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Filtering by Tag: dad

Tips for Bonding With Your Adopted Baby

Chelsea Gonzales

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Adopting a little one is a huge step. After all, you are bringing a new person into your family. This is clearly something to celebrate and feel joyous about. However, it is also important to recognize the amount of responsibility you are taking on, as well as the fact that some hard times may lay ahead.

The first important task of an any parent is bonding with their new little one. However, this step can be a bit more difficult for adoptive parents. While those babies who are placed within the first few months of life will likely bond nearly as quickly and easily as a biological baby, those who are adopted after 4 or 5 months of age may experience separation anxiety and other related problems.

Of course, this does not mean you cannot or will not have a good relationship with your child. It only means you will have to work hard for that bond. However, the fact that you must work for your relationship makes it even more incredible and strong.

So, how do you go about bonding with your adopted baby? Try these tips and tricks.

Be Ever Present

Many adopted children have problems trusting a caregiver to stick around. This means it is highly important that you are ever present as a parent, giving your little one a chance to adapt to the situation and develop a sense of trust and understanding that you will always be there for them.

Even if your baby was adopted before they were old enough to experience separation anxiety, this is important because it gives the child a sense of security as they grow older and learn more about their family history.

Respond Quickly

Besides always being there for your child, you must also be quick to respond to their calls for help. Whether your child is crying for food, comfort, or for some other need to be met, be sure to respond as quickly as possible.

Remember, crying is your child’s only form of communication, and allowing the baby to cry for too long can cause them extra stress. By scooping the child up as soon as he or she calls for help, you are establishing the fact that you will always be there to meet their needs, laying the foundation for a solid parent/child relationship.

Offer Comfort and Touch

Children who have been neglected—or those who have spent time in overcrowded foster homes—may be accustomed to being ignored. Unfortunately, without the typical hugging, cuddling, and comforting that most children receive, these children can develop serious psychological problems.

Because your baby may not have had their cries for comfort answered in the past, it is possible they won’t seek out comfort at all. Therefore, you will want to be sure to offer snuggles, back rubs, and other forms of comfort on a regular basis whether the child seeks these things out or not.

Even if your baby never was in a neglectful household, it is highly important to hold and cuddle them on a regular basis. Try baby wearing as a way to keep your little one close while you carry out household chores.

Play Games

Sometimes the best way to grow close to a child is to play with them. Therefore, it is best to make plenty of time for play throughout your day. Sing songs, play peek-a-boo, and show them hand clapping games. While the child may not participate right away, keep playing near them and encouraging them to join in.

Create and Maintain Routines

Slightly older babies and young toddlers thrive on routine. If you are adopting an older baby, try to maintain whatever routine was in place for them before the placement. Not sure what that was? Develop a routine that makes sense for your family and stick to it. This consistency will help the baby know what to expect and offer them some comfort in their uncertain little world.

Be Patient

While the transition to parenthood is likely to be hard on you, remember that these big changes are even more difficult for the newest member of your family. Whether your new addition is a newborn or a year old, be sure to practice patience as your family adapts to the new situation and finds a new normal.

Care for Yourself

Last, but certainly not least, you will want to be sure to take small breaks from caring for your new baby so you can care for yourself. After all, an exhausted parent is not going to be the best parent they can be.

Of course, in order to take those breaks, you will need some help. For this reason, it is a good idea to line up some assistance before the placement happens. This help might be from family or friends, or it might come in the form of a postpartum doula who can help with older children, chores, and even baby care when needed.

If you are in need of a postpartum doula to help you through the huge transitional period after adoption, I would be thrilled to help. Please contact me today to learn more about what I can offer your family.

4 Reasons Your Significant Other Might Want a Doula

Chelsea Gonzales

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There are plenty of articles out there that list reasons for birthing mothers to hire a doula. However, very few of these articles take much time considering the reasons a birthing woman’s spouse or partner may like to have a birth doula around.

This is unfortunate, because while the birthing experience is a deeply personal one, it is also something that your partner likely wants to be a part of. Therefore, it is important to take their feelings into consideration while making preparations for the birth. This does not mean you should allow your partner to pressure you into a negative birthing experience, but it does mean you should listen to what they have to say and consider what your decisions may mean for them.

In this post we are going to examine a few of the reasons your partner may appreciate having a doula during labor and delivery.

#1: Help Getting Involved

Most people don’t know all the ins and outs of the birthing process. Additionally, most significant others will not have experienced birth themselves. This leaves the birthing partner pretty clueless when it comes to helping their laboring loved one.

While birthing classes and plenty of pre-baby reading can help with this problem, they don’t generally include solutions for all scenarios. This is where a doula comes in. Doulas have an enormous amount of childbirth information and experience that can help the birth partner become involved in the process by giving suggestions and explaining various happenings throughout the labor and delivery of their little one.

#2: Assistance When Needed

Even for those partners who are fairly confident in their abilities to support a birthing mama, assistance is always appreciated. Doulas are on standby throughout the birthing process, and they are always happy to help in any way they can.

Therefore, when the supportive partner needs a wet washcloth, or the laboring mama would like something to eat but doesn’t want to be left alone, the doula can offer a helping hand.

#3: Ability to Take a Break

Giving birth is incredibly hard work. However, supporting a laboring woman is also taxing, and while it may not be quite as difficult as actually giving birth, supportive partners definitely deserve some credit. Not only that, but these helpful individuals deserve to have a bit of a break if they feel they need it.

  • Unfortunately, when a loved one is in labor, it can feel insensitive to leave her alone to go find a cup of coffee, use the restroom, or just take a quick breather. This means the partner is often unable to take care of his or her own needs.

That said, this issue can be easily avoided by hiring a doula. Because a birth doula is with the birthing mother throughout her labor, she is able to take over for a tired significant other and give them a short break from time to time.

#4: Peace of Mind

Seeing someone you love go through the labor and delivery process can be stressful. There are many things that could happen during labor to cause worry. However, with the help of a doula, supportive partners can have some peace of mind.

This is because a doula is able to let the couple know when to relax about certain situations that may otherwise seem worrisome. She is also able to offer bits of hard-earned advice no matter what situation may arise. Finally, the partner can rest easy knowing that doulas decrease a woman's chances of having a less-than-satisfactory birth experience by 34%.

These are the top four reasons your partner may appreciate a birth doula. You may use this article to better understand your partner’s point of view, or you may use it to help sway your significant other’s opinions on the matter. Either way, I hope it helps you on your journey to a beautiful birth.