Motherhood: Relationships Matter!

Mother and son having fun

Written by Ashleigh McKinsey. McKinsey is a program coordinator for the WV IMPACT program who specializes in clinical health coaching.  She holds a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Delaware.

The addition of a new baby can make creating or maintaining outside relationships a struggle whether that be with family, friends, or a partner. If your baby is born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), they may experience prolonged periods of fussiness which may lead to greater stress on you and your relationships.  Don’t worry, there are a few tips that can help you navigate this time!

The 3 C’s of Healthy Relationships


The first “C’” to building healthy relationship is communication. As a new mom, it can be difficult to express your wants and needs and to maintain connections with friends and family. Effective communication is necessary to be able to resolve problems and develop connections in all aspects of life. Some tips how to develop healthy communication are: 

  • Allow both parties to talk openly
  • Allow others to finish their thought before offering another thought
  • Try not to let emotions take over the conversation
  • Practice Active Listening.  Active Listening is when you give time while the other person is talking to gather the main points the person is speaking about so you can ask follow-up questions such as “So what I hear you saying is…


Compromising is a common part of relationships.  It is often necessary for bringing together different opinions and experiences to come up with a resolution that is satisfying for everyone. Some important things to consider when making compromises are:

  • Have boundaries as to how far you will compromise based on personal beliefs and values
  • Don’t always try to be right
  • Be open to other beliefs and opinions


Expressing commitment in relationships leads to people feeling like you have a vested interest in their life and well-being.  This creates a sense of security in the relationship. Some ways to show your commitment to friends and family are:

  • Be loyal
  • Be open and honest with your feelings
  • Communicate appreciation
  • Agree to disagree when necessary



Love is Respect: