5 Challenges New Mums Face and How to Combat Negativity
Being a new mum is a beautiful experience, but it also comes with a host of new problems. You experience highs and lows as you face the most wonderful challenges life has to offer: motherhood.
It’s essential to know that you’re not alone while you’re tackling this endeavour. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of five common challenges many new mums face, as well as some tips on how to combat the negative thoughts and emotions.
One of the biggest challenges any new mum faces is going to be a lack of sleep. Losing a regular sleep pattern is a particular issue because it will undoubtedly lead to some other physical and mental problems.
Getting used to your new reality can be difficult, but it’s something you’re going to have to face. This isn’t the “I stayed up too late” kind of tired. This is the “I could literally fall asleep standing up” kind of tired.
You’re going to have to find brief windows of sleep during those first few months. Use the time when someone else is attending to your baby to take a quick nap.
Your sleep patterns are going to be abnormal and infrequent. Just remember that this won’t last forever. There’s a sleepy light at the end of the tunnel after a few months.
Rewards Are Infrequent
A lot of new mothers are surprised to learn that there isn’t much reward for those first few weeks of being a parent. Newborn babies need basic care. While you develop an immediate bond with your child, it’s common to feel as though that bond is a one-way street.
Your baby will start responding and showing affection a few weeks after you give birth, but this stage isn’t immediate. Don’t get stressed out – your child’s beautiful smile will be full of love soon enough.
Breastfeeding is another difficult hurdle for many women. Some parents choose to breastfeed their son or daughter with the assumption that breastfeeding will come naturally. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Getting your baby to latch can be extremely difficult, and some women have trouble producing milk.
Breastfeeding trouble is nothing new. New parents have used the help of wet nurses for thousands of years. Now, we have pumping and formula to help supplement latching and milk production problems.
Learning how to get your baby to latch can be difficult, but it’s definitely possible. If not, there are sustainable alternatives that can replicate breastmilk.
Being a mum comes with a whole host of emotions, and one of them may be guilt. At times, the guilt is irrational, but it doesn’t stop you from feeling it. No mother wants to see their child upset or suffering—and even when this is no one’s fault, a mother may feel that irrational guilt at times. This feeling can persist even when there’s nothing you can do about it.
This feeling can start early, and often, mothers begin to notice guilt creeping in when their baby cries or gets sick. Know that this feeling is a normal, natural instinct to protect your child, and that this instinct can sometimes hijack your emotional response.
Keep in mind that things like crying, gas problems and a bit of spit up are normal parts of a baby’s development. Almost every mother experiences these difficulties, so you’re not a horrible mother if your baby is uncomfortable for a bit.
Try to alleviate your child’s discomfort as much as possible, but remember that everything you’re experiencing is normal. There’s nothing you can do to change the situation, so there’s no need to stress over it.
Going Back to Work
Returning to work might be the most difficult hurdle of all. Many families can’t afford to have one parent stay at home and care for their child every day.
Expenses rise with the birth of a new baby, so new mums often have to go back to work sooner than they’d like.
Having a baby puts everything into perspective. You’ll feel like you’re missing most of your child’s development when you’re at work. You’ll think of a thousand things you could be doing at home rather than sitting at a desk for six or eight hours a day.
It’s important for many new mums to spend plenty of time with their child, rather than jumping back to work full-time soon after.
Try to cut your hours so that you still spend the bulk of your time at home with your baby. This will help minimise regret, along with other potential unwanted feelings, and will make the transition a bit easier on you.
Combating Negative Emotions
There’s so much to worry about as a new mum. The stress can be overwhelming, and a lack of sleep will only compound your negative thoughts and emotions.
It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. Most new mothers experience these thoughts and emotions. Remind yourself that these low points are normal for all mothers, rather than adding to your stress by beating yourself up about it.
Make sure you also take time to care for yourself. Your own needs often go by the wayside when you’re a new mum. It’s natural to care for your child first, but you need to make time for yourself as well.
Finding time to sleep, eat healthy food, and exercise will put you in a better mental state to deal with the stresses of being a mother.
More than anything, you should cherish these moments. Children grow up in the blink of an eye. You’ll be yearning for these early months in a few years, so appreciate the good times before they pass you by.