Overcome New Mom Stress With These Helpful Tips
No matter how prepared you may have felt for the arrival of your newest family member, the stress of taking care of a newborn day and night can overwhelm new parents at times. Along with those amazing moments of bonding and parenthood come sleep deprivation, non-stop diaper changing, messiness around the house, and feelings of self-doubt.
Learn to combat 7 common new mom stresses with our tips below:
Though it may be difficult to adjust at first, sleeping when the baby sleeps is a handy way to get a sufficient amount of sleep each day. Not only is sleep a medical necessity, it can help prevent postpartum depression. If you have a hard time napping during the day, try dimming the room as much as possible as use earplugs to block out noise.
Taking turns with your partner to handle the night shift is a great way to make sure one of you gets a good, interrupted sleep at least once every couple of days. It’s also a good idea to work with your pediatrician early on to get your baby to sleep through the night.
Baby Keeps Crying
Not being able to stop your child from crying can often lead to panic, anxiety and stress. As frustrating as the situation may be, it’s important to keep your composure and remind yourself that crying does not necessarily indicate your baby is sad or distressed. Newborns cry as a means of communicating all sort of things to their parents, including being hungry, cold, tired, wet, or overstimulated.
Babies are also super sensitive to their mothers, so stressing and panicking could make the situation worse. As you observe and develop a routine with your baby, you'll learn to figure out what he or she needs just by the sound of her sobs.
Feelings of Resentment
Looking after a newborn is hard work. It means round-the-clock care, and catering to their every need. But despite the joy that comes from parenting, many new parents admit to experiencing feelings of resentment from time to time, especially in difficult moments. This is not something to feel guilty of, instead remind yourself that hard phases do not last, and that your baby will grow to become more self-reliant as time passes. Cherish the time you have taking care of an innocent, fragile newborn.
Losing The Baby Weight
New moms often feel pressure to lose their added baby weight but find it a challenge get back into a routine of exercise and healthy eating. Particularly during the first year, when your schedule will be unpredictable at most times, the trick is to spread your workouts throughout the day into shorter bursts of exercise. Fitting in 3-4 10 minute workouts a day is much more realistic than finding a 40 minutes block of free time. Try squatting with your baby or taking the stroller out for a pre-dinner walk. For those who prefer the gym, find one that offers child care services.
Gaining confidence as a first-time parent may mean doing what you believe to be right for your child in spite of “expert advice” found online. Ultimately, you spend the most time with your baby than anyone else, so trusting your gut when raising your child is part of what builds the relationship and makes you a strong mother. It can always help to get a second opinion from a doctor, friend or relative when in doubt.
Messiness Around The House
With so much time and attention going toward taking care of your baby, sometimes those dirty dishes and laundry get piled up. Consider hiring a contractor to clean your house on occasion if a mess causes you stress out. Or else, you could clean in quick bursts when your little one snoozes.
Carving out time to spend with your partner is important for keeping a strong marriage. As hectic and exhausting life can be as new parents, try to set regular date nights where you communicate, and limit talk about baby stuff. You can also keep the romance alive with a nice candlelight dinner or going to see a movie or concert.
Taking care of a newborn is one of the most special and fulfilling experiences of parenthood, so don’t stress and embrace every moment while it lasts!
- Agnes Yoon