Updated: Feb 24
You are probably overwhelmed by feelings of excitement now that your newborn baby has finally arrived; and you cannot wait to go back home with your adorable bundle of joy. But beneath all of this, you may have some nagging concerns for what lies ahead in the days to come.
You have probably prepared as well as you can by reading lots of parenting books and baby care publications. But it is a whole different ball game once the day actually arrives.
Amidst the joy of a newborn baby comes the stress of being a new mother, but arming yourself with some basic guidelines discussed in this article can help ease and eliminate some of the stress.
1. Stop thinking too much:
This is one of the major factors that causes your stress levels as a new mother to spike. Worrying too much as to why your newborn baby is crying a lot or not getting enough sleep is very common. But overthinking is not helpful and it is worth considering the following points.
Firstly that your baby is still trying to adjust to this new world outside of the womb, and for a while they may be a little unsettled.
The only way a newborn baby can communicate his or her needs and emotions is by crying either due to discomfort, thirst, hunger, loneliness or a multitude of other reasons.
The new stresses of coping with a little one who is entirely dependent on you and now has become the centre of your world can lead you to feeling very emotional. However, where possible, the best approach is to try to figure out in a calm, thoughtful and relaxed manner what could be wrong with your baby at a particular point in time.
Your little one does not fully understand what is going on around them at this early stage and therefore needs all the attention and reassurance they can get from an affectionate mother.
You do not have to exhaust yourself by thinking too much. Once you begin to understand your baby's needs better and how to comfort them, then you can enjoy some peace even if it is only for a little while!
2. Get some help:
Trying to do everything yourself especially when everything is brand new to you, can make you feel stressed and unhappy which is also going to affect your baby. While this may not be possible for all mothers, try to arrange for some help, especially in the early days, by contacting some close family members or friends to see if they can look in you at any point.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most people are very happy to assist you but they may not want to seem like they are interfering or getting of the way of your and baby’s first moments together. If you communicate how you feel they could help this will aid the situation immensely and lots of them will likely have useful experience and can provide and some much needed reassurance that you are doing a great job!
Of course communication is key if anyone is actually being unhelpful and being calm but assertive about your and baby’s needs is very important. The same goes for your partner if they can assist you in ways they have not thought about don’t be afraid to ask as they are also going through a huge adjustment period and may not know how best to aid you.
3. Sleep when you can:
Sleeping is very essential in reducing your stress levels. You need to try get used to sleeping yourself when your newborn baby is asleep during the day to rest.
If you are not used to sleeping during the day, try creating an environment that will naturally induce sleep such as playing some low-level music and shutting the curtains or drapes to make it as dark as possible. You need to get some shut-eye too in order to feel powered up and energized and a quick nap can help to relieve you from the pressure and exhaustion.
4. Do not compare yourself to other Moms:
You cannot get it right all the time, because it takes time to get it right. Motherhood is not a competition, it is a gradual process. It may be hard not comparing yourself to other moms who seem to be perfect and have got everything sorted with their young ones, but you need to know that their strategy cannot be your strategy. And you need to flow at your own pace, for the sake of your health and that of your baby.
5. Do not compare your baby to other babies:
All babies are not the same. Different babies have different patterns and you have to adapt to the one your baby follows. While some babies sleep better at night, other babies love to sleep during the daytime. Some babies grow and develop at a faster rate, while for other babies it might be a more gradual process. Making comparisons over why your baby is or is not behaving or acting like another is not going to help you.
6. Do not read too much on parenting or baby care:
As much as you are new to motherhood, you need to be careful about the amount of information you are feeding yourself. This is because too much information can confuse and overwhelm you. Gaining some basic knowledge on how to handle certain situations is crucial, but you must be judicious with your research.
The experience is different for everyone and there is truly no right approach to baby care and perfect parenting. It is a continuous process and you learn along the way! You need to be gentle and go easy on yourself for a sound, clear and stress-free mind.