During pregnancy, your friends and family may have shared stories with you about feeling “love at first sight” upon meeting their newborn, or having that “instant connection.”
If that isn’t enough, movies and TV shows tend to show new mothers in postpartum bliss—and back to their pre-pregnancy bodies with a clean house to boot!
Of course, this isn’t the reality that most new mothers experience. Around 2/3 of new moms and about 15% of dads report feeling emotionally fragile or numb within the first 10 days of the birth of their baby. By Day 3, they feel especially tearful and are easily upset. This is referred to as having the “Baby Blues.” The biggest contributors to these feelings include:
- Hormonal changes from a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels.
- The stress of childbirth.
- Lack of sleep.
In addition, a new parent’s emotions are affected by:
- Learning to care for a new baby.
- Family demands and household chores.
- Finding that parenthood is different than what they expected.
- Lack of support from friends or family.
- Mourning the loss of your old lifestyle.
- Physical changes due to pregnancy and breast-feeding.
The good news is that the baby blues are usually temporary and can be helped with some self-care techniques.
For self-care ideas and ways to support yourself, visit lanekids.org.
This article is brought to you by Parenting Now! Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis, and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com).
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