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6 Good Parenting Topics To Discuss With Your Partner Before Your Baby Is Born
From:
Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R) Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Rockville , MD
Sunday, September 22, 2019

 

You just received the exciting news! You’ll no longer be a couple, but soon a family! Walking down the baby aisle of your local department store is now part of your shopping routine. Yet as important as it is to choose the best car seat, crib, and high chair, there are other issues to consider as well. Here are six good parenting topics to discuss with your partner before your baby is born.

What kind of delivery do you want?

Do you want a “natural” birth with minimal technological or medical intervention, including using breathing and relaxation techniques rather than pain medication? Are you planning on having an epidural block or other anesthetics and analgesics for pain? Depending on risk and health factors, you may opt for something other than a traditional hospital birth. Alternatives that some couples consider are birthing centers and home birth. Make the earliest possible decision between a birthing center, certified nurse midwife, or an obstetrician, after you, your partner, and your obstetrician assess yours and the baby’s risk factors. Check your insurance as well, to see what is covered and what isn’t.

Where will your baby sleep?

Who would have thought the sleeping arrangements could threaten your baby? Although it’s convenient to have baby in bed with you all night, especially if you are breastfeeding and exhausted, baby is safest in his or her own bassinet, cradle, or crib near a parent’s bed. Room-sharing, rather than bed-sharing, is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Baby sleeping in mom’s and dad’s bed presents safety concerns, primarily that of suffocation from pillows or soft bedding, or the parent rolling over onto their child during their sleep. In the early weeks and months of baby’s life, room-sharing with parents keeps baby close enough to be cared for, comforted, and watched over during the night. Another benefit is that mom or dad doesn’t have to trudge up the hall to another room and then try to get back to sleep several times a night.

Will you breastfeed or bottlefeed? Or both?

Discuss this issue with sensitivity and understanding. Those in favor of breastfeeding point to the numerous health and nutritional advantages for the baby and the psychological benefits that come from the special bond between mother and infant. Yet a small percentage of women are unable to breastfeed for medical reasons (that was me, twice). New mothers may have insufficient milk supply, physical or psychological illness, or current medications that are unsafe for baby. I had an infection and had to have a strong antibiotic that would have harmed my son.  I’d had a lumpectomy in my left breast, and the scar tissue blocked what little milk supply there was. If you introduce a bottle full of breastmilk early, your baby may not “latch” on as easily, yet it can involve your partner, especially if you become ill or sleep-deprived. Strive for balance, and remember that your baby may help you make a daily decision.

A mother needs to make her own decision and have the support of her partner regardless of what she chooses to do.

How will responsibilities be shared?

There is no right way and wrong way. Decide on what satisfies both of you, use compromise, and exercise flexibility. Who will feed the baby during the night? If you’re breastfeeding, will you use a breast pump to express milk into bottles so your partner can take turns with nighttime feeding? What about diaper changes? Taking out the garbage daily (or more)? Mopping up baby messes? Who will be the primary diaper-changer and bath-giver? It can be overwhelming for one person to tackle all these things alone while taking care of an infant’s constant need for closeness and nurturing. Especially if both parents are working. Decide who will take care of what, and be flexible enough to change routines if necessary.

Stay at home parenting or child care?

Sit down and look at your family budget alongside your beliefs and values.  Some couples find it helpful to make a list of these things. Some couples choose for mom to stay home while dad provides the living. This traditional approach may be more difficult in today’s economy than it was decades ago. Others opt for a stay-at-home dad. Both parents may need to work outside the home. If this issue is not settled long before baby arrives, it will add stress to your relationship at a time when intimacy and understanding is most important. Remember: Nothing lasts forever. Whatever you decide, you may find yourself reconsidering it. Don’t beat yourself up. Remain flexible through each stage of your child’s development. You may find that your child is fine being separated from you at age 3 but needs you at home at age 12. Or vice versa.

Will you have your son circumcised?

I cried about this decision for a week, but in the end, his dad won. The reasons to circumcise your baby boy or to forgo the procedure has pros and cons on either side. Some parents choose for their son to “look like daddy,” so if dad is circumcised, baby will be too. If not, then baby will not undergo the procedure. Some couples choose circumcision for their sons because of religious tradition or practice. Since fathers may have stronger feelings due to their personal identities, it may be wise to let dad have the final say! Yet he must yield to you in some other areas you feel strongly about.

No matter what you’re planning for your new little one, don’t assume you will both be on the same page. Background, upbringing, personal preferences and beliefs all shape how a person feels about these issues. Be sensitive, open, and understanding with each other. Decide right from the start that you both want what’s best for baby. Decide which traditions to bring from your families of origin and which traditions you wish to begin  yourselves. Talk through the issues beforehand and come to an agreement on them. Mutual decision-making will keep your relationship strong and healthy when baby arrives! And baby will thrive as a result.

Kathryn Ramsperger has somehow raised two children who made it to their 20s! If you need advice on parenting, especially parenting children with differences, get in touch for a complimentary get-to-know-you session.

 
Author & Coach
Ground One LLC
North Bethesda, MD
301-503-5150