Every new mother can agree that seeing your newborn baby for the first time is truly a beautiful moment. From the moment you stare into the innocent face of your precious gift you had bonded with for nine months, you make a mother’s dedication without hesitating. You promise to give your child the best parts of you, to provide the love, protection, and care only a loving mother can give. But your resolve is quickly tested in the following months after giving birth. From lack of sleep to new, unexpected emotions, a new child can also bring a lot of stress, even if it’s not your first time.
This is a result of the physiological and emotional reaction to the changes happening in your life. Stress can also put your health at risk and make it difficult to give proper care to your newborn. New mothers are also especially vulnerable to various heart-related issues and many health problems due to stress. So, can you deal with stress as a first-time mother? Here are some ways to ease the stress of your new journey.
1.Learn, learn, learn!
Having your first baby comes with new experiences and challenges you may not have thought about. An effective way to ensure that these hurdles don’t take you by surprise is to prepare for them by learning as much as you can. Thankfully, you can find loads of information from online communities and blogs. You can also join local support groups for new mothers or link up with experienced mothers near you.
Many new moms may feel overwhelmed with questions like “why does my baby cry so much,” “am I feeding my baby enough,” “why do babies lose their hair?” The great thing is, there is an answer to every question you may have. So read as much as you can from reliable sources and speak with other experienced mothers. You may be surprised by how some simple hacks you didn’t know before could take a lot of stress from your shoulders.
2. Let your feelings out
Take the time to record the process or keep a journal for daily updates. Write down how you feel at the end of every day. You can also write about what you experience each day, the hopes you have, and the dreams or wishes you cling to. It is important to let out your real, raw emotion—no need to be cautious with your words or flatter yourself. If writing is not your thing, you can record yourself instead. Whether to use voice only or video recording is a matter of preference. The journey of motherhood can be confusing, usually with new emotions you may not understand, which leaves you stressed. Letting your feelings out this way is a safe and therapeutic way of reducing your stress.
3. Wash up, get dressed, and go out
Get up, shower, get dressed, and go outside. That sounds pretty simple. But you’ll be surprised how even this can feel like an impossible task when you have a newborn baby. Besides getting your body clean, spending a few minutes in the shower or bath can also be therapeutic. So, no matter how tired you feel, get out of bed and get clean. You should also try keeping up with your daily hygiene, such as wearing new, clean clothes. For one, your new baby will consider what you wear to be the perfect canvas to pee and throw up on – and there could be some poo stains too.
It is also important that you treat yourself to the outdoors daily. The fresh breeze and sunlight will do your mind and body a lot of good and even lift your mood. Just a quick stroll in your yard or neighborhood should be more than enough.
4. Healthy meals and drinks will boost your energy
It can be pretty tempting to order some fast food because you’re too tired or too busy to put a healthy meal together for yourself. But constantly snacking and consuming one junk food after another will only raise your stress levels – plus, it’s not healthy. If you need something to snack on while going about your day’s responsibilities, you should opt for some fruits and veggies. Of course, these are not the most appealing options available, but they are the healthiest.
A better option will be to cook healthy meals at home. Granted, you’re busy and tired, and cooking can take a lot of time, but it will be worth every minute. Eating homemade, nutrient-rich meals will strengthen you and improve your mood and help you ward off stress. Even more, you will get all the energy you need to go through your day instead of relying on drinks, and even worse, energy drinks.
5. Be prepared to embrace a messy home
Getting your healthy dose of eight hours of sleep time will be close to impossible after you become a new mother. You want to take advantage of as much time as you can get to get sufficient sleep. Since your little bundle of joy will probably not let you sleep at night, try to adjust your sleep schedule to your baby’s. In other words, sleep when your baby sleeps.
You may be tempted to clean up your home and attend to some chores when your child sleeps, but your snooze time is essential at the moment, especially if you haven’t had any sleep. So, be prepared to embrace a messy home and get some sleep. Doing this will help keep the stress at bay. Moreover, the last thing you want to do is drag yourself around your home half-awake doing some chores. And this is where the next point comes in.
6. You’ll need all the help you can get
You’ve probably heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and when it comes to maintaining your sanity while raising a newborn, this statement couldn’t be more accurate. You’re going to need all the help you can get, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t worry; letting someone else keep your baby entertained while you sleep or go for a walk does not make you a bad mother. On the contrary, it helps ease stress and allows you to attend to other parts of your life. You can find the support you need from so many sources. Your family is an excellent place to start. Your parents, siblings, partner, etc., can all put in shifts to help ease the burden on your shoulders. You can also rely on trusted friends, neighbors, and other loved ones for support if they’re available.
As mentioned earlier, you can also link up with other mothers or join local support groups, clubs, classes, etc., as you will find these extremely beneficial. Or you can also seek the services of professional babysitters and caregivers to help you out. No matter what options you choose, it is important to get the help you need.
Try to spend at least half an hour each day doing something for yourself, something you love doing, something that makes you happy. It could be something as simple as reading a book, taking a bubble bath, hanging out with your friends, or indulging in your favorite hobby. Doing this will help put other things out of your mind for a while and relax your body—no need to do the same things every day. You can try new activities or take on new hobbies each day to give you something excitingly different to look forward to during your time alone.