The Heavy Pressure on Moms of Newborns
It is no secret that becoming a mom is a huge adjustment. Women everywhere face intense pressure when welcoming a newborn into the world. In addition, the mass amount of advice that expectant mothers receive both during pregnancy and postpartum can be overwhelming.
Pressure During Pregnancy
The minute a new mom announces her pregnancy, she begins to get an onslaught of suggestions, opinions, and expectations imposed by family, friends, and society. Many moms face strong opinions on the type of birth they should have, what prenatal vitamins to take, and even their diets.
Pressure After Delivery
Once the baby arrives, the pressure continues. Moms must quickly learn how to interpret and respond to their baby’s needs. In their attempt to learn these skills, mothers often put tremendous pressure on themselves to be perfect. New moms are also bombarded with unrealistic expectations from society and the media, such as:
- Breastfeed Right Away – Social media and internet articles ooze with pressure to breastfeed, but it may not be the right choice for all women. For some, finding the best formula and bottle-feeding is the best fit.
- Produce Enough Milk Supply – Anticipating how much milk a baby needs can be nerve-wracking for a new mom. Every baby is different and supply levels may vary, so pressure to produce enough can be stressful.
- Be Perfectly Patient – New moms can feel a lot of guilt and pressure to respond incredibly patient and positively to all struggles. Realistically, however, this can be very difficult at times.
Surviving the Pressure
The pressure that new moms feel during and after pregnancy is immense, however, there are a few ways to help combat it and make the journey a bit easier:
- Ask for Help – Accepting help and support from family members or a postpartum doula can greatly reduce some of the stress that comes with a newborn.
- Seek Out Other Moms – Support groups or online networks that are tailored toward new moms and their needs can be a great source of understanding and resources.
- Take Care of Yourself – Practice deep breaths and find simple ways to work in self-care that fit your lifestyle. Doing this can help validate the roller-coaster you are riding.
Being a new mom is an incredible time in any woman’s life but it can also be incredibly overwhelming. It is important to remember that no one is perfect, and to do whatever works best for you and your baby.