Wellbeing of new and expectant parents
Becoming a new parent is a big change and big changes can be challenging. It is important you look after your own wellbeing because it helps you to cope better with the ups and downs of pregnancy and being a parent. This helps you to develop a strong secure relationship that will support your baby to grow physically, mentally and emotionally.
What does good wellbeing look like?
- Being able to do and enjoy things that are important to us
- Getting on with family and friends and feeling supported
- Coping with the challenges life brings.
Wellbeing doesn’t just happen on its own. Most of us know how to look after our physical health for example by eating fruit and vegetables, or not smoking. But there are simple actions we can take to improve our overall wellbeing. These are called the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’.
As a parent the Five Ways to Wellbeing can look like this:
- Connect: Join a group to meet other parents and talk to someone new. Keep in touch with family, friends and work colleagues.
- Be Active: Try swimming, walking, or dancing. You can do these activities while you are pregnant and with your baby. Being active helps you feel good physically and mentally. It can help you adapt to pregnancy and it can be sociable.
- Take Notice: Take some time to notice things around you. Watch the changes during your pregnancy and in your baby. Enjoy the little things such as your baby’s first smile or first word. Take time to notice your surroundings as you go for a walk and notice how you are feeling. If you are more in tune with your own feelings and emotions you can respond better to your baby’s emotions.
- Keep learning: There is a lot to learn about being pregnant and becoming a parent. Join the library or go on-line and learn a new recipe or new stories and games for your baby.
- Give: You are always giving as a new parent but you also need to give yourself time. Take time to talk with your partner. Invite a friend over for coffee or offer to help another parent. If you find these actions become difficult don’t hesitate to ask a partner, friend, family member or professional for some support.
Local baby groups - for information about local groups speak to your midwife or health visitor or see the section on getset and children’s centre services.
Support with infant feeding
Positive about Breastfeeding
NHS Choices - Breastfeeding
Healthy Somerset - Breastfeeding
Using slings to carry your baby and keep them close
Sling safety - www.babyslingsafety.co.uk
Carry me Kate - www.carrymekate.co.uk
Resources for new Dads
Dad Pad is a resource created at the request of new dads. Providing practical advice on caring for your new baby and how Dads can support their partners.
Families come in all shapes and sizes. There are two million single parents in the UK and they make up 25% of families. Support and expert advice is available for single mums and dads at Gingerbread.