Being a new mom comes with a mixed bag of emotions. You feel excited you have this new member of the family, but at the same time feel anxious and nervous. Having these mixed emotions is normal; do not beat yourself about it.
So, how do you deal with this whirlwind of emotions? This article is going to show you practical ways on how you can deal with common new mom fears and worries. Let’s get started.
Like we have seen, having a newborn comes with an array of emotions. To make you feel better, every parent goes through this whirlwind of emotions. From pregnancy, it will hit you now you are responsible for another human being. It will make you feel anxious about how you will take care of your baby.
And once the baby comes, you may feel you are not confident to take care of the baby. Or you may feel you are not doing a great job like other parents. You may also experience frustration on how to handle your crying baby. All of these emotions are valid.
To deal with your emotions, find someone you can share with about what you are going through. It can be a close friend, or if you have family around, reach out to them. If you feel you need professional help, you can reach out to a counselor. Do not sit there all alone. Talk to someone.
2. Am I Doing It Right?
A recurring new mom fear is if you are doing it right. Are you breastfeeding the right way? How many times should the baby nurse? Are you changing the diapers well? Should you use a pacifier? What about tummy time? Should you do babywearing, are you doing it right?
The feeling of “Am I doing it right?” will always plague a new mom. However, do not worry. You will eventually grow out of this fear as you grow in confidence in taking care of your baby. Also, do not try to be a perfectionist. Give yourself the grace to learn on the job.
3. The Baby May Die While Sleeping
You have probably heard of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, where a baby less than one-year-old dies in its sleep unexpectedly, and the cause are not evident. It is an unfortunate death, and many new moms fear that their child may die in their sleep. Then they find themselves repeatedly checking on the baby to see if they are okay when sleeping.
Although it is a valid fear, SIDS is uncommon. They are several ways you can ease your worry about it. First, make sure you lie your baby on their back. Do not lay them on their stomach or side as babies placed this way may have difficulty breathing.
Second, remove pillows, soft toys, or any fluffy material in the crib. These things can interfere with your baby’s breathing if they put them on their nose. Also, do not overheat your baby. Dress them accordingly depending on the weather, and do not cover their head when you put them to bed.
Lastly, if possible, have the baby crib or bassinet in your room for at least the first 6 months to one year. It will help you monitor your baby easily when they are asleep. Just a caveat, do not sleep with the baby in your bed, as adult beds are not safe for infants.
4. You Do Not Feel a Connection with The Baby
If a new mom said she doesn’t feel any bond with her baby, people would think there’s something wrong with her. In some cases, she may even be labeled a bad mother. However, it may not be the case.
Some mothers will have an immediate attachment to their baby after birth. While for others, it will take time to create the bond. To kick start bonding between you and your baby, you can do skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
By holding your baby skin to skin, you will give comfort and emotional support to your baby. It will also instigate the mothering instinct in you and create a connection.
Another way to cultivate a connection with your baby is to have eye contact while breastfeeding or feeding your baby. Eye contact is a universal language for bonding. Also, do not forget to talk to your baby. Lastly, babywearing and infant massages are a great way to bring a connection with your baby.
5. Is My Baby Developing Normally
You have read all the books on developmental milestones. You follow all the parenting blogs of parents documenting every smile, cooing, hiccup, rollover, and first step. At times, you may find yourself comparing your child to them and asking if your child is “on track.”
Unfortunately, this is a massive new mom fear that makes many moms lose sleep. However, this should not be the case. Keep in mind that, as long as your child is getting towards their developmental milestones, they are okay. Do not be obsessed with the specific age or date they attain them.
That said, avoid comparing your child to their same-age peers. It is counterproductive and only heightens your anxiety and fears. However, if your child fails to hit the typical range of milestones, particularly language development and walking, make sure you see your pediatrician.
6. Worried Your Baby Is Sleeping Too Much
As a new mom, you may notice your baby sleeping for long hours. It may scare you and make you wonder what is wrong with the baby. However, nothing is wrong. As long as your baby is feeding well, is changed, and comfortable, they are fine. In most cases, when they sleep for too long, they are in a growth spurt.
Final Though About New Moms Fears and Worries
New mom fears are real, and every new mom has experienced them in one degree or another. Although, many new moms fear to vocalize it in the fear they may get judged. If you are a new mom and are facing these fears, talk to someone. You can speak to your pediatrician, maternal child health nurse, or a mental health therapist. Also, feel free to use the tips given to handle some of these new moms’ fears.
Sources: CNN International, Got A Million Worries About Your Baby? Here’s Calming Advice, Mar 2007, Kids Health, Separation Anxiety, Oct 2016, Pregnancy Birth Baby, Common Worries and Fears for Parents, July 2019 and PubMed, Who Worries That Something Might Be Wrong With The Baby? A Prospective Study of 1072 Pregnant Women, Dec 1997.