Self-care such as exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep are critical for parents' well-being during the first few months of a baby's life. When preparing for a new baby, expectant parents should take time to assess the changes that could occur in their lives once the baby is born.
One's social life and schedule prior to having a child is typically more flexible. Maintaining social connections requires planning for new parents as they learn to adapt to a baby's schedule.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most commonly discussed issues for new parents. In the first few weeks of their lives, babies usually eat every two to three hours, so long periods of sleep are not possible. Resources like La Leche League can help provide support when feeding demands fall solely on the mother. For couples using formula, the parents can take turns with night feedings to give their partners a longer period of sleep.
New parents often struggle to find time to accomplish these goals, even if they had healthy habits prior to having a child. Planning out a weekly schedule and working as a parenting team can help new parents trade off responsibilities and give each other much-needed breaks.