Relationships with those around you will change as you adjust to your new role. It won’t happen overnight.
Newborn babies are particularly demanding of your time and energy. Many parents find it tricky to balance everyone’s needs and deal with their own feelings as well.
Although the arrival of a baby can be wonderful, many parents don’t realise how tiring or confusing it can be. You might have negative feelings you don’t feel you should have.
If this isn’t your first child, it’s easy to forget how things were the last time.
Getting to know this little person and doing all the things to meet your baby’s needs might seem a huge task. Be kind to yourself and take it slowly.
When you’re tired in the early days you can end up spending all your time looking after your baby and spend time with no one else. Be careful this doesn’t develop into your pattern.
It’s healthy to make time to take care of yourself and spend quality time with other adults too. It’s not something to feel guilty about
If you already have children, caring for them and your baby can take up all your energy.
It’s important to:
It’s okay to ask for help from people you trust and know would be happy to help. Think about what would help you most. Maybe some shopping for you or looking after your baby while you have a bath.
When people offer help, say yes.
If you’re parenting on your own, getting time with other adults can be challenging.
It’s okay to ask for help so you can see your friends or family. Sometimes people are just waiting to be asked.
A local parent group is a good way for you to take your baby and meet other people. Some may even have crèche facilities.
If things are difficult and it all seems too much to cope with, talk to your midwife, health visitor or family nurse. They can:
You can also contact One Parent Families Scotland for more information and support.
Having a baby’s usually a happy time which brings you and your partner closer. Sometimes, though, it can put a real strain on relationships. It’s not unusual for partners to sometimes feel ‘shut out’ by your baby’s arrival.
Being tired can make you feel irritable. You may feel your world has been turned upside down.
Changes to your hormones and tiredness for both of you can lead to high emotions. This can sometimes make you snappy and critical.
It can be easy to blame each other when things aren’t going well. Try to:
If you have someone who can look after the baby for you, try to spend some time alone as a couple – even if it’s just taking a walk together, or having a quiet cup of tea or an undisturbed meal.
You may not feel like being intimate so give yourself time to recover. The most important thing is to keep talking to each other and only have sex when both of you feel ready and comfortable.
If you’re living apart from your baby, you may want to bring them to your home too.
If you’re in an abusive or violent relationship, working things out may not be possible or what you want. You may feel you’re not able to end the relationship or change the situation.
A first step could be to talk to someone you trust who won’t judge you. If you have a good relationship with your health professional then talk to them – they can listen and help you to find the support you need.
If you find it difficult to work things out together, you can get help from Relationships Scotland.
Find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a parent.
Having a baby can be a happy and exciting time, but it can also leave you feeling isolated and lonely. You probably have lots of questions and concerns about being a parent, especially if it’s your first baby.
It can sometimes affect your relationships with friends, who may have a different lifestyle, no children or older children. Relationships change all the time as people’s lives change and that’s OK. Having a baby can be a great way to make new friends too.
It’s good to find other people and places for support and friendship.
Most areas have groups for new parents. There are also groups for young parents.
Libraries have free activities including Bookbug sessions for stories, songs and rhymes.
You could ask someone you know to go along with you for the first few times until you feel more comfortable. You’ll probably find people in the group remember the first time they came and reach out to welcome someone new.
Ask your health visitor or family nurse for more information.
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6 November 2023