Becoming parents can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first baby. Whether you’re a first time mom or it’s your fourth baby, taking care of a newborn can be stressful. They’re fragile and completely dependent on their parents, and as new parents, there are certain decisions you will have to make. Many parents believe that the most important decisions they will have to make for their newborn baby include whether or not to bank cord blood or to circumcise or not, but some of the hardest decisions involve situations that are not necessarily medical. Sometimes, parents overlook things that don’t seem as important and later become overwhelmed when the time comes to make certain decisions.
Here are five important decisions parents sometimes disregard but should think about in advance about their newborn baby:
Will you breastfeed or use formula? It seems simple. Mothers are usually pressured into breastfeeding. However, the choice should be made by both mother and father. Breastfeeding is a huge commitment for the mother, especially when the newborn baby wants to nurse extremely often. It is physically and emotionally taxing on the mother, and thus on the father. Although mothers are usually urged to breastfeed, some parents choose to give their babies formula because they want the fathers to be just as involved, or for medical reasons. Whether you will breastfeed or use formula is one of the first questions you will be asked when you check in to the hospital to give birth, so make sure you discuss it with your significant other beforehand.
Will you accept visitors in the hospital? What if the mom has a C section? Who sees baby first? With the arrival of a new baby, visitors will come. Family and friends will want to come and see the new bundle of joy, but this can be overwhelming for the new parents. Giving birth is not always simple, and usually not easy, so accepting visitors may be difficult right after the baby is born, especially if the mother has a Cesarian. Some parents like to have an entire day to themselves with their new baby. Decide what you feel comfortable with and let your nurses know when they can let visitors in.
Choosing baby’s name. This seems like a given, but many parents don’t make choosing a name for their baby a priority. Some parents choose a few names or no names at all and when the time comes, they have trouble making a final decision. This can be stressful on new parents who are recovering from labor and delivery and adjusting to parenthood for the first time.
Choosing a pediatrician. As soon as your baby is born, they will need medical evaluation and care. In the first few days of life, his or her pediatrician will come to the hospital to evaluate them, and when it’s time, to discharge them to go home. Having a pediatrician that is on the same page as you regarding important decisions such as vaccinations, giving medication, when to start solids, etc., will help you feel confident and comfortable as a parent. Make sure your child’s Pediatrician’s office has a 24 hour nurse/help line in case of sudden illness or injury. It brings new moms much comfort knowing their medical questions can be answered quickly.
Who will go back to work? This subject is debated, however, these days, it’s a big decision whether the mother, father or both will return to work after maternity and paternity leave. Some couples prefer one parent to stay home with the baby, but sometimes this is difficult for financial reasons. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly and should be decided before the baby is born to avoid stress and conflict.
These are some of the most important decisions that are sometimes overlooked by parents of newborns. Discussing these matters is crucial to prevent them from feeling extra stress when the time comes to welcome their new baby into the world.