Most parents, especially the soon-to-be parents, would usually take classes to prepare for the baby's arrival. However, planning and preparing for the postpartum stage is not being really prioritized which causes some issues and struggles along the way.
Dr. Christine Rivera shared some techniques to help moms and dads stay regulated and be able to manage their struggles during this infancy stage.
- Practicing deep breaths. We can be bombarded with thoughts a lot of the time so breath-work could really help to slow them down. Tuning into your body and experiences.
- Saying things that “you’re not supposed to say out loud.” Examples would be “This is harder than I thought” or “I just want my body back.” It would really be beneficial saying these things out loud, just validating the experience and really processing what they mean.
- Being able to integrate who you were before motherhood and who you are after motherhood.
- Finding your support group/network. One of the most powerful pieces of finding your support network is just finding other women to connect with and other women to support you. Being in a group with women can feel really powerful and safe. Find the support that will not only be there for the baby but also for you during birth and also for the partner.
- Connecting with someone you can really talk to. One of the most important things to consider during this stage is being able to find someone you can talk to during these transitional periods. Some therapists like Dr. Christine Rivera offer home visits to make it really convenient for parents or caregivers to get the support they need. It could also help to look for support in processing the traumatic experiences you’ve had, not only to make you feel better but so you won’t get retraumatized through parenting. This would also help you not pass down transgenerational trauma to your child.
Dr. Christine Rivera also shared how she provide live parent coaching during the hardest time of the day and do it in the parent’s home if they’re able to. When there’s a panicky scream happening, one other way of staying calm is trying to look around and saying things like “everyone is safe” or thinking like your baby is screaming which means they’re okay because you would want to be checking on them more if they weren’t screaming or are super quiet. Figuring that out and figuring that you are okay - they can cry and they are still okay. Then, go see what’s going and and fix the situation from there.
Some great resources that Dr. Christine recommends for parents to use as references are:
- the website https://www.zerotothree.org/
- Emotional Life of a Toddler by Alicia Lieberman
- No Drama Discipline by Dan Siegel
- Touchpoints by Berry Brazelton
To get more information about Dr. Christine and her work, you can find all of her contact info on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drchsristinerivera/
You can also listen to this amazing episode by visiting https://www.thebeyondresiliencelife.com/blog/infancy-resilience.
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