Allowing Time To Learn To Become A Parent
1 May is World Maternal Mental Health Day. Such an incredibly important subject to shine light on.
Across the world, as many as 1 in 5 new mothers experience some type of anxiety disorder, often these feelings will go unnoticed or untreated, sometimes with tragic and long term consequences to both mum and baby.
No one is immune. Women of every culture, age, income level and race can develop some level of anxiety disorders.
I myself have been through levels of anxiety and sadness during the early months of my children’s lives, so I understand the challenges many of you may be facing right now. The loneliness, the change in identity and the seeming loss of freedom can feel completely overwhelming.
We've been thinking a lot about the implications of modern day parenting and how that affects our day to day so we sat down and spoke to Samantha Anderson from Baby Logic.
Samantha provides expert support and education to new and first time parents. She specializes in babies from 0 to 4 months of age which are the most crucial days in the transition into your parenthood journey.
The non judgemental support of BabyLogic is invaluable.
We get to hear Samantha's views on why we need to allow ourselves time to learn to become a parent below:
If you do some research related to the benefits of baby-wearing you will find plenty of information available. This information will often talk about anecdotal evidence that suggests that baby-wearing may have a positive effect related to postnatal depression. I believe that research will allow us to discover many unknown aspects of postnatal depression including recognition of the importance of providing help and assistance in the early stages of parenthood.
If research can reduce the cost to the community with respect to both mental and physical health issues surely it is worth doing?
We need to assist families through this difficult but ever so rewarding period of their lives. It may be that baby-wearing could provide one small solution to a much larger problem.
If we analyse the changes that have occurred within our society, that have affected our parenting, they generally come down to money and support whether it be family or community support.
Our expectations have remained constant with those of our parents and peers. We hope to own a house, a car and raise a family. All of this now comes with a very hefty price tag and generally requires a dual family income.
In general we work for longer periods of time before having children than our parents did and many of us plan for smaller families due to the increased costs involved in raising a family.
Our Grandparents had a different life. A mother was expected to stay at home and raise the children while the father worked to put food on the table. Owning a house was achievable on a single wage but the lifestyle and expectations were also simpler.
Our needs have remained constant but our wants have changed and so too have our support systems and mortgage repayments. We need to analyse these societal changes because I believe they play a critical part in explaining what the needs of the modern mother are and why we need to use all of the information and support available to survive in this present time constrained environment.
We need to acknowledge that some of this pressure is what we put on ourselves and there are often simple things we can do with regard to helping ourselves and our new-born. If we look at something as simple as baby-wearing and reflect on nature we see the concept practiced often.
Look at our ancestors and ask yourself - Did they do it because they had no other means of carrying their infant or does it serve another purpose?
A new mother has much to adjust to and often in a limited amount of time. Give yourself a chance to heal, to learn, to think, to enjoy and particularly allow time to settle into your new role as a mother. It is particularly important to listen to your body.
Baby-wearing will help with the hormonal changes you will have over the first few weeks.
Approximately three days after your baby is born your hormone levels return to what they were before you became pregnant. This change makes for some very mixed emotions so prepare yourself because knowledge is power.
Baby-wearing will encourage the production and release of oxytocin in your body (known as the hormone of love). Oxytocin is released by touch and close contact.
Baby wearing encourages a calming response and allows a mother to attend to her own self care while simultaneously caring for her baby - How simple is that?
After birth you will be tender and may find baby wearing helpful to your healing process. The tight design of the carrier can help your body feel supported.
Make sure that you have a carrier that is right for you. I personally look for something that supports the hips and places the weight of the baby onto the hips as opposed to your back. Try them on when you first find out that you are pregnant as this will help you get a better feel for how the carrier will fit after your baby is born.
Carrying your baby allows the connection that you had with your baby, while inside of you, for the past nine months to continue. Slow down and put your baby on your chest - allow yourself the time to learn to become a parent.
Samantha has a wealth of knowledge and experience and would love to help support you through this special journey.
You can reach her on firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you are ready to begin your natural parenting journey through babywearing, you can shop our beautifully crafted, ethically made range of Baby Carriers below.