Before the arrival of your baby, you attend baby showers, pick out the perfect name, create an adorable nursery and find the exact outfit you want to bring your baby home in. You have also spent the last nine months in love with your baby, picturing how things are going to be and by the time your baby is born you feel like you already know him/her. You have so much joy and love for the baby that when you start feeling something different you might feel like an imperfect mother. Well relax, it is common to have some fearful type feelings. In fact, the other day I was watching a local lifestyle TV program and they had Dr. Margit Lister, an ob/gyn, on discussing five normal feelings a new mom has after giving birth. I found this to be interesting and thought I would share it with you.
The first feeling that she mentions is fear. Dr. Lister said it is very common for new parents to feel fear. This is a new experience and the unknown can bring fear to people. She said that many new moms have a fear of being unsuccessful at breastfeeding, fear of bringing the baby home for the first time and even fear of injury.
The second normal feeling is that of uncertainty. Many women feel uncertain about serious things such as “why is my baby crying so much.” Lister stated “The trick with the uncertainty is to keep it in check. It is okay to think these things but let your brain keep your heart from making your decisions.”
Frustration is the third normal feeling a new mom may have after giving birth. You start out with all of the normal stress one has in life and add to it a new baby, one can start feeling frustrated. Lister claims that sleep deprivation is a huge part in feeling frustrated. It can be especially difficult if you are a single mom or when your spouse goes back to work.
The fourth normal feeling is guilt. Lister said that many mothers may start feeling guilt because they feel like they are not organized and that they are the only new mother that “can’t get it together.”
Depression is the last feeling that was discussed. According to Lister, feelings of depression could even make it so you want to stop being with your baby. Other signs of depression are constantly crying, not wanting to get out of bed, losing interest in things you usually like to do and even having depression so bad that you regret having your baby.
Now that we know what the common feelings are, how do we overcome them? Dr. Lister suggests the following:
Get Help-When you start feeling frustrated with everything, ask for help. Don’t be shy to ask for assistance and be specific on what you would like help with. If you feel that you need help with household chores or watching the baby than don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you. You need time to yourself.
Exercise-Get outside and talk a walk with you baby, both the exercise and sunshine is good for you. In addition, exercise helps relieve stress.
Sleep-You need as much sleep as possible. If you are breastfeeding, have your spouse bring the baby to you and then have them soothe the baby back to sleep. Work together as a team.
Talk- talk to someone that you trust. Don’t be afraid to discuss your fear, anxiety, and concerns. Speak with a health professional or counselor if you feel like things are getting out of control.
Hopefully, if you are feeling these emotions you can use the above tips to help you overcome them.
KSL, (2012, February 24). Studio Five [Television broadcast]. Salt Lake City, UT: KSL Broadcasting.