We live in a society that puts motherhood on a towering pedestal.Now, parenting is damned hard work, and mothers rarely get the validation and appreciation they deserve.But there’s an underlying belief that as soon as a woman becomes a mother, she’s an ever-giving, saintly being full of unconditional love and devotion.
How to tackle new mom anxiety
New mom anxiety isn’t confined to postpartum — it can hit before or after having a baby. Yes, that’s right. Maternal—perinatal — anxiety can manifest before you’ve even had your baby! For a lot of women, anxiety starts to manifest during pregnancy, but it’s so rarely talked about that those women often feel isolated and alone in their worries.
There are a few tried and trusted ways to tackle this anxiety:
Learn to identify the feeling: If you’ve never struggled with anxiety or been diagnosed with depression, it can be tough to identify what you are feeling. Sit with your feelings and talk to a loved one if you feel like your emotions are out of whack.
Get professional help if you need it: Many new moms feel like they ‘should’ be able to do it alone. But you know that saying “it takes a village to raise a child? In our modern world, we often don’t have the village of support that moms of previous generations enjoyed. If you need a nanny, a therapist, or a night nurse — and you can afford it — please don’t feel bad about getting the professional help you need.
Accept help where it’s offered: People want to help you when you’re having a baby. So whether it’s a friend who offers to make dinner or your mom-in-law who offers to do your laundry, don’t feel bad to accept the help. Know that you will offer the same assistance to someone else in the future (or have in the past) and be at peace with it.
Don’t be afraid to take the medication: We take painkillers for a headache, and muscle relaxants for a sprain. Mental health can, and often should be treated the same way. Speak to a medical professional you trust and ask as many questions as you need to to feel comfortable. Don’t let stigma or taboo stop you from getting the help you need.