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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
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Transition to Parenthood

Parenthood

Parenthood is demanding but can also the most rewarding job you will ever have. The first few weeks and even months after your baby’s birth, can be very challenging and can put pressure on relationships. Whilst it is not possible to fully plan and prepare for having a new baby at home, parents can start to consider how they are going to manage the arrival of their newborn baby, and to start to discuss how to overcome any future strains to their relationship.

Antenatal Period

After 28 weeks of pregnancy your Health Visitor will visit, to assist all new parents to consider their own transition to parenthood. This will also be time to discuss how the pregnancy is going so far and to encourage all parents to begin think about, what it might be like to have a baby at home in the first few weeks.

You may want to consider how you will manage these changes and to discuss this further with your Health Visitor, who will be happy to support you. Your Health Visitor will also be keen to answer any questions you may have and to alleviate any possible worries or concerns you may have regarding parenthood. For helpful advice for a healthy, happy baby, please visit

www.nhs.uk/startforlife/documents/pdf/startforlife-healthy-habits-for-baby-and-you.pdf

Fathers

Health Visitors encourage fathers to be present at the antenatal visit, so that they can discuss what it might feel like to become a dad. As Health Visitors we understand, that whilst becoming a father can feel like one of the best things to happen, it can also feel daunting and a big responsibility.

Health Visitors can provide fathers with tips for helping their partner during and after the pregnancy and will encourage fathers to get involved with parenthood from the very start. As Health Visitors we appreciate that the more fathers are involved, the more benefit there will be within their relationship as a couple, but this will also help fathers build their own close and secure relationship with their baby.

The Importance of Working Together

If you or your partner are worried about your relationship as a couple once the baby is born, then your Health Visitor will be happy to discuss this at the antenatal contact by providing tips and advice, or to signpost you to other agencies to help.

Also see below for some more information,

It’s important that you talk about the household chores before the baby is born, by listing all the jobs that may need doing and combining this with caring for a new baby. Then discussing the expectations you will have of each other.

Partners can get involved by talking and playing with baby and helping settle the baby after a feed and to provide skin to skin contact. It may also help to consider the following;

  • Filing the freezer with lots of easy to cook meals, home cooked or brought
  • Instigating online shopping and home deliveries
  • Considering the relatives and friends or support services that you call upon to help.

 

Also the wellbeing of your relationship is very important and it is not selfish to need to take time for yourselves, so try to spend some time doing things together, such as;

  • Going for a walk with baby asleep in the pram,
  • Getting a takeaway and turning the television off or
  • Enlisting the help of family of friends to help with babysitting for a short time.

 


Single Parenting

If you are single parent worried about how to adapt and where to find support once your baby is born, please discuss this with your Health Visitor who will be able to offer you support and to signpost you support agencies that can help.

Gingerbread is an organisation that supports single parents, and has lots information and factsheets to help ease you transition to parenthood and reminds you that you are not alone: www.gingerbread.org.uk