Parentline, the parenting help line, tells you how to deal with a New Baby.
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Wendy Turner-Webster: A new baby can create a huge amount of stress and chaos in a family, from exhaustion to jealous kids and a left out father. The demands of a newborn can be emotionally and physically draining, especially during the first few weeks. Valerie Outram who works for the charity, Parentline Plus, is here to talk about dealing with this incredibly stressful period in your life. So Valerie, newborn baby, the first baby that comes along into your life and I'm sure lots of mothers watching can relate to this topic. What are the obvious problems that Parentline Plus gets calls about? Valerie Outram: Well, I think the main thing is that we have a baby and we don't have an instruction manual. We don't receive any training. There we are with this new life that's totally depend on us and there is a huge amount of anxiety about getting it right and I think there's a lot of pressure on new mothers nowadays to be perfect and to have perfect children. There are so many instructions and advice coming from different people that sometimes in the middle of it, parents feel very -- mothers feel very overwhelmed and are anxious about their inability. Wendy Turner-Webster: So if someone is in that situation, they can ring Parentline Plus? Valerie Outram: Definitely, anytime of day or night. We're open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and I know that personally, when my baby woke up at five in the morning and I was up for now, I thought I was the only person in the world awake at that time but you know now, we have Parentline Plus and you can call somebody and they'll be there and they'll answer and may be just calm you down in the situation that you just feel like you're tearing you hair out and your baby is screaming and you don't know what to do. And it's somebody that's awaken who can help you at anytime. Wendy Turner-Webster: When we're rambling, Garry and I brought Jack, our first baby back home, we rang up the hospital so it was in the middle of the night, saying, he is crying, what should we do? Now I look back and think oh my gosh, you know, so naïve. We didn't know what to do. We've got a crying baby, suddenly in our bedroom and we didn't know what we do. We don't know. Valerie Outram: Well, I think you're definitely not alone. I think that most people experience that with a new baby. It's a huge shock. It's that feeling of the dependency that hits you like a ton of bricks. Wendy Turner-Webster: Absolutely. Valerie Outram: And you know you need to know that there are people out there, they can help you. Wendy Turner-Webster: I'll tell you what, the advice she gave, the nurse at the hospital, she says well, if he's crying put him into bed with you two and I'm sure he'll be alright. The only trouble is he stopped crying and he is still in our bed. Valerie Outram: There are all strategies that you could employ. Wendy Turner-Webster: Absolutely yes. So that's an obvious one that the newborn, first child coming in. What about when second, third, forth baby comes along. That too brings its own stress and strains and pressures onto the whole family, doesn't it? Valerie Outram: Of course it does, yes. Wendy Turner-Webster: The other children too. Valerie Outram: Yes. Then you have siblings that are feeding a little bit. Those pushed out the joint a little bit and a slightly threatened in the situation and you have a difficult behavior from maybe toddlers. So you have a new baby and you have toddlers making demands, your partner is probably working all hours to try and support you and you're there in the middle trying to cope and of course, with your second and third baby, you don't have anyone near, the same amount of help by family or friends. Wendy Turner-Webster: Yes, you've done it before; you've done it once so you know what you're doing. Valerie Outram: You are expected to just get on with it. Wendy Turner-Webster: That's right. Valerie Outram: But of course, it can be much more difficult. I think one of the m