Becoming a new mom is exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time! The sheer thrill of holding a tiny bundle in your arms and the terrifying notion of having to care for that delicate little bundle all on your own can be quite the combination.
But never fear. So many mothers get through it and so will you!
Here are a few common hiccups and hurdles that may make you anxious as a mommy and a few solutions for how to pull through with flying colors!
The very thought of childbirth can completely stress out any mommy-to-be! The long hours in labor, the pushing, people prodding at you and checking your cervix for dilation every so often; it sure is unnerving.
Preparing yourself for the inevitable is probably the best thing you can do. Join a child birthing classs, watch videos and documentaries, and read up on strategies to help you through the birthing process.
Look for a good pediatrician. Go through as many as you like before you find someone you are comfortable with and, most of all, someone you trust.
You can also watch tutorials on how to set up your baby’s bed, how to change a diaper, how to choose the right furniture, etc. Do as much as you can to feel prepared so that when the baby comes, you can much calmer than you expected to be!
2.The Crying Baby
Let’s address the most obvious reason for high blood pressure in new mommies, the crying baby. Here’s the science behind it: A female mammal is biologically designed to react at the cry of her young. Upon hearing the cry, the mother’s heart rate increases, her brain is flooded with oxytocin, and her normal brain activity is interrupted, much like being jolted out of a daydream. Studies have shown that in men, brain activity continues completely uninterrupted when they hear a baby cry.
So, be rest assured that what you feel when you hear your baby cry is a completely normal biological reaction. That being said, if you begin to feel anxious, just take a deep breath and go cuddle your baby. Then attend to his needs. Within a few days, you will be able to distinguish between the hunger cry, the wet cry, and the colic cry.
Colic is a very natural byproduct of the baby’s digestive system growing, changing, and getting stronger. Every baby deals with it differently because every baby is different. Some mommies swear that their little ones never had colic! While others will tell you horror stories about how long it lasted. However, it does happen to all babies, and there’s not much you can do about it.
It is important to note that babies who are exclusively breastfed tend to overcome their colic fairly quickly. Breast milk is full of nutrition, enzymes, and serious immune building properties that soothes your baby’s digestion during their colic phase. And although pumping may give you relief, fresh milk is always best for your little one.
If you find that your baby seems to be suffering too much, even though he is exclusively being breastfed, you may need to eliminate some foods from your diet like potatoes, cauliflower, dairy, etc. Again, these vary from person to person, so trial and error is your only bet.
Unfortunately, babies who are formula-fed tend to have a hard time with colic. The formula, although made to mimic the properties of breast milk, is chemically synthesized at the end of the day, and so it does not sit well with babies who are more prone to colic.
An extremely colicky baby will cry in pain until the pain subsides or until they pass gas. There are quite a few medicines that help with colic that are 100% safe for infants, so if you find that your baby is in pain, consult your pediatrician for a prescription immediately.
Every mother identifies with this one. And let me tell you, it doesn’t stop with weaning! But that’s an issue for another day.
In the initial days with baby, you will just have to lie down and accept the sleep deprivation that is coming your way. However, as natural as it may be if unchecked, sleep deprivation can cause plenty of other unwanted complications in a new mother’s mental and emotional state.
Try sleeping when your baby sleeps. Yes, there will be a thousand chores awaiting your attention, but ignore them until you feel rested. It doesn’t matter if your house is messy for a few extra hours. And yes, you may find yourself craving alone time and you might be tempted to make the most of it when your little one pops off to sleep, but it is crucial for your mental as well as physical health to get as much rest as you possibly can in a span of 24 hours.
Another way out is to take the night time feeding in shifts with your partner or anyone at home who is willing to help. Just keep the bottles ready before you go to bed at night if you prefer not to store the milk in bottles, co-sleep with your baby for the first few months so you can just roll over and feed him in bed without having to get up every two hours.
A long term solution to sleep deprivation is to develop healthy sleeping habits right from the beginning so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time and energy trying to break sleep crutches with your baby later on.
5.A Messy House
Even if you are someone who isn’t bothered by a mess, eventually the baby mess has the potential to get to you. And if you are someone who is terribly bothered by messes, it is time to get over it!
Clothes, toys, diapers, formula, bottles, you name it, it’s everywhere! But remember, it’s just stuff. Put hubby on clean up duty, or if you can manage it, get some help with the house just for the first two months. And if you can’t manage it, don’t worry about it! A mess is a mess, and you will eventually get to it. Wash only what is immediately needed, keep the baby’s area clean and that’s all you need to do.
If you ever feel a panic coming on, take a couple of deep breaths, and go cuddle your baby!
These are the worst, not to mention incredibly painful. But fortunately, they are only a problem in the first month or so. After that, your body will adjust, and you won’t wince in pain when your baby latches on.
But in the meantime, there are tons of nipple creams available that work wonders for sore nipples. As a substitute, you can even use petroleum jelly. Just remember to wipe it off with a damp cloth before you feed your baby, and you should be good to go.
And that about covers it! Of course, you may encounter something that causes you anxiety that’s not on this list. But there is a solution to everything. Talk about how you are feeling as often as you can to whoever will listen. This, in itself, will help you relive some of the stress.
A certain level of new mom anxiety is completely natural; expected even. But after a month or so, when you begin to get the hang of it, you will find yourself being able to relax more easily. But if you think you are experiencing levels of anxiety that are extreme, seek help from a professional immediately. But besides that, when in doubt, take a deep breath and go cuddle your baby!