Navigating the Journey of Family Management in

Introduction

Reflective writing is important as it helps an individual to review the extent of efficiency and effectiveness of their existing skills developed from the situations. In this essay, Driscoll’s reflective model is to be used to provide an overview through reflection the changes and challenges being faced by parents and their babies when initiating family management in postnatal care. Moreover, key aspects are to be reflected developed from the reflection that is to be abided by for future practices.

What?

The summative work regarding new families informed that in postnatal care the new parents both mother and father experience different changes and challenges in their daily life and activities which leads them to develop postnatal depression. The goal of reflecting the parents meeting is to understand the changes developed in postnatal care and the challenges experienced that lead the new parents to develop postnatal depression. The interview informed me that new mothers experience hindrance with not having proper idea regarding the way to manage their pregnancy. It contributes new mothers to develop prenatal as well as postnatal depression as they before as well as after the birth of the babies face challenge of not being able to show proper care through breastfeeding, communicating, developing contact with babies and others that is their key responsibility (Gutierrez-Galve et al. 2015, NCT 2018).

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The other change and challenge to be faced by new parents in postnatal care are related to development of relationship with the baby. This is evident from the meeting where I found that one of the mother and father was effectively able to contact with the unborn baby by communicating through touch because they understand this change has to be implemented for developing better bonding with the foetus. However, other mothers interviewed expressed experiencing challenge of understanding the way the newborn babies are to be cared through development of close relationship. The challenges of not being able to understand the way of developing proper relationship with the babies lead both the parents to face postnatal depression (Miller, 2011, NCT 2018). This is because they feel stressed that they are ignoring their babies and unable to show proper affection as required that may deteriorate the normal growth of the babies leading to their depression.

The meeting with new parents informed that they also face certain changes and challenges in the fourth trimester. This is because in this tenure both mother and fathers are to cope with new demands in life and adapt to needs of the baby in the early stage for ensuring proper growth of the baby. It leads the new mothers and fathers to develop postnatal depression as they face confusion and challenge to control the changed activities and meeting the new needs by compromising their preferences (Kozinszky and Dudas, 2015). It is evident from the interview where the mother expressed challenge for caring of the baby in the fourth trimester as in the tenure she would not be able to take proper care of herself, share time with her partner and execute other activities freely without exhaustion from caring for the baby. In addition, another father expressed concern to be unable to participate in the care of the baby due to his lack of efficiency to manage work-life balance during the fourth trimester. The mothers and fathers experience postnatal depression after the transition of the baby from the womb as many of them are not properly informed about the way to care for the newborn baby and the compromises they are to make in their life due to the situation. It leads the new parents to become anxious about their failure to provide proper care support in upbringing of their babies (Sethna et al. 2015). This is evident from the interview where one of the fathers expressed fear over not having knowledge regarding the way to care for the newborn baby after their transition from the womb of the mother making him depressed. The co-parenting helps the mother to share responsibility of caring for the baby as well as helps the father to develop effective bond with the baby (Machin, 2018). This is seen to be effectively understood by one of the new parent who mentioned that she would include co-parenting in caring for the baby so that the gather is also able to develop a close bond with the baby.

The interview informed that postnatal depression is faced by fathers of newborn babies because they feel burdened with extra responsibility and making changes in lifestyle, experiencing sleepless nights, having a chaotic environment at home, not enough support from the partner and others. As asserted by Misri (2018), sleepless nights are faced by new parents in the postnatal stage to meet care needs of the babies. This is because often during the night the parents have to make the babies feed and take active part in stopping the baby to cry and relax. Thus, the lack of sleep makes the new parents both father and mother develops depression as they could find time to relax and become overburdened with responsibility of caring the baby. The fact proves the information provided by the fathers regarding their depression in postnatal stage is evident. As argued by Laurent and Bianchi (2017), financial burden to be experienced by the father during postnatal stages makes them depressed. This is because they are unable to understand the way extra finances are to be managed for spending on the care of the babies apart from feeding the family. In the interview, the financial burden is informed as one of the causes of depression among father in the postnatal stage which shows evidence for the fact.

