Parenting Newborns:
Face Challenges and Gain Gratifications

Parenting newborns is an art, a duty, and a labor of love.
No parent could have ever coped with the newborn needs without dedication. Click here to share tips on parenting a newly born baby.

Newborns' needs are urgent, continuous, and often unclear. Parents need to notice the subtle signals given by their newborn baby and act promptly with great empathy to impart optimal newborn nursing.

Newborn care given during parenting newly born babies is physically exhausting and emotionally draining. 

It is round the clock job with no real breaks: How do we all cope up with this? 

Is it true that the mother and baby start loving each other from the very first moment?

Bonding is a gradual process and affection is never instant. Many factors influence parents’ ability to assume this role.

Read here more on the factors that influence parenting capacity.

Pregnancy is also a period of psychological preparation

Pregnancy is a period of psychological preparation for the profound demands of parenting newborns. Scientists have documented neurobiological changes in the brain and behavioral modifications with the onset of motherhood.

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Do not hesitate to ask for help

Mothers often experience ambivalence.
Parenting newborn alone can be exhausting and confusing. With the result, mothers often experience ambivalence. Do you have similar feeling at times?
Do not be upset. It is normal. It is human.

Ask for help!
At such moments do not hesitate to ask for help and take a little break to refresh your energies; the parenting ability will come back.

Crisis that hamper parenting capacity

Parenting newborn may be hampered due to the crises that interfere with psychological preparation of the mother to welcome her newborn:

  • Unplanned pregnancy.

  • Financial worries.

  • Prior miscarriages.

  • Stillbirths.

  • Adolescent mothers.

  • Physical illness in the mother or any other family member.

  • Mothers who have been victims of childhood trauma: separations,
    child abuse, or neglect ; may find difficult to provide consistent, responsive child care.

  • Postpartum depression in the mother: Mild to severe depression after the birth of the baby is common; also known as Baby Blues.

Baby blues

  • Baby blues are seen in 25 to 50 percent of all women during the
    first 3 months after the child birth.

  • The time of onset of postnatal depression varies.
    Some new mothers present with the signs of depression soon after the baby is born and in others the symptoms come up later, but all present with in the first year after child birth.

  • The mild form is seen most commonly.
    New mother presents with mood swings, crying spells, lack of confidence in her mothering ability and/or irritability.

  • Support provided by loving mate and the family helps mothers to recover from mild baby blues within few days.

  • Mild baby blues do not need any active medical management.

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Postpartum psychosis

  • On an average 0.2 percent of new mothers develop severely disturbed thought process, which indicate postpartum psychotic disorder.

  • It is caused by postpartum hormone changes and intrapsychic conflicts related to motherhood, family and interpersonal conflicts related to the acceptance of motherhood.

  • Postpartum psychosis demands good medical management.

  • Results of early medical treatment for postpartum psychosis are often good. 

  • Recurrence in 15 - 20 percent of postpartum psychosis affected mothers.

  • For prevention: Antenatal Folic-acid supplement is recommended.

    a.) It is believed to protect new mothers from being prone to postpartum depression.

    b.) Should be taken under the guidance of treating medical professional. 

  • If you feel overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood, do seek professional help at the earliest .
Also note that even Fathers experience postpartum depression.

Mother-child bonding

Bonding with the newborn may be adversely affected by baby blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

Poor mother-child bonding undermines the mother-child relationship and threatens childhood development, especially the cognitive development.

Deprivation of mother's affection and care, due to any cause, proves to be disastrous for optimal personality development and child growth.

Talk to your baby

Newborn sleep pattern

Short spans of newborn sleep is the biggest challenge for newborn parenting: Demand on a mother's waking hours.

Characteristics of newborn sleep

  • Most newborns sleep 16 to 20 hours of the 24 hours cycle, but their day and night cycle is not set.

  • They get up periodically throughout the night for feeds.

  • Newborn sleep is light.

  • Each stretch of sleep period extends only for 2 to 4 hours.
    It is therefore advisable not to let a newborn sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch. If a baby in first 2 months of life does not wake up on her own, she should be woken up and given feed; despite of the severe deprivation of sleep that mothers commonly experience during newborn nursing,

  • Click here for more on newborn sleep pattern, posture and state of alertness.

Parenting newborns is the most ruffling phase of parenthood

Parenting newborns is also the most gratifying occupation; to be able to nurture an absolutely dependent newborn to happy, healthy and capable adult.

Children have strong need for affectionate and caring parenting, both for the psychological and physical well being; so keep going....

Despite of healthy foods, excellent sanitation and provision for physical needs of child, poor mother-child bonding leads to poor psychosocial development and poor overall child health.

Parents learn parenting techniques throughout their parenthood

Happy parenting experiences demand malleability of the parents to modify their approach according to their child's temperament and at every turn of childhood development.

Click here to share your tips on parenting.

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