LAST week, mums all over the nation shared in Meghan Markle’s joy at beginning parenthood. But this big life event can be a tumultuous time, too.
As this is Mental Health Awareness Week, the wellbeing of new mums is even more vital to highlight. Here, Dr PAM SPURR reveals five common worries that new mums might have and offers tips to help you cope.
AM I GOING TO BE A GOOD ENOUGH MUM?
What mum hasn’t questioned if they’re doing things all wrong or if they’ll “mess up” their child?
The lack of sleep, no time for yourself and feeling you can’t understand why your baby is crying can leave your self-esteem on the floor along with dirty babygros.
TIP: Do a daily affirmation and challenge this self-doubt. Tell yourself you’re doing your best.
Your partner will be tired, too, and may not think about you needing reassurance – so remind him to give you some.
I’M NOT BOTHERED ABOUT SEX
You’re in good company because sex is the last thing on most women’s minds for a few months after birth.
You might no longer feel sexy and worry that your partner might feel neglected.
TIP: Discuss your fears with him about sex having disappeared. Tell him you’d enjoy some physical affection but you’d like to be in charge of how far that goes, with no pressure from him to go all the way.
It’s fine to put sex on the backburner. But if your energy hasn’t bounced back after six to nine months it might be time to discuss this with your doctor.
OTHER BABIES REACH THEIR MILESTONES QUICKER THAN MINE
It’s a very dodgy game to compare your baby to others. One baby might crawl quickly but not utter a word for ages – or vice versa.
TIP: Appreciate your baby for who they are. Resist posting about them on social media, where there is pressure to prove how cute they are.
Agree with friends who are mothers that you won’t talk about baby milestones with each other.
If you have genuine concerns about your baby’s development, run them past your health visitor.
I FEEL I’M MISSING OUT ON LIFE
You find time to go on social media to see what’s going on with everyone, only to feel worse – it seems everyone’s doing exciting stuff.
TIP: Limit your social media use and be selective about what you look at.
Remind yourself to treasure the baby-oriented life you now have because it passes all too quickly.
As your baby gets older, you’ll be getting out and doing other things, too.
AFTER A BAD NIGHT I GET SO ANGRY AT MY BABY
You hate yourself for it but after being up all night, you curse your baby under your breath. Then you feel eaten up by guilt after such thoughts.
TIP: These thoughts are common so don’t panic. Have a crisis buddy – a good friend or family member – you can call to come over and help after a bad night.
It may be just to make you a cup of tea or change the baby’s nappy. Share with them if you’re having repetitive negative thoughts.
Definitely talk to your GP if things do not improve.
Dr Pam is on Twitter @DrPamSpurr.
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