Normally when a woman first learns she is pregnant for the first time, her joy and wonder at the prospect of becoming a mother knows no bounds! So is her husband’s excitement about becoming a father so strong, he begins to walk like Superman! The situation changes however when the pregnant woman starts suffering from morning sickness and other pregnancy related issues. And her husband begins to wonder if she is exaggerating her problems!
It is however important to read professional information about baby care before your child is born. It is also very necessary for the prospective parents or at least the mother to attend antenatal classes. So is it an advantage to observe those family members and friends who care properly for their children, especially newborns. Helping such people care for their babies where possible can be a bonus! These are great ways of preparing for parenthood and reducing the stresses and the blues of being first time parents.
It is also beneficial to write down a plan for the baby’s care so its parents know what to do every day. Without doing all these, caring for the newborn can be difficult and at worst dangerous!
Holding the new baby in the arms of the parents shortly after birth is definitely a moment out of this world. However the happy couple’s mood may shrink to almost nothing as the hard work of taking care of the newborn at home starts. They may start to wonder whether life is all about concentrating attention on the new baby and doing anything else!
In my case, my older sisters and brother helped me care for my first baby and subsequent children. Other people may not have it so good. A husband may be overwhelmed during the postnatal period if his wife is unwell and he has to do almost everything for the newborn. Alternatively a husband may be ignorant about baby care or be afraid to hold the new baby. This can make things very difficult for the new mother!
Where the newborn has health issues, the situation becomes more stressful for the new parents. All these may place a strain on the marriage and the couple have to be extremely careful they do not grow distant from each other . Ensuring the baby is properly looked after can be exceptionally hard work instead of a source of joy and achievement. But doing the caring together or in turns with the knowledge they have acquired can keep husband and wife close. That way they can also enjoy a stress free life to some extent.
Both spouses may forget to maintain their charm for each other because they are so busy with child care. But making the effort to be mutually attractive can help husband and wife retain the atmosphere of their courtship days and early marriage. The couple must also find the opportunity to be alone when the baby sleeps or is lying down. This can help them relax so they are able to care for their baby properly.
A fairly clean and tidy home – probably not to the extent it was before baby’s arrival- can ease the emotional pressure on the couple. This must include keeping in order everything needed for the child’s care. This is not easy to achieve especially for first time parents.
Pregnancy and child care for first time parents can really give them the blues but it can also be a worthwhile experience in their journey as man and wife.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV).
IMPORTANT This blog does not constitute health advice which must be sought from qualified obstetrician/ gynaecologists and other health personnel.