Even before the current events, pregnant women and new moms were struggling with loneliness. Becoming a mother is often touted as a magical and exciting time, as you welcome your new bundle of joy into the world. While this is true, there is also a side to the initial days of motherhood that is not often spoken about- isolation and loneliness. It is estimated that parenthood can leave up to half of parents feeling lonely. For mothers, that figure jumps to as much as 90 percent after having children. The increased likelihood of both prenatal and postnatal depression, along with the need to adapt to your new routine post-baby are just some of the reasons why new mothers need support in those early days.
Take A Walk Outside Every Day
The first days with your baby can feel monotonous- it’s all about the baby. The steady routine of eating, sleeping, and feeding can have you feeling in a rut and far removed from your life pst pregnancy. Multiple studies have shown the tangible benefits of being outdoors, and for pregnant or new moms, it is more apparent. Besides helping you ease back into physical activity and exercise, ecotherapy can also help moms combat seasonal affective disorder or help moms who are dealing with pre or postpartum depression. For those feeling lonely, taking a daily walk outside is a way to connect with others, meet new people, and feel apart of a community. Of course, you should always be careful not to overdo physical exercise like walking in the later stages of pregnancy or soon after birth. Stick to doctor prescribed limits and slowly build from there.
Use Technology To Keep Up With Your Friendships
After having a baby, time can become quite fleeting. Long lunches with girlfriends and ladies nights can seem like a thing of a past- feeling that feeling of loneliness. However, the good news is that with the help of technology you can still keep up contact with those cherished friends and family members. Schedule video call dates with your best friend or family members to discuss your days, your concerns, or even share a funny story. For pregnant women on bed rest or that cannot have an in-person baby shower, having a virtual party to celebrate mom and baby can help you feel loved and connected to the ones you loved. With the help of video and voice technology like Zoom, Skype, and Whatsapp you can have that much needed support and reduce the feelings of loneliness you feel.
Find Nearby Or Online New Mum Support Groups
Many community centers and public libraries regularly host pregnancy or new moms classes which are perfect for connecting with people in similar stages of life as you are. Not only do these support groups provide a great space to voice your concerns and bond with other moms, but it can also be a great way to bond with your baby. In times like these where physical meetings are not allowed, online support groups can be just as helpful.
To find the ideal group for you, check your local newspapers or community center/church newsletters. Online support groups like The Special Needs Parents Support And Discussion Group can also help you feel like you are not alone navigating the unique challenges you may face in motherhood. Finally, why not ask a fellow mom friend or neighbor for a recommendation? Many moms find great support by being apart of these groups. According to Babycenter, 37 percent of their members belong to a baby group.
It is also important to remember that these feelings of loneliness do not last forever. As your baby gets older and more independent, your life will change and there will be a chance for you to get a bit of your old life back- or carve a new normal. Motherhood is a transformative journey for all involved. As you get used to the person you are now, you must remember to be kind to yourself and take the steps to address those feelings of loss or loneliness that may crop up.