The interview informed that mothers face postnatal depression as they are unable to make time for socialising due to being involved in caring for the new baby. The lack of socialisation leads new mothers to develop depression as they feel isolated from the family and friends being unable to share her thoughts and beliefs to resolve her stress related to baby care (Lee et al. 2017). The study by Hammond (2018) informs that in maternal gatekeeping the mothers effectively play their role in making routine care of the baby and the fathers are involved in less time bound activities such as playing with the baby (Hammond, 2018). In the interview, one of the mothers is seen to express the wish of including maternal gatekeeping to care for the newborn baby. The parent’s interaction and stimulation of the babies to make direct eye contact, singing, reading books to babies, play together with toys and others allow the babies to get knowledge of the surrounding environment, understanding and learning of language, way to speak and many others (Craig et al. 2015). This is evident according to the research of child development since Winnicott’s in the 1950s and 1960s why

early years of a child is crucial for development and the attachment theory by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth in the latter half of the 20th century (Raff, 2017). In the meetings, all the parents I met reported that they are knowledgeable about the situation and has changed accordingly. This is evident as all the mothers inform that they try to interact, make eye contact, play and execute other activities with the babies to ensure their proper growth and knowledge. The other change seen among the new mothers from the interview is that they are more concerned about using internet and technology to gather information about the way of caring for the babies. This is because the information on the internet is readily available and can be easily accessed to be implemented for caring for the baby by new parents (Moore and Ayers, 2017). The language barriers and lack of support from the family members also contribute to the postnatal depression of mothers. This is because language barriers lead new mothers to gather proper information regarding baby's care (Mohammad et al. 2018).

So what

The analysis of the new parents meeting led me to think that negative aspect of lack of development of close relationship between new parents and the baby due to confusion contributing to postnatal depression has adverse effect on parents. This is because this nature of postnatal depression makes the parents feel anxious and unsuccessful in executing their responsibility as parents that negatively influence their psychological health (Falah-Hassani et al. 2017). As asserted by Hall et al. (2015), development of close relationship of both parents with the unborn babies as well as newborn babies is important to show them affection and feel cared. This is because direct touch and care through strong bonding with the parents leads the babies to release feel-good hormones. As argued by Maguire-Fong and Peralta (2018), lack of release of feel-good hormones in the babies due to improper development of relationship with the mother leads them to cry more often and show tantrums. This is because the babies feel lack of care and affection which they required at this early stage. Therefore, the fact led me to understand that lack of relationship development in postnatal stage also has negative effect on the growth and development of the baby. The postnatal depression developed by the new mothers has an adverse effect on caring for the baby. This is because the depression leads the confused new mothers fail to provide required care for the growth and development of the baby in their early years making them deprived of proper nurturing and attaining bond with the mother (Miller, 2011). It is evident as confused new mothers are unable to provide proper meal and nutrition to the baby at the right making them remain hungry and cry which in turn makes them develop stunned growth (Welch et al. 2016). The baby’s mental and physical growth mainly takes place within the three months of birth and in the fourth trimester, it is time for the baby to get used to voices, perception and sensation in the outside world (Tully et al. 2017). The lack of support to the baby due to postnatal depression leads the mother and father experience their baby to have hindered physical and mental growth as well as lacks proper perception of the outside senses making them vulnerable to outside environment. The study of Machin (2018) informed that in maternal gatekeeping the mother’s overprotective nature led her to have more control over mentioning responsibility for the father to bond with the baby which lead the father have less scope to freely interact and bond with the baby. Thus, it can be analysed that maternal gatekeeping may led the father have less scope and time to bond with the baby. I further analysed that hindrance in breastfeeding due to postnatal depression of the new mother leads babies to get deprived of proper nutrition. This is because breast milk is the only source of nutrition available for the babies until six months from their birth (Abbass-Dick et al. 2015).

The co-parenting is important because it helps the mother get relieved of extensive burden of single-handedly caring for the baby as the father equally participates to care (Machin, 2018). However, in the interview of new parents, it was seen that only one mother expressed the view of co-parenting while other informed that since their husbands are involved at work the activity of co-parenting cannot be established. Thus, it can be regarded as one of the reason of post-natal depression as lack of co-parenting led the mother to be overburdened with responsibility of care for the baby and the family letting them less time for socialise or relax. The further analysis informs that financial burden being faced by fathers hinders them to show proper care to baby making them depressed in postnatal stage. The men are often regarded as the sole bread earners of the family who have the responsibility to manage and feed the family (Miller, 2018; Machin, 2018). In addition, the presence of a new baby leads the father to arrange feeding costs as well as cost for medication to ensure good health of the babies which leads them to face crisis in managing proper finances to cope with the responsibilities (Miller, 2011). Thus, this condition distresses the father regarding the way to manage responsibility for the baby to ensure good health which interferes to make them unable to participate in baby’s care. On further analysis of the meetings, I found that use of internet and technology can be both advantageous and disadvantageous for the new mother, father as well as babies. As mentioned by Giglia et al. (2015), in internet different information can be identified that are written in wide range of languages. The mothers in the meeting who reported that the English being their second language for which they are inclined to use internet as it offered them ease to understand information in English would be benefited by using the internet services. This is because they would be able to develop information from various sources through the internet both in English as well as in their first language regarding the way to provide complete care to the babies. It would help these mothers to avoid getting depressed as they would be ensured they have all information required to offer best care to the babies. As argued by Leaver (2017), many information on the internet lack authenticity which makes it vulnerable for the users to apply them in real life. This is because applying such unauthentic information may harm the individual and lack success to accomplish their goals and thus the use of the internet by the new mother and father is disadvantageous for the babies.

