As your professional sleep consultant in London we are here to to support you, give you advice and guide you in the right direction.
You spend approximately nine months growing a baby, absorbing all of the information you can in preparation, joining antenatal classes, asking peers for advice so that you feel as informed and well equipped as possible once your baby/babies arrive.
Any (honest!) parent will tell you just how hard the first few months are as your body adjusts and you settle into your newfound role but can we ever truly mentally prepare ourselves for such an immense shift? New parents spend endless amounts of time and energy getting feeding established, making sure everything is just right for this longed for addition/s to their family. What other parents don’t always tell you is how lonely that journey can be and although you can rationalise that other parents have done it too, they don’t seem to be following the path you’re on.
Parents of older children have the advantage of experience, having already trodden the path and found their tribe. A tribe of likeminded parents who share similar values and people to share the constant waves of parenting with. But unless you are cushioned by the security of that tribe, asking for help often feels incredibly hard. We plough on and on, hoping that our perseverance will pay off and it will all become less relentless, less exhausting.
Most of us recognise the strength it can take asking others for help but find it a harder direction to follow ourselves. Social conditioning, a loss of pride, a fear of appearing less able to cope or worrying that we will seem inadequate are all factors that stop us. Asking for help makes us feel vulnerable as there is also a chance that the help won’t come. If you’ve had a negative outcome in the past or felt let down by people you thought would support you, this also increases our reluctance to reach out.
Next time you’re reaching out for some help, we advise you to please follow these tips:
1: Ask the right people. This may sound obvious but ask friends who are physically able to, emotionally available and have the time to do so themselves. Sometimes being let down is due to us not being able to see what they are going through. Never assume.
2: Ask for specific help. Everyone loves cuddling a newborn baby but asking a friend to bring you lunch will feel like such a treat and be one less meal you’ll need to cook. I remember a close friend coming over when my son was a few weeks old. I was still recovering from a C section and she chatted to me whilst folding up all my laundry! I found it uncomfortable at the time but eleven years later, have never forgotten it!
3: Ask specialists for specialist advice. This may sound obvious but the problem with asking lots of people is that everyone will have an opinion and the more of those you are subjected to, the more likely you are to have a confidence crash. Chances are you knew what to do all along, you just got a little lost or overwhelmed along the way. If you need help getting feeding established, ask a lactation consultant. If you need help with your child’s sleep, ask a sleep consultant. If you have developmental concerns about your child, ask a Paediatrician. By relying more on trained advice and less on opinion, it will mean you were informed correctly and able to resolve the problem with confidence.
Please remember, whether the people you know have hollered ‘HELP’ from the rooftops or secretly whispered it into the night, we have all been there and taking that first step, however hard it can be, is one you really won’t regret.
If you feel you would benefit from additional adivce or we can help in any way, please contact us and we will be happy to help.