4 Feel Good Tips for First-Time Parents
Are you a new parent?
You’re in great company. Ireland is in the middle of a full-blown baby boom with a massive 65,909 births registered in 2015. That’s a lot of sleepless nights!
Parenthood can be as tough as it is rewarding and despite the large number of new arrivals all around, a massive 72% of mums with new babies across Ireland have said that they wish they had worried less in the first few months.
After that initial rush of love and joy comes the unknown. The minute a baby comes along a woman’s world is turned upside down. Are you feeling a bit baffled and bewildered? Has your world been turned upside down? Do you feel that you’re being continuously judged by others?
Here are 4 Feel Good Tips for First-Time Parents:
1. Your New Normal is Normal
Ireland now boasts the EU’s top birth rate with an average of over 14 babies now born per 1,000 residents in the State and slightly more baby boys being born (33,619) than girls (32,290)
CEO of Early Childhood Ireland Teresa Heeney has said that Ireland’s high birth rate is the ‘envy of our European neighbours’. However, the research* has shown that rather than making the most of their newborns precious few months, many parents in Ireland are struggling with the life changing effects of their tiny new arrivals.
If your experience is not how you expected it to be pre-birth, know that worrying is a completely normal part of new parenthood and in fact it is likely to continue for 18 years or more!
Speaking on behalf of Boots Ireland, Leinster Pharmacist Michelle Doyle explains: “As a Boots pharmacist, I’m always meeting new mums and dads who have lots of questions on pregnancy and their new baby and I can provide them with expert advice and information on their concerns to help them to worry less.”
2. Reach Out for Reassurance
A crying baby can be incredibly stressful and whether its teething, a runny nose or nappy rash, when you’re armed with the right information it will help you not to sweat the small stuff and know whether there is genuinely something to worry about or whether your baby is just having a grumpy day.
The new aspects of motherhood can sometimes be confusing and caring for someone else 24 hours a day really takes its toll and can lead to a loss of confidence, especially when sleepless nights are involved. You’ll feel better by talking about it and asking questions and getting all the advice you can from other mums and from the experts.
Boots has come to the fore to champion everyone’s right to feel good – especially new mums and dads. There’s no need to make an appointment, so if you have a question or worry and need reassurance, Boots pharmacists and advisors are on hand every step of the way with expert advice and information on any worries that you may have. Baby’s needs change hugely in the first 12 months, so reaching out for reassurance in those early days and right throughout that 0-3 years old stage will help you to respond to your child’s needs armed with plenty of information.
3. Career and Culture-Shock
The average age of mothers having a baby in Ireland is now 32.5 and of those, almost 2 in 5 (37.8%) were to first time mothers, where the average age was 30.7 years, according to the CSO.
Many of these new mothers will have established careers and are taking extended time out for the first time, which can be a complete culture-shock. The change in identity and loss of social life, along with changes to your body can mean plenty of wobbles during the early days.
While the early days can be a blur, trying your best to enjoy the new circle of friends you will meet, experiences you will have and shared time with your baby out of the 9 to 5 office structure will ensure that your experience will be enhanced.
“I spent a lot of my maternity leave after my little girl was born, worrying about whether things would have completely changed at work when I went back”, says Leonie Bennis from Sandymount in Dublin. “Now I regret even spending time thinking about it, as when I went back after 8 months, very little had changed and I just slotted back in to place and I realised that I could have enjoyed these precious months even more and just lived in the moment”
4. Find Time to Feel Good
People are placing increasing importance on ‘feeling good’ both in mind and body but in an increasingly complex world, this is more of an aspiration than a reality.
When pregnant, many mothers are determined that “this baby will just slot into our lives and we’ll carry on as normal”. Instead when they are faced with a whirlwind and sleep deprivation, it can be a huge challenge. You may have planned on getting back to a routine in the gym, having your house spotless and doing all the jobs you didn’t have time to do before now, but too much pressure to be perfect is not good for mother or for baby. Take time out – without the baby – from time to time and you’ll reap the rewards.
Finding time to feel good is essential for all new parents. This is the time to delegate and accept all new offers of help, especially when it’s first time around and friends and relatives are clamouring to help. A new baby is hugely high maintenance and they take up a lot of time, emotions and effort.
*Mummypages.ie 2016, 72% of 403 mums
Boots pharmacists and advisors are on hand in stores across Ireland to help answer those niggling little questions. The Boots Baby Event is also back with 4 weeks of big offers for tiny tots and savings across the entire baby range. For more information, drop in to your local Boots store or visit the Boots Baby Event page
Boots Parenting Club, which is exclusively for Boots Advantage Card members, offers advice for parents and mums-to-be from pregnancy to when children turn 3. As a member of Parenting Club you can collect 10 Boots Advantage Card points for every €1 spent on baby products in the baby area. There are also personalized offers through the Boots app tailored to you and your baby and free expert advice and gifts.