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New Mom Guide: 9 Coping Mechanisms for a New Mom with a New Baby
Caring for a new baby can be overwhelming. Whatever stage you’re at; a new mom caring for your baby for the first time or a mom again with one or more tots, you will find a new baby comes with its own set of challenges.
I remember when I first had my daughter. I went from sleeping anytime I wanted, as long as I wanted to have a little boss determine my schedule and dictate when I could rest.
Of course, I loved her as I’d never loved another human, however, along with the joy and the awe of her entrance into my world, came the extreme stress of taking care of a newborn.
Beyond the sleepless nights, would be the added stress of having to feed baby at all hours (sometimes every two hours as newborns have very small stomachs and have to be fed often), and having to speedily learn what each of your baby’s cries.
If you find you’re currently faced with these challenges or know someone who is, this new mom guide should help. Here are five coping mechanisms for a new mom that will help you navigate and adjust in this somewhat overwhelming time.
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9 Coping Mechanisms for a New Mom
1) Your Baby’s Timetable Becomes Your Timetable
This is where a lot of new moms miss it. A baby coming into your life changes everything in no small way and one area you will feel the most impact is in your sleeping schedule.
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of wanting to get those chores you couldn’t get to done while baby was awake. But here’s what happens when you give in to this idea:
You will finish up quite alright, but since baby would be waking up anytime soon, that would leave you taking up your mommy duties again, leaving you to time to get the rest your body badly needs at this time.
Do this for an extended period and soon it will feel like you just went through the grinders, not to mention the fact your health could also be deteriorating slightly.
To balance this, you should adjust to his timetable: sleep when he sleeps and stays awake when he does, that way, you’re well-rested much of the time.
What’s more, you can have baby straddled to you while you get some cant-put-off toll later chores done around the house.
Now, while this might take a little getting used to, it’s usually the best course of action so you don’t end up sleep-deprived.
2) Get Someone to Assist Temporarily
This is easier in this part of the world like Africa where the child’s maternal grandmother or any other experienced relative moves in temporarily to assist the new mom.
This visit is never a short one as it could last three months and sometimes span as long as a year.
With the grandmom around, the new mom can rest or catch some sleep while grandma tends to the baby and also assists around the house any way she can, that way she isn’t left feeling stressed.
3) Talk to Trusted Friends or Family
Especially if you are a first-time
mom. There will be people around you who have gone through a similar stressful situation and developed a coping mechanism of their own.
Don’t be afraid you’ll be seen as inefficient; nobody expects a new parent to have it all together, especially at the beginning and you’ll be amazed at the number of people willing to offer tips to help you cope.
Have at least that one person you can run to when it starts to get a little too much, so you don’t break down.
4) Post-pone Energy Draining Activities Until Much Later
You most definitely won’t be able to get all activities done, especially those that are energy-draining. Life now isn’t what it used to be before baby and you shouldn’t try to make it so.
If an activity feels a little too much to handle and handle there’s no one to assist you, then you want to consider leaving it until a time when it can be conveniently managed.
If it is an activity that isn’t a key one, then you could ignore it altogether. Remember, you need all the energy you can get to care for your newborn as well as to get stronger.
5) Get Baby to Sleep More
Newborns sleep a lot anyway, up to 18 hours a day, but if you get one who is a day-sleeper and fancies herself a night guard (like my daughter was) then you might need to employ a few tricks to get her to readjust her sleep pattern.
6) Keep a Log
A log or journal will achieve a few things, including keeping you sane and helping you de-stressed.
They also make for a lovely memory keepsake as you can refer to them much later and enjoy the memories created at the time.
7) Find Support Groups Locally or On the Internet
You’d be amazed at how much you can find if you searched. There are support groups for just about every ‘problem’ out there, including that of a struggling new mom.
Put words out about your need and get on the internet and you should find a support group that is just right for you.
8) Let Dad Step In Sometimes
Search out and connect with like-minded moms who have faced or are facing similar situations. A lot of these moms are willing, eager even, to share their tips on managing these times.
If your baby daddy is around, then you might want to reach out to him when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.
It helps when you carry him along from the beginning, so he learns how everything is done, that way he can cope when you leave him alone with the baby for an hour or two to catch that much-needed sleep.
9) Get Your Older Child to Help
If this isn’t your first child, then you are in luck. Older kids can help out a lot at this time and what’s more, most are usually excited to do so.
From holding the baby (if they are old enough) while you catch up on some minutes of sleep, to watching her while you take a quick shower, there’s no end to the manner of ways these older kids can help as you will come to find out.
Tags: Newborn care, new mom guide, coping mechanisms for new moms