someone about it. If you feel stressed, express your emotions. Call up a friend, speak to your partner or if needed, talk to a counselor. It is very important for you to take care of your emotional health now.
- Child Health Check up – Schedule a regular plan for your baby’s health check ups. In the first year itself, your baby will undergo many changes. There will be many challenges that you are seeing right from rashes to cradle cap to loose stools. Visit a good pediatric hospital which will make a plan for your child. They will also help out in the time for immunizations, keep a check on whether your baby’s milestones are developing properly and conduct screenings for vision and hearing. Other services include dental screenings, growth measurements, blood group typing and urine and stool analysis.
You must avail the services of a good and experienced hospitals. Hospitals offer specialty packages that involve a wide range of diagnosis and treatment facilities. These health checkup packages are specifically catered to meet probable health concerns that could arise.
You could consider going in for a package as they help you keep tabs of your child’s health. When your baby is sick, you will be more stressed. When you know that you have a package at your avail, you will be a little bit more relaxed as you will be in good hands. Most child health checkup plans in India are easily accessible and affordable.