Every Parent Needs a Second Pair of HANDS
Written by Tamara Brown, HANDS Program Director
October 25, 2021
We have all heard that babies are a blessing, or a bundle of joy, and this is absolutely the truth. When a family brings home a new baby they bring home joy, excitement, love and tenderness, but also anxiety, overwhelmed feelings, sleeplessness and confusion. Those are feelings we don’t discuss about being a new parent; experiences that our culture tends to forget when families are welcoming a new addition.
Since we so often brush past these very real emotions, many parents feel isolated or shameful of their experiences as a parent if they are not 100% happy 100% of the time, even though it’s normal. There are many reactions that parents have to a new baby, and they are all normal!
It is much easier to talk about the “good” feelings than it is to share those we fear others might criticize. But the fact is that 80% of women experience “Baby Blues” in the days following the birth of a child. Baby blues are feelings of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and exhaustion that occur soon after having a new baby. This is caused by the rapid change in your hormones after giving birth and typically occurs within 3-4 days after delivery.
Although Baby Blues typically resolve themselves within a few weeks as your hormone levels go back to equilibrium, about 10-20% of birthing women experience postpartum depression. Unlike Baby Blues, postpartum depression persists beyond the first few weeks of your child’s life and can interfere with your daily activities. And moms aren’t the only ones who can experience Baby Blues and postpartum depression, dads are at risk too as they adjust to the new rhythms of parenthood and having a baby in the home.
It is essential that families have a strong support system surrounding them and helping them through this time of change. Sharing feelings allows you to talk with others to get a new perspective and, most importantly, to move forward with having a healthy family! Support can come from all kinds of places; however, we often experience that our support system carries their own biases and beliefs about how we should raise our children.
HANDS is an evidence- based, objective support for new and expectant parents that gives information and resources so that you can make informed decisions about raising your child and develop skills to build your confidence in being a parent. We are not here to give you advice. We will be working together, sharing information to support you and your family. Through HANDS, you will receive support, information and activities that will help you and your baby navigate early parenthood together.
Our goals are to support healthy child growth and development, ensure safe homes and help parents reach the goals they have for their children and their family. HANDS believes that every parent needs a second pair of hands!
If you believe you need help with postpartum depression, it is imperative that you receive help from a trained professional. Contact Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4773 https://www.postpartum.net/. If you would like more information HANDS, contact (502)893-3900 ext. 296 or HandsReferral@famchildplace.org.
To read about how other families have found success with HANDS, please visit http://www.kyhands.com/