Many emotions can be overwhelming for a first-time mom: happiness, pure joy, and excitement to all sorts of worrying thoughts to even self-doubting feelings. So, it is only natural to feel somewhat conflicted, and it can be pretty easy to let those concerns cause you anxiety. Holding your newborn in your arms for the first time can be highly emotional, even more so when you feel the after-birth exhaustion and are most vulnerable.
The postpartum period and recovery can be challenging, as it might take a toll on your physical and mental health. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance you focus on taking care of yourself and doing what is necessary to relieve stresses that are common for a first-time mom.
Hence, it is vital you are kind to yourself during the recovery period and beyond and give yourself the needed time to grasp the life-changing event of being a first-time mom.
Create a plan and stick to it
A way of relieving the stress that comes with taking care of a newborn that seems so fragile is to conduct a plan and stick to it, at least until you get into a healthy routine. You’ve most probably read all the helping books and other trusted resources, so now, even though it is terrifying, the only thing left to do is applied what you had learned. You feel as if you forgot everything and are clueless might create a great deal of stress. But most of the time, this feeling is just your anxiety speaking, and it is simply an impression generated by fear.
Knowing this is a normal reaction is the first step, as once acknowledged, you can sit down with your partner and create a plan. As first-time parents, there are many changes, new things to consider, and tasks to do. So, to get into a well-balanced routine, a plan with both your and your partner’s responsibilities will give you confidence and alleviate some of the stress you might feel. This way, between the both of you, you can decide who does what: like changing diapers, feeding the baby during the night, and giving baths.
Besides creating a routine, it will also help you divide the responsibility to not overwhelm yourself. A routine is especially needed during your postpartum recovery when you must take your time to regain your energy and strength.
Get advice and help from a few reliable sources.
When you are about to become a mom, especially for the first time, you will have many questions, and you will feel the need to read as much as you can. However, you must keep a shortlist of reliable sources from where you get your needed and valuable information during and after pregnancy. Besides your friends and family, such as your mother and a best friend who is also a first-time mom, you should stick to trusted medical websites and recommended blogs or books.
You should avoid joining many online groups or forums, as a lot of information shared is either inaccurate, misunderstood, or incomplete, which can cause stress. Similarly, many people you meet will have an opinion or a piece of advice. Even though they have good intentions, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to follow or apply what they’re saying. So, don’t be afraid to ignore some of the advice you receive. If you are anxious or unsure about a particular aspect when taking care of your newborn, you can turn to your reliable sources for help.
Listen to your body and mind – recovery takes time.
As mentioned above, postpartum recovery is a priority, and you mustn’t neglect taking care of yourself. How fast you recover is dependent on how complicated your pregnancy was, whether you gave birth naturally or through C-section surgery, and how well you listen to your body and mind. Not every woman recovers similarly, so you must allocate enough time and are patient with yourself.
You can do a couple of things to make sure you remain healthy and regain your strength in no time. For instance, you could try Mom Tea which contains a unique blend that supports a steady recovery after delivery, giving your body the needed nutrients. What’s more, staying hydrated is of the utmost importance for your wellbeing, as it maintains blood pressure and supports digestion. Taking care of yourself will relieve some of the stress and anxiety, especially if you get enough rest.
Do everything at your own pace and rely on others.
You must trust your instincts. If you compare yourself with other new mothers, it can cause you a great deal of stress or self-doubt. For instance, when you see examples on social media of other mothers who have seemingly got it all figured out, it is vital to remember that some people prefer to only show the good parts online. Instead, if you do everything at your own pace: from how long it takes to recover to how you take care of your child and raise them, you will feel less stress.
In terms of recovery, exercising, when to go back to work, if that’s your case, must be decided together with your medical provider. When it comes to your physical health, your doctor must give you the green light to make any effort. Considering this, it is critical you still take it slowly until you get used to doing workouts again or going back to the office.
Practicing self-care is crucial both for your physical and mental health. When you listen to what your body or mind needs, whether it is a good night’s sleep or taking the time to meet with a few friends to destress for a while, you will be better equipped to properly take care of your baby and be there for what they need. What’s more, it would also help you a great deal to rely on your support group of family, friends, or your community of other mothers.
Featured Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash