Overwhelmed with a New Baby?

Overwhelmed with a New Baby

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to help a new mother.  She was loving, concerned, and asked many appropriate questions.  Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that more and more mothers are using their Blackberry as a resource.  This mother “wrote” all her questions in her Blackberry.  Daddy was in the room, supportive and patient.  They warned me when a entered the room, “Mommy has a lot of questions.”
 
I was very impressed, she had her Blackberry question list in her right hand as she breastfed her new infant son on the left.  Talk about multi-tasking!  Her questions included the topics of feeding, breast milk, formula, sleeping, clothing, sleepwear, daywear, etc.  She was very apologetic.  I had to reiterate to her that there was no need to apologize.  A new mother with unanswered questions is a woman with unabated anxiety.  She smiled and pressed on.  She thanked me at the end.  Then, she said the most important thing of all, “I’m overwhelmed.”
 
It was very honest and welcomed.  Admitting you are overwhelmed is the first step towards finding a solution.  I agreed with her – having a newborn is overwhelming, especially as a first-time mother.  Most mothers don’t admit it because they feel inadequate if they do so.  After all, how many mommies’s do you know of admitting that they are tired and overwhelmed with a baby that’s only 4 days old.  I let her know that she was a wonderful mother at only 4 days old!  She knew what questions she needed answered.  She made a list and asked me all of them.  To boot, she really was taking excellent care of him.  She couldn’t possibly do more.
 

I advised her to keep writing her question list for each visit.  It is a pediatrician’s role to answer questions & educate a mother, so that she can be the best mother she can be.  In the process, she will feel more confident and be able to rest more peacefully.  When searching for a pediatrician, I advise you ask if time is taken to answer your newborn questions, so you can feel the same.

She thanked me and agreed, “I feel more relaxed.”  Then, she asked, “How long until the next visit?”  He’ll be back at two weeks old.  The look on her face was that of relief; I could almost hear her say, ‘Whew!  It’s not so far off.’  She’ll be here with her Blackberry list and a smile.

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About Nancy M. Silva, MD, FAAP

I'm a Board Certified Pediatrician. I've been in practice since 2000. I'm happily married with two children. I graduated Medical School from the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. My Pediatric Residency training was at University of South Florida, College of Medicine. I've been in private practice since 2000. As a medical student, I had the privilege to care for children at Kings County Hospital & Downstate Medical Center in urban Brooklyn. As a resident, I cared for children at Tampa General Hospital & All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. These experiences helped shape the Pediatrician I am today.

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