Now what?

As practitioner, the meeting with new parents informed me that effective actions is required to be taken so that better relationship and bond between the baby and the new parents can be developed. This is to be accomplished by me through informing in details and training new mothers regarding the different ways they can develop bond with their new baby. Moreover, I am going to personally educate new parents about the aspects regarding baby care they are to focused on so that till fourth trimester the challenges faced by new mother and father that is leading them to get postnatal depression. The education is to be made through interactive meetings, sharing leaflets and providing information brochure regarding the facts about caring for new born baby with new parents. The new mothers and fathers are to be provided detailed knowledge regarding the way they are to manage their personal life after transition of baby from the womb so that they do not face hindrance of caring for the baby that often leads to their postnatal depression. In future to establish successful co-parenting I am going to help new parents personally to share responsibilities among one another in caring for the baby so that postnatal depression can be avoided for the mother and better bonding between the gather and the baby can be established. Further, I am going to ask mothers in future to be less strict in sharing responsibility through maternal gatekeeping so that the fathers have free scope to bond with the baby. This is to be done by me by asking the partners of the new mothers to show greater responsibility and participation in caring for the new baby so that they do not doubt the fathers of their ability to care for the baby in turn avoiding implementation of strict responsibility sharing through maternal gatekeeping. The new parents are to be informed about adversities to be faced while consulting to care for the baby and to make them knowledgeable about the way to collect authenticated information from the internet in need of assistance of care for the babies. (Refer to Appendix 1)

Conclusion

The above discussion informs that the parents suffer post-natal depression due to lack of understanding of the way to care for babies, financial burden, increased stress, hindered breastfeeding and others. In relation to this, in future, I am going to create health awareness of postnatal depression and patient-centred care as well as promote co-parenting for resolving the raised issue.

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References

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  • Abbass-Dick, J., Stern, S.B., Nelson, L.E., Watson, W. and Dennis, C.L., 2015. Coparenting breastfeeding support and exclusive breastfeeding: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 135(1), pp.102-110.
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  • Hammond, A., 2018. A very brief look at some of the important theories about the transition to parenthood, NCTC1003:New Baby, New Family: Part 1. University of Worcester. Unpublished.
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  • Machin, A.J., 2018. The Transition to Fatherhood. NCT Journal: Preparing parents for birth and early parenthood, 30, pp.1-10
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  • Miller, T., 2011. Falling back into gender? Men’s narratives and practices around first-time fatherhood. Sociology, 45(6), pp.1094-1109.
  • Miller, T., 2018. Paternal and Maternal Gatekeeping? Choreographing Care. Sociologica, 12(3), pp.25-35.
  • Misri, S.K., 2018. Paternal Postpartum Depression: A Sad Dad. In Paternal Postnatal Psychiatric Illnesses (pp. 11-34). Springer, Cham.
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  • NCT 2018, Postnatal depression – the impactfor women and children and interventions to enhance themother-infant relationship, Available at: https://www.nct.org.uk/sites/default/files/related_documents/Tsivos%20et%20al.%20Postnatal%20depression%2016-20.pdf [Accessed on: 10 June 2019]
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  • Netsi, E., Pearson, R.M., Murray, L., Cooper, P., Craske, M.G. and Stein, A., 2018. Association of persistent and severe postnatal depression with child outcomes. JAMA psychiatry, 75(3), pp.247-253.
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  • Appendix 1

    I am going to include the new mothers to get training in breastfeeding from health professional in the hospital so that they do not face hindrance in feeding the babies. In my future practice, I would implement patient-centered approach where I will frame separate strategies for each mother to get over postnatal depression. This is because offering different strategies by keeping in centre of decision the new mother who is to be relieved of her postnatal depression would help me assist each mother live a normal life. Moreover, in future, I would ask the new mother to ensure they are taking information from authenticated internet sources to care for their babies apart from visiting their GP to ensure the babies remain healthy.


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