Being a new mom is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. It can also be one of the most stressful and exhausting experiences. Caring for an infant is not easy. You likely have a lot of questions about the many “how”, “why”, and “when” elements of parenting. We have compiled a list of six tips to help new moms tackle parenting with confidence.
Tips to Help New Moms with Medications
Medications is one of the most common areas of parenting where new moms have questions. It is important to understand the role of medications in your new life as a parent. If you or your baby needs medications, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your family stays safe, and that medications are used appropriately. Consider the following:
- Get Advice Before Medicating your Baby
If your baby is acting unusual or seems to have an illness or pain, it is always advisable to contact your pediatrician for advice before administering medication. While there are many over-the-counter medications that are safe for infants and children at home, most of these are age-specific, so they may not be appropriate for your child.
- Administer Medications Properly
Giving medications to an infant is not always an easy task. Make sure that you have a proper measuring device, such as an oral syringe, so you can be confident that you give your infant the correct dose every time. Many medications are packaged with such devices, but you can also purchase them over-the-counter, or may get them from your pediatrician.
- Understand Proper Storage of Medications
Medications designed for infants may require unique storage, such as refrigeration. Always check the label, and if necessary call your pharmacist or pediatrician, so medications stay fresh.
It is also important to store medications out of reach of your child. Babies begin to crawl and grab for things as early as five to six months, and will be walking and climbing shortly thereafter. Once they reach these stages, there is little in your home that is off limits. Accidental ingestion of medication is one of the top incidents reported to emergency rooms or poison control centers among children under six. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that over 70,000 children are treated at emergency rooms every year due to accidental medication overdose.
- When Breastfeeding, Get Advice Before Taking Medication
If you are breastfeeding, or are planning to breastfeed, you should be careful about taking medications, as they can be passed to your child through your breast milk. Talk to your doctor about any medications you may take to be sure that they are safe for you and your child. Get advice about supplements (natural or synthetic), over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs. Many medications are safe for breastfeeding mothers, and will not harm your child, but it is important to discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional before risking your child’s health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has specific guidelines for drug manufacturers in order to classify drugs as being safe or potentially dangerous for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Consider the FDA’s stance on certain drugs before deciding to take them.
Tips to Help New Moms Tackle Parenting
- Remember to Take Care of You
If you have a new baby in your home, you likely have not slowed down to take time for yourself. The process of pregnancy, childbirth, and those first months at home are glorious, but let’s face it – they are all about baby. Remember that it is okay for you to take time for yourself. Parenting is hard, and it is a lifelong commitment. Your child needs you to be at the top of your parenting game, which only happens if you are well, secure, and confident. Remember the following and contact your doctor if you have concerns or questions:
- If you are exhausted, try to sleep when your baby naps during the day. Even a short nap can do wonders for your overall attitude and wellbeing.
- If you find yourself feeling sad, down, or overly anxious, talk to your doctor because these can be signs of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is common, and is treatable. Do not hesitate to get help if you are concerned about how you feel.
- Remember to schedule routine follow-up appointments with your doctor to assess your overall health.
- Being a new parent is stressful and is a time of constant transitioning. Take time to relax and celebrate the joy of being a new mother.
- In the process of parenting, it is easy to forget about romance and “adult” time with your spouse or loved ones. Your focus is most certainly on your baby, but you should also be careful not to neglect your loved ones. You need adult time to keep you balanced and reduce feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.
- Recognize Signs of Illness or Injury
In the first weeks home with a new baby, be mindful of the difficult process that you and your baby have just emerged from. Childbirth can be traumatic for mother and child, and unfortunately, can result in your baby being injured. If you notice any signs of injury or illness, contact your pediatrician immediately. Your baby may have been injured during the labor and delivery process, even if it is not immediately apparent at the time. Contact your pediatrician if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing or sucking
- Arched back while crying
- Excessive and lengthy bouts of fussiness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty moving arms and legs
- Sensitivity to light
Get More Information
Doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and drug manufacturers are all required to provide consumers with quality care that is in accordance with applicable laws and accepted standards of care. When they deviate from these standards of care, you and your child may be left susceptible to illness or injury. If you believe that your child has been harmed due to a potentially dangerous medication or a birth injury, you should consider getting legal guidance to ensure protection of your family. If you have questions or concerns about any of the topics addressed in this article, contact Brown Wharton & Brothers for a no-obligation consultation of your situation by filling out our simple form.