Ask Emma

MEET WITH A PARENTING EXPERT - EMMA ATKINSON

Your ASK EMMA one-to-one session can be made on Tuesdays or Fridays, starting from Friday, 12 May. You can make a booking when you visit us at reception, by calling us on: (08) 6496 0460, or by filling in the form via the link below.

At a small cost of $20, you will get an invaluable 50 minute personalised session where you can discuss common issues that arise in pregnancy and the first year of your child’s life which include: breast feeding, reaching early milestones, sleep, birth debriefing, how the hospital system works, anxiety in pregnancy, building routines, and sharing the load at home.

Emma was an Occupational Therapist and is a Midwife with a Masters in Women’s Health. She has also developed a preparation for parenthood course for the service. Her passion is women’s mental health especially around the perinatal period. In her spare time she enjoys music, reading and hanging out with her kids.

Qualifications

Bsc hons Occupational therapy
Bsc Midwifery
Post graduate diploma community mental health
Masters women’s health

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!

Becoming a parent is an exciting time but with a whole new world of knowledge out there, it can be overwhelming and challenging!

Things that nobody tells you about becoming a parent:

  1. Feeding – it’s completely normal for a baby to feed 12 times in a 24 hour period.

  2. Pregnancy is a whole body experience – if areas of your body like your hands don’t feel normal please discuss this with your health care practitioner.

  3. Anxiety and depression – can happen in pregnancy as well as after you’ve had your baby, please talk about this with someone you trust.

  4. Bleeding – is normal after any type of birth.

5. Hiccups – most babies will get the hiccups, it’s completely normal and you don’t need to do anything.

6. Productivity – at the end of the day you won’t be able to identify what you’ve done, but you will never have stopped doing stuff.

7. Exhaustion – know that you’ve never been this tired before, but it WILL get better. 

8. Little boys – close your mouth when changing their nappies! In general (for boys or girls), prepare for “poonamis” at ALL times!

SURPRISE!

Adjusting to your new life and looking after a newborn is a steep learning curve which can be emotionally and physically exhausting.

Here are some common newborn questions answered:

  1. How long does it take for the umbilical cord to fall off?
    – usually 7-10 days.

  2. Does my baby recognise my voice?
    – yes they will recognise the voices they heard during pregnancy and the music that you’ve played them.

  3. Can you spoil a newborn?
    – n0, no matter what grandma says you cannot spoil a newborn. They will not form habits.

  4. How do I deal with unwanted advice?
    – listen politely, say ‘thank you’, and do whatever feels authentic to you.

  5. Why is my baby crying when changing their nappy?
    – you are not hurting them, they are just responding to being colder and not swaddled.

6. Why am I crying?
– if you around day 3 or 4 post birth, it could be the baby blues caused by hormonal changes and this is completely normal.

7. Why am I still crying?
– speak to a health care professional or someone you trust about your feelings and take any help offered to you.

8. Do I need to burp a breastfed baby?
– generally no, if a baby is attached correctly they won’t take in air as they are feeding and breastmilk is perfectly formed so it won’t upset their stomach. Babies will naturally stop feeding when they are full, however it can be useful to hold them upright to see if they stay asleep or start searching for more food. 

 

HUH?!

You will experience many “unexpected” and “WTF” moments, and this is what comes with the “new parent” territory.

Here are some handy tips for new parents:

Expect stress – you’ve just experienced a life changing transition, and that is accompanied by some degree of stress. Despite your best preparations, everything won’t go to plan, be kinder to yourself and adjusting plans along the way is the new norm.

Join a new parents group – all parents experience the same basic joys and concerns, plus you’ll find new friends and find non-judgmental support.

Accept help
– while you want to be the best super-mum or super-dad, having an extra hour to sleep, shower or take a walk while someone you trust cares for your newborn can you give you a much needed lift!

Enjoy your baby – everyone tells you to enjoy the newborn stage, but this might not always feel possible. Try to notice small moments of joy and reach out for help if you are struggling.

The relationship with you partner is evolving too – the majority of your time is spent on the baby and it’s easy to direct all your focus there, but it is important to spend meaningful time with your partner. Talk about your hopes and fears and how things have changed.

Ask questions – we all have to learn to be parents, no question is a silly question, just reach out and ask!! 

ASK EMMA

Do you have a burning parenting question and don’t know where to start? Get your questions answered by our parenting expert Emma at the touch of a fingertip!

We run some exciting workshops just for parents (and even for kids), find out more under our Classes and Events page.

Please check out our Facebook and Instagram page. 

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