Everyone feels stressed from time to time and parents are no strangers to this and while parenthood is one of life’s most joyous occasions it can also bring a lot of work and challenges, especially when dealing with a newborn. Everything is new for both the baby and the mom, even with all the books that are out there it is impossible to completely prepared for this new journey called motherhood.
Being a mom is no easy job, late nights, lack of sleep, feedings, diaper changes, colic, teething and tantrums takes its emotional and physical toll on the body and can put you at a risk for depression. Here are a few tips to ease the stress of motherhood:
1) Sleep- YES, sleep! It may sound like a contradiction but getting enough sleep can help you keep calm and less irritated. If you can’t get enough sleep during the night then it is recommended that you nap when your baby does, even if it is the middle of the day. This way you both wake up refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day.
2) Take some time for yourself- Sometimes we are so focused on the baby that we forget to take some time to pamper ourselves. It could be a short walk outside, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, read a book for 30 minutes, even a 10-minute bath can feel like a vacation. Ask a family member or a friend to watch the baby while you do it and enjoy it.
3) Ask for help- we tend to think that there is nothing we can’t do, but in this case the more help you get the better it will be for everyone. If friends and family offer to help say yes. They can help with some of the chores around the house and simple meal preparations.
4) Eat a healthy diet- a good source of nutrient is beneficial to our mind and bodies. It can reduce your stress levels and gives you tons of energy. If you are breastfeeding good fats are a must so that it is transferred to your baby and can nourish that little body.
5) Keep your body active- At first you may feel like laying in bed is all you want to do but at some point you’re going to need to get moving, it gets the blood flowing and keeps your mind clear. If it’s nice enough outside you can “wear” your baby and go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just enough for you to change scenery and maybe have some time to think while you get some exercise done.
5) Have fun- Time goes by really fast so it is best to enjoy every moment with them. Every sound, every smile even those peaceful looks on their little faces when they sleep are going to be the best memories down the road.
Being a new mom is like being on a rollercoaster of emotions. Always talk to someone about what you are feeling or write it down. If you have tried everything and still feel like it is too much to take then try talking with a health professional about postpartum depression.