Preparing for Parenthood
Photo Credit: Kenny LouieHaving a baby means making changes in your life. These can be wonderful and rewarding, but they might also involve making some difficult choices. It's important to work through any concerns you have and get support for yourself and your baby. As a parent, you might be focused on looking after your baby, and sometimes this means that you won't have time to look after yourself. It's important to take care of yourself physically as well as emotionally. Here are some more tips to help you take care of yourself in your new role as a parent:
Talk to someone. If you are finding things are tough, talking with someone you trust can help you work through your feelings.
Do things you enjoy, even if you're at home. There will be times when you have to stay at home when you would rather be out. This can be tough, but try to make your at-home time fun. Invite your friends over, listen to music, cook a nice meal, or chill out and relax for a while. Check out the Relaxation fact sheet for ideas on chilling out.
Take time out from being the parent once in a while. It's O.K. to leave your child with someone you trust so that you can have some time to yourself. You might want to ask your partner, parents, siblings, friends or neighbors to baby sit for a while. Make sure that your babysitter is someone whom you trust.
Get lots of rest. It's important that you try to get some rest when your baby is sleeping so that you can catch up on lost sleep for yourself.
Have fun times with your baby. There are lots of great things you can do with your child. Here are some ideas like taking baby swimming classes, playing at the local playground, taking a walk in the park, drawing, painting or getting creative with a craft project, or setting up play groups with other parents and their babies.
Join a local support or parents' group. Joining a support group can be a good way to meet other young parents.
Getting help. If you feel like things are overwhelming you, it might be helpful to talk with someone like a counselor, your local doctor or someone else you can trust.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.