A new mom is often overwhelmed, exhausted yet happy, laughs along with some crying, and stressed accompanied with the joy of the newborn. ‘Sometimes all at once!’ Life revolves around the new baby, and keeps the new mother 24/7 on toes, making it a new normal. In the unending chaos that a newborn brings, it can be easy to forget about self love, and relegate self-care to the backburner. New mom’s body needs equal attention and love as given to the newborn, as there are lots of struggles motherhood brings along. One should not wait until the body signals the desperate pleas for attention!
Let’s understand the new mom’s struggles, and get to know some tips for new moms dealing with each one.
Hardest challenges a new mom faces/Struggles of motherhood
A mother struggles to give everything best to her child, no matter what! She has to make difficult decisions, face every hard challenge head on, and underplay herself whenever needed.
Adjusting to motherhood
Motherhood is a long journey bringing many rewards with each milestone of the child. The transition to motherhood involves a lot of hard work and brings a change in the identity of a woman. The first few months of motherhood are spent struggling to learn to be the best mother, trying to understand the baby in a better manner. There are many sacrifices, adjustments and lifestyle changes to adapt with motherhood. It does not take much time to adjust to motherhood as it is rightly said that “every girl has inborn feminine characteristics of giving a motherly warmth”; but it takes endless efforts and change in priorities to be a mother. Adjusting to motherhood is the first step in molding into a mother. The adjustments require a lot of time and effort, from rebuilding your day to day life activities to making every decision regarding your baby and their wellbeing.
Challenges that come with Motherhood
There are so many challenges that come with parenthood, some of which you might have never expected. A mother struggles and faces every challenge with courage, strength and wisdom for the betterment of the baby.
Physical recovery after childbirth
Pregnancy brings with it many changes to the body and takes time to recover after giving birth. There is a lot of loss of blood during parturition, making a new mom weak. A baby in utero gets its nutrition from the mothers body, which depletes the mother’s body of her nutritional reservoirs. Post pregnancy hair fall, weight gain or weight loss, swollen breasts, clogged ducts, insomnia, constipation, depression, anxiety, dry skin and pain in the perineal area, are some new moms struggles to mention. Tiredness, pain, fear of pain, stretch marks, breastfeeding with sore nipples, and loss of libido are a few things that every new mom goes through right after delivery. Using the right mom care products can help in recovering from after delivery physical issues.
Adjusting to a newborn baby
A baby has its own sleep cycle, napping hours, feeding demands, and cleaning and bathing routines. A new mom struggles to manage everything accordingly from her personal time to her career priorities. Motherhood demands complete dedication and focus on the baby. This might include loss of time as a couple. The couple time is now mostly family time. From grandparents to your neighbors, almost everyone is scheduling visits to see you and your little one. This leaves you with very little time for yourself or with your partner.
Relationships and sex
Almost all couples have less sex after having a baby and many feel less intimate with their partner. This is because of the sleepless nights, and exhausted days, along with all the hormonal imbalances a woman’s body goes through due to pregnancy and delivery. A new mom struggles with lots of hormonal issues, mood swings and fatigue. The baby needs all the attention and time as it is completely dependent on parents for every need. But, just because you have a baby, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dates like before. Dress up, get a sitter and get going. For increasing frequency of sex during date nights, make sure you and your partner are focussed on each other and that your baby is being looked after by a sitter or a family member.
Solutions to overcome the struggle
For many, adjusting to motherhood requires going through a lot of complex, difficult emotions, and experiences. But don’t worry, here are a few ways to overcome the stress and struggles of motherhood which will help the transition easier.
Connect with other parents
One of the toughest struggles for a new mom is making a sheer volume of decisions, starting from the first feed, to adjusting room temperatures, selecting appropriate baby clothes and scheduling baby vaccinations. This might be overwhelming and might let you down. Having a connection with other parents and discussing this stuff, be it online or in meetings and groups, can help you feel better. Also you get some quick tips to sort the similar problems. This sense of community can help you navigate through the most difficult decisions and serve to help you feel that you are not alone.
