Everyone has a ton of emotions. New moms feel most of these emotions when they bring their babies home. Taking care of an infant boy or girl is joyful work, but it's hard work, too. The first days and weeks with a new baby bring sleepless nights and a whole lot more. This is why women are likely to hit dizzying emotional highs and lows after they have babies.
It's easier for some moms than others. That being said, it's completely normal to feel frightened while trying to look after a newborn infant. It's as normal as feeling a profound love for a baby. Today, I want to talk about the most common things that new moms think and feel when they come home from the hospital. After a baby is born, a woman will go through some changes. It's impossible to become a mother and stay the same.
Women who experience more emotional lows than highs may need help. It's typical to feel tired and occasionally overwhelmed, but it's not normal to feel depressed most or all of the time.
Depression is a risk after childbirth, but help is out there. If you feel depressed and reach out to a doctor, you'll get the assistance that you need. According to Postpartum Progress, 10-15% of women do experience postpartum mood disorders. While most women don't have to deal with depression, some women get hit with it and they deserve compassion, as well as proper care from their doctors.
15 Completely Overwhelmed
Moms may panic and wonder if they have what it takes to care for newborns. The generally do have what it takes. I'm a single mom and I am always there for my son. It's true that I wasn't single when he was a newborn, but I probably took care of 90% of essential baby care tasks then, too.
Now, I am a single parent full-time and I'm always there for my child. Moms can do it all. It may not always be easy, but it is possible to develop the fortitude to handle everything. When you know that you can handle anything, and this knowledge will come in time, you'll be a stronger person. Single moms are often heroic in terms of overcoming exhaustion and other challenges.
Whether it's taking care of a newborn or juggling work and the demands of running a home and caring for an older baby or toddler, you will find ways to do it all.
You'll learn to prioritize. Things will rarely be perfect. You'll learn to focus on what matters. The rest of the work can be done at another time.
It's quite normal to fear being unable to handle things right after having a baby. When fear turns to panic, it can be problematic.
According to Postpartum Progress, new moms are prone to full-scale panic attacks. Symptoms of postpartum panic attacks include chest tightness, pain in the chest, hyperventilation, weakness, numbness, shortness of breath, dizziness, muscle cramps and tingling. If you have these symptoms, please talk to a doctor. Don't suffer in silence.
14 A Sense Of Superiority
Moms are biased and all believe they have the cutest babies ever. It's just human nature to see more beauty and charm in our own babies. Our adoration of our infants helps us to bond with them and protect them from harm. I did think my baby was gorgeous. He was! You'll feel just the same.
WWE wrestler, The Miz, recently had a baby with his wife, Maryse, who is a former wrestler. Maryse is loving motherhood and, according to her official Instagram account, she often spends time gazing at her baby, Monroe Sky Mizarin (a girl) while the baby sleeps. Maryse knows that she should be sleeping herself, but she can't tear herself away. That's a common experience and it's part of the reason why becoming a mother is so magical and important.
That being said, sleeping when the baby sleeps is the smartest strategy ever. Probably, you'll be so tired a lot of the time that falling asleep when your baby conks out will be the easiest thing in the world. There may be times when the payoff from staring at your beautiful baby is well worth the future tiredness. Let yourself enjoy the feeling of appreciation that you have for your infant. It's so special.
13 The Reluctance To Dig In
Some moms won’t mind, but others will wish someone else could change the dirty diapers for them. Some moms get more grossed out by diaper changes than others.
The best strategy is to learn how to do thorough, efficient diaper changes.
Once you get efficient, you'll be able to take care of things in no time, no matter where you are.
After you get the worst of the mess out of the way, you'll be able to pull out the baby wipes, get your infant clean and then smooth out a soothing diaper rash prevention cream.
According to WebMD, a diaper rash may occur any time before the two-year mark and it may be treated with a cream that is made just for that purpose. The cream should include petrolatum or zinc oxide. If you're going to use baby powder, don't get any of it in your baby's face, as it may trigger breathing problems. It's best to put in in your palm first and then apply it, rather than sprinkling it on the baby.
Feel free to delegate diaper changes if it's an option. If you have a partner, that person should be helping out fifty percent of the time, especially if you really hate doing it.
