Dr. Alan Greene is the Chief Medical Officer
for A.D.A.M. He is
also on the Clinical Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine,
where he sees patients and instructs residents. He is a graduate of Princeton
University and UCSF Medical School. He has had a powerful Internet connection
with families around the world since co-founding DrGreene.com in 1995. He has conducted daily live chat sessions on
the web for over three years. He is a founding member of Hi-Ethics (Health
Internet Ethics). In 1999, Intel named Dr. Greene the Children's Health
Hero of the Internet.
Taking Care Of Yourself When There's A New Baby In The House
The addition of a new baby throws the family rhythm into a tailspin! Moms,
dads, and siblings often feel their needs aren't being met. A new baby directly
requires much of everyone's time and attention. As if that weren't enough, the
new baby has partly "taken their place," requiring much attention which each
person had previously been accustomed to receiving. Remember that every member
of the family has valid needs, not just the new baby.
Here are some suggestions:
- Many children are comforted by the sound of running water and will sit
peacefully close by while Mom or Dad takes a shower. Make sure the baby is
dry, fed, and comfortable. Then put the baby in an infant seat or car seat.
Take the little bundle into the bathroom so the baby can see Mom or Dad and
hear a parent's voice. When the baby gets a little older, games of peek-a-boo
work very well from the shower!
If you don't have a baby who enjoys shower time, try one of these ideas:
- Set aside a time each day that is Dad's special time to spend with the baby
and Mom's time to take care of her own personal needs. Establish a period
that is long enough for Mom to really feel that she has had a break, but not
so long that Dad feels abandoned. Even a brief amount of time can make a huge
difference to a new mom! (Hint: Consider including a five-minute soak in a
steamy mineral salts bath. It can seem like an hour to tired muscles.)
- Arrange to trade childcare with another new mom from your neighborhood on
a regular basis. If both babies spend an hour with one mom, then an hour with
the other, each mom has one very busy hour and one hour to herself. It is
ideal if both moms live in the same building or on the same block, but be
- If you don't know of other new moms in your area, you may find older neighbors
who are unable to spend time with grandchildren of their own and would love
to spend time with your baby on a regular basis. Including them in your extended
family can be a wonderful, mutually beneficial relationship.
- Find out if Dad's company offers "paternity leave" so the two of you can
share more of the responsibility for the baby in those precious first few
Created: 8/7/2002  - Dr. Alan Greene
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