Becoming a mother is an extremely rewarding and beautiful experience however as there is no one comprehensive guide that works for all. It definitely has its ups and downs especially when you are a first-time mother with a newborn on your hand. Here we have collected some of the most common struggles a new mom has to face.
Even if you managed to keep to your workout routine throughout your pregnancy your body has gone through some significant changes in order to host your little one. It’s very important to be patient and wait until your body heals itself. In the meanwhile, some postpartum yoga can definitely help you strengthen muscles and lose some weight if you feel the need to. Saggy skin is also very common after pregnancy. In some cases, it can improve over time but for many, they will stay for the rest of their lives. There are some home remedies out there but in most cases, the only way to fix it is to go under the knife of a plastic surgeon. Accepting your new body might take some time so be patient before making any decisions.
Breastfeeding (photo of mom breastfeeding)
Breastfeeding is often portrayed as something easy and straightforward for a new mother which can be everything but. Getting your baby to latch or pain during feeding is extremely common and often a source of endless frustration. Patience is important however if you are really struggling you can always reach out and ask for help from International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).
Problems with Partner
You both will likely be exhausted all the time in the beginning, your body will be sore. Not being ready to be intimate for a while is completely normal and should be expected. Intimacy is important in a relationship however remember that that doesn’t always have to mean sex. Make sure you tell them exactly what you need. Some things that could be obvious to you might not be for others. Communication is key and it’s essential to remember that you are a team and tackle all problems as one.
Being a first-time mother is a rookie territory. There are millions of books and blog posts out there all of them promoting different parenting methods. Sometimes they can be quite critical of different approaches other than their own. Keep in mind that there is no blueprint for perfect parenting. There will be a lot of trial and error involved but eventually, it will get better. You will get to know your baby and eventually you will learn to communicate even without words. Things will become much smoother over time.
You are feeding around the clock and waking up in the middle of the night. Being sleep deprived is one of the most common ‘side effects’ of early parenthood. Worry not, this will pass in no time. Embrace that life is a little bit crazy for now and catch some sleep whenever your baby is sleeping. Once you can start bottle feeding make sure you get your family members involved as well and in no time you will be able to reclaim your beauty sleep.
Me Time (photo of a woman walking in a park)
This can be especially challenging if you like your own space and spend some time on your own every once in a while. Get your family involved and have them looking after your baby for a little while every day if that’s not possible this might be a good time to hire a nanny even if it’s just for a little while during the daytime. This is good for the baby as well as they get used to being around other people. You need to make sure you spend some time on your own every now and then. Even if it’s just a 20-minute walk in a nearby park, once you start implementing some ‘me time’ in your days you will definitely see a huge change in your mental and physical health.
When you have a newborn in your house it will likely look like a warzone at times. If hiring help is not an option you might need to embrace the fact that your house won’t be picture perfect for a little while. Try to avoid a lot of visitors when you have a newborn at hand. It’s better for your family to catch a break and you shouldn’t have to worry about guests and the state of your living room during the first few weeks of your parenthood.
Especially in the first few weeks of being a new mother, your hormones will be all over the place.
Unfortunately, there is no magical solution to this problem. You need to accept that occasional hormone-induced meltdowns, general tiredness, and fatigue are completely normal and expected. Once your body gets used to the ‘new normal’ things will get better. In the meanwhile make sure you communicate clearly with the people around you.
Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression (photo of depressed woman)
Mood swings, meltdowns, and mild depression is very common among new mothers. There is a lot to take in and a huge responsibility on your hand at the same time. Being tired and sore will definitely not help the situation. It is however extremely important to keep your mental health in check. Having the ‘baby blues’ is normal and it’s usually quite mild and manageable. Postpartum depression, however, can be quite serious, and if you notice that your symptoms are becoming more intense make sure you ask for professional help as soon as possible.
Resenting the Baby
Expectations a new mother can be overwhelming and often people don’t like to talk about the fact that many new mothers don’t fall in love with their babies at first sight. This can come hand in hand with a huge amount of guilt. Motherhood is often portrayed as something very instinctual and it’s almost expected for you to love your baby more than anything from day one. It might take time to feel close to your little one and that’s completely normal. Afterall you just met them and now they are keeping you awake and demanding your attention all the time without saying thank you for all the hard work you do for them. The bond will form over time especially as you see their personality slowly forming in front of your eyes.
Competition (photo of a group of women)
Having a good support group can make all the difference, and having a group of mothers having your back and helping you through the toughest times can be an absolute game-changer. It is, however, no secret that competition among mothers can be quite serious. Keep in mind that what works for you might not work for others and vice versa. Nobody is perfect and no one is a perfect mom. We all make mistakes. It’s just important to learn from them. Make sure you manage your expectations and avoid competing with others.
Being a new mother is full of challenges and it’s important to be patient with yourself and the people around you. Things will eventually slide into place and everything will get much easier.
It’s crucial to communicate your needs and feelings with the people around you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is a reason why in many cultures mothering children is up to the community, not a one-man job. Accept help from friends or family members or ask for the professionals.
Do you have anything else to add to our list? Let us know down in the comments!