12 Waves Of Happiness
Moms will feel profound exhaustion from lack of sleep and stress. Most will also feel pure happiness. I mean euphoria. I did and almost everyone does. Having a baby is amazing. It's a chance to bond deeply with a tiny infant who is a part of you. It's something that makes a lot of women feel complete.
While there may be some moms who don't experience this kind of joy in motherhood, it's rare not to feel it.
Babies are wonderful and that's why our society celebrates babies. For example, gender-reveal parties are a big thing these days.
The Miz (WWE wrestler) and his wife, Maryse had a gender reveal party and so did Kate Hudson and her soon-to-be-baby daddy, Danny Fujikawa, who is a musician. The Miz and Maryse had a girl and Kate and Danny are going to have a girl, too. Kate already has a couple of sons, so she's probably over the moon about expecting an infant girl. According to People.com, Kate and Danny held their gender reveal party in April of 2018, after trying to keep the pregnancy a secret for a while.
After you've gone through pregnancy and labor, it's your time to be happy. You'll have bad days, but so many great ones.
11 Sudden Exhaustion
Moms will be ecstatic sometimes, even when they are sleep-deprived. You're unlikely to have a fleet of nannies, as the Forbes reports that many celebs have.
According to Forbes, Angelina Jolie employs a staff of 25 to help her keep her life on track. That's an amazing amount of household and childcare assistance. You're going to have so much less, unless you're very fortunate. Forbes also reported that Brad and Angie spend ten million bucks per year on their kids while they were still a couple. Without this type of assistance and luxury, you will get tired.
You'll need to deal with serious fatigue. It's part of being a new mother and no one escapes. Even gorgeous WWE beauty, Brie Bella, whose daughter Birdie just turned one, has had her exhausted days. Brie has posted pics to her social media accounts which show her very tired, due to caring for a sick baby. That'll happen to you, too.
The flip side is that you'll love your good days so much. Even the tired days will have wonderful moments. These moments are the moments that new moms live for.
Try to rest. Sleep deprivation can be dangerous when it gets out of hand. Avoid driving when it's really bad, as being sleep deprived raises the risk of car accidents.
10 Feeling Kind Of Trapped
Some moms feel sad because they realize that they won’t have the same freedom that they enjoyed before they became mothers. You may want to spend every single moment with your baby, like I did, or you may chafe at the restrictions sometimes. Everyone reacts in her own way.
If you have a good support system and you are feeling trapped, be sure to put your support system to work. It's to your benefit and your baby's benefit. Hand over the baby for an hour or two, until the next feeding, and then do something for yourself that you enjoy, such as a gentle workout, a little TV time or a bit of shopping. Go for tea with the girls or just amuse yourself any way that you see fit. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
Also, if you have a partner, keep in mind that your partner may also need freedom now and then. Look for signs of cabin fever. If your partner seems to be going stir-crazy inside, release your partner for a little while.
It's about creating balance.
You can take your baby out to a mall or another enclosed place when he or she is six weeks old, according to BabyCenter. Before then, you should only take your baby to places which are well-ventilated. A local park will be good. A nice walk around the block with your baby will help you to get rid of cabin fever if you suffer from it. Just don't take the baby out if it's very cold.
9 A Sense Of Over-Protectiveness
Motherhood really changes the brain, according to The Atlantic.com. Mothers begin to feel super-protective of their babies after their infants are born. This makes sense. Someone has to protect these babies from harm.
The emotional changes that take place after labor are often huge and very noticeable. The desire to protect a baby gets so strong because pregnancy changes the way that the brain of pregnant women is structured.
Scientists are learning that the gray matter of a woman's brain is more concentrated during pregnancy and that activity in certain parts of the brain is altered by pregnancy.
The parts of the brain that govern social interaction, empathy and anxiety show more activity.
Your feelings of being fiercely protective are a product of brain changes during pregnancy. You are becoming your baby's biggest protector. While you may share childcare with a partner, your partner hasn't experienced the same brain changes that you have, so you may seem more protective than even the most protective partner.
Your baby will feel safe in your arms because you want nothing more than to protect him or her. You will be a very important person in your baby's life. That's pretty special, isn't it?
