An open letter shared by the NHS Ayrshire Maternity Unit has gone viral, with some readers calling for it to be compulsory reading for all new parents.
The letter, penned by an unknown author, was shared on the ward’s Facebook page and so far has received over 4,000 comments and 14,000 ‘reactions’.
Written from the perspective of a newborn baby, the letter gently reminds first-time parents to go easy on themselves in the first few testing stages of their new baby’s life.
‘Dear mummy and daddy,’ it begins. ‘Please keep this letter from me in a place where you can read it and re-read it when things are rough and you are feeling down.’
The letter goes on to document the little things that make up day-to-day life for new mums and dads, but that we have a tendency to beat ourselves up about, even when we’re trying our best.
‘Please don’t expect too much from me as a newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present, six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature, and become more stable and predictable – six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.’
One point explains: ‘Please forgive me if I cry a lot. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, the only way I can tell you I am not happy is with my cry, bear with me and in a short time, as I mature, I will spend less time crying and more time socializing.
‘Please take the time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you. Watch me carefully and I’ll tell you things which soothe, console and please me.’
‘Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you’ll make with me. As long as you make them with love, I cannot be harmed.’
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The honest letter has reduced plenty of mums and mums-to-be to tears, and hundreds have taken to the comments section to tag friends who are expecting.
‘It reminded me of you and is very sweetly written x,’ said one friend.
Another added: ‘Please don’t feel ashamed if you feel depressed or overwhelmed, many mothers suffer with post natal depression. See your doctor early, accept help, and eventually things will be ok.’
Another said simply: ‘Love this….It should be in every maternity ward x’.