Beating New Mom Stress in the Midst of a Pandemic
Welcoming a new baby into the world and to your family is nothing short of miraculous. It's amazing, magical, and crazy all at the same time.
While you are filled with joy and love for your new baby, you can also be overcome with fear, loneliness, and stress. Add in all the uncertainty and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and now you are completely overwhelmed. How is a mom supposed to feel? How is she supposed to manage her stressors?
Your journey to motherhood during this unprecedented time will be one that you will never forget.
Is it normal to feel overwhelmed with caring for your new baby under normal circumstances? Yes! Absolutely! These feelings can make what is supposed to be a positive life-changing event one that makes you question yourself, your thoughts, and your abilities.
Then, add in the uncertainty of caring for a baby during a pandemic and those feelings may consume you... if you let them. Caring for a newborn is challenging in the best of times, but doing so during a coronavirus pandemic presents a whole new set of challenges—especially when you’re isolated from your parents, close relatives, and friends.
As a new mom, it’s unrealistic to think you can eliminate stress completely, but you can minimize it.
Here are some useful strategies to manage new mom stress in the midst of a pandemic:
View this bonding time with the baby as a gift.
Missing your parents, relatives, or friends and feeling guilty that they aren’t able to spend time with the baby is NORMAL. However, there may be a silver lining in this situation. Every family has that family member who can over advise when it comes to taking care of a newborn.
Look at this time as a way to bond with your immediate family, determine what works best for your family, and learn from one another. This can be an empowering experience that can bring the family closer together. It also eliminates having to tell a plethora of people who want to visit “no” when you really didn't want them to see the baby under normal circumstances. Technology can be amazing and offer the support from your parents, relatives, and friends when you need it. Remember, your people are just a phone call away.
Contain the Chaos.
A new baby, with his/her 24 hours sleep/wake schedule and constant need for care, can leave the most organized parent reeling, and turn what was once a spotless house into an obstacle course. Simplifying is the secret to keeping your life not perfect, but livable. If the day to day routine is overwhelming you, change one thing and do it differently.
Rescue your relationship.
Enjoy the magic of being a new mom and fall in love with your partner all over again. Realizing what each of you and your partner’s changing needs are is key! The secret is to address any issues up front. Be proactive.
Break a sweat.
Start exercising as soon as your doctor states it is safe. Sign up for yoga, join a “mommy and baby” exercise class, or take a walk with your baby and significant other. Many of these classes are being offered via video conferencing platforms or there are plenty of free videos on YouTube.
Take some “guilt free” time for yourself.
Ask your partner to watch the baby for a little while, or if you are by yourself, wait until the baby goes down for a nap to do something for YOU. Take a drive to your favorite coffee/tea shop. Take a walk on the beach. Read your favorite magazine. Watch your favorite show. Take an extra long shower. These could be good opportunities for you to recharge your body, mind, and soul.
Eat nutritious meals.
Poor nutrition can sap your energy levels and cause stress. Making sure you have proper nutrition and staying hydrated is important. If family members, friends, or relatives offer to help cook or deliver meals, take them up on it. Have your groceries delivered or if able, use a meal service. Find ways to make cooking and enjoying whole foods easy and accessible.
Get help. If you feel overwhelmed by the stress of being a new mom during this difficult time, reach out for professional help. There is no guilt in admitting the changes in your life are overwhelming. It is time to remove the unrealistic expectations of motherhood and the negative stigma of postpartum mental health issues.
Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to be the “perfect” mom. It’s important to sideline this mentality. Focus on loving your child and the new family that is being built. Remember mama, you can’t be there for your baby and family if you aren't taking care of yourself.
For any of you, mamas, who may need extra support, I’m offering phone or video sessions through a secure platform. Please click here to schedule an appointment today or click here to learn more about me.