How we support young parentsNovember 7, 2019
Bringing a new baby home as a young parent can be an exciting but scary time, especially if this is your first child. Family and friends can offer advice, but outside support is critical. In Australia, there were just over 309,000 babies born in 2018, and females in their early 20s have the second-highest birth rate. This means that there are thousands of young parents that need support throughout Australia, and CatholicCare can help.
For many young parents, they have to focus on meeting both their own developmental needs and the needs of their baby. This puts added strain on them as soon as they bring baby home. Babies start learning to communicate with their parents immediately, and parents need to quickly learn the cues and in order to understand what their children are trying to tell them.
Having a solid support network can also mean the difference between young parents who easily transition to their new role and parents who are constantly stressed out and flustered. Supported young parents will be able to relax and know that they have a network in place that will help if any questions or concerns arise. Young parents with no support tend to feel overwhelmed because they know they don’t have anyone to fall back on if something goes wrong.
Research shows that new parents who routinely attend parenting classes learn the skills they need to be confident in their parenting abilities. They found that the parents who attended these classes had lasting benefits that rippled out to the entire family. The benefits include things like greater success breastfeeding, a higher confidence level and the ability to adapt to having the baby at home without as much fuss.
Another study showed that parents who had adequate support systems in place before babies arrival were able to see their babies in a more positive light once they had them. This was partly due to the fact that they had higher confidence levels in their abilities and partly due to the fact that the young parents had less stress overall about their changing lives.
We understand how important support is for young parents. We offer:
- Pregnancy counselling – no matter the age, we offer free pregnancy counselling services to both women and their significant others. We can cover a variety of issues like a miscarriage and loss, unplanned pregnancy, neo-natal death, termination, pregnancy testing, adoption, contraception and support during or after pregnancy. Our staff will give you a list of specialised community and health services.
- Young parents counselling – we offer a completely free six-week course with midwife educators. You’ll explore labour and active birth pain relief, pregnancy care, and caring for your new baby and yourself. There is an included tour of a birthing unit plus we host fortnightly groups for any young parents under the age of 21 who have children under two years old. You can meet new mums and reconnect with your friends and their babies from your neo-natal groups.
- Wellbeing support groups – we have a broad range of support groups available for young parents that include parental wellbeing groups, playgroups, groups focused on positive parenting and more.
If you need a support network either before or after you have your baby, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We’re here to help you set up a strong support network and build solid connections.