Having a baby can be one of the most amazing experiences in life, but a number of new parents find the period after they take baby home to be confusing. So who can you turn to for advice and support when you have a new baby?
In days gone past, we used to live close to family, so our mothers, sisters and aunties were just up the road to offer advice, to provide support and to generally make us feel as though we had things under control. Now, in the days of mobile jobs and lifestyles, large numbers of new parents are not close to our families and have little, or no support network to turn to with questions about this parenthood gig.
There are a number of services available in most areas, and certainly in the Mackay region, which can help when questions arise. The Child, Youth and Family Health Service has nurses who will usually come and visit you at home, once or twice, and then you can go to a number of clinics in the area for further follow up. They can supply you with information about feeding, parenting, mental health, immunization, health checks and much more.
Your G.P, is another source of help and health care, especially when you are worried your baby may be unwell. Most G.P. clinics will bulk bill appointments for children under 12, so the service is usually free.
In the Mackay region, the libraries all have programs especially for babies and parents, and also have other programs for toddlers, school aged kids and all the way through to teens.
Parenting groups are great for meeting other people who also have babies, and it can be reassuring to hear from other people who also have a focus on feeding, nappies and, the all-important goal of SLEEEEEP.
Neighborhood Centers, such as the George Street Neighborhood Centre, have playgroups and parent groups, which can be helpful for parents looking for peer support.
Other options include paid support such as a doula or Dauntless Birth, which can provide parenting education to meet your specific needs.
Help absolutely is out there, and there are many people and services who cannot wait to meet you and your baby.