Help - I'm a new mom!
combined with lack of sleep and depression, was not what I had read or seen on TV. The biggest challenge was realizing I needed help.
Monica Robinson, co-coordinator of the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) at Liberty Presbyterian Church in Delaware, said asking for help is the biggest hurdle facing the new moms in her group, especially stay-at-home moms. "We think we need to do everything ourselves and do it perfectly," she said. "Let others bring in meals or watch the baby while you get some time to yourself."
Nancy Taylor, R.N., childbirth education manager at Mount Carmel Health System agreed. "We encourage new parents to begin a night-time routine with their baby right away," explained Taylor. "This allows the baby to develop a habit of going to sleep on his own and in his own bed."
Taylor said a good routine before baby's bedtime might be a bath, followed by a massage, some quiet time in a dimly lit room when you read a story or sing to the baby. Then lay baby on his back in his crib.
Taylor stressed that Mom needs plenty of sleep, too. "We also encourage the mother's partner to get up in the night with the baby to change diapers and then bring baby to Mom to nurse."
Taylor agreed. "With your first baby, you are constantly questioning yourself," she said. "That is one thing we try to stress in our classes - for Mom to trust her own instincts."
Taylor said there is a great deal of new information and research available that may be contrary to the well-meaning advice new moms usually get, such as the new recommendations for SIDS prevention. (See web exclusive information.)
However, as much as we try to enjoy every minute of our baby's development, what we really need occasionally is some time to ourselves. It's important that new moms get some time alone, have a night out with friends, or spend time with her significant other apart from the baby. This all goes back to asking for help. An hour or two by yourself may be just what you (and your baby) need.
Jan Myers is a freelance writer and mother in Coshocton. Her son Maxx is 15 and daughter Maggie is 10. She has thoroughly enjoyed every stage of her children's development.
Resources for new moms:
- Post Partum Depression: Perinatal Outreach & Encouragement for Moms of Ohio, www.poemonline.org, (614) 315-8989
- Help for New Parents (24/7): Parent Connection Line provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital, (614) 224-CARE (2273)
- Breastfeeding Helpline: Provided by Mount Carmel Hospital, (614) 234-MILK
- Classes and information for new moms: www.mountcarmelhealth.com, (614) 898-MOMS. Offers classes on a variety of subjects from selecting a car seat to infant care and breastfeeding. Classes are taught by certified childbirth educators and certified lactation consultants.
- For information on the prevention of SIDS: www.nichd.nih.gov/sids, (800) 505-CRIB (2742)
- Liberty Presbyterian Church MOPS: Meets from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month, and also has an evening MOPS group for working mothers, 7080 Olentangy River Rd., Delaware, (740) 548-6075. Look in Columbus Parent Magazine's Out & About Calendar for a complete list of local MOPS groups.
- Breastfeeding support group: Thursday afternoons from 1:30 to 2:30 at the Women's Center at Riverside Hospital, led by lactation consultants, free event and free parking.
- The New Moms' Support Group: The Riverside Methodist Hospital Elizabeth Blackwell Center offers support for new moms with infants from birth to one year. The free support group meets on Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Located at 3635 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus.