Hormones increase tenfold during pregnancy, and they don't just go back to normal the second a woman has a baby. There are many layers of emotions that women go through after they have a baby. Not only are they completely physically exhausted, but then they have the job of caring for another little human’s every need. It can become extremely overwhelming very quickly.
Not only are moms filled with an overwhelming sense of anxiety about their child, but they are now also insecure about their own bodies and appearances.
For those of you who have had kids, you know that there is no love that compares to what a mother feels for her child. However, with that love comes a lot of fear, worry, and stress. Many moms may feel like everything needs to be perfect, or she will mess her child up permanently. At the same time, there is also a lot of pressure from society and social media to be like the perfectly put together mom who looks beautiful and managed to keep that new baby outfit spit up free. The truth of the matter is, nobody is perfect but women with new mom insecurity syndrome don’t know that. So here are 15 ways to know if you have it.
15 She Feels Like She Has No Idea What She’s Doing
According to Chocolate and Chaos, it is very easy as a new mom to feel like you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. During family planning time and pregnancy preparation, a lot of the talk revolves around the fun and cute aspects of pregnancy. New little outfits are purchased, a nursery gets decorated, and books and toys await the little baby’s arrival.
Once the mom finally gives birth, everything changes. You suddenly realize that you don’t know how car seats really work.
You might accidentally put your baby’s diaper on backward, and the sound of your baby crying uncontrollably is tearing you apart inside.
In all honesty, there are many moments when moms simply feel like they have no idea what they're doing. Even if you read every baby book recommended to you and went to all of your classes while you were pregnant, some things really just have to be learned by doing.
The important thing to remember is that although you may feel like you don’t know what you are doing, you keep learning and figuring things out as you go. Insecure new moms probably won’t be so quick to recognize the progress they have made, but it’s definitely still a huge milestone.
14 She’s Terrified Of Making A Mistake
While it is completely normal to be worried about hurting your new baby, being terrified of making a mistake is not a rational fear to have simply because all moms are going to make mistakes. Nobody can raise a child and do everything perfectly all the time. Moms with new mom insecurity syndrome seem to think that they are the only ones who are scared of making a mistake.
The reality of the matter is that most moms feel this way. Sometimes when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, you are also worried at the same time that you might be making a mistake.
According to Babble, this constant fear of thinking you are making a mistake can actually get in the way of enjoying this experience as a new mom. When you stop worrying long enough to realize that you have a happy and healthy baby, things are usually put into perspective. In the future, you will realize that worrying about every little thing is not going to make you a better parent.
Constantly second guessing your decisions is not going to stop the poop explosions and diaper rash. Being a mom really is about trial and error with some things. And, as long as you learn from those occasional mistakes, you are on the right track.
13 She Feels Alone In Her Fear
The only thing scarier than being afraid of messing up your baby all of the time is thinking that you are the only mom who has ever had these thoughts. It is very common for moms to feel insecure about their capabilities, even if they’ve always wanted to be a mom.
Moms with this insecurity usually don’t realize that there are so many other people out there who feel the exact same way. According to Romper, lack of human and adult contact for new moms who are staying home with the baby or on maternity leave doesn’t help this feeling of being alone.
Just imagine being the only capable person around in the house to care for this tiny little human who is relying on you for everything they need. It can be a very scary thought, but if you are alone, there is no one for you to share that thought with or receive encouragement. And, a lot of the time talking about your fear of being an inadequate mother is something that most people tend to avoid. Unfortunately, this leads to the misconception that insecure new moms are alone in their fear which couldn’t be further from the truth.
12 She’s Scared To Rely On The People Around Her
The only thing worse than being stuck home alone when you first have a new baby is not being able to accept help from the people around you who are willing. There are many girls who get pregnant and feel like they have to do it all. Either they are worried that someone could harm their baby or they feel like they will look like less of a mother if they accept help. Unfortunately, this is just another insecurity that new moms get occasionally and it does mom's a disservice. Being a mom is arguably the hardest job in the world and if there is a chance for you to take a small break, do it!
According to Scary Mommy, the hardest part about motherhood is asking for help and actually taking it. So often these insecure moms feel like there is a negative stigma against asking for help, and so they work themselves too hard until they have a complete mental breakdown. It is important to remember that as a mom, you need to be your best in order to give your child what they need from you. And sometimes, what they need from you is for you to take a break and ask for help.
11 It Feels Worse Than It Actually Is
So far it may have sounded relatively easy to overcome new mom insecurity syndrome, but for a lot of women, it feels much worse than it seems to those on the outside. For moms struggling with this, every decision is a challenge, and every mistake is amplified. Before anyone knows if they are crippled with fear and anxiety because they don’t want to mess up again. I know this may not help moms at the moment, but things always feel worse than they actually are.
According to Living Well Mom,
moms are often their own worst critics.
It is important for moms to give themselves credit for what they do right. No mom is perfect, but beating yourself up about everything isn’t going to make anything better. By rewarding and acknowledging what you are doing well will help balance out a new mom’s insecurities.
