What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Losses and Gains

The birth of a baby always brings both losses and gains. These will be different for each person.

the losses and gains of having a baby

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  • Dad's Answers
  • Mum's Answers

Learning from your answers

We usually imagine that a baby will bring only joy and delight. However, in reality it is more complicated. Providing good care for your baby means that you and your partner cannot do some of the things that you were free to do before becoming parents. It can be surprising to realise how important these were and how much they are missed.

Mothers provide most infant care and often feel that they have lost more than the baby's father has. Each person misses different things, and it helps to name them so you can talk about them. The first task is to work out what each of you feels has been lost in becoming parents and the next is to compare these and see where the similarities and differences are.

It is then important to talk together about which things have gone forever, which things can be found again, perhaps in a different way, and then to identify the unique experiences that parenthood brings. Mums and dads need to look after each other.

This webpage last updated 27 February 2014.