As I wait to welcome my second child into the world, I have taken time to reflect on myself as a parent – what I have learnt, how my life has changed and my ability to be the best parent I possibly can. In today’s world we are bombarded with information – conflicting opinions, unsolicited advice and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. It is easy to compare yourself to other parents and question if they are doing a better job than you. It takes time to become a confident parent.
From day one, all you want to do is provide a safe and stable environment for your baby. You want them to be happy and healthy. It feels like the biggest responsibility ever when you take that tiny bundle home from hospital. I didn’t get to take my son home until he was a week old. He was born with a severe stomach infection which took over 24 hours to get recognised by the medical professionals in hospital. I had been raising my concerns all night that there was something wrong with my baby but was ignored. My instincts told me I was right so I continued pressing the issue until he was looked at properly. He spent his first week in NICU with an infection – he recovered well, but I would never be the same again. A protective Mother was born.
Since that day, every time I have felt there is something wrong I have taken him to the Doctors. I have asked for second opinions. I don’t Google the symptoms anymore – or ask friends or read forums – I trust myself. I am confident that I know my child best and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. There have been many Doctors appointments, visits to out of hours clinics and calls to 111.
A recent study by Nurofen for Children discovered that health is the biggest worry for new parents, yet only 1 in 3 of them feel their Doctor can offer them the best support. I have heard many tales where parent’s concerns are dismissed only for the illness to escalate and sadly this is something I can relate to. From our experience I feel confident enough to challenge a Doctor or be persistent if I feel I am right about my child’s well-being and I am not being taken seriously.
I would love to encourage any new parent to be the same – even if you think you are being silly or will be wasting your Doctors time but you can’t shake off the worry – get it check out. Trust your instincts. You know best.
*I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to blog about a specified subject or review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have been entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher as a token of thanks for this post*