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Coping: Right after birth

So, the baby's here! Don't be surprised if you're feeling very emotional right now. You've got a lot to deal with - new pressures, new routines, no sleep, the demands of a crying baby and, if you are the mother, hormone changes (or, if you are the father, her hormone changes). All these things can make you feel like you've lost control of your life.

But, remember, you're not alone. Almost all new parents feel this way. Also, as time goes by, you and your baby will get to know each other better and better, making it easier for you to know what to expect and how to organize your routine.

If you have a partner, try to take turns looking after the baby. And don't hesitate to ask for help. Friends, family, and neighbours can all offer you much-needed assistance - such as food, shopping and running errands.

When you feel the need, and have the time, you might want to check out family resource programs in your area.

The most important thing you need to realize is that it's crucial to find some time for yourself. Rest whenever you can, eat well, go for a walk - and never mind if the house isn't tidy. When you look after your own needs, it's a lot easier to deal with your baby's needs.

If you find yourself feeling close to the breaking point, having a lot of trouble dealing with day to day activities, crying a lot, having trouble eating and sleeping, or feeling all your relationships are in trouble, it's time to get some outside help. Discuss this with your physician. Don't hesitate. In addition, you may want to contact a service, like Postpartum Adjustment Support Services-Canada. If you are in Canada, call 905-844-9009 for information on services near you. The earlier these problems are treated, the easier it will be on you, your baby and your family.

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