You've given birth and have a tiny human who relies on you to meet all of their needs. You're trying to learn how best to care for your baby- even experienced mothers go through this, as babies are all different. You're sleep deprived. Your body has changed and needs time to recover. You've taken time off work. Your relationship changes- and research shows that most couples experience difficulty after having a baby. Friendships and family relationships change too. Advice and suggestions can make you feel like people are judging you, or don't understand the problem. You probably also miss the freedom of your old life- being able to do what you wanted, when you wanted. This many demands and changes in a short period of time can feel overwhelming. It's easy to fall into the traps of:
- feeling isolated,
- neglecting yourself to put all of your energy into caring for your baby,
- fighting with your partner, and
- feeling like you're failing.
Motherhood can be incredibly tough, and there are several things you can do to help ease the impact of these changes. Practice self-care: get that shower or cuppa when you can. Ask for practical help from people in your life- you don't have to do it all, all of the time. Be honest about where you're at- if every mother puts on a brave face, it just makes it seem like everyone has it together all of the time. Seek support and talk to others, even if you don't feel like it. Sometimes formal supports can really help. You might consider helplines such as Parentline (1300 30 1300), the Australian Breastfeeding Helpline (1800 686 268), or or Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Austalia (PANDA; 1300 726 306). Here at Nurture, our team is very experienced in supporting mothers adjust to parenthood. If you feel like things are too much or are having difficulty coping, consider seeing our trusted psychologist Dr Emma Black- help and support is available.