To say the last three years have been overwhelming would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic threw almost everyone’s lives for a loop – including parents.
If you’re expecting your first child in 2022, you might not realize just how much parenting advice has changed since the start of the pandemic. While some aspects of parenting will never change, others have shifted over the last few years as new priorities have come to the forefront of many parents’ minds.
With that, let’s take a look at how you can actively prepare for your first child in 2022, and what your parenting plan might look like in the coming years.
Immediately after giving birth, a new mother’s health and well-being are more important than ever. Proper exercise, eating nutritious food, and engaging in activities that help promote a new mother’s physical and mental well-being are extremely vital, not only for the mother but also for the newborn’s welfare. For those with dietary restrictions, there are available dietary supplements that can bridge that nutrition gap. Some supplements contain probiotics to aid women in avoiding digestion and urinary tract problems. While most of these supplements are safe for breastfeeding moms, it is always important to consult a health professional before taking anything.
If you’re currently pregnant or you’re planning on becoming pregnant soon, there are some important things to know about the type of care you might receive during and immediately following the birth of your child.
At the height of the pandemic, many new parents struggled while giving birth. In some cases, spouses weren’t even allowed in delivery rooms, and no family members were allowed to come to visit. This left many women feeling unsupported. Other perinatal practices during the pandemic caused a spike in mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
Many hospitals have eased restrictions when it comes to visitors. Some still require masks to be in the building, but that’s often a small price to pay when it comes to getting to witness the birth of a child or seeing them shortly after. However, COVID did change a few things that will likely be around for a while when it comes to prenatal and postnatal care.
That includes an increase in remote visits. Now, it’s not uncommon for women to check in with their doctor from the comfort of their own home, both before and after their child is born. Obviously, there are some things that require in-person visits. However, telehealth has seen a huge uptick in popularity and no signs of slowing down.
This can be beneficial for pregnant women who might not want to leave their homes and drive somewhere by themselves, or for new mothers who have a little one to care for and want to stay as comfortable as possible at home.
It can seem like sleep guidelines change every few years, but studies are continuously being done to ensure doctors are giving parents the right information to keep their little ones safe. The latest sleep-safe rules include:
- No crib bumpers
- No inclined sleep products
- Weighted swaddles and sleep sacks are not recommended
Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you shouldn’t use any of the following products for routine sleeping:
- Car seats
- Infant carriers
- Inclined rockers
When you have a newborn or infant who falls asleep somewhere other than their crib or bassinet, including the car seat after a short trip, it can be tempting to let them nap for as long as possible. However, if they’re not in a safe location or position, it’s important to move them.
Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is always important, but it’s essential for new mothers or moms-to-be. When you’re about to have a baby, you can practice self-care that will keep you and your little one healthy by:
- Staying active
- Keeping your anxiety low
- Getting the proper vaccinations
- Practicing good hygiene
- Avoiding public places as much as possible
It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for when you get home from the hospital. Consider avoiding having visitors in your home for a while. It will give you a chance to rest and will help to ensure you and your baby don’t catch anything. It’s also a good idea to have extra resources on hand, including diapers, clothes, food, etc. Now is the time to break into all of the gifts you received at your baby shower!
Take this time to bond with your baby, relax as much as possible, prioritize sleep, and lean on your support system.
It’s also important to prioritize your safety in a very literal sense, before and after you give birth. Now is a good time to try things like upgrading your home security, protecting yourself online, and even keeping yourself safe from identity theft. If you’re one of the millions of Americans getting scam phone calls each day, it doesn’t take much for a seasoned scammer to get the information they need to take your identity. Not only will that impact you, but your children, as well. Extra security in every aspect of your life will give you peace of mind, reduce your stress levels, and allow you to focus on what you and your baby really need.
As we get deeper into a post-pandemic society, it’s clear that many aspects of our world have changed over the last few years. It’s important to know how to handle those changes as a new parent. Do your research, take care of yourself, and prioritize what makes you feel safe and comfortable while keeping your baby’s needs in mind.