As our name implies, ‘friends and family gather here.’ At the Family Birthing Center, we strive to promote family involvement to its fullest. Whether you are having your first baby or welcoming a new sibling, we offer a caring environment and many helpful resources, including classes, videos, support groups, infant care tips and more.
Because having a baby is different for everyone, preparing for the arrival of your little one can be overwhelming whether you are adopting or giving birth. Recognizing that parenting partners, grandparents and siblings all have a role in new baby's life is important.
Parenting partners often get less support for the changes they go through when baby arrives. Sharing baby care tasks and allowing your partner alone-time with your new baby will help you both feel more confident. Preparing a sibling for the addition of a new baby can be a very fulfilling experience for most families, and there is a wealth of information available to guide you. Grandparents (especially first-timers) also appreciate being included in decisions, and often enjoy comparing how 'things used to be' with new baby equipment and care standards. Click on a topic below for more in-depth information.
Lives of children and families are greatly enriched by involvement from both parents. New parenting partners can get 'lost in the shuffle' when it comes to new babies and postpartum moms. At LMH, we encourage all parenting partners to be as actively involved with the new baby as possible.
To jump-start the involvement, we ask birthing partners in the Family Birthing Center to 'announce' baby's arrival by pushing a special button on the wall in the nursery. When the button is pushed, Brahm's Lullaby plays over the hospital-wide speaker system, providing a popular mental reprise to employees, visitors and patients alike.
Additional online resources for parenting partners:
Grandparents can provide new families needed support and encouragement. When a new baby arrives in a family, the role of the grandparents varies according to a number of factors, one of the most important being the distance between the parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Other important factors include:
- The difficulty or ease of the birth
- The presence of other children in the home
- The father’s ability to take parental leave to help out
- The new baby’s health and disposition
- The economic situation of the parents
- The personalities of the parents
- The role of the baby’s other grandparents
How Grandparents Can Help
Caring for Baby
Before soliciting help with taking care of the baby, remember that grandparents may feel out of practice and unsure of themselves. These feelings are perfectly normal and should go away as they settle into their role.
- Helping with Housework
Usually a welcome offer! However, don’t expect others to observe the style of your household. If you are a meticulous housekeeper, you will likely need to relax your standards and focus on your baby.
- Running Errands
Buying groceries, dropping off dry cleaning, picking up prescriptions and washing the car are just some of the errands that grandparents can help with. Make a list!
- Being the Photographer
A grandparent who can take good photos of grandchildren is a blessing. Grandparents can also help download and organize photos, as well as make prints and distribute them to friends and family.
- Providing an Ear and a Shoulder
New parents occasionally need someone to listen to their troubles and a shoulder to lean on. Grandparents can provide both.
Having a new baby is very exciting, even if it isn't your first child. Along with the regular preparations for a new baby come the added responsibilities of preparing other children for a new bundle of joy.
Tips to help your older children adjust:
- Plan private time or attend a play group with each older child.
- Tell and show the older children you love them and that they are important.
- Have older children help with the baby.
- Try not to make other major changes for several months (i.e. moving, toilet training).
- Help visitors pay attention to the older children.
- Try not to make a big deal out of an older child who is acting up. The less attention paid to acting up, the sooner it will stop.
If you have other children at home, have someone bring them to the Family Birthing Center to visit you and the new baby. Packing something special in your suitcase to entertain or give to your older children during the visit will help curtail feelings of jealousy or neglect.
Today, hardly a neighborhood block exists without an adopted child living near. If you are approaching adoption for the first time, congratulations on taking the best first step possible: learning as much as you can about adoption, both as a legal process and a lifelong family commitment.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world choose to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons. Some people have simply always wanted to adopt for as long as they can remember; some come to adoption because they are unable to carry a pregnancy to term; some have family connections which bring them an adoption opportunity; and others may choose to add to their families through adoption for other reasons.
Whatever your reason, the health care team at LMH is here to support you through your journey. Our social workers work with birth parents and adoptive families and help everyone navigate through the adoption process.
Information about adoption is readily available from your local library and online. Or, visit adoption.org to search thousands of adoption sites.