Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Starting a Family? Survival Tips for First-Time Parents

Bringing a child into the world is a one-of-a-kind experience that changes your life forever. While no two families are the same, there are a handful of common strategies that help many first-time parents navigate the process with ease.

Go With the Flow

Most people enter parenthood with specific expectations. While it’s great to have clear intentions for the wellbeing of your family, it’s also critical to let go of certain ideas. Holding on too tightly to a notion that simply doesn’t make sense anymore may lead to great pain and frustration. Pay attention to reality above the running commentary in your mind.

Use Humor to Maintain your Sanity

Adding a bit of humor and playfulness to the darker aspects of being a new parent, such as sleepless nights and long hours of crying, keeps you from losing your mind and becoming impatient with your partner or child. Try to keep a positive outlook and always look for a joke or funny situation to put a smile on your face when you most need it or find a way to put a cheerful spin on a less than ideal situation.

Watch for Postpartum Depression

Many women—and quite a few men—suffer from some degree of post-partum depression. When you’re absolutely exhausted and your hormones are still off-balance, it’s completely normal to break down crying at little things. Have your partner keep an eye out for more severe symptoms and enlist professional help as needed.

Rely on Reputable Physicians

From pre-natal care to delivery to baby checkups, entrusting experienced, certified doctors is key for ensuring health and safety for both the mother and the baby. It is important to have a trusted, experienced healthcare professional overseeing the delivery, to reduce the risk of birth injury. These injuries, which you can read more about here, can be serious and require immediate attention. If you aren’t sure how to go about choosing your doctor, your primary care physician can provide recommendations for obstetricians and pediatricians in the area. You can also get personal recommendations from family and friends.

Create a Support Network

In addition to your team of doctors, it’s important to have loved ones who will help take care of your immediate family before, during, and following the birth of your child. From bringing you meals to driving you to doctor’s appointments, there are lots of simple ways to receive help that will make a big difference during the process of adjusting to life with a baby.

Finally, don’t be afraid to trust yourself. You may be new to parenting, but you know what’s best for your family. Listen to your gut, and do the right thing for you, your partner, and your child.

Tim Esterdahl

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