8 Complete Devotion
New mothers experience spikes in oxycontin, as well as hormone shifts. Both of these changes make new mommies "fall in love" with their infants. Women actually experience the same physiological changes as men and women who are falling in love with romantic partners.
According to Consumer.healthday.com, scientists are looking at these mysterious changes because they are a vital component of human nature. They've learned that parents are in fact "hard-wired" to fall in love with their infants. This means Dads, too. If you are expecting and you're a little nervous, don't worry too much. Your body and brain are going to change once you hold your baby in your arms. Biology will go to work and help you to bond with your baby.
You will soon love your baby more than anyone ever.
If mothers and fathers do have trouble bonding, depression may be the reason why. Most parents do bond in a deep and lifelong way, right from the start or shortly afterwards. Once you do fall in love with your baby, you'll have a life of love to look forward to. My son is older and the love doesn't decrease it any way. It keeps growing as you get to know your older child.
7 Imminent Worry About Money
New parents need to spend so much money on diapers, formula, toys, clothes and more. It’s quite common for new moms to think about money a lot. According to a report referenced at Parenting.com, it costs twelve thousand dollars to take care of a baby during its first year. Once a child hits two years of age, the yearly cost of caring for a child increases to twelve thousand and five hundred dollars.
Naturally, this adds up to a big chunk of change by the time a child reaches the age of eighteen. Plus, most young adults don't leave home when they are eighteen anymore, due to the high cost of living.
While there may not be a perfect time to have a baby (it will always bring challenges, as well as happiness), having the means to pay for a child will definitely take some of the pressure of parenting off.
Lots of parents have to struggle to make ends meet. They are still great parents, but financial planning before becoming a parent is strongly recommended. A good budget will help you to stay on track and avoid wasting money. Also, you may be able to work from home and stash some cash, if you plan to stay home with the baby.
6 Like A Stranger Took Over
Our bodies don’t look the same after we give birth and it can be a rude awakening to see the changes. But things soon get back to normal or to "nearly normal". It takes a while to gain the weight (nine months, as you know) and it usually takes a while to lose it. Don't get despondent because you don't bounce back from pregnancy at warp speed, like some celebrities seem to. They have a lot of help that you may not have.
According to Shape.com, breastfeeding may be the easiest way to burn calories after you give birth. Female bodies need to burn at least twenty calories just to create single ounces of breast milk and you'll be making a lot more than one ounce. You may be able to burn up to six hundred calories per day just by breastfeeding.
For some women, breastfeeding is not the right option. That's fine, too. Don't give into societal pressure to breastfeed if you are strongly certain that it is not right for you.
Whether you need to breastfeed or not, you will probably find that you have to exercise and eat carefully to regain your figure. It will take time. Blake Lively lost sixty-one pounds in the 14 months after the birth of her second daughter, Ines. It took a long time to ditch the baby weight and Blake had to work hard in the gym in order to do it. Commit to bouncing back, but don't expect it to happen overnight. Blake has millions of dollars and plenty of expert assistance and she still needed over a year.
5 Distracted From Intimacy
You've just had a baby. You're super-tired and preoccupied with your infant. Your emotions are all over the place. All of these changes may lead to loss of libido. This is quite common in women after they give birth.
According to BabyCenter, loss of libido may last for months after a baby is born. The website cited a study which showed that 20% of women didn't want intimate contact three months after their labors, or wanted intimate contact very infrequently. An additional 21% had zero desire for intimate contact for 90 days after delivery. Some of the 21%t had an aversion to physical intimacy for 90 days.
You probably already realize that exhaustion is a big trigger for postpartum loss of libido, but it's not the only trigger. It's also the pressures of 24/7 baby care, as well as the fact that a woman's body is still healing after delivery. Also, weight gain during pregnancy doesn't disappear overnight once a baby is born.
Some women don't like the way that their bodies look after they have babies and therefore prefer not to get intimate. They feel self-conscious, which is understandable. Partners of women who have had babies should be patient. Recovering from delivery is a process.
4 Scared Of Everything
An Independent.co.uk story shows that half of new mothers have frightening thoughts or hallucinations. That's pretty freaky and you may not realize that this can happen. You should be aware of it. Some moms have scary hallucinations. One woman saw her baby being gobbled up by a crocodile, while another had visions of her infant being taken by the Grim Reaper.
