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October - November 2009
Welcome to the wonderful world of Fatherhood!
by Kiran Grover
Fatherhood is an amazing, challenging time in life, with many different emotional and physical strains. This article is taken from carefully watching my husband and his reactions to the new family addition. The first twenty-four hours for both parents are about meeting your new baby and resting. Mother and baby will hopefully sleep for hours, leaving the new dad to wander around and email photos to relatives! The next few days will be a rollercoaster ride of different emotions: love, awe, relief, perhaps anxiety. It is often referred to as the ‘baby moon’.
Becoming a father is a defining moment in a man’s life. Some might say that is when one in fact becomes a man. Shock is a common reaction - especially if the birth is in any way traumatic. Many people may want to visit the new baby, both friends and relatives. Protective feelings towards your new family are natural, as is wanting to share your joy with as many people as possible.
Take time to get to know your new baby, sitting together and cuddling. This is your bonding time too and you may only have a week or two of paternity leave before being thrust back into the outside world. The real world can take its toll at this point especially until your baby learns to sleep through the night - probably the biggest and best milestone! You may also benefit with taking some Homeopathy to help you adjust and calm your nerves.
If you have been up for many hours and are feeling exhausted both physically and emotionally then taking Arnica 30c 2 – 3 times a day for a few days will help.
If there is a level of shock either from your new role in life or because the labour and birth were complicated or your new baby or partner are unwell then Aconite 30c taken 2 – 3 times a day for a few days can offer support.
If you find that you cannot sleep due to anxiety etc it may help to take Passiflora 30c before bed for up to 4 weeks. If you fall asleep but find that you wake up during the night with worries then Ars Alb 30c is useful to take before bed for about a week.
If baby is having difficulty sleeping then a drop of lavender oil in the bath is good at helping them relax. Also a drop of Rescue Remedy gently massaged into the fontanels can also help the baby relax, a few drops in a glass of water may also help you relax.
Crying and Anxiety
As well as grunting, squeaking, gurgling, humming and sniffing babies, especially new born’s cry sometimes quite a lot. It is a reflex and expression of both physical and emotional needs, as a parent you will feel a natural response to this perhaps worry, anxiety or love, when you react to it you are responding to your baby’s communication.
Some people find that their crying new born baby can make them feel anxious. This can lead to feelings of guilt or even inadequacy. This is all completely normal but Homeopathy can help offer support at this time. If you are feeling a lot of pressure between work and home life taking Nux Vom 30c once a day, three times a week may help. If you are feeling generally very worried about providing for your new family, or the vulnerability of your baby then some Calc Carb 20c again taken once a day, three times a week may also help. If you continue to feel worried and anxious then it is worth seeking additional help (see below).
In my clinic we see many new parents and babies, some for specific symptoms and others to help improve overall health of the family. Contact us if you have any questions of would like some advice. Support is there for you and your family from Midwives, Health Visitors, GPs and your local friendly Homeopath!
Kiran Grover MA, LCHE, RSHom is a fully qualified professional Homeopath, a Graduate of the Centre for Homeopathic Education and a Registered Member of the Society of Homeopaths (www.homeopathy-soh.org.) She is the founder of the Healthy Homeopathy Clinic in North West London.www.healthyhomeopathy.co.uk