It is also important to realize that every mom is different and just because other moms are doing things a certain way doesn’t mean that the way you’re taking care of your baby is wrong. So if you are a new mom with insecurities, please remember that you are doing everything you can, and you are doing way more right than you feel you are.
10 She Feels Like A Failure For Not Breastfeeding
It’s pretty well known that breastfeeding is very good for your new baby. There are so many essential nutrients in a mom’s breastmilk, and if a new mom is struggling to get her baby to latch or if she is simply not producing enough breast milk to keep your baby fed, it can make an insecure mom feel like a failure. Unfortunately, this is the biggest lie that society has told women. A mom is not less of a mom simply because she is not able to breastfeed. We are so lucky to live in a society that has baby formula and enough resources to properly take care of your baby.
According to BabyCenter,
“Good parenting is more than breastfeeding.”
Some moms feel like nature just simply didn't work for them. However, it is not their fault if it was out of their control.
Sure, breastfeeding is beneficial if that is something that is in the cards for you. But, there are other options and part of being a successful mom is problem-solving and finding another solution when the first way doesn’t work. And sometimes that other way could be by using donated breast milk or simply using formula.
9 She Thinks They're Saggy After Pregnancy
There is no doubt that society places value on the way that women look. It can be easy to feel like we don’t look good enough as a new mom, especially in the chest area. There is only so much that a push-up bra and padding can do to make an insecure mom feel good again. Going through nine months of pregnancy and swelling breasts along with a growing belly can be a little disappointing after you have your baby. A lot of women want their bodies to go back to normal right away and it just isn’t realistic.
According to Romper, new moms often lack body confidence and 43% of new moms feel insecure about their chest. It makes sense when you think about it because that is something that usually signifies sexuality and makes women feel a little more sensual.
If that confidence is taken away after a woman has a baby it can make her feel very insecure about her body and sexuality. However, instead of a new mom looking at her chest and feeling sad or insecure about them, she should look at them and think about how they can feed her baby and how wonderfully important they are no matter what they look like.
8 Her ‘Bad’ Body Is All She Can Think About
There is no doubt that most new moms are lacking the confidence that they once had. There is an enormous amount of stress to work out, eat healthy, and get her pre-baby body back.
With a new little infant, it can be hard to prioritize all of that body image stuff when you have been up all night with a crying baby.
Most new moms are prioritizing their child, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel extremely insecure about how they look.
According to Romper, 65% of moms felt insecure about their looks after having their baby.
Another study on Romper showed that a mother’s unhappiness with her body continued to decrease for over nine months of postpartum. This means that the longer and longer a new mom had her baby, her confidence about her body kept going down. It is likely that the longer she was a mom the more she felt like she should be getting her body back. And, the more it wasn’t looking the way she wanted as time passed, the worse her insecurities got.
It is a tough cycle to be stuck in and most moms complain about her midsection the most. Women who once had smooth skin and a flat stomach all of a sudden have stretch marks and saggy skin. However, instead of viewing your body in a negative way, look at it as a home for your beautiful baby. Your body is what allowed that baby of yours to come into this world, so don’t be too hard on your post-baby body.
7 Postpartum Is Something She Tries To Hide
Many women who suffer from postpartum depression don’t even know that they have it, and they definitely don’t want to talk about it. There is such a stigma around mental health issues in our society that if a new mom is struggling with depression, she is going to try and hide it. Especially if she is already feeling insecure in her life and as a mother.
Why would a new insecure mom want to advertise the fact that she can’t even handle her own mind? Unfortunately, this is the biggest lie that women and new moms have been fed.
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to postpartum. It is actually way more common than anyone realizes but nobody feels like they can talk about it.
Women don’t need to feel like they should hide their postpartum but the insecurities take over. According to Her View From Home, women who do talk about their postpartum often downplay their suffering and make it sound like they are doing better than they actually are because they don’t want to be part of that stereotype that is portrayed in our media. However, feeling like you are falling apart is sometimes part of the journey of motherhood and it’s okay to not be perfect or have all the answers.
6 She Notices Her Wider Hips
Now, some women love the fact that they have big hips. They feel like it makes them more womanly and embracing their curves is something they’ve always loved. If you haven’t always had big hips, it can be really shocking when your post-baby body does not go back to the normal that you were used to. Some women are used to wearing a size 0 pants and then all of a sudden she has a baby and can’t go lower than a 3. It’s understandable that this shift in a woman’s body can be shocking, but honestly there is nothing you can do to change it.
According to Parents.com, mothers in their third trimester have pregnancy hormones that, “cause the ligaments holding the pelvic girdle together to soften, allowing the birth canal to widen during labor and delivery.”
As pregnant women gain more weight, fat also collects on the outside of the hips. On the bright side, you can take care of the extra love around your hips through diet and exercise, but your pelvis might never return to its pre-pregnancy state. However, this is the new body that your baby gave you and it doesn’t mean you can’t still rock it.