Two-thirds of ladies who do have these disturbing thoughts or hallucinations don't tell anyone else what they are going through. They may think that no one will understand, or that they'll get branded as mentally ill when they are really experiencing something that is commonplace.
Most women's negative thoughts center on the fear that something will happen to their babies. These types of fears afflict sixty-two percent of new moms. Another forty-four percent are afraid that their infants will die.
One woman in fifty will believe that her infant hates her.
Please, talk about it if you're having these dark thoughts. Lots of women have them. If you don't want to talk about, find ways to manage your stress. Try to blot out the scary thoughts by doing things that make you laugh and smile. If you need help managing your thoughts or hallucinations, talk to your doctor.
3 The Mommy Blues, Or Worse
Postpartum depression is real. Some women have it and some are lucky enough not to experience it. it's never possible to predict who will slip into postpartum depression and who won't. Chrissy Teigen had it. She wanted to stay inside with the shades drawn. Brooke Shields had it and wrote a book "Down Came the Rain" about her battle with it. Depression is a beast. A doctor's care is the best defense against postpartum depression.
According to Glamour, Chrissy Teigen, who is married to John Legend (they have a baby girl, Luna, and Chrissy is currently pregnant with baby number two), had a carefree first pregnancy and then "down came the rain".
Chrissy was living in a rental house when postpartum depression struck. Her real home was under construction. She blamed her depressed feelings on being stuck in a rental. She thought things would improve when she was in her own home, but they didn't.
Chrissy found it hard to get out of bed on time, even when she had to be on the set. She had backaches, wrist pain, and shoulder pain. She had no interest in eating. She was abrupt with others. She got help from her doctor, who prescribed anti-depressants. They made a huge difference. If you feel like Chrissy after having a baby, see your doctor. You need to do it. You don't have to feel this way, a doctor can help you.
2 Sudden Detachment From The Baby
Most moms bond deeply, but some don’t manage to bond right away. Some mothers don't bond at all. According to The Telegraph, some moms miss out on "love at first sight" with their infants. But why?
Well, some moms may suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety. Other mothers may have babies who are very hard to take care of, for whatever reason, and the challenges of providing baby care may deplete moms emotionally so that there's nothing left for bonding.
Bonding is important. It is the foundation of a baby's later emotional progress.
If babies don't attach to their moms, or another adult, by the time that they are four, they may run into relationship difficulties later on. They may struggle to bond with their own kids, if they choose to have children.
Some moms need treatment for postpartum depression before they are able to bond with their babies. Obviously, it's helpful to get this treatment as soon as possible. It is possible to bond with a baby, even if it doesn't happen immediately, but help from a doctor and/or therapist may be needed. Getting this help is so important. Your baby needs to feel that you love him or her. It's crucial.
1 Like She Won't Be Able To Do Anything Right
Moms may doubt themselves when they don’t know how to soothe crying and fussy babies. If a baby has colic or something like that, or is teething and super-grumpy, it's going to be very difficult to make that baby happy. For personal experience, I know that it's important to keep perspective. Colic or teething don't last. Be patient, be loving and love yourself, too. You are doing the best that you can.
Of course, you should reach out if you feel that you're not delivering baby care on the level that you should be. Doctors, friends, and family will be there to help. You don't need to feel like a loser. You love your baby and your baby can feel your love.
Some moms feel like losers for other reasons. According to What To Expect, one mom felt like a loser because her career was being ruined by becoming a mother. She had planned to go back to work full-time after having a baby but that just didn't work out. Time passed and she started to feel that career success had passed her by.
The best way to not feel like a loser is to cultivate self-respect. You are caring for a baby and that's important. You are special and valuable. You can do anything. Believe it, or fake it until you feel it.
References: Postpartumprogress.com, Postpartumprogress.com, @marysemizarin, Webmed.com, People.com, Forbes.com, Babycenter.com, Theatlantic.com, Consumer.healthday.com, Parenting.com, Shape.com, Babycenter.com, Independent.co.uk, Glamour.com, Whattoexpect.com