Originally published: May 28, 2010
There seems to be a little baby boom going on among my friends and acquaintances – and the proud parents-to-be couldn’t be more ecstatic, as they should be!
The whole magic of pregnancy complete with the morning sickness, cravings, anxiety and incessant planning is a wondrous time in a couple’s life! And so it should be. I loved that period — all 3 times — even though I felt like throwing up more often than not!
How prepared are most expectant parents for the upcoming miracle of birth and the care of a new human being thereafter?
With families living further away from each other, a lack of access to specialized physicians or pre-natal classes, socio-economic factors that prevent proper pregnancy instruction and other obstacles, the education of a pregnant couple seems to be taking a back seat. And that is really too bad considering “parenting doesn’t come with a manual”.
There appears to be more time spent analyzing the latest nifty baby gadget or the adorable wardrobe options than what counts – preparing to take care of a newborn. There seems to be this false belief that learning to care for a newborn comes naturally – after giving birth. WRONG.
Anyone who asks will always get the same answer from me: Pregnancy is the best time to
get prepared. That time will never come back so use it wisely. There is so much to learn and precious little time to learn it AFTER the baby arrives.
Goodness knows, despite our best intentions, giving birth is a physical and emotional event for which no one can predict the outcome. How will you feel, how long will the recovery take? Will the breastfeeding work or will the bottle have to enter the mix?
NOT TO MENTION the dramatic changes that occur in the couple relationship – good and bad.
Anyone who asks will also get the same answer from me: “you will never learn more about your spouse or partner, then after you have a baby.” It stands to reason, doesn’t it?
Hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, added stress, crying baby, diaper-changing, visitors… the list of changes and things to cope with is endless once a baby enters your life.
What doctors should be telling pregnant women and expectant couples is to GET PREPARED. Save yourself some of that upcoming anxiety. Knowledge is power so empower yourself. Try to learn as much about newborn care BEFORE the baby arrives so you and your spouse can cope together.
Sure the room, the gear, the clothes are important. However, the single most critical thing is to learn how to take care of that new little life. PREpare during PREgnancy.
It’s sage advice that expectant couples should strongly consider – so they can ride out rather than resent the steep learning curve that comes with the arrival of a new bundle of joy.
The award-winning baby-care DVD, “Bringing Baby Home” (Watch excerpts) has a lot of great pregnancy tips.