Dear parents or soon to-become parents,
Let me start this blog by telling you that you are not alone. When I became a mother, I realized that even when I was feeling alone, I just needed to ask and someone was going to be there. Feel free to leave comments bellow and myself and this community will be here for you.
When we were preparing ourselves to become parents, we were first in shock. Even if we were planning to become parents, knowing that we were expecting gave us the greatest joy of our lifes but also the greatest panic. Raising a baby takes energy, patience and more importantly lots of love. Even if we felt prepared for this new step, we were not completely ready (maybe because we are also first-time parents). I have learnt to understand that the beauty of parenthood is that you learn to accept surprises and you just let it be.
Pregnancy is a great transition period. In the case of new parents to parenthood and in the case of already parents to a bigger family. Developmental scientists consider this transition to be one of the most detrimental reorganizations in the lifespan of a person. It does not just involve changing our daily activities, but also our brains, endocrine systems, behaviors, identities, relationships, and more. While pregnancy prepares a mother's brain for parenting, the act of caregiving can produce upticks in oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and create neurological changes that support parenting in everyone involved raising a little bundle of joy i.e. dads, adoptive parents, and other caregiving adults.
How did I prepare myself to become a parent? Let me summarize some of the things that I did early on and throughout and that can serve as a basic checklist:
- I have tried to educate myself about my and my baby’s physiological changes. This helped me to not panic when I felt something different throughout the pregnancy
- I have asked my Gynecologist a lot of questions about pregnancy options. I also talked with my mum friends about their experiences. Please consider that every experience is different
- I participated in some online birth preparation classes (due to the pandemic life in-person classes were cancelled)
- We visited a first-aid training class. It gave (gives) us valuable information in the case of an emergency and the necessary confidence to deal with it
- I used an App called: “What to expect” to track my pregnancy and my growing baby. It gave me accurate information on how I was going to feel during certain weeks
- I have tried to read books about babies, but I frankly just managed to read one in its entirety, which I highly recommend: “The Sensational Sleep Plan” by Alison Scott-Wright
- I checked my insurance coverage and the hospitals and room options that were in network, where my gynecologist was also delivering babies
I personally believe that if I have a rough idea of possible scenarios, the fear will decrease. Therefore, trying to inform myself helped me calm down in what is certainly a very stressful yet also so a beautiful time.
Please find a list of books recommended by other mums and dads:
- The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp (check it out)
- Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman (check it out)
- The Montessori Baby by Simone Davies and Junnifa Uzodike (check it out)
- Warum Dänische Kinder glücklicher und ausgeglichener sind by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl (check it out)
- Jedes Kind kann schlafen lernen by Annette Kast-Zahn and Hartmut Morgenroth (check it out)
- The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott (check it out)
In my next week’s blog post, I will talk about what you do and don’t need during the first year of your baby. Stay tuned!
All the best,
Erika & the Little Genius Team