Whether you have just given birth to your first child or welcomed another addition to your growing family, there is no doubt that being a new mom can be a very stressful experience. In addition to your everyday routine and commitments, you now have the biggest commitment of all — a tiny human who is completely reliant on you for literally everything. So, it is no surprise that many new moms quickly succumb to stress and anxiety, especially first-time mothers who are going through the experience for the very first time.
But, welcoming a little bundle of joy into the world does not have to lead to being super stressed all the time. Even though it can be difficult to stay calm when you are suffering from sleep deprivation and recovering from the physical effects of giving birth, there are many things that you can do to help yourself stay in control and better enjoy the experience of becoming a mom. Read on for our top tips:
Tip #1: Take Natural Supplements
There are many natural supplements, which you can take to help with stress as a new mom. For example, CBD oil is known for its calming properties; studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the symptoms of severe stress and anxiety. Other natural products that you might want to try include chamomile, that can be taken either as a tea, tablet, or capsule form, and vitamin supplements such as Vitamin B or C, since a deficiency in either of these can lead to heightened stress levels. In general, all of these supplements are widely believed to be safe to take whilst breastfeeding, however you should always consult with your doctor or OBGYN first beforehand.
Tip #2: Try Light Exercise
Hitting the gym for an intense workout is probably the last thing on your mind after giving birth. However, there is no need to start lifting weights or running a marathon. Light, easy exercise such as walking, yoga, swimming, or lifting light weights can help you to combat the stresses of becoming a new mom. What is more, many of these exercises are completely safe to do with your little one in tow; you can find many jogging strollers on the market to choose from, whilst many fitness centers will offer mom and baby swimming classes. This can also be a great way to meet new friends who can provide a listening ear and helpful support — a great way of reducing stress!
Tip #3: See A Therapist
It is not unusual for new moms to feel extremely overwhelmed; after all, bringing a baby into the world and devoting yourself to caring for them is no easy task. Post-natal depression and anxiety rates are higher than ever, so if you feel that you are struggling to cope on your own, speaking to a good therapist could be the best way forward. Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be hugely effective for changing the way we deal with and view various aspects of our lives, including becoming a mom! With the help of a good therapist, you can find healthier ways to deal with your stress, benefiting both you and baby.
Tip #4: Schedule Breaks
You might feel really guilty at the thought of leaving your baby with somebody else whilst you take a break, but the truth is, some regular “me time” can help to rejuvenate you, so that you can come back feeling stronger and ready to take on anything that the day brings. Even if you only leave baby with your partner or their grandparents for a couple of hours to give you a chance to take a hot bath and catch up on sleep, this can do you a world of good. And, your parents and other relatives are probably desperate to spend some more time with their beautiful new family member. It is a win-win situation!
Tip #5: Keep A Diary
Keeping a diary can be a very effective method of reducing your stress levels as a new mom. Along with being able to jot down the various things that either help or hinder you when it comes to stress, you can also use it to record various information about your baby, which can help in the future if you have any health concerns or similar. In addition, keeping a journal of both yours and baby’s habits will help you to identify a pattern and decide on a schedule that works well for both of you.
Tip #6: Outsource Tasks
Although, it may not be financially possible for some new moms, outsourcing as many tasks as possible can give you more time to focus on yourself and your new baby, at least for the first couple of months. If you are not in a position to have somebody else do it for you, you can take advantage of services, such as online grocery shopping, which can be done from the comfort of your home and requires little effort when compared to taking a trip to the grocery store. Take advantage of any offers of help from family and friends when it comes to simple tasks, such as housework or laundry, this will take a lot off your plate and give you more time to adapt to your new situation.
Tip #7: Manage Sleep
When you have a new baby, it can be very difficult to get enough sleep, leading to heightened stress levels and further health problems for many new moms. However, when your baby does not yet understand the difference between night and day and simply wakes up when they are hungry, whether that is at 12 noon or 3am in the morning, anything you have ever learned about good sleep hygiene can quickly go out of the window. Experts recommend sleeping whenever your baby sleeps and coming up with a sleep plan with your partner that allows one to sleep, whilst the other is awake. This way, one will always be available to look after the baby. If it helps, you can get earplugs and a white noise machine to aid sleep.
Tip #8: Try Breathing Exercises
If you are feeling particularly stressed and anxious, this will show in your breathing. And, if your baby is close by, they may pick up on your heightened emotional state and start to feel anxious themselves, leaving you even more worried about what you are doing wrong. Breathing exercises can help you to break this vicious cycle and if you are holding your little one they will have a calming effect on him, too. Deep, focused breathing will help you to regain control of your thoughts and calm your anxious mind, leading to a state of increased peace and calm for both mom and baby.
Tip #9: Acupuncture
This traditional Chinese remedy has been used for centuries to treat a huge variety of health problems and is commonly associated with the reduction of stress and anxiety. In fact, many patients suffering from anxiety issues swear by acupuncture, as the remedy that helped them to reduce their symptoms and regain control. As a new mom, feeling anxious can be made even more difficult by the fact that many conventional medicines are not suitable to be taken whilst breastfeeding. If you are currently breastfeeding your baby and have no intention of stopping as yet, then acupuncture could be a suitable alternative. By applying pressure to the right spots on your body, this treatment can help with the reduction of stress levels, improve focus, sleep quality, and more.
Tip #10: Turn To Your Support Network
When you become a new mom, it has never been more important to have a strong support network of friends and family around you. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help; anybody who has ever had a baby before will know exactly how you feel and most relatives will be more than happy to offer a helping hand when needed. When you are stuck in the house with a new baby, it can quickly get lonely — at least until your little one is old enough to engage in conversation! So, do not be afraid of picking up the phone and calling your mom, sister, or best friend for a chat, as it is still important to stay connected.
Tip #11: Have Some Fun
Lastly, do not forget to have some fun! Welcoming a new baby into the world is a wonderful experience and it is important that you celebrate it. Do not sweat the small stuff and remember that a lot of the parenting advice you will be given online is not always the best. At the end of the day, you should do whatever works best for you and your little one, no matter what other people say. Try not to become overwhelmed with doing everything perfectly; there is no cut-and-dry, black-and-white way of looking after a newborn.
Are you a new mom? How do you deal with those stressful moments that often come with caring for a little bundle of joy? If you have any great advice to share, then we would love to hear from you in the comments.