The BIRTH Fair at the Cloverdale Agriplex on February 25 & 26, 2017
To Bring Home Baby? It Takes A Village……
A plethora of questions swarm my inbox, conversations, and radio show, the CKNW Sunday Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW about the best way to care for a newborn baby. Most first-time moms are scared, enthusiastic and hesitant with what this bundle of joy will bring and therefore may cling to the advice thrown at them often from unreliable sources; Hello, Dr. Google or prayers to any god out there that that blogs on the front crawl, combined with breath holding and an old CPR manual. The advice may distract from the natural roles everyone around the baby will be taking on. Everyone in your village, that is.
We have one of the most distinguished mothers, Hilary Clinton to thank for the wisdom of her words, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We must remember that each and every person within that village holds their own unique set of values and tools to offer your new baby; however, no one hands out manuals explaining their new roles.
Often we’re so focused on the baby SHOULDs and SHOULD NOTs that we forget about the changes happening to everyone else. Women turn into Mommies; Man, into Daddy; Mom,into Grandma; Dad, Grandpa; Brother into Uncle, sisters are aunties and the responsibilities are many. Friends are unofficial relatives too. The roles of the people in the village are extremely important, but rarely supported.
One mom said she didn’t realize that her role of being a new mother meant, “be quiet and listen, you’re new at this, we know best.” This “wisdom” came from her overbearing village, nurses included. Remember, new moms go through a lot; newly stitched up stomach, tears of the pelvic floor, baby blues (more tears) excruciating headaches, breastfeeding nightmares, lack of sleep, postpartum depression…the list is endless.
Physicians, midwives, nurses and doulas have specialized training to deliver babies, perform Caesarian Sections, assist with breastfeeding and provide postpartum care. But how can the village support a new mom’s needs? What’s dad’s role? He might feel left out. How about Grandma who wasn’t psychologically ready to take on that role? Will my child evenknow who her grandmother is if we call her Glammy as she insists?
Each new mom will have her own ideas on caring for her baby. The village must respect this. She may or may not want Glammy’s advice one day but will welcome it the next. Perhaps a break might help the new mom clear her head to resolve her issue.
“Suck it up” one new mom was told by a well-meaning nurse. “It doesn’t get any better,” she then said. Well, it actually does. A wise woman once said, “You’re the mama bear now, listen to your gut. You are the voice for your child, listen to it. Others will respect you for it. In times like this I wish manuals like “Breast is Best” or “How to Help Your Baby Sleep” were there for the village.
New moms may question their own natural instincts and need to turn to the village who may not have the information or confidence to handle a particular issue. Support for the village is vital because it takes a village to raise a child. The good news is that as time goes on, everyone’s confidence builds!
This is exactly why events like the Birth Fair being held on February 25 and 26, 2017 at the Cloverdale Agriplex are so important. Not only will there be up to date information for new moms, but there’s lots too for your village! From pregnancy to postpartum, breastfeeding to bonding, car seats to crying, it’s all there at the Birth Fair.
I am so excited to be speaking at the Birth Fair. My birth plan is to take you on a journey that will make you learn, laugh and love just a little bit more.
So bring your village to the Birth Fair, your baby, sisters, glammies, dads and doulas. There’s something for everyone in your village at the Birth Fair. Did I mention we’ve got goody bags and we’re giving away a brand new stroller? Tickets are only $5.00 and proceeds benefit BC Women’s Hospital
Maureen McGrath is a reproductive and sexual health RN, host of the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW and is speaking on pregnancy, postpartum, postpartum depression, breastfeeding, sexuality and intimacy at The Birth Fair.Tickets are only $5.00 and are available at: