After the excitement of giving birth and bringing your new baby home, caring for your newborn on your own might feel overwhelming. It’s normal to feel exhausted, uncertain, or frustrated in the weeks and months immediately following the birth of your baby. In fact, it can take a first-time mother anywhere from six months to a year to adjust to post-partum physical and emotional changes. Even if you have plenty of help and support from your partner, family, and friends, your feelings might concern you—but you are not alone.
The birth of your baby is bound to create a wide range of emotions, from the joy and elation of finally meeting your child, to worry, frustration, and sadness after giving birth. These emotions are completely normal, and can occur no matter how prepared you are for the arrival of your baby. Unexpected mood swings, anxiety, and worry can also occur during pregnancy, or if you have recently miscarried or weaned a baby from breastfeeding
More than half of all new mothers experience the “baby blues,” a postpartum condition often marked by crying for no reason, impatience, irritability, restlessness and anxiety. The baby blues usually only last for a short time after delivery, and go away on their own. Help, support and patience from family and friends while you adjust to caring for a new baby can go a long way to keeping you from feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; asking a friend or relative to stay with your baby for even just a few hours can help you rest and recharge.
Taking care of yourself also helps you deal with the baby blues. Make an effort to get as much rest as you can, and maintain a healthy diet. Ask for help when you need it, and consider joining the New Mom Network, PinnacleHealth’s free informal support group and sharing time for new moms and their babies. Facilitated by a maternal/child health nurse, the group offers the chance for discussions about the physical and emotional adjustments to motherhood, as well as information about infant massage and lactation.
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section to find a postpartum new mom support group or call the PHoneLIne at (717) 231-8900