Show Notes: Prepare for Baby – New Workshop
If you want to prepare for baby, but don’t know how, this workshop conducted by Laura Alfred and Erla Marx Newhouse will give you an opportunity to think about and discuss what life will be like with a new baby and help smooth the transition to parenthood. This podcast will give you an idea of what you can think about to better prepare for baby.
If you have missed the workshop (6 August 2016), this content will still be relevant to you, and please still check out the Parenting For Beginners Workshop link, because Laura and Erla may run more workshops in the future.
Why are Laura and Erla holding this workshop?
- Laura Alfred and Erla Marx Newhouse are both therapists who are passionate about child development and life as a new parent.
- Clients often presented with common adjustment problems for parents.
- Laura and Erla want to pre-empt the problems before they become major.
- The first year is a high risk time for couples, with a lot of conflict arising within the couple and with the extended family.
- Usually difficulty for new parents is just adjustment, but it can become depression for 1 in 7 women, 1 in 10 men experience some sort of postnatal depression.
- One of the risk factors for postnatal depression is having unrealistic expectations, which isn’t helped by idealised images of happy babies and immaculate mums.
- Preparation might make the transition smoother, so Laura and Erla are holding a workshop in Sydney, on the 6th of August 2016.
Babies have no conscious memory, so why is the first 3 years so important?
- Interpersonal neuro-biology. The way the brain develops in the first three years of life are crucial in determining later social and emotional ability.
- For more details check out Sue Gerhardt: Why love matters- how affection shapes the babies brain (affiliate link, thank you)
- The brain is very plastic, especially in the early years, and is shaped by early experiences.
- There is evidence that children raised in institutions, who don’t form a secure attachment to a care-taker, have learning and interpersonal difficulties later in life.
- It is important to facilitate attachment. Secure attachment does develop quite naturally, and develops overtime, so it shouldn’t be a major source of stress or worry for parents.
- When and where
- A full day event on the 6 August, at Crows Nest Community Centre, for Single parents to be, and expecting couples.
- Insights into how to meet the emotional needs of young babies and children.
- An idea of what parents can expect to go through as they adjust to parenthood.
- An understanding of how your upbringing might affect the kind of parent you will be.
- Recognising when postnatal adjustment becomes depression.
- Insights on what Dads can expect when the baby arrives.
- Recommendations on how the navigate the minefield of recommendations from well-meaning relatives and the media.
- Tools to help the couple discuss how the baby might affect their lives, from sex, to socialising, careers, income, and sharing of chores.
- Not advocating a certain approach, but giving an overview of the many approaches for parents to draw from, and encouraging parents to decide what best fits them.
- Dads can feel a little left out. A lot of focus on Mums, not enough on Dads.
- Dads play a very important role, but can feel excluded from the pregnancy and from the Mother-baby couple.
- Fathers need to start thinking about it.
- Depression and adjustment issues can show as irritability and anger in men.
- Have a lot to offer initially as support to the mum, who is providing support to the baby.
- Think of ways to include fathers.
- Helpful tips:
- You can’t be perfect. You just have to be good enough.
- Mistakes happen – as long as you keep reflecting on them, that is being a good parent.
- When receiving unwanted parenting advice, you can say “This is what works for us.” If you have thought about it, that is all you have to say.
- Don’t listen to other people too much.
- Listen to yourself. Think about what works for you.
- Keep talking as a couple.
- Safe-guard couple time. Accept that it won’t necessarily be the same as before, but make sure that you still get time as a couple to talk.
- More about the workshop at www.parentingforbeginners.com.au
- Before watching the British “bringing up baby” series, if you choose to. Check out the Media watch episode on it.
- Sue Gerhardt: Why love matters- how affection shapes the babies brain
- PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia
- Becoming Mum Podcast and Becoming Mum Book
- The Sleep Health Foundation
- Snoring Children Podcast
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How do you think your life will change with a baby? Or what was the hardest adjustment for you when baby arrived? Please discuss in the comments.