Having a baby is such an exciting time in a couple’s life. After having spent the last nine months planning and preparing for their little bundle of joy to arrive, the baby is finally here. Many parents often talk about the sleepless nights and complete exhaustion that they felt in the early stages of parenthood. But most also follow that with an explanation about how every negative moment is completely worth it because of the overwhelming love that they develop for their child. While both motherhood and fatherhood may be completely worth it, the journey isn't easy.
There are a lot of postpartum symptoms that can occur in both moms and dads that shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly. There seems to be a growing concern for mothers dealing with postpartum after having a baby, and it’s great that society is encouraging them to speak up about it.
In fact, new dads can also experience many of the same symptoms. Having a baby is a huge life change and adjustment. It’s no surprise that both mom and dad would be feeling an array of different emotions. Here are 20 of the symptoms that moms have after having a baby that dads can have too.
Being a highly sensitive new parent is not always a good thing, according to Scary Mommy. Parenting often means you need to have tough skin and roll with the punches. However, it can be completely mind-blowing when in infant causes a grown man or woman to completely break down.
Due to the overwhelming emotions that come with parenthood, moms and dads are also in a very sensitive state. When you are in the first few days of parenting, remember that any little thing can be taken very seriously. Luckily, with sensitivity comes empathy, so there’s a good chance that both you and your partner will be able to relate to each other.
So, you have this tiny little fragile baby in your arms and their entire life has been placed into your hands, and you’re the one that feels vulnerable? This might be your first reaction when you start experiencing this vulnerability, but it is completely normal. You and your partner just created a life and helped to bring it into this world.
Everything about you is changing and shifting and it can be a very vulnerable adjustment period. According to Huffington Post, vulnerability is something that should be embraced as a parent and as a mother. Embracing vulnerability shows that you are embracing yourself.
It is totally normal for new moms and even new dads to simply break down crying for no reason. According to Mom.me, there are so many different reasons parents can cry in the early stages of taking care of their new baby. For parents who feel like you are crying for no reason, remember that you could be crying because you are simply so happy with your new life and baby.
Or, it could be from being too tired, having feeding issues, hormones, or even other people. Others will feel the need to give opinions that can make you feel like crying. You may feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. But, these are all normal reasons to cry as a new parent.
Irritability usually comes when you are overly tired and feeling exhausted, which is basically all of parenthood. These feelings are definitely escalated when you first bring your baby home from the hospital. The lack of sleep, stress, and emotional toll that being a new parent brings will often cause irritability too.
Tempers are running high and both you and your partner are stressed about making sure your baby is okay. According to Jezebel, the stresses of parenthood can often push someone over the edge and cause them to be especially irritable at this time and be less tolerant of negative behaviors.
According to Parents.com, being a new parent is an emotional rollercoaster. One day you are loving life and obsessed with the fact that your baby fell asleep in your arms, and the next moment you are completely overwhelmed and desperate for a second to yourself.
You may get mad, sad, or even happy in very quick stages simply because motherhood and fatherhood can be an emotional time. For the first time in your life, you are responsible for another human life and everything you are feeling is all new. It makes sense that a mother and father’s emotions would go crazy.
Anxiety is not fun. Your heart starts beating super fast, you are constantly stressed and worried about everything, and you never seem to calm down. Unfortunately, feeling anxious is a very normal symptom of early parenthood. According to Parents.com, worrying about your child is normal.
Many parents often times needlessly agonize about everything that is happening in the world. While feeling anxious is normal, it’s important to remember that some things are simply out of your control as a parent. So, as long as you are trying your best, it would be beneficial to try to let that other anxiety go.
Often times, new moms and dads feel filled to the brim with joy and happiness. Having a new baby usually brings a whole new level of appreciation for life. Sometimes, new parents don’t get that same sense of fulfillment from becoming a parent.
Even if they really wanted to have a baby, new moms and dads can feel empty inside. Part of this could be because they feel like they should feel so much fuller, so they put pressure on themselves. Other times, there is simply an emotional drain and new parents feel completely empty. According to Healthywa.wa.gov, it can take a few days or even weeks to feel a connection with your baby, so don’t stress about it right away.
Feeling emptiness as a new parent might sound pretty bad, but feeling numb can be even worse. When you feel numb as a new mom or a new dad, you literally don’t feel anything. You aren’t sad, you aren’t happy, and you are basically just going through the motions of parenthood without feeling any of the joys or downfalls of the experience.
According to HealthDay, there are an array of negative emotions that can come over parents after they have a baby, and none of them should be taken lightly. Postpartum is very serious and if you aren’t feeling right, definitely speak up about it.
As a new parent, it can be easy to feel like everything needs to get done immediately. The baby needs to be fed, the diaper needs to be changed, they need to go down for their nap, the laundry needs to get done. There are so many things that need to happen and if progress isn’t made immediately it can quickly start to get overwhelming. This often leads many new moms and sometimes dads into impatience.
It is important to realize that not everything has to happen immediately. According to Parents.com, it is okay to take things slow at the beginning of parenthood and just feel things out. Patience is a virtue.
Another common symptom that new moms and new dads may experience is this feeling of restlessness. The second you put your baby down for a nap, you feel this constant need to be doing something or being productive. Even at night when you are trying to sleep, you would rather be checking on the baby and making sure everything is okay. Sometimes it seems like you are just finding things to do because you can’t settle down. According to UnityPoint.org, feeling restless is a sign of the baby blues and usually go away when parents eat healthily and get plenty of sleep.
