Only a few events can be as memorable as having a baby. As you welcome your new bundle of joy, you realize this road is not all about roses and rainbows. If you are going through the so-called new mom stress, you are not alone. In fact, a study that surveyed more than 2,000 moms described motherhood as “stressful,” “tiring,” and “chaotic.”
While you may think you can quickly dismiss stress as nothing and just cope with it for the next few months or so, it’s not that simple. Stress, especially if it becomes chronic, can be dangerous to our bodies.
As a new parent, you will have to adjust to less sleep, while dealing with a changing body. Suddenly you are cooped up with too many demands. Several new moms do not know that this stage in life is a major transition where no one can be fully prepared. However, it is a continuous process, and you will learn to handle things better as time passes. While you are still struggling, here are some of the common stresses and how to manage them like a new supermom:
New mothers need to be up typically every two to three hours, especially in the first few weeks and months. Acute fatigue often results from periods of physical and mental activities or sleep loss. These two fit your case, but the good news is that you can reverse it through some simple methods, including:
Tag teaming with your partner
Have a schedule on who would do the feeding, especially the last one at night. Make sure you get as much sleep as you can when you are not looking after your baby.
Napping as much as your baby would allow
Newborns are naturally sleepy, and they can stay in dreamland for as much as 18 hours. This means: plenty of opportunities for you to get more sleep or do some house chores if you still have more time.
If you are living in an apartment, you can hear your partner feeding the baby and wondering what is going on. Instead of worrying, which inhibits sleep, listen to soothing music or try white noise. Trust your partner. Get more rest.
When your baby does not stop crying, it is both frustrating and worrisome. This has always been one of the most common new mom stress to deal with. Although it may seem endless, it is possible to learn how to soothe an unresponsive, upset, or even a colicky baby.
To start, you should know the reasons why babies cry, which include sleepiness, fatigue, dirty or wet diaper, and hunger. He or she may be overstimulated from an activity or noise. Another cause is that the baby has colic, milk allergy, or acid reflux. Some techniques to try are swinging your baby in your arms, taking your baby for a walk in a stroller, swaddling, and letting them lie on the side or their stomach.
No matter how inconsolable, never shake your baby, which is dangerous and results in 1,000 babies dying every year.
Irritating Arguments with Your Partner
New parents fight because both can be disoriented, cranky, and sleep-deprived. When the baby arrived, sleep becomes a shared thing, which is taken in shifts and discussed. It may be fine at first, but arguments can result in it because less sleep can be a shock to new parents. If you two can avoid competing on who is more tired than the other, it is possible to keep the peace.
If you have just taken a break and your baby starts to cry, your partner may tensely give you back the little one. New moms often complain that their husbands only spend time when their baby is happy. It always helps to develop a routine, especially ones that involve your partner. For instance, he can give your son a bath, which will be their bonding moment, so the baby does not always scream for mommy.
Worrying about Your Career
You cannot deny that having a baby will change your career and it is indeed worrisome. It is easy to have work-life balance issues, especially with the new schedules and duties. While every mother is different, it is important to understand there will be a period of adjustment. It can feel overwhelming but it is normal and the adjustment period is not infinite. Millions of moms around the world have gone back to work after having a baby without problems and you can, too.
Insecurity about Your Body
Having a baby is accompanied by a few extra pounds and some sagging in the parts of your body that were firm before. Some body insecurities are because of C-section scars, which can still fade to a very thin line in about a year or two. If it truly bothers you, some over-the-counter topical gels can help make it less visible.
Sagging breasts are also common in the new mom stress category. This cannot be fixed unless you plan to have plastic surgery. However, exercises can also help. They aid in toning the pectoral muscles located around the breasts. You will need some assistance to know what routines to do. While you are at it, you should try some of the best cardio machines, which can also be useful in targeting stomach flab.
Cramps can still go on even after you have your baby. You will also have some pains about your sore breasts, which can be quite heavy, especially the first few weeks. Some new moms even complain about aching all over, as if they had a boxing match.
Typically, what causes these complaints are the contortions and pushing that occurred during labor. These pains should not worry you too much because they are only natural and last just for a few days. They can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers your physician prescribed.
Take all the tips above into consideration to help you deal with mom stress. Soon enough, you will find that things are going better as your body adjusts to your new responsibilities.