5 She Can't Stand Her New Saggy Skin
According to Self.com, loose skin is normal for women after giving birth. And, it is often something they simply can’t control. It may seem unfair that some women can have their tight skin and flat stomach back almost immediately after giving birth, I’m looking at you Kylie Jenner, but that’s life sometimes. All women are different and some will get stretch marks, some will get loose skin, and others will end up with a c-section scar.
It all represents the journey that a mother took through her nine months of pregnancy and it is definitely not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. However, women almost always are. Many new moms are very insecure about the loose skin, especially in their stomach area.
Losing weight very quickly after pregnancy can also increase a woman’s odds of getting loose skin, so the next time you feel pressured to lose that baby weight, remember that it’s okay to take your time and it might even prevent you from getting loose skin.
According to Self.com, “The skin has more time to recover and regain elasticity if a woman gradually loses weight after her pregnancy. If she loses it rapidly, the skin has much less time to recover.”
4 Her Stretch Marks Terrify Her
Stretch marks can honestly be terrifying and make a woman feel like she’s not even in her own body anymore. When you really think about it, women are used to having their skin and body look a certain way, and then in just nine months time, they take a complete 180 and end up with something they don’t even recognize.
That doesn’t mean this new body can’t be loved and appreciated for what it is now. We go through changes in life and our body changes with us. According to Refinery29, thinking about these stretch marks can actually be a distraction from what is really important.
One woman tells a story of how she only got two tiny little stretch marks throughout her entire pregnancy, and then after 8 months, she woke up covered in stretch marks. Her entire stomach was covered with deep pink marks and she worried that she would never be able to wear a bikini again. She also feared that her husband wouldn’t find her attractive. However, she then realized that she hadn’t felt her baby move in a while and the terror regarding her baby’s health was way more important than her terror about those stretch marks. All the marks became worth it once she realized her baby was healthy, and that’s what’s important.
3 She Questions If Her Baby Will Really Love Her
New moms are insecure about a lot of things from their parenting skills to their body image. One thing that might even be worse than all of that is being insecure about the love that your child will have for you.
What if your child doesn’t like you? What if your child wishes they had a different mom? What if your child makes you feel like a failure?
While all of these thoughts may be valid, just the fact that you are concerned about these things shows that you will be a great mom. While there is no way that your children will like you all the time, they will most definitely love you for being so caring and involved. Sometimes it takes kids getting a little older to fully realize all the stressful moments and sacrifices that mothers take in stride.
Romper explains that even when you mess up, your baby will love you. Even when you don’t feel like you love yourself, you will be surprised by the love that your baby will give you naturally. The bond between a mother and child is so strong and very hard to break. So take that as a sign of reassurance and a little confidence boost. You are doing a great job, even when you don’t feel like you are. That baby loves you and needs you. Don’t ever forget that.
2 She Feels Like She’s Disappointing Her Partner
Another aspect of becoming a new mom is the shift and transition that occurs with your partner. For so long it was just the two of you. All of a sudden you have another little human that is taking up all of your energy, time, and attention. It can be very hard for couples and it is actually normal to feel like they aren’t getting the attention from their partner that they need.
However, it is very important to have open communication when it comes to this subject. Tell your partner what you need or what is realistic for you two at this time. Some couples don’t see each other much because they are switching off on sleep schedules and working together to take care of their little baby.
It’s normal to be worried about disappointing your partner but it’s also important to remember that the dynamics you are used to will shift a little. Romper reinforces the fact that communication is the key to any healthy marriage or relationship.
They also mention that with a new baby communication may be hard to come by, but small little compliments here and there can go a long way in the midst of that stressful time.
Simply reinforcing that love that was there will be enough. And when two people really love each other, it is going to be very hard to truly disappoint your partner.
1 She Wonders If Her Baby Is Cute Enough
Wondering if your baby will be cute or attractive has been deemed a shallow thing in society these days, but it is something that almost every mom thinks about. For women who feel like an insecure new mom, her curiosity may stem from a different place. Instead of wanting their baby to be attractive just for conceited reasons, she may worry that she will have passed on her negative genes. For example, I have a friend who was born without certain teeth and she is very concerned that this gene is hereditary and will be passed onto her child. The idea that her child could get made fun of or go through painful dental surgeries because of her bad genes can be very hard on a new mom.
New moms want their babies to be perfect and they often blame themselves when they aren’t.
It is important to remember that perfection is in the eye of the beholder, not the standards that society places on us.
So, the best thing any insecure mom can do is simply build up the confidence of her child and remind them to be beautiful on the inside as well. It’s easy to worry about every little thing as a new mom, but in all honesty, motherhood will be so much brighter and more rewarding when you focus on the positive aspects of this life that you’ve created.
References: Chocolateandchaos.com, Babble.com, Romper.com, scarymommy.com, Livingwellmom.com, Babycenter.com, Romper.com, Herviewfromhome, Parentsmagazine.com, Self.com, Refinery29.com, Romper.com, Romper.com,