Pregnancy and baby

Being a parent

How can I cope with a lack of sleep?

Media last reviewed: 11/04/2012

Next review due: 11/04/2014

Congratulations if you're a parent-to-be or a new parent! Becoming a parent can be one of the most wonderful but challenging experiences in life. Many parents have lots of questions in the early days. Here, we give information on the topics new parents most commonly ask about.

Relationships as a new parent

Becoming a parent often puts a strain on relationships, regardless of what they were like before. This can include relationships with your partner, friends or family. But there are ways you can work through tough times and and stay close to your loved ones.

Find out more about relationships after having a baby.

Sex and contraception for new parents

Babies and small children can get in the way of your sex life. You're often tired and stressed, and there aren't many opportunities for intimacy. You and your partner may be happy with the situation, but if your sex life becomes a problem, some changes will be needed.

If you're not planning another pregnancy straight away, you and your partner will need to use contraception, even if you're breastfeeding.

Find out more about sex and contraception after having a baby.

Keeping fit and healthy as a new parent

Being a parent is exhausting and you may have no time or energy to cook, eat properly or exercise. But being active can help you relax. It can also help your body recover after childbirth, and make you feel better and more energetic. And eating well doesn't need to take lots of time or effort.

To find out how to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your daily routine, and get tips about quitting smoking, read about keeping fit and healthy after a baby.

Coping with stress as a new parent

You and your baby could benefit from a regular routine. It's easy to join a group near you or find online support on baby routines and more. Visit the CANparent website or phone 0808 800 1102.

Small children require a lot from you. Coping with their demands and everything else that's going on around you can be stressful. But there are some techniques you can try to help you cope if you're feeling stressed.

Find out more about coping with stress when you're a parent. 

Bringing up a child alone

Bringing up a child on your own can be a challenge, emotionally, practically and financially. But there are several things you can do to take the pressure off.

Get advice and information on bringing up a child alone.

Rights and benefits for parents

Working out what benefits and rights you're entitled to and making claims isn't always easy.

For useful advice on the rights and benefits you may be entitled to, read about rights and benefits for parents.

Meeting other parents

Meeting new people takes confidence, but it's worth it. Being able to share the ups and downs of parenting with other people in the same situation will help you cope with the difficult times and make the good times better.

Find out how to meet other parents and make new friends. 

Planning another pregnancy

If you're planning another pregnancy, you may need a reminder of how to make sure your pregnancy is as healthy as possible, including taking folic acid and eating healthily.

Find out more about planning another pregnancy.

Going back to work after having a baby

Most mothers go back to work at some point. About half do so before their children start school. If you have questions or concerns, it may help to talk to other working mothers. But the most important thing is to decide what's right for you and your family. There are several important issues to consider, including feeding, childcare and flexible working.

Find out more about going back to work.

Losing a partner or child

The death of someone you love can turn your world upside down and is one of the most stressful and difficult things you can go through. If you've just had a baby, you may find it even harder to cope. But help and support is available.

Get information and advice about coping with grief after losing a child or partner

Page last reviewed: 14/04/2014

Next review due: 14/04/2016

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