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How to emotionally prepare for parenthood

Parenting is a full-time job. Find out more about how to prepare emotionally for parenthood.

    3-minutes read


    Amazing news! You’re expecting your first baby, and there are going to be lots of exciting times ahead. But what can you do to emotionally prepare for parenthood? Check out our pregnancy tips for first time mums and dads before baby arrives, and you’ll be as ready as you can be for life with a newborn when you become a parent. Remember you’re not alone, family and friends will be more than happy to help guide and support you with all the emotions you’ll be feeling during pregnancy now, and when your little one arrives.

    1. Don’t have unrealistic parental expectations

    Repeat after us…. “there’s no such thing as the perfect parent.” It might be difficult to believe when you see all those insta-mums apparently living their best lives, but it’s true. Parenting is a huge learning curve for you and your baby, so don’t be too hard on yourself. All babies have different needs at different times, so don’t compare you and your baby to others. You might find your baby sleeps through the night quicker than others, or it might take a bit longer. Until your baby arrives, you won’t know what they will be like or how their sleeping patterns will pan out. Being a parent is hard, so there is no need to put extra pressure on yourself. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace the unknown, so try not to worry or feel overwhelmed. However, it’s okay if you find yourself feeling down. Over 1 in 10 mums can develop postpartum depression within a year of giving birth, which is a bit more serious and can last a bit longer than baby blues. Want to know more? Why not check out our guide to spotting the signs of postnatal depression.

    2. Get ready to slow down

    Take it from us you’ll be doing everything at a much slower speed! Whether that’s recovering from giving birth or even just getting out the door for a breath of fresh air, give yourself some time adjusting to being a new mum. There really is no rush so do what you need to do in your own time. So, you’ve got a playdate at 11am, but you turn up at midday due to your baby deciding they’re hungry again? Don’t worry about it; everyone will understand that’s life with a newborn!

    3. Practice self-care while pregnant

    It’s so important to remember to take some time out for yourself when you’re pregnant. You might want to check out prenatal yoga classes (it’s a great way to relax and meet like-minded mums to be). Oh, and here’s a top tip… make sure you and your partner get as much sleep as possible! You’ll be sleep deprived parents for a long time after your baby arrives, so this is the perfect time to enjoy lazy weekend lie-ins together, if you haven’t already got a little one in your family of course!

    4. Have a think about parenting duties

    It’s time to have an honest chat with your partner about what you are both expecting when you become parents. Talk through parenting duties and who will do what around the house. Work out how the chores need to be divvied up. Making sure you support each other emotionally is so important when you’re a new parent, and not feeling like you’ve got that support or help can cause rows and the odd new parents' relationship problem, so have a chat and a think about it now. Being a parent can, at times, put a strain on your relationship, so remember you’re a team. Here are some great first-time dad tips which perhaps you could read together!

    5. Gather up your support network now

    It’s a good opportunity to connect with other, soon-to-be parents, too. Check out local new parents’ groups and pregnancy classes in your area or give prenatal exercise classes a go. Classes is a great way to get out of the house while giving you the opportunity to meet other parents or parents-to-be in your area. Some of these connections often turn into friends for life!

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