Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Answers to Mothers’ Concerns in their Babies’ First Month

Last time, we posted the answers to the most common questions mothers had during the first 3 days postpartum (click here for information about wound care, returning to your prenatal figure, and infant feeding). As we noted in the first post in this series, the featured study showed that many of the inquiries moms have during the first 3 days and beyond are very similar, so in today's post we’ll answer the most common concerns of mothers in their babies’ first month.

Baby Behavior
Baby Behavior topped the list of concerns after the first 3 days postpartum. To brush up on your knowledge of normal infant behavior, read our Basics of Baby Behavior series about understanding infant sleep, cues and crying. Newborn behavior can be quite different from that of older babies and can be unpredictable and erratic at times. For specifics about normal newborn behavior, click here. Understanding their babies' behavior makes parents feel more confident that they know what to expect.

Newborn Development
Mothers concerns related to development centered mostly on wanting to know what was normal. In a previous post, we explained how reflexes rule when it comes to newborn development. By 2-4 weeks of age, your baby’s development reaches a whole new level as she becomes more aware of the world around her.

“Mothering” in General
One of the most common questions, even among mothers who had multiple children, was about how to be a “good” mom. This is a tough one; obviously there is not one right answer for this question. However, we definitely recognize the overwhelming responsibility that mothers feel to take care of everything and everyone in the household. The best thing you can do for your new baby is to take time to care for yourself physically and emotionally and to connect with your baby. Remember, that special language you will develop with your baby takes practice, but responding to your babies needs will help you develop a relationship of trust and understanding. That sounds like the foundation of “good” parenting to me! To explore study findings about new motherhood, click here.

Meeting the Demands of Everyone at Home
If caring for a newborn baby in itself wasn’t a full-time job, try factoring in caring for other children, your spouse, household chores, and (don’t forget) yourself! We think that learning the art of asking for help, when you need it, can be an important tool. Remember to be realistic and proactive when asking for help and realize you are not alone. Keep in mind the old adage: It “takes a village” to raise a child, and pick up the phone.

Siblings and Sibling Reactions
It's not surprising that adding a new sibling into the mix is not only a big concern for parents but also for the siblings themselves. In an earlier post, we talked about the best way to introduce siblings to "their" new baby. Every child will react differently, but most children respond well to advanced preparation and like to know exactly what to expect when the new addition arrives. Remember that your family is adjusting to the new baby just as much as your new baby is adjusting to you!

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like to have known about during your first month postpartum – we would love to hear from you!

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