By mind coach and TV presenter Anna Williamson
1- The days and weeks after giving birth are amongst the most surreal and emotionally challenging, take each day as it comes and remove any expectation from yourself.
2 - Do talk to your health visitor or GP about how you're feeling, it's hard for people to give you the help and support you might need if you don't tell them.
3 - Anxiety can make you feel super alert and 'on edge', this can make it hard to relax and sleep. if you can't sleep, then make sure you allow yourself to rest whenever you can and ask someone to help by looking after the baby for a bit.
4 - Your newborn's crying and general gripes and groans can make anxious feelings spike in you. Make sure you breathe slowly and calmly to alleviate any intense and sudden feelings of anxiety
5 - Anxiety can often come hand in with other feelings, such as low mood and sometimes even obtrusive thoughts such as 'what if I drop the baby?'. If you're having upsetting thoughts, try not to worry, it's actually very common for new parents and is a way of us instinctively trying to protect our baby from harm. Share these thoughts with a health professional for support.
6 - You might over stress about things that don't really need to be, e.g., obsessive about routine, cleaning your house rigorously...recognise that anxiety is fuelled by adrenalin which is why you can often feel physically jittery
7 - A common side effect of anxiety is loss of appetite. If you're not feeling up to eating much, make sure you do get as much nutritious food and drink as you can possibly stand - soups, smoothies, water, and yoghurt are easier to face when you don't fancy much
8 - Going out might feel scary and hard to do. Anxiety often renders the sufferer too wary to venture out. But getting out and about as a new mum is key to good mental and physical wellbeing, so ask a friend to go with you and the baby for a walk, it will help ease off any anxious feelings
9 - Sometimes anxiety can hinder our emotions so you might find you're not feeling overwhelmed with love at first for your baby, don't stress, just allow the bond to grow naturally in it's own time.
10 - It can feel hard to adjust to this new role overnight, anxiety is very common for new mums, and many crave the comfort of the 'old you'. As time goes on, you'll adjust and the anxiety about your new role will lessen as your confidence grows and you embrace the life changes.
Breaking Mum and Dad: The Insider’s Guide to Parenting Anxiety by Anna Williamson will be published by Green Tree on the 8th of March, £12.99 at www.amazon.co.uk