Having a baby and becoming a mom is one of the most exciting yet stressful times in a woman’s life. Unfortunately more mothers today are feeling alone and overwhelmed in their role.
Here are some practical steps to help you:
- Experts recommend that ‘debriefing’ with a professional, doctor, midwife in the first two weeks after your baby is born, helps significantly with stress, and post natal depression. In the debriefing you would talk about your birth experiences, expectations and disappointments around the birth.
- Arrange times to sleep. Sleep deprivation is one of the main contributors to stress in new moms. Dad or any other responsible adult friend is capable of watching baby for a while.
- Involve dad in baby care from the first day. His touch is as important as yours. If you are a single mom find a relative or friend you trust who can help you on a daily basis.
- Simplify your life. Cut down on your workload both in the office and at home.
- Get out of the house. Take baby for a walk, and treat yourself to coffee.
- Join a moms and babes group where you can meet other new moms and share your feelings.
- Join a gym or other centre that offers professional care for your baby while you work out, or engage in an activity you enjoy.
- Find someone you trust and respect who has been in your situation to confide in.
- Arrange domestic help and night nurses if you can afford it.
- Accept any offers of help from friends to lift or care for older children. They will also enjoy a break from the stress.
- Trust your instincts, and don’t worry about being perfect.
- If feelings of stress, resentment and fantasies of wanting to hurt your baby persist, speak to your doctor, as you may be suffering form post partum depression.
- It does indeed “Take a village to raise a child.” Allowing family and friends to help you, enables you to enjoy your baby more.
Published in Mum’s Mail
By Claire Marketos: BA Psych (Hons), HDip Ed
Parenting/Educational Consultant, Speaker. Author, Child Activist