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Practical Support for New Parents

Are you a new parent? Or about to be? And not a lot of family support around?

Did you know that Portobello Timebank is full of people who really want to help? Now before you turn off and think ‘That’s not for me – I’m perfectly capable of figuring out how to look after a new baby!” please consider that it takes approximately 16+ hours a day to look after a baby. So how are you going to fit all that in? And if you have a partner, expecting them to make up the shortfall isn’t really an option – even two people often don’t have enough time or resources to do all the extra work that it takes to look after a small baby.

The expectation that you will be able to cope by yourselves is an issue that can lead to postnatal mental health issues in some families, since you are just not physically able to meet your expectations when you have to look after a baby too. That can be really stressful and lead to a massive amount of mental pressure you just don’t need. A quick straw poll of mums with older kids will show that many of them talk about the ‘angels’ who came and helped out with little tasks and jobs around the house, or even just cooked meals.

Timebank has volunteers who carry out a range of services, tailored exactly to your needs, including cooking, cleaning, gardening and shopping. If you need to have some meals cooked to fill your freezer with nutritious food, or if your garden is a state and you just don’t have time to tackle it, or you just don’t have time to design those lovely thank you cards with your baby’s picture on, there will be a volunteer who can help. We all know that new parents are not in a place to be able to reciprocate, and one of the beauties of Timebank is that you can help when you are able, not necessarily in a fixed time frame.

If you could do with a hand, and would like to find out more, please do get in touch with Kirsty Carver at Timebank: portobello@edinburghtimebank.org.uk

She is full of the joys of how wonderful it can be to have someone come and help when you have a new baby, as she and her family benefitted from Timebank volunteers themselves. Please don’t ‘go it alone’ as a new parent – there will be plenty of opportunities for that – but right now the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family is Timebank.

Meet Kirsty Carver, and Sarah Wheatley, who runs Birth and Beyond and is the author of this lovely piece, at the Family Festival which happens on the 28th January at 10am-12noon, along with 20 other family supporters, who run classes for babies and parents, be it yoga, music, massage or other wellness and practical advice.

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