Fatigue is a sign of complete exhaustion and it is not that surprising that many new parents experience this because most of the time, new parents don’t get any sleep at all. According to Huffington Post, even if a parent sleeps for a few hours a night, they will still wake up in a panic if their baby doesn’t wake them up because they are simply concerned about their well-being.
The job of a parent is never truly over and this means the feeling of fatigue is one that might stay around for a while until you get the hang of parenthood.
According to Todays Parents, many new moms experience insomnia and it can become extremely frustrating. While your baby snoozes away at night, you lie in bed with crippling exhaustion but still can’t seem to drift off to sleep. Apparently, insomnia can actually creep up on parents when their babies finally start sleeping through the night.
When it comes to new parents, their personality types can actually make them more prone to insomnia. If you are a type a personality where you constantly need to be in control of everything, letting those things go and relaxing enough to fall asleep can be difficult.
It’s no surprise that feeling guilty about something also brings on a lot of sadness. Unfortunately, these two emotions are fairly common among new parents and both moms and dads can experience them. According to Parents.com, guilt is a very normal and natural emotion.
If you already have kids at home, you may feel guilty that you are not giving them enough attention. Or, you may feel like you aren’t being a good enough parent to your newborn. One great way to feel like you’re not alone in your guilt is to talk to other parents about how you are feeling. Sometimes just knowing that others feel the same way makes it a little better.
According to Hormones Matter, memory problems after pregnancy is a very common complaint from new moms. It is often referred to as ‘mommy brain’ and shifting hormones can actually be to blame. Hormones are extremely high in late pregnancy and extremely low after delivery. This is a massive shift that women go through that causes them to have issues when it comes to concentration.
And, although guys aren’t experiencing these exact same shifts that a mother is, they are dealing with a lot of emotions as well and this can contribute to both parents feeling forgetful and having poor concentration in the early stages of parenthood.
All the overthinkers out there will relate to this one. It is very common for new parents to constantly be stuck in their head and going over their thoughts. According to Psychology Today, 90% of new parents experience what psychologists call “intrusive thoughts.”
Sometimes these thoughts are simply out of worry and concern for your baby. However, other times these thoughts can feel like they are controlling your whole life and not allowing you to sleep or have any peace. While we are wired to look after our offspring, it’s okay to dismiss your thoughts if you are constantly going over them without any sign of productivity.
According to The Bump, it is common for parents to experience a drastic loss of appetite after your baby is born. For new mothers, this can be extremely concerning because your caloric intake directly affects your milk supply for your baby. So, even if you don’t have a large appetite, it is still important to make sure you are eating enough calories so that you keep yourself healthy and produce enough food for your baby as well.
While stress and changing hormones can all be linked to a loss of appetite, it is still suggested that new moms and dads who are experiencing this try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. That way you give your metabolism a little jumpstart.
We all know that women gain weight during pregnancy, but it is common for their partners to gain weight as well. This is because of the stress of a baby coming and simply because they indulge in whatever pregnancy craving their partner is feeling as well. However, weight gain after giving birth is also a common symptom that new parents experience.
Holding onto pregnancy weight after giving birth can lead to health consequences down the road, according to Live Science. Many people are emotional eaters and when the stress of parenthood becomes overwhelming, it can be easy to bury yourself in delicious food in order to feel better. However, this is not healthy and ultimately nourishing your body will make parents feel the best in the long run.
According to Live Science, a woman will naturally lose most of her pregnancy weight without doing much. Her body will shed many of the extra pounds that are no longer needed on its own. In order to lose the last few pounds put on during pregnancy, doctors say time management is the key. Finding time to eat healthily and do the activities that you did before you had your baby usually do the trick.
Many new moms and dads can sometimes lose more weight than normal simply because they are stressed and not eating enough. When you have a million things that need to get done, eating a proper meal becomes the last thing on your to-do list.
Once you realize that you created a human being that is completely dependant on you for survival, it can be easy to feel like you have no one to depend on yourself. It is totally normal to feel like you need support and someone to hold you up because taking care of another life is stressful and exhausting.
You need someone to take care of you as well. According to Bellybelly, relying on your partner for support is nice, but remember that your partner is not a mind reader. If you need something from someone, make sure to vocalize this instead of just staying quiet and building tension.
So, you just had a baby. This should be the happiest, most joyous time of your life, right? You should be planning your child’s future and be daydreaming about who they will become one day. So why do you feel like you have nothing to hope for. According to Fitpregnancy, there is pressure from society to feel happy and blissful after having a baby. But, that is not always the reality of it.
Both men and women can feel shame, guilt, and hopelessness after having a baby. Fortunately, this is a completely normal emotion and one that is attributed to the ‘baby blues.’ Just knowing that what you are feeling is normal can be helpful, but if the feelings become severe, talking to a doctor is always a good idea.
References: Scarymommy.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Mom.me, Jezebel.com, Parents.com, Parents.com, Healthywa.wa.gov, HealthDay.com, Parents.com, Unitypoint.org, Huffingtonpost.com, Todaysparents.com, Parents.com, Hormonesmatter.com, Psychologytoday.com, TheBump.com, LiveScience.com, Bellybelly.com, Fitpregnancy.com.