Although having a new baby can be an exciting time for a growing family, research (2018 Research by 3Gem and Dentinox of 500 UK new mum) from Dentinox, the experts in simple and effective baby medicines, has revealed the hardest things about being a new parent includes lack of sleep, being faced with new responsibilities, reduced self-confidence and the struggle of trying to lose baby weight.

Are you struggling to adapt to being a new mother? Don't fear, it's more common than you'd think!

Are you struggling to adapt to being a new mother? Don't fear, it's more common than you'd think!

During this time, it is easy to feel that you are the last person on earth. I have memories of reading to my baby, rocking her and singing to her for what seemed like most of the night... and thinking ‘Is there anyone out there?’

The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. There isn’t a parent who hasn’t experienced those late night or all-night sessions, when a baby has colic or a cold, or a sudden high temperature. These are anxious times, and it can take marathon-running fortitude to get through it.

The next thing to remember is that it is totally normal: all babies are different, and all babies take time to ‘settle down’. Some go instantly into a regular routine, others are wakeful or fractious, and need help to find a sleeping rhythm. As a parent, this is challenging, but not impossible, to sort out.

Try not to assume that everyone else has got things sorted. Other new parents may well be feeling just as lonely and exhausted as you, but don’t own up to it. Remember however lonely you feel that you are never truly alone and there are lots of ways you can surround yourself with other new parents who are feeling similar. The worst thing to do at this time is self-isolate, especially if you are sleep-deprived, as this can lead to extra stress and feelings of loneliness.

Instead, why not try some of the following ways to get out of the house, strengthen relationships or make new friends to support you during this time:

  • If you were part of an NCT group or went to parenting classes, pick up with friends you made during the time and reconnect. By spending even one hour a week chatting about how you’re all getting on can bring huge relief and allow you to see you’re not alone. Plus, you may end up picking up some tips to help with your feeding or sleeping routine.
  • Get out of the house, even if it means sitting in a friendly café and enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. You may find other new parents escape there and over time make new friends by chatting about your little ones and common experiences.
  • Don’t forget friends and family members or assume they are too busy or live too far away to visit. Loved ones will be happy to pop over and do the ordinary everyday things at home, or go out to the park, and give you a break.
  • If you have a partner who is back at work try and talk to each other about your feelings. They may also be feeling lonely at work, and then running back to relieve you at home. Sometimes couples feel resentful about the other persons’ situation, so don’t let things build up between you.

And finally, remember that all of this will pass. As the baby gradually grows and develops, they will move into new phases. You will be amazed. This means they will become more independent and self-sufficient, and in time your old way of being will become possible again.

Of course, you will always be a mum, and half your mind will always be on your young one. But you will be able to get out more, even go back to work, and if you make the effort to reach out and talk to people, you will find your new life will begin to be fulfilling, rather than isolating.

Human beings are very adaptable, after all.

Psychologist Corinne Sweet has recently teamed up with Dentinox to launch its Kindness to New Mums campaign. For more information about Dentinox’s range of gentle solutions, which help to treat and soothe common baby ailments, please visit www.dentinox.co.uk

About Corinne Sweet: Corinne Sweet is a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Broadcaster and Author of Birth Begins at Forty (Hodder, coming soon revised on Amazon) and The Anxiety Journal (Pan Macmillan). For more information please visit: www.corinnesweet.com


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