News & Media

Advice for new parents

06 October 2020

New to parenthood? You’re not alone. Here’s where to go for help.

Parenthood is a life-changing experience, and definitely one of the biggest challenges many of us face. Sleep deprivation, vomit, dirty nappies, a crying baby, new responsibilities and financial burdens make for a perfect storm. Some parents feel like they’re drowning.

Our community health nurse, Corina, has attended lots of new parents’ groups over the past ten years. She often asks new parents if parenthood is what they thought it would be. And more times than not, the answer is no!

So, what can new parents do to make themselves feel better about their new way of life with a baby in tow? Here are Corina’s tips.

Remember you’re not alone

A mother bottle feeding her newborn baby

No matter how ready you think you are (with the latest model pram, swaddles, baby pouches, and dummies) it’s normal to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of this new little person you have brought into the world. There’s no one rule book that solves every parenting question you have, but hugs from friends, words of encouragement from other parents (including your own), professional advice and a realistic routine help smooth this rollercoaster ride.

Reach out

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t make you a bad parent – it makes you brilliant!

If you are feeling alone and isolated, call someone and have a conversation, use the internet to start a new parents’ chat group, make an effort to attend your new parents’ groups and participate in the discussion. Ask for advice! Share how you’re really feeling and others will follow.

Switch off

A father pushing his baby in a pram through a park surrounded by tall green grass and trees

Parenthood is like a game of snakes and ladders – sometimes you think you’re winning and then you’re back to square one. On top of that, we have the pressures of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram where all we see are posts portraying a perfect day in someone else’s life.

Is what you see on social media reality? No. Does it add to feelings of inadequacy? Sadly, yes.

If you catch yourself constantly comparing your life with the photos and posts you see on social media, it’s time to switch off. Sure, you can use social media to catch up with friends and family and support local small businesses, but limit your use of social media to just that. Unfollow people (especially influencers!) whose posts don’t make you feel good about yourself. Limit the amount of time you spend scrolling on your phone and dedicate those moments to ‘me time’ – take a walk, read a good book or create new family memories!

Here are some handy resources

There are so many support services that are available at a click of a button or a phone call! Here are a few that might be helpful:

Beyond Blue

PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia

Anglicare Victoria

And don’t forget to reach out to your new parents’ group, your child’s health nurse and, of course, your GP.