Take out time for self-care
As a new parent or single parent, you know very well that to take time out for yourself is difficult. Hence, you must resort to asking help from your partner, friends or family whenever needed. It is important to understand that caring for your family starts with caring for yourself. Taking time to yourself will help you rejuvenate, and boost your mental health. Self care and love keep you happy which in return will make everyone around you at peace. Choose natural body care products to relax your body and mind.
The Moms Co. Recommends some best postpartum self care products for new moms:
NATURAL HAIR STRENGTHENING OIL
It is a combination of 8 natural oils including Amla, Bhringraj, Coffee and Tea Tree oils. It encourages hair growth and improves blood circulation. The postpartum hair fall can be controlled using this completely natural hair strengthening oil. It nourishes the hair follicle from within.
24 HOUR SKINCARE STARTER KIT
This kit has an all natural face serum, face cream, and an under eye cream. It has proven to reduce pigmentations, dark spots, and blemishes. These self care products are made with ingredients such as Kakadu Plum, Chia Seed Oil & Hyaluronic acid. The Natural Under Eye cream enriched with Coffee Oils is proven to reduce dark circles & puffiness.
Be mindful of the postpartum stress
This is one of the most important things that every new mom struggles and needs to be aware of. Too many women suffer needlessly from postpartum depression because they think what they are feeling is normal. It’s always better to speak to close friends or family members when you’re faced with a difficult situation or need help. Having extra hands on deck can help you organize things in a better manner and may even free up some time for you to sleep or look after yourself. If you are not keeping well after childbirth or are bothered by a medical issue then consult your doctor and follow their recommendations.
Struggles with breastfeeding
Nursing your baby is the most natural thing in the world. But the truth is that breastfeeding may not always be effortless. It’s very common for moms, especially first-time mothers, to need a bit of assistance getting the baby to latch on or to look for signs that things are going well or if there is any problem. Baby’s head position, mother’s feeding posture, holding the baby for breastfeeding, the feeding position, feeding time, and number of feedings are all challenges of a new mom.
Problems related to Breastfeeding
Difficulties with getting your baby to latch, less milk supply, and sore nipples are just some of the hardships a new mom encounters. One of the leading reasons a lot of moms stop breastfeeding early is due to discomfort caused by nursing.
Here’s a look at some common problems related to breastfeeding and how you can deal with them.
Low Milk Supply
Low milk supply is not good for the development of the baby, as it may keep the baby hungry, cranky and malnourished. If you are breastfeeding less due to any kind of pain, this could result in a decrease in your milk supply. Starting breastfeeding late, not breastfeeding often, ineffective latch, hormonal issues, certain medications, any previous breast surgery, and malnourished lactating mother can all cause low milk supply, which can not meet the baby’s demands. Breast engorgement, blebs, plugged ducts, mastitis can cause low milk supply. These problems can originate from irregular breastfeeding and need medical intervention.
Sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples might make breastfeeding so painful that you no longer want to continue to nurse the baby. Sore nipples usually happen due improper position of the baby, dehydration, use of chemical soaps or body cleansers, and neglected moisturization. Incorrect attachment of the baby during breastfeeding can also cause sore nipples.
The Moms Co. recommends the best natural nipple butter to help the new mom combat the dry and cracked nipples:
NATURAL NIPPLE BUTTER
The Moms Co Natural Nipple Butter is chemical-free, Lanolin-free and fragrance-free. It is made of all natural waxes and oils that heal sore nipplpes. A new mom does not need to worry about washing it before breastfeeding.
Solutions to overcome the struggle/ Solutions for breastfeeding struggles
A new mom’s nipples are not accustomed to the sudden and intense action they receive on baby’s birth. Whether it’s because of an improper latch or sore nipples, nursing sessions can be uncomfortable and challenging for a new mom. Thankfully, within a few weeks with proper remedies, this tends to sort itself out and breastfeeding becomes second nature.
