First-time parents, the initial journey is a complete rollercoaster ride. The scenario parents face is as unique as their child. The role of a mother and a caregiver not giving birth is always debatable in shaping their children’s future. And that’s where Equal Parenting comes to play. It is not about sharing baby-care responsibilities only; it includes housework, breadwinning, and some me-time as well.
Entering parenthood begins from day 1. A woman’s body has just done one of the most remarkable things it will ever do: grow another human being. After delivery, women go through many struggles, and taking care of the baby also requires effort. After nine months of waiting, the mother is probably excited to be finally home with her new baby. The next minute, though, she is sad. It can be confusing, especially to new moms. Many women (70-80%) struggle with feeling sad the first few weeks after having a baby. It is commonly called the “baby blues” and is caused by hormone changes. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Confiding with a friend or family member can often make them feel better. If these feelings last more than a few weeks and the mother is not able to function because of them, she could have postpartum depression. Depression is a common problem after pregnancy. 1 in 9 new mothers has postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness that involves the brain and affects your behavior and physical health. Feelings can be mild to severe. If a woman has depression, feeling sad, flat, or empty, that doesn’t go away and can interfere with her day-to-day life. She might feel unconnected to her baby as if she is not the baby’s mother, or she might not feel that she love or care for the baby, in that case it is completely ok to ask for help. After delivery, mothers go through many struggles, and taking care of the baby also requires effort. Much of their focus and energy during the coming weeks and months will be on the baby. They shouldn’t forget to take care of their body and themselves, too.
An ever so important subject
On the other hand, the one not giving birth are also going through a difficult time. It can be difficult for them to know where they fit in the newly revised family picture. Caregivers not giving birth can experience postpartum depression, too. Sometimes called paternal postpartum depression, it can have the same negative effect on partner relationships and child development as postpartum depression in mothers can. They may feel sad or tired, be overwhelmed, experience anxiety, or have changes in their usual eating and sleeping patterns, the same symptoms mothers with postpartum depression experience. It is the beginning of a new life for both parents. It is important to support and help each other and be the best version of yourself for the partner and the baby. So, this phase itself embarks on your journey of sharing parenthood.
Parents can make it easier for themselves and create a strong bond with their children equally, babywearing can help them achieve that. Babywearing can help break down social isolation by making it easier to walk, stay active, or meet friends. Carrying a baby increases the amount of time spent in contact with the baby, which research links to a reduced rate of postpartum depression.
Babywearing can truly help the parents know how important they are to their family as a whole. It is an amazing tool to help them fulfill their parenting role in a very meaningful way. At the same time giving each other a little time for something as simple as a shower or a short walk outside, they can recharge a bit while the baby still gets all the snuggles.
When both parents are committed to working together on common family goals, it sets a great example of teamwork and support that goes a long way in the child’s life.
Remember, it is never too late to start something, so let’s be equal for our children!