You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about a baby and what happens once the baby is born until they are no longer called a baby but a toddler! We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about babies and those first 12 months. Each Tuesday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of a new parent. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a babybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.
Should I hire a baby nurse or ask my mom to help after having a baby?
Expert: Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato
You have made it through the excitement of labor and delivery, and now you are ready to start your new life with your baby. However once you get home you realize you are both overjoyed and overwhelmed caring for a newborn. Suddenly you feel panic and realize you don’t know what to do. In the hospital nurses and pediatricians who could provide support and expertise at all times surrounded you and now that’s not there. You may find yourself struggling to balance caring for your new baby and caring for yourself, not to mention your family. You are asking yourself whether you’re doing things right, along with all the “advice” you get from family and friends. All this can really be stressful. In addition the hormonal and physical changes you are having can be so overwhelming you find yourself crying and feeling helpless. Why do I say this because I went through this myself? As a pediatrician I thought I knew everything about caring for babies. What I didn’t realize was that caring for babies, as a pediatrician in an office or hospital is very different than caring for your own newborn. One very important lesson I learned quickly was that you don’t have to do everything on your own nor should you. Then the question comes up should you hire a baby nurse or ask your mom for help? This is a complicated question. It all depends on your relationship with your mom. First thing you should know is that whatever issues and problems or conflicts between you and your mother prior to your baby’s birth can become magnified with the birth of a baby. On the other hand if you are close to your mom she can provide incredible support and advise when your baby is born and mother’s often feel overwhelmed by caring for a newborn. Either way your mom too will need a break so its important if you can to hire a baby nurse, nanny or someone with expertise in caring for newborns to help you so you can take care of yourself, rest and also have time to enjoy and bond with your newborn. This is a very special time and you want to be able to savor every moment getting to know and loving your baby.
Mom: Jen Dolce
It’s not for everyone, but I do think a baby nurse is a brilliant idea. I hired a live in nurse for my second pregnancy when my twins were born, and I can honestly say she saved my life. If your nervous about having the baby home and don’t feel confident or have had a C section and are scared of your recovery I think a nurse can’t hurt; it can only help. They are pricey but if it will give you peace of mind I say go for it and see if it works for you and your family.
babybites’ team: Elise Jones
There are so many opinions on what to do with your baby, your family and your health that no matter which way you turn, you will get a different answer. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important things I tell my friends who are having a baby: get help for the three months. Now, that can look differently for every person but the most important thing you can do is get help AND define what help looks like. Help to me was teaching me how to swaddle, feed, soothe and understand my very colicky first child. For my second child, it was to play with my very active toddler while I slept, showered, cooked and shopped. Unfortunately, my family was not around to help me so that wasn’t an option. So I hired help when I could (cleaning ladies, high school sitters, nannies). My biggest mistake was not to admit I was going to need this and secure someone to help me BEFORE the baby came. You will need help; just know what kind of help you want and then go find it before the baby comes.
About our team
Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato MD
Gina is a general pediatrician and developmental pediatrician who works at Village Pediatrics and Agho Medical practices both in Manhattan, NY. She has a masters in child therapy and works with a child psychologist Rosa Vasquez PhD performing office and home consultation for newborns and parents, office and home developmental assessments, school consultations and parent child playgroups where play and art along with baby massage and other techniques are used to help parents bond and support their child’s development. Formerly, Gina was the Director of Pediatric Special Medical Needs before she went into private practice where she cared for medically fragile infants and children. She is also a Early Intervention Pediatrician for Early Intervention which assesses and treats infants from age zero to 3 years. She has extensive experience in Early Head Start programs which work with infants from prenatal to 3 years of age. She is the mother of a beautiful daughter who is 3 years old and the joy of my life. Her husband is an artist, producer and owns Synchronicity Space, a non-profit arts organization that supports emerging artist in fine art and theatre. Finally, she is also an artist who paints mainly babies and children.
Jen is a mom of four girls, living in Windy City of Chicago.
Elise is the social media director and blog editor for Mommybites. She is responsible for engaging and investigating a variety of parenting topics found on Mommybites’ social media channels: parenting videos (webbybites), blog, Facebook, Twitter, and BlogTalkRadio show. The Mommybites’ blog is an outlet for moms who are in search of information to support them in their role as a parent. Prior to working with Mommybites, Elise was a teacher and worked in corporate PR. She is a wife and loving mom of two lovely girls and currently resides in New Jersey. In her spare time (HA!) she performs in the theater and is an active member of her local public arts council as well as blogs at Here in This House.