Here’s What You Need to Know  — Doulas of Capitol Hill

By Emily Griffin, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C

Interrupted sleep, feeding challenges, endless to-do lists, complicated relationships with our own parents and relatives, too many decisions to make every day-big and small, and the inherent stress of trying to keep this little person alive and thriving… No wonder so many couples report that the hardest times in their relationship or marriage occur during the baby and toddler years.

When we’re sleep deprived, we’re less patient, our brains are fuzzy, we’re more easily overwhelmed, we’re less likely to listen carefully, and we’re more likely to be sad. Many parents report trauma from the labor and delivery experience, and if feeding doesn’t work out the way we expect, the primary feeding parent can feel frustrated. And what about the return to work plan? We may have completely different ideas of what needs to happen now that the baby is here. ALL of this (and more) needs to be discussed, so most of it is scary to address. So, things go unsaid, we hold on to hurt feelings and resentments, and the negative cycle lasts.

But, I’m here to tell you, as a therapist who has worked with parents of children of all ages for over 20 years, supporting many couples along the way, and a mother of five children– you have a lot can be done to care for your family’s emotional well-being and prioritize the foundation upon which your new family unit is built. You can come out of this chapter stronger together.

Here are some tips I’d like to offer, to reduce stress and conflict, while increasing connection and warm, loving moments:

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