Having a baby can be an exciting and joyous time for families, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming.
According to a new report, it can be especially tough in the Mid-South.
The report from the financial website Wallet Hub compared all 50 states and Washington, DC, based on the cost of having a baby, health care, baby-friendliness, and family-friendliness.
The list ranks Tennessee as 40, Arkansas as 46, and Mississippi as 50.
Those rankings considered various factors from cost and healthcare. It also looked at everything from average birth rates to infant and maternal mortality rates.
“It’s a beautiful time, but also one of the most stressful times for sure, because having a newborn baby changes everything,” Dr. Blake Bergeron, a pediatrician at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, said.
If a new parent is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, Dr. Bergeron said the first place to turn for help should be your child’s pediatrician.
“Don’t think any question is too silly or too minor. We are here, and we have seen kids sometimes for decades on end, and we can help walk you through some of those stressful situations,” he said.
If you’re struggling financially, Dr. Bergeron said there are state and federal programs like WIC, which help provide formula and food assistance to low-income families.
He said there are also several local non-profits that help new parents make ends meet.
“There’s food banks around town. There’s a couple of organizations who have resources for parents who might need diapers, who might need extra clothes. There’s ways you can find the things you need to hopefully help your ends meet,” Dr. Bergeron said.
Dr. Bergeron said it’s completely normal for new parents to feel stressed or frustrated. He said it’s important for new parents to take time for themselves.
That could mean letting a loved one watch your baby while you take a nap, or do something else that you enjoy.
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