If you have just had your first baby and are finding your new list of daily tasks challenging, you are definitely not alone. A recent survey by Orlando Health has found that around 40% of new moms can feel anxious or overwhelmed in the weeks after giving birth. This is the case not only for moms who only have one baby, since those who have other children can also find the first few weeks postpartum difficult to cope with. It can be surprising to come to terms that you are responsible to someone else, 24/7 and that finding even a few minutes spare to have a shower, exercise, or simply do a little reading can be hard to come by. If you do feel overburdened, it is important to rely on others and to find unique means of support — including the use of gadgets and technology to ‘buy’ even a few minutes of precious ‘me time.’
Even if your home isn’t perfectly tidy or you cannot attend to guests as well as you used to, try to embrace social interaction and to continue interacting with friends and family as much as you can, since many studies have shown that it can be beneficial. One study by Ohio State University scientists, for instance, showed that when human mothers have family support while they are breastfeeding, they are able to conserve their energy more optimally. Another study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that lack of social support is one of the three biggest stress factors affecting new mothers negatively (the other two are tiredness and lack of sleep). Having family around is a great way to receive a little help so you can catch a quick nap, enjoy a long shower, or even rest while others help you out with chores.
Discovering New Tech, Toys, and Games
Being with others is also a great way to discover new technology (think baby monitors or swing chairs), equipment, and toys that will once again free you up for a few precious minutes. Many babies, for example, love baby swings that rock while playing music. It can lull them into a happy, relaxed state, thus freeing hands and allowing you to undertake another task right by your baby’s side. When considering baby swings, chairs and other tech, in addition to listening to others’ recommendations, you should also consider safety features, support, lightweightedness of gadgets and the like. Ask your family about entertainment items that are easy to assemble, too, to keep stress levels down.
Working on Your own Happiness
Having people around who make you happy can help boost your own relationship with your baby, say researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine. They found that how happy a mother is in her relationship and the social support she receives can affect issues like fussiness and even the risk of infant colic. The researchers stated, “If you don’t have a partner you can still have lots of social support, lots of love and lots of happy relationships, and all of that’s going to be better for the baby. Love makes a difference.”
Whether you have had your first baby or your fourth, chances are, now is a great time to find support in loving family and friends. From helping you out with a few chores to simply boosting your emotional wellbeing or giving you information on toys and tools, there is plenty they can do to make you feel loved and accompanied. Remember that working on your own happiness will have positive effects not only on you but also on your baby, since this is indeed a special time in which a powerful connection between you will be formed and consolidated.