Having a baby can fill your life with joy and excitement. Unfortunately, though, it can also turn out to be a scary and an overwhelming period, especially for new moms. As soon the realization of being responsible for a tiny human being, who is entirely dependent on you, hits you, you’re filled with feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear because you think you won’t be good enough. The bliss that you have when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time fades away, giving way to terrifying thoughts. You are confused by countless advice thrown your way, and it seems as if you are never going to make the right decisions.
After delivering their child, it is quite natural for most of the mothers to experience baby blues. It is a period marked with mild depression, unexplained episodes of crying and severe mood swings. Experts believe that these blues are a result of hormonal changes that occur due to labor and delivery.
If the negative feelings intensify and hamper daily activities, you are probably facing postpartum depression. Unlike normal stress, postpartum depression advances due to chemical changes in a woman’s body – female reproductive hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, increase ten times during the pregnancy period, dropping back to their normal levels three days after the delivery. This free fall of hormones, accompanied by social and psychological changes associated with the baby, add to the overall depression experienced by new mothers.
However, it is important to mention here that there is a stark difference between postpartum depression and usual anxiety that tags along with childbirth. It is natural for new moms to face excessive fatigue, sleeping problems, difficulty in making decisions and extreme anger. However, if you experience symptoms such as loss of pleasure, feelings of helplessness and thoughts of committing suicide, you are going through a serious phase of postpartum depression and need immediate professional help.
This is the reason why it is essential for new moms to analyze their symptoms. Once you reach upon the conclusion that what you are going through is completely normal, you can then proceed with planning out coping strategies.
Mentioned ahead are some practical tips to help you beat down the anxiety and enjoy motherhood to the fullest:
- Use your support system
The first few days as a mommy are bound to be overwhelming. There is a lot to get used to, and therefore it is vital for you to seek help from your loved ones. Request them to keep an eye on the baby while you take a nap. Even if they can’t help you in practical ways, you can always call them up to pour out your feelings. They may not have solutions to your issues, but even lending you an ear for your issues will make a huge difference.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps
Newborns do not have a particular sleeping pattern. They do not sleep for more than 2-4 hours at a time, even during the night. And obviously, you have to stay awake with them. Consequently, you end up having just a few hours of sleep which makes you feel exhausted. The most common solution to this problem is sleep when your baby sleeps.
It might be hard to ignore all the chores that are left out there, but you should prioritize your sleep and take a nap whenever the baby goes to sleep. By doing so, you will find yourself happy, calm and ready to deal with all the challenges of the day.
- Let your baby take the lead
It is common for people to give all sorts of advice to the new mommy. Each person suggests what they feel is right and what they did when they entered parenthood. Although these people are only trying to help, you should only listen to your baby. Try to figure out what the needs of your baby are. Advice is beneficial, but you must also understand that all babies are different. Instead of feeling bad about not following what other people suggest, do what you feel is right for your baby.
- Take a time-out
Motherhood is an all-consuming job. You might feel the needs of your little one take the place of your own. Nonetheless, do not let the sudden changes freak you out but instead you should try to take a break every once in a while. For instance, you can leave your baby with a trusted family member while you go out for a movie with your friends. It is important for your headspace to disconnect from the hectic routine and take a breather.
- Evaluate yourself
When the burden of everyday mom-life strains you and you feel like dazing out, remember that you are only human. Mothers usually feel that they are not doing a good job and the fear of failure at their duties keeps them anxious. It is vital for you to check yourself for any signs of mental issues. Nowadays, various mobile apps can help you evaluate your mental state; download an app that you feel keeps your mental functioning in check. For instance, you can check out the Braintest reviews and figure out if this is the app you need to analyze your cognitive status.
- Restructure your diet
With the advent of a baby in your life, you find yourself juggling with sleep and eating schedules. In such conditions, physicians recommend mommies to maintain a healthy diet. Consumption of whole foods, vitamins, and essential fluids is crucial to maintaining a stable state of mind. The high nutritional content of your body makes it possible for you to stay awake for long hours. You also find yourself coping with the tiresome routine with surprising levels of patience, and you have this amazing strength to deal with things in an orderly manner.
To sum it up, being a mommy is a tough job! The fear of not doing things the proper way keeps you nervous and on your toes all the time. Those who have recently stepped into motherhood often find themselves confused and lost.
You must realize that if you keep a calm mental space, everything is automatically going to fall in its place. But if you do not try to get over the initial days of anxiety, you might find yourself in a critical condition of postpartum stress.
Thus, work out vigorously on ways to calm yourself; the baby is going to be in best shape only if the mommy stays happy and relaxed.
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