Being a mother is surely not that easy. There’s nothing you can really prepare for your motherhood. Every woman has different new mom struggles and we can’t compare each journey to another journey. During a woman’s pregnancy, there are different first-time pregnancy experiences and first-time pregnancy questions. Entering motherhood, you can read as many parenting books as you want, to gain a lot of newborn tips and facts, know what does every new mom need and even help you create your own first-time mom checklist.
However, no matter how many books you have read and how many experienced mothers you have talked to who gave you pieces of advice, you will never be sure of what is it to be a mother especially if it is your first time. There may be a time that you would just think that you are not a good mom. The psychology of being a new mother, how you would feel and what to expect can vary. However, there are also some common things to know as a first-time mom and tips for first-time moms with newborns. Let’s start with the psychology of being a new mother first.
Transitioning to motherhood
One truth about becoming a mother is the factors that influence her emotional, physical and mental health. It may be influenced by some life situations of the parents, her social environment, and some situations or issues of conceiving, according to the experts. In addition, the transition to motherhood of a woman can also be influenced by her support system-mainly her husband and her family. There can be a lot of expectations for a new mom especially in her perinatal period where a lot of change and opportunities await a mother and most mental health issues can happy to her at this stage. However, experts always emphasize that not all first-time mothers develop a kind of mental health issue but having a stable support system can help a woman adjust and adapt to it.
How you would probably feel and what you should expect
You don’t look like the same
Well, this is one of the things you should expect about being a new mom. Many women are shocked whenever they see themselves still looking pregnant after their labor. LaCoursiere, MD, PH constantly give a piece of advice for new moms that they must bring their maternity clothes for them to wear home from the hospital because they will still look pregnant after. She also added that it takes time for women to get their weight and body back. Remember this-don’t criticize your body and just think of the most wonderful thing you did: you delivered your baby successfully! As a new mother, you must stay positive and remind yourself that your body will not be like that forever. Take one step at a time, enjoy some relaxing air and make new friends while working on your body.
You are on a loop
A part of being a new mother is that everyone warns you that you won’t be able to sleep and that’s actually true. Some new moms are scared because of this but that’s what to expect with a newborn week by week. Your baby will spend his or her days and nights eating but be optimistic about it because your baby needs for him or her to grow! On the other hand, when you are about to sleep at night, you may hear the loud cry of your hungry baby. Not fun? Remember that your newborn is at the stage of growth so you must also help him/her.
You are sore
What to expect on being a new mother is that there are some not-so-fun body changes in you which are common. These body changes may include swelling, hemorrhoids or stitches especially if you have undergone c-section. You might think that you won’t ever feel normal again, but trust me, you will. Experts recommend having ice packs, hazel pads, and a peri-bottle to help you recover with some of these body changes. Most importantly, you should get the proper nutrition that you need so you will recover faster. Don’t try to push yourself on the limit and ask some of your family members or your partner to help you with the household chores or other tasks at home.
You will be sleep deprived
Expert says that you will be sleep deprived during the first weeks of being a new mom and that’s undeniable. It’s actually not the kind of tired you feel when you stay up all night to watch your favorite show and have a meeting at 8:00 am the next day. You may experience some headaches, irritability, depression, and confusion. Nonetheless, sleep whenever you can! A new mom and husband must work together as a team and you don’t have to endure it alone. You can take turns at the late-night to take care of your newborn.
You are becoming hormonal
The frustration you had while you are shopping for your baby’s necessities is nothing compared to what’s in store for you after your labor. The truth about the psychology of being a new mother is that your progesterone level decreases dramatically and you will come in a very low hormonal state. LaCoursiere emphasized the term “baby blues” that pertains to the moodiness that goes along with the hormone flux in a woman. Well, this issue happens to almost 80 percent of women so you can think that it is normal.
You are actually a rookie
Like what I’ve said earlier, being a mother is a challenge and for new moms, it’s stressful. Feeding your baby, caring for your baby, bathing him/her can be really exhausting for new mothers. A lot of questions may come to your mind like, “Should I nurse or bottle-feed?” or “Should I bath him already?” and it will go on and on because you are worried. Mom, try not to let the small details stress you out. Focus on what’s important like feeding your baby as well as yourself. Being a mom has three basics like what experts have said: feed your baby, feed yourself and bathe.
Breastfeeding can be tough
If you decided to do breastfeeding, there are a lot of challenges that you must expect. Your baby might not be latching, painful breastfeedings or you might be lacking milk production. Well, it’s not easy as you think, like what a lot of moms experienced. Experts also said that society always thought breastfeeding is intuitive but it’s more than that and it’s a lot more difficult. If you are having difficulties with breastfeeding, you should get help as soon as possible so it won’t rise to a more serious problem. Seek guidance from a lactation consultant or from your baby’s doctor.
Reactivating your attachment
Experts all say that a new mother’s attachment status comes in the way she organizes her thoughts, feelings, and memories with her friends, families, and even baby. Remember, the pregnancy and birth of your baby can be a period of intense and rollercoaster ride and reorganization of your identity and your whole life. The first weeks of being a new mom will always be difficult. How you would feel and what to expect will change from time to time but it will be over. Learn to trust yourself and be proud that you survived!