The Transition to Parenthood for a Child with Reflux

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • No matter how you shake it, the transition to parenthood is a major life event. And, like most major life events, it can have a major impact on you and your partner.


    Researchers have studied the impact of having children on couples, and have found that men and women experience the transition to parenthood differently from each another. In other words, the experience can be one thing for men, and an entirely different experience for women. From a couples' perspective, researchers have also discovered that sometimes there is a decline in marital quality after the birth of the baby as a result of the added responsibility. The again, some marriages improve after the birth. There appears to be extreme variability in the way couples relate to one another once they become parents.

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    One study tried to predict which couples would be better off when the baby arrived, and which couples would suffer. What was fascinating about this study, was that having a higher sense of control predicted the levels of psychological distress for the new parents. The parents who perceived a higher level of control, experienced decreased levels of depression and anxiety.


    Unfortunately, having a baby with acid reflux can make almost everything seem completely out of control. If you are a new parent, and your baby has acid reflux, here are five things you can do to gain control of the situation, and make the transition to parenting as smooth as possible for you and your partner.


    1) Make a pact with your partner (or closest supporter if you are a single parent) that you will both do everything in your power to prevent this acid reflux situation from coming between you. No extended family member, daycare provider or member of the medical community will be allowed to divide and conquer. Period.


    2) Learn as much as you can about acid reflux in infants. Information is power, which can lead to control.


    3) Understand that acid reflux comes in waves. Just because today may be worse than yesterday, it doesn't mean you are not on top of the situation. Everyone (especially individuals living with acid reflux) has a bad day once in awhile.


    4) Reach out to a support group or a parent of a child with acid reflux. What you will most likely find is that you are a terrific parent and are making the most of a very difficult situation.


    5) Get some rest. It may be especially difficult to give yourself a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, but try to find a way. When you are sleep deprived, everything can seem out of control, even if it isn't.

Published On: January 23, 2008