THE TRANSITION TO PARENTHOOD
By Katie Moore
For a couple, becoming parents is an exciting and difficult challenge to undertake. For LGBT couples, the steps to parenthood usually involve more steps and difficulties before being able to experience the joys of a child. For a woman in an LGB relationship who will be experiencing pregnancy and delivery, her and her partner have additional preparation steps to get ready for baby’s delivery day.
Even if a woman has the support of her partner by her side and feels incredibly ready and prepared, seeing her baby for the first time can be life changing and make a mother wonder if she is prepared enough. There are many tips to help make the transition into parenthood a smooth one, including:
1. Post-delivery treatments. There are required and optional post-delivery treatments for babies that mothers can be prepared for as a first step into parenthood. I spoke with my doctor during my pregnancy to become educated on what was required and what I could ask to have or not have done to my baby so I could begin bonding. The required treatments include immunizations and tests for preventative healthcare. Some optional choices are circumcision and cord blood banking. Umbilical cord blood banking requires pre-delivery preparation as it is preformed immediately after birth of a baby. For lesbian mothers, this could be a proactive step for the future health of their child, since the baby’s genes may be apart from their own.
2. Accepting Help. In order for a mother to make a quick recovery following delivery, she should get plenty of stress-free rest and bonding time with her newborn. Mothers should accept the help that family and friends have been offering to allow a mother the rest she needs. Not having to worry too much about household chores or watching older siblings of the newborn will let a mother get back on her feet sooner. Laundry and dishes were certainly the furthest things from my mind after my delivery: rest is always much more important than a guest-ready home.
3. Getting Sleep. The much talked about lack of sleep is a reality for parents with a newborn. There will be late night feedings and an irregular sleep schedule that can throw mothers off. Catching a nap when the baby is sleeping, no matter what time of day, is the best way for mothers to keep up and avoid feeling poor and irritable. I was always tempted to get other things done when my daughter was sleeping, but sleep always won me over. More sleep gave me more energy to get through the transitions with a smile on my face.
4. Monitor Emotions. Post-delivery up until a year after baby is born can bring a big change to a mother’s emotional well-being. From all of the hormonal changes a woman has experienced during pregnancy and delivery, “baby blues” is a common effect causing a woman to feel slightly detached from her baby or sad. Talking about these feelings with a partner, family and even another mother can help a mother deal with her feelings. If these feelings persist or become worse, immediately seeing a doctor is the next step.
Another emotional side effect from lesbian pregnancy and delivery may come from the the non bio-mom. A bio-mom may feel an extreme connection with the baby since she experienced the pregnancy and delivery, but non-bio mom may feel like she doesn’t have the same connection. Both mothers should be sure to express their emotions with each other and non-bio mom should take time to bond with baby separately from the bio mom.
New moms should remember to take it easy as much as possible. For the first six weeks after a baby is born, the baby is getting used to life outside the womb and moms are getting used to their baby. This time should not be spent exercising, stressing, or running errands, and should instead be a time used to relax and become acquainted with the baby.
This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.