How Early Parents Can Get the Support They Need

September 7, 2023 | 7 min read

Becoming a new parent is one of the most challenging experiences you’ll ever face. It’s a time of immense joy but also overwhelming emotions, sleepless nights, and a steep learning curve as you grapple with all the challenges of caring for a new baby. Whether you’re a first-time parent or an experienced one with a growing family, it pays to know what kinds of support and resources are available to you during this important stage of life.

Here are some invaluable insights for helping you find the support you need to navigate your new role with confidence:

Find Online Communities

With the rise of technology, online communities have become one of the most accessible and helpful resources for parents. Connecting with other parents who are experiencing or have experienced similar challenges can provide a source of comfort and support.

Many of these forums also provide an outlet for parents to share their experiences, ask questions, and seek advice on more sensitive topics. Participating in these online discussions can be a great way to connect with fellow parents and gain valuable insights into the joys and challenges of parenthood.

Online communities are also incredibly diverse, and parents can find groups catering to their needs and interests. Some parenting communities focus on certain topics like breastfeeding or baby-led weaning, while others may be geared toward new moms, dads, or single parents. There are also communities that cater to parents of babies with certain medical conditions or developmental needs. The variety of online communities ensures that parents can find a group that resonates with them and provides the support they require. No matter what you’re looking for, there is likely an already established forum online for you to peruse and join. 

Being a new parent can feel overwhelming, but there are countless resources available to support you during this exciting time! From online communities to local resources, there's something for everyone. Learn more from @NEChildrensHome:Click To Tweet

Attend Parenting Classes

Another great resource to consider is attending parenting classes. These classes offer a wealth of information and can provide you with the practical tools you need to feel confident in caring for your new baby.

NCHS offers a class called Parents & Babies designed to help you navigate your pregnancy and parenthood. They cover topics such as:

  • Managing Stress Levels
  • Preventing Postpartum Depression
  • Navigating a Healthy Pregnancy
  • Bonding with Your Baby
  • Mindfulness & Communication Practices
  • Nurturing Your Baby’s Development

This class’s goal is to help you develop the tools and skills you need to take care of yourself and your child that can be used throughout the rest of your life. 

Parenting classes come in many shapes and sizes, from in-person workshops to online courses, and can cover a wide range of topics, such as infant care, early development, breastfeeding, sleep training, and more. Attending parenting classes can give you practical tips and advice on how to care for your baby and provide you with a sense of community and connection with other new parents going through similar experiences. 

It's a safe and non-judgmental space where you can ask questions, share your concerns, and learn from experts who have years of experience in the field. Whether it’s your first or fourth child, parenting classes can offer valuable education and advice on a variety of topics relevant to early parenthood. Sleep routines, feeding practices, developmental milestones, and general wellness are just a few of the areas covered in these classes.

Prioritize Self-Care

As a new parent, it's important to prioritize self-care in order to maintain a healthy balance between caring for yourself and your baby’s needs.

One way to prioritize self-care is to make a plan and schedule it into your day. Even if it's just 10-15 minutes a day, incorporating self-care into your routine can help you feel more centered and energized. Going for a walk, practicing mindfulness meditation, or taking a relaxing bath can be great ways to relax and recharge. These activities can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be common among new parents.

  • Practice Yoga or Meditation: Try some gentle yoga poses or guided meditation to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Read a Book: Reading a good book is a great way to escape and unwind, even if it’s just for a short time.
  • Indulge in Your Favorite Foods: Treat yourself to your favorite meal or snack without feeling guilty.
  • Go for a Walk: Getting some fresh air and exercise can be rejuvenating and help clear your mind.
  • Listen to Music: Listen to some calming music, or put on your favorite tunes and dance like no one’s watching!
  • Practice Journaling: Writing in a journal can be therapeutic and help you process emotions.
  • Take a Day Trip: Plan a day trip to a nearby town or attraction to explore and take a break from your routine.
  • Get a Massage: Book a massage or other spa treatment to relax and rejuvenate your body and mind.
As a new parent, don't be afraid to prioritize self-care and seek guidance from healthcare professionals. With the right resources and support, you can navigate the challenges of early parenthood with confidence and ease. See more from @NEChildrensHome:Click To Tweet

Remember, self-care is not selfish - it’s essential for new parents to take care of themselves so they can better care for their children. 

Seek Guidance from Healthcare Providers

Obstetricians and pediatricians are trained to help new parents navigate the challenges of early parenthood. They can provide advice and support on a wide range of topics, from breastfeeding and sleep to developmental milestones and common medical issues. Frequent appointments with your healthcare provider in the early weeks after birth can give you peace of mind and help you feel more confident in your decisions.

It's important to remember that you're not just caring for a new baby but also caring for yourself during this time. Your physical and emotional well-being are just as important as your baby's. Don't hesitate to seek guidance and support from your healthcare provider if you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed. 

Look for Local Resources

Keep an eye out for local resources available in your area. You may find local support groups, parenting classes, children's museums, and libraries offering activities and events for parents and babies, or even free baby gear swap events. Not only will these resources provide you with valuable information on parenting, but they'll also give you the chance to connect with others going through a similar experience. Remember, building a community of support can make all the difference in feeling less alone and more confident as a new parent.

NCHS has a multitude of classes and programs available to support families welcoming a child into their home. Our Pregnancy Services program offers support and education to families who are preparing for parenthood or trying to decide the best path forward for themselves and their children. From parenting classes to one-on-one support, connections to resources, or temporary newborn care, Pregnancy Services is here to assist you throughout your pregnancy and beyond.  

If you’re in need of additional support, consider reaching out to the NCHS Healthy Families America (HFA) program. Through this program, parents expecting a child or with a child three months or younger can connect with home visiting services and one-on-one guidance from family resource specialists. These professionals can provide you with tools and resources to help you navigate your new role as a parent and ensure that your child is receiving the best care possible.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with the demands of parenthood, consider enrolling in the Self-Sufficiency Program offered by NCHS. This program is designed to help parents and caregivers develop the skills and resources they need to meet their family’s daily needs through personalized and ongoing mentorship. With the help of experienced professionals, you can learn strategies to overcome your challenges, gain self-confidence, and ultimately achieve a brighter future for yourself and your family. 

NCHS’ Young Parent Support Program is an excellent source of support and advice for young parents and young adults preparing for parenthood. This program offers several educational courses for developmental parenting, parent-child interaction, and support groups for young parents. Our program focuses on personal growth and skill development and assists young parents in planning for their futures while adjusting to their new responsibilities as parents.

By tapping into the resources available to you - online communities, parenting classes, employer support, self-care, local resources, and healthcare providers - you can get the support you need to navigate this new chapter in your life with confidence. Remember that you're not alone and that there are many people and resources out there to help you through the early days of parenthood.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is ready and waiting to support you through this exciting yet challenging time in your life. Let us help you get the support you need as a new parent. Get in touch with us today.