For many new parents, there will be mixed emotions on meeting their new baby (or babies).
For many parents unfortunately the birth may not have been what they imagined, or is yet another hard milestone in the ‘reproductive journey’ they have faced in becoming parents -a journey peppered by infertility struggles, perinatal loss and miscarriage and fearfulness about the baby’s survival. Or perhaps they have become parents in ways they hadn’t imagined through adoption or surrogacy.
All of these steps on the reproductive journey will shape how they welcome this baby and develop an attachment relationship with him/her or them, and how they might feel about themselves as new parents.
Commonly individuals and couples may seek psychological support for a wide range of issues at this time including
DIFFICULTIES IN THE COUPLE RELATIONSHIP IN THE TRANSITION TO PARENTHOOD, EG CONFLICT, ROLES AND PARENTAL IDENTITY
STRUGGLING WITH BREASTFEEDING AND SLEEPING ROUTINES
PARENTING ALONE AFTER RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN OR SEPARATION
POSTNATAL DEPRESSION AND/OR ANXIETY
CONSTANT FEARS ABOUT THE BABY AND THE ABILITY TO PROTECT OR KEEP THEM SAFE – PERINATAL OCD
STRUGGLING WITH FERTILITY ISSUES AND CONTEMPLATING IVF
RE-EMERGENCE OF NEGATIVE BELIEFS ABOUT ONESELF AND NOT FEELING ‘GOOD ENOUGH’ AS A PARENT
DEALING WITH UNRESOLVED ISSUES FROM ONE’S OWN CHILDHOOD, EG ABUSE OR DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIP WITH OWN PARENTS
BECOMING A STEP-PARENT OR BLENDING FAMILIES WITH A NEW PARTNER
POSTNATAL PTSD AND/OR BIRTH TRAUMA
DIFFICULTY WITH PARENT-INFANT(S) RELATIONSHIP, EG STRUGGLING TO BOND
PREMATURE BIRTHS AND INFANT
STAYS IN NICU
SIBLING RIVALRY – WORRIES ABOUT OTHER CHILDREN AND NEW BABY
DIFFICULTIES ARISING IN THE ATTACHMENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNBORN BABY OR INFANT DUE TO GENDER PREFERENCE
MANAGING DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES, EG WEANING, CRAWLING, TERRIBLE TWOS
MANAGING NURSERY AND GOING BACK TO WORK ANXIETIES