*This is a guest post written by Talin Anderson
Did you know that anxiety as a new mom is extremely common?
Finding out that you’re pregnant can be the most amazing thing you have ever realized. Those nine months can be some of the most magical months for you.
What you don’t realize is once you have your baby, most women start having massive anxiety attacks. I was one of these women.
Having a baby is so amazing and magical as long as everything goes as planned. When it doesn’t go as planned though, it opens up some emotional ups and downs that can be extremely rough to deal with.
I want to share 5 tips with you today that can help ease your anxiety as a new mom and help you start enjoying more of this precious time.
5 Tips for Coping with Anxiety as a New Mom
Use these 5 tips to help you cope with your anxiety and remind yourself that you are not alone.
1. Dealing with Anxiety When Things Go Bad
When my daughter was born, she wasn’t doing very well with her oxygen and needed to be rushed to the NICU. You can imagine how hard this would be for a first time mom.
Why was my daughter turning grey and not breathing well? I had no idea and honestly, the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her either.
She was in the NICU for 5 long days. I wasn’t able to even hold her for the first 24 hours because it would be too stimulating for her.
This was such a tough time for me and I’m sure many of you have dealt with something similar.
The only way I was able to do deal with the anxiety was to ask tons of questions. I’m sure the medical staff was super annoyed with me by the time I left the hospital with my daughter, but guess what? I don’t care.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to ask the medical staff tons of questions so that you can be filled with the knowledge that your child is being taken care of by competent medical personnel.
Obviously, you won’t be completely without anxiety, but this will help you a bit.
2. Keep the Sick Away
This is one of the best tips I can give you because not only does it keep your baby safe from catching some nasty germs, but it also helps you feel like you’re in control, which is important with anxiety.
My family thought I was a nut job with my first child, because I would ask everyone who wanted to come see my baby if they were ill or had recently been ill (even if it was just the sniffles!).
If they had the sniffles, then they were not welcome to come over and visit. If there was anyone around who might have been sick, my anxiety was on superdrive.
Honestly, your family should respect the fact that you want to protect your child when they don’t have a great immune system and not try to come over.
Looking back now, I realize I was a bit overbearing, but I did what I had to do to protect my child and you should too.
3. When in Doubt, Call the Pediatrician
Before you have your baby, you’ll need to do your research and find a pediatrician you trust to look after your child.
I love my kids’ pediatrician and actually, he was my pediatrician too. With my first child, I called him a lot.
That is what they’re there for, so why not utilize their knowledge when I’m having anxiety about something so minor?
Most of the time your pediatrician will ease your worries over the phone or if they can’t, then you will need to take your child in to be seen.
I took my daughter in a lot because I was so scared her oxygen levels would go down and she would need to be admitted back into the ICU.
My pediatrician was always very thorough and understanding of my fears. He never made me feel like a nuisance for asking so many questions.
Remember, asking questions is one sure way to help relieve some of your anxieties as a new mom. You don’t know what you don’t know, so learn all you can.
4. Take Care of YOU
Isn’t it easy to forget about yourself after having a baby? You forget to bathe, sleep, eat, or even drink water.
Your thoughts are consumed by your baby, even if they’re healthy and ok. We forget about ourselves sometimes and this often causes our new mom anxiety to get worse.
Remember to take a few minutes a few times a day to do something for you. It can be something simple, like napping while baby sleeps or getting a pedicure while dad watches baby for an hour.
Don’t forget about your needs, because if you do, you’ll lose yourself in this mess of anxiety.
I didn’t realize how important it was to get sleep after having a baby and the constant fatigue really put a toll on my body and my mind.
Ladies, find the time to sleep. I always recommend you sleep when baby sleeps or if you can’t, have a family member look after baby so you can nap.
5. Relax, It Will All Be OK
Try and remember that this phase of motherhood goes by quickly and before you know it, your child is all grown up.
Relax. It will all be OK. You just do the best you can do to raise your child. Everything else will fall into place.
I know, it’s super stressful in the beginning when you feel like you have no clue what you’re doing, but I PROMISE, you will get the hang of it. Babies don’t come with a manual; it’s a “learn as you go” type of job.
As you see things getting easier, your anxiety as a new mom will begin to fade and one day it won’t be there anymore.
You Are Not Alone
Becoming a mom is blissful…but also challenging. Many new mothers, including myself, suddenly have to deal with constant worrying, panic attacks, and intrusive thoughts.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to help you cope with your new mom anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, call your pediatrician at odd hours, and keep your baby away from family and friends that are feeling ill.
Remember to take care of yourself and know that this isn’t going to last forever.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help during this difficult time and be sure to speak with your provider if you’re struggling to get your anxiety under control.
I know it’s tough mama, but please know that you are not alone!
How Did You Cope as a New Mom?
What did you do as a new mom to deal with the anxiety of caring for another human being? Share your best advice in the comments below and be sure to share this post with all your new and expecting mom friends.