All moms want to be the best mom they can be and lean into motherhood. However, with all the energy and happiness those little ones bring, knowing most new moms experience the same stressors is helpful. We asked our friends at Intermountain Moms on Facebook what stresses they experienced with their little bundle of joy and here is what stood out.
5 Common Stresses of a New Mom
Mom Stress #1 – The Challenges of Breastfeeding
Whether you're a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Along with those questions many factors may influence your breastfeeding success, including what you learned in prenatal classes, how your labor and delivery went, or who was supporting you during those early days at home.
Here is what a few moms had to say:
“The biggest stress was if my baby was getting enough to eat while waiting for my milk to come in. Ended up supplementing those first two nights home using the tiny tubes that release formula while baby is nursing. So glad I did because my milk didn't come in until the night of day 7. Every baby has been different and so I learned to listen to myself and my baby.” - Kari
“I WORRIED about when my breast milk would come in!!! I nursed and pumped as much as I could, and my milk finally came in on the 3rd day, but at the same time, I was super worried my newborn would starve :( it wasn’t fun at all!!!” - Nadia
“With my first it was probably breastfeeding. She never learned to latch well and I was in pain for 8 solid weeks. I tried everything and anything to fix her latch but nothing helped. I would be nursing and crying and my supportive husband would say I didn't have to do it, but it was something I really, really wanted to do, so I battled it out. It was a real struggle though.” - Ashley
Nurse Dani has a few tips for helping with breastfeeding.
Mom Stress #2 – Trust Yourself
We all want to be perfectionists, but when it comes to those lovable bundles you won’t have all the answers. Now is the time you have to trust yourself and your motherly instincts. Parenting books and friendly advice are great guides, but you will know your body and you baby – trust yourself. You’ll be amazing and make the best choice. When in doubt ask your trusted support system and caregiver for extra information or support.
Here is what a few moms had to say about motherly instincts:
“I think my biggest stress was trying to listen to all the ADVICE when my motherly intuition told me to do something differently. I started following different groups on social media and worked really hard on listening to myself more than others. I am the expert on my kids! I have really grown as a mother in the last 6 years.” - Heather
“For me it was knowing if I was doing it right. Any of it. I was blessed to live with my mom who was invaluable to me, I also have a great pediatrician who helped with all my panicked calls. Mostly my husband was there to lean on, always calming me down during the hormonal melt downs, helping in the night when I just couldn't wake up and giving me confidence that my way of doing things doesn't have to be by the book. I learned that as long as my baby was healthy and happy I was doing it right. There are a lot of answers and I had to find my own mommy groove :)” - Elise
Mom Stress #3 – Having a Preemie
Spending time in the NICU is never high on a new moms list, however, 10-15 percent of newborns spend some time in the NICU. The good news is NICUs have amazing caregivers dedicated to care and helping new moms have the best experience as possible.
You’ll feel a lot of emotions ranging from scared, to gilt, to joy – this is natural. It is key to not blame yourself and look forward to the joy of bringing baby home.
Here is what one mom shared:
“My biggest stress as a new mom was having a preemie. With pumping every two hours, I had no time to do other things, not even go to the store. I pumped for 11 months! My baby spent his first 100 days in the NICU, and it was hard being away from him. I would spend 9 hours a day at the hospital. When he finally came home it felt like we had it all figured out, but it was far from a "normal" newborn experience, with supplements and medications and tube feedings and an apnea monitor. Very few people were allowed to visit, because of his extremely weak immune system. There were a lot of difficult things about having such an early preemie!” – Anna
Nurse Dani has some advice for parents:
Mom Stress #4 – Lack of Sleep
When you first have that newborn, it truly feels as though you will never get a full night’s sleep again. This a huge mom stress simply put by one mom - lack of sleep. Sleep is a precious commodity in any stage in life, but pregnancy has a huge impact on sleep and your sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep as a new mom is very important.
Here 3 tips you can try to catch a little extra shut-eye:
- Sleep when baby is sleeping (Consider this permission to nap)
- Get help for nighttime feedings (pump and share the nighttime feeding fun)
- Find what relaxes you even if you’re not going to bed
While your baby will eventually sleep through the night, it is hard to realize this as a first time mom. Just keep on doing your best as a mom and realize that soon, those sleepless nights will be over. Okay, maybe not completely sleepless, but close! What can I say? Each kid goes through weird sleeping patterns, which is where you learn to roll with the punches.
Mom Stress #5 – Preparing for a C-Section
If you know you're going to have a C-section, chances are that there's something going on in your situation that makes it so that your doctor scheduled you for a C-section. In your example, it sounds like your baby's probably breech and so your doctor likely has scheduled a date around 39-40 weeks where you come into the hospital, they do the operation and you have a baby just a couple hours after getting there.
Nurse Dani shares how you can prepare for a C-Section delivery.