Welcoming a child into the family comes with big changes. One additional member in the family doesn’t only mean added expenses. For new parents, a disturbed sleep routine or a colicky baby can be very frustrating. Many mothers often experience baby blues and post-partum depression because of these reasons.
Although all these feelings are normal as you learn to adjust to your role as a parent, there’s no reason to stay stressed the entire time. Here are some helpful tips for parents to cope with the emotional toll of birth and navigate through these tough times successfully:
Get Mentally Prepared
Before the arrival of a baby, parents have around 9+ months to mentally prepare for their new role. This time allows for gradual adjustments to their lifestyle, ensuring they are ready for the responsibilities that lie ahead.
For instance, avoiding alcohol during pregnancy is a common recommendation. But for smokers or alcohol lovers, implementing it can be quite challenging. But when parents-to-be understand the importance of prenatal care, they can make the changes without feeling overwhelmed.
Prenatal exposure to undercooked meat, drugs, or alcohol is a common cause of cerebral palsy. Expectant parents can gain more knowledge about this condition by referring to a cerebral palsy guide and making changes to their lifestyle accordingly.
Read Up About the Milestones
Challenges like a baby’s disrupted sleep schedule can overwhelm parents as they must stay awake to care for the baby during unconventional hours.
Parents can ease their emotional toll in these cases by reading up about child development and milestones. Antenatal groups also offer information sessions for new parents.
While learning about milestones beforehand is helpful, doing so again after the baby’s birth can provide a deeper understanding, as parents can relate the information to their current experiences and better comprehend their child’s development.
For instance, at 2-3 months, the child starts to adjust to a nightly sleeping pattern. Reading up on the milestones can help parents learn that they will only have to wait a couple of months before the night duties ease off. Knowing what to expect provides a sense of reassurance and helps parents feel more prepared.
When it comes to your newborn’s sleep routine, understanding the difference between a sleep swaddle vs sack can make a significant impact. You can explore more insights on this topic in this informative blog post
Get Some Support
When a person, especially a mother, enters this new phase, they will likely feel very lonely. In this case, getting support from people around them can help keep them sane while dealing with many changes.
Becoming a parent can be an emotional rollercoaster for the mother. They might feel like crying one minute and laughing at their baby’s activities the next. However, these baby blues can be dealt with if the mother has a shoulder to cry on and a support system.
For a single parent, it is essential to have friends and family who can give support. Even venting out can be a form of support. Single parents can discuss their concerns and feelings with their midwife, family nurse, or friend.
If the parent has a partner, they can play a crucial role in dividing the baby’s duties. They can help care for the baby while the mom gets some sleep. Friends can also help with chores which helps the parents take a positive step toward caring for the baby.
Connect with Other Parents
As a new parent, you might have less time for social gatherings. Even if your friends occasionally pop in to help you out, you still feel lonely that you can’t go out as often as you used to.
Many mothers struggle to adjust at home with the new baby if they’ve been used to working. They miss their time at work and their busy schedule, which turned topsy-turvy as the baby arrived.
In these cases, getting some adult company at home is important. Parents can even connect with other new parents in antenatal groups. They can make new friends with whom they can share their concerns. When they have friends who are also new parents, talking to them can make the process easier.
Don’t Feel Guilty
When you become a new parent, there’s often a lot of pressure to be perfect. Many parents who read up on milestones and are inspired by YouTubers or Instagrammers feel more guilty.
The truth is that when you’re a new parent, you’re juggling many things. So, you cannot do everything perfectly. Your dishes might be in the sink, the home might be havoc, or you might not have gotten the baby prepped and photo-ready every day.
So, don’t feel guilty. Everything falls into place sooner or later.
Don’t Forget Yourself
One in seven mothers experience post-partum depression, and more than half remain undiagnosed. While new mothers can quickly recover from baby blues, if they are experiencing PPD, they should seek mental health help.
If the baby blues don’t go away in around ten days, it is better to talk to the family nurse or GP. These medical professionals can help assess whether the new mother needs mental health help.
Additionally, partners, friends, and family can help detect signs of PPD among new mothers and encourage them to seek help. So many cases of PPD remain undiagnosed because of the stigma around mental health help. So, people around the new mother have an essential role to play.
New mothers can stay away from PPD by ensuring they have ample ‘me time’ after delivering the baby. Friends and family must offer help and support to the new mother so she can engage in some activities that aren’t about the baby.
Get Extra Help if You Can
If the new parents don’t have family support, they can hire service providers to help. For example, they can hire personal concierge services to run errands or clean the house while the mother spends her free time resting or rewinding.
Extra help also means connecting with the health visitor, GP, or midwife to discuss concerns. These medical professionals can give new parents more information about this new phase. It allows parents to become more confident and manage their emotions.
Becoming a new parent means taking on new responsibilities. But at the same time, it also means massive changes for the parents, especially the primary caretaker. Mothers are usually the primary caretaker in families. After the challenging phase of pregnancy and delivery, they are dealing with raging emotions and massive changes.