Rub your nipple and areola
Rub your nipple and areola with your breast milk after each feeding to moisturize and soothe sore nipples. If possible, keep your nipples exposed and allow them to air dry. You can even opt for a Lanolin-free nipple butter to soothe dry, cracked nipples.
Perfecting the latch
If the latch isn’t proper, the task gets even more taxing. The first few moments of a breastfeeding session are spent on finding that latch so that the baby starts suckling comfortably. But the process of perfecting the proper latch may take some time. Use pillows, sit in a comfortable position at a comfortable place, hold the baby skin to skin, don’t force the baby to latch, and let the process be naturally led by the baby.
Hydrogel pads can be chilled in the refrigerator or freezer and then placed on your breasts after feedings to help heal and soothe your nipples. Also using hydrogel pads can prevent the rubbing of the clothing which will benefit the skin damage and enhance healing of sore nipple skin.
Alternate breastfeeding positions
Alternate breastfeeding positions regularly to prevent one area of the nipple from getting sore. Changing breastfeeding positions assist the baby to effectively drain different areas of the breasts. Also, alternating breastfeeding positions prevent clogging of milk ducts.
Natural nipple butter
Natural nipple butter can be extremely effective in soothing the pain and healing the sore nipples. A good nipple cream deeply moisturizes dry, cracked, itchy and bleeding nipples, making breastfeeding less struggleful for new mothers. Look for organic formulations that soothe cracked nipples and reduce swelling.
Follow these simple tips for news moms to sort all the basic struggles of motherhood. Use some best new mom products to manage the breastfeeding problems.
Dealing with unsolicited advice
When a baby is born, a lot of advice starts pouring in from friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers sometimes. Suddenly everyone becomes an expert and they start telling you how to feed, burp, dress or hold the baby. Some advice may be useful, and you feel like you are getting to know a lot. But then there’s also some unwanted advice, that just leaves you confused and sometimes annoyed.
How to deal with unwanted advice?/ Solutions to deal with unwanted advice
Here are some tips for new moms to deal with unwanted advice, and not get burdened with suggestions:
Keep an open mind
What we need to remember is that as annoying as it may seem, most of the advice is well-intentioned. Babies bring out everyone’s compassionate side, and when someone sees you struggling with something, they take it on them as their duty to help you out.
Check with your doctor first
If it involves your baby’s health, then before acting out on any suggestion, no matter how trusted the source be, you should always consult a medical expert. Also when following any advice from the internet, run it by your partner or your pediatrician first.
Politely decline unwanted advice from strangers
When a stranger stops you on the road and starts questioning your parenting and starts meting out advice, then the best way is to take the high road. Just give them your biggest smile, thank them, and move on.
A mother knows the best
No one knows a child better than his/her parents. Every child is different and a mother knows which solution is going to work the best for her child.
Dealing with postpartum depression
Having a baby is one of the most important and happiest events in a new mom’s life. While life with a new baby can be thrilling and rewarding, you may also feel like you are going through a roller coaster of emotions. After a few weeks of giving birth, many new moms experience the baby blues and they may feel tired and stressed all the time.
Signs of Postpartum depression
While it’s normal to feel a mild bout of depression, it should subside in a couple of weeks. However, 10-20% of new moms experience a more severe form of depression – postpartum depression. When the baby blues start morphing into postpartum depression, it’s time to seek help. Here are some signs of postpartum depression:
Feelings like guilt and shame
You are doubting yourself as a mother. You sense that whatever you are doing is not good enough and have thoughts that maybe you aren’t a good mother. Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or feeling worthless are some of the signs that point towards depression.
Uncontrolled thoughts to harm yourself and the baby
You may self doubt your capabilities and feel so sad that thought like harming yourself or suicidal tendency can develop in extreme depression cases. One may enter depression into the level of harming the baby to end the responsibility or struggles.
