The BIRTH Fair at the Cloverdale Agriplex

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 a newborn baby. Most first-time parents are scared, enthusiastic and hesitant with what this new member of the family 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.

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 sits down with that village and 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. Woman turn into Mommie; Man, into Daddy; Mom, into Grandma; Dad, Grandpa; Brother into Uncle, sisters are aunties and the responsibilities are many. The roles of the people in the village are extremely important, but rarely reviewed or 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. Remember, new moms go through a lot; newly stitched up stomach, tears of the pelvic floor, tears of the mom, excruciating headaches, or 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 know who her grandmother even is if we call her Glammy as she insists?

Each new mom will have her own ideas on raising her child. 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 the 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 and 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 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.

There’s something for everyone in the village at the Birth Fair. Did I mention we’ve got good bags and we’re giving away a brand new stroller? So, bring your baby, Glammy, dads, siblings, sisters and friends to The Birth Fair. 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:

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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