The birth is VERY important, and sets the stage for early parenting. Birth is a huge transition for the baby, also the young lady becomes a mother, and a couple becomes a family.
If a mother has been supported during her birth, she feels empowered and competent. She trusts her body’s ability to give birth, to breastfeed, and to care for her baby. The baby placed in skin-to-skin can smell and find his own way to the nipple and start to breastfeed. The baby nuzzling the mum’s breast -helps her produce prolactin for milk making. Because the baby breastfeeds he will not have so many infections. He has started his life in a healthy way.
Mum and baby in skin-to-skin contact will coordinate their sleep-wake cycles, and both will get better sleep. Dad also has a vital role to play in early parenting. Parenting is natural and easy. YES even, if those first few weeks feel very busy with new adjustments to being parents.
The early breastfeeding leads to bonding, which in time leads to a secure attachment. This predicts lifelong emotional and psychological wellbeing.
Holding and carrying baby is the norm: babies do not like being alone.
Attachment and “developmental parenting” include
- responding when baby cries
- breastfeeding for 6 months-preferably till 2 years
- Keeping baby with you all the time
- Holding and carrying-get a sling!
- Eye to eye contact between parents and their baby
- Playing games at the child’s pace, on the floor at their level.
- Playing Peek-a-boo, reading stories, etc