Eating and sleeping disturbances
Either you haven’t been eating anything for more than 2 days in a row or you are just not able to stop eating. Same is with sleep. Either you are sleeping all the time or you are unable to sleep even when you have the chance.
How to deal with postpartum depression?/ solutions for postpartum depression
It is treated much like any other types of depression. The good news is, with guided help, most women can overcome postpartum depression and feel better.
Counseling or talk therapy
As it is with other types of depression, doctors often suggest counseling, which is also known as Talk-Therapy. You will meet with a counselor, who will ask personal questions, which should be answered honestly. Whatever you talk will stay only between the two of you. And don’t worry, no one will judge you.
A support group with new moms and moms experiencing postpartum depression will help you feel better. This will remind you that you aren’t alone. Seeing other mothers overcome depression will give you the confidence boost that you need.
Feeling zombie-like pretty much comes with the territory when you have a new baby. And this isn’t the kind of sleep deprivation that comes with a binge-watching spree on Netflix when you have an 8 am meeting the next day. Instead, it may cause a chronic feeling of exhaustion, headaches, and irritability and can make dealing with your new mom routine that much harder.
Solutions to help sleep better
Newborns need constant care and attention, which means your entire sleeping schedule is thrown out of the window. Poor sleep can adversely affect health, and it also has a critical impact on pregnant women. Symptoms that can lead to postnatal insomnia include feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day responsibilities, worrying about future events, or feeling overstimulated by all the new experiences that you are going through.Understand and accept that sleep deprivation is a part of the course.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” doesn’t always work
If only it were so simple! Whoever advises you that, probably overlooks the fact that babies sleep for odd lengths of time and at odd periods throughout the day. Also the sleep patterns of the baby are very different from adults, and the new mom struggles between her daily chores, baby work, and her career. Hence it is not practical to sleep when the baby sleeps. So, just sneak in a few naps that will help you sustain through the worst days.
Express and store milk
Express and store the milk so that someone else can feed the baby when you are asleep or away. This can get you some free time for yourself without the tension of feeding schedules of the baby.
Accept help from whoever offers
Accept help from whoever offers; the husband, parents, even unsuspecting friends. Extra helping hands and family members can help ease your burden and help you get some rest.
Take some time off
Take some time off to relax and ask a friend or a family member to look after the baby. You can use this time to pamper yourself with natural body care products to feel relaxed and good, or pursue a hobby such as reading a book or spend some relaxing time watching TV or listening to music.
Finding simple solutions is easy when you want to work things out, instead of having postpartum depression, indulge in activities that will keep you happy. Work on reducing the stress causing factors. Let the family and close ones help you get through the new mom struggles.
When to see a doctor?
Some new mom struggles might need medical intervention. Like counseling for depression there are few more concerns that need your attention and prompt treatments. Breast changes like clogged ducts, enlargement during lactation are common but if you notice nodule formations or cystic formations in the breast, you should see a doctor. Doing regular breast screening tests is important to ensure good breast health, and keep a check on breast cancers.
It is especially vital to check breasts once you stop breastfeeding. Report unusual lumps, discharge or color changes in breast and nipples.
A doctor can advise mammograms or mammography to diagnose any breast changes or breast lumps. It is advisable to have a breast examination every 6 months when lactating and after you stop breastfeeding for a few years.
Consult the doctor if you notice signs like:
- Breast nodule or lump
- Redness and soreness on breast that feel hot to touch
- Puckering or dimpling of breasts
- Persistent fever or flu that can indicate mastitis
- Nipple retraction (inward turning of nipple)
- Rashes on breasts
- Painful breasts, which differs from the pain of breastfeedinG
- Bleeding nipples
- Unusual discharge
- Nipple vasospasm
Breastfeeding lowers the risks of breast cancers, lowering the number of struggles of new moms. The uneven breast size or shape changes can be corrected with simple cosmetic surgeries. It is important to tackle the struggles and make some lifestyle changes that assist you in managing the new mom’s life. Do not stress over things, take your time and space to combat all the struggles of motherhood.