Coping with a new baby

There can be a whole range of challenges that parents face in first weeks of becoming a parent. Some examples include recovering from birth, breastfeeding, and settling your baby. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling worn out, unable to think clearly and overly emotional. For lots of reasons bonding with your baby may also take longer than you expected.

In addition to adjustments around the baby, your may also be adjusting personally with the way you look and feel about your body, whilst trying to find time for everything whilst also meeting the needs of your baby.

Managing advice from others and adjusting to changing relationship dynamics not only with your partner, but also extended family and friends may also take time and at times cause friction or stress.

These are just some of the common challenges faced by many mothers, yet often women don’t seek practical and/or emotional help early, and hence their impact can build up over time, placing you and your partner and baby under even greater stress.

For more detailed advice about the range of stressors that can occur in the transition to parenthood visit COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence

There is also a range of tips and strategies to help you at this time. This can include:

  • making time for yourself and ensuring that your own needs are being met
  • considering what supports you may have access to – for both practical and emotional support
  • managing times when you feel you may be reaching breaking point – for example putting the baby in a safe place and taking some time for you to collect yourself emotionally
  • being aware of how you are feeling and how long you have been feeling this way. Stress is usually short term and passes once things have settled down, but if you are feeling ongoing symptoms or feelings that persist, this may be signs of a mental health problem.

For more specific tips and strategies to help you to manage stress in early parenthood visit cope.org.au