Up to 70% of new mums will feel anxious at some stage during their pregnancy or early motherhood.
This is normal considering the many unknowns that lie ahead.
In addition to learning the ropes ‘on the job’, new mums are also performing under the spotlight of social media and multi-tasking like never before!
Anxiety will be transitory for many new parents as they adjust to their new responsibility however for others it will manifest in a range of symptoms including feeling overwhelmed and on edge, lapses in concentration, sleeplessness, and changes in appetite and weight.
“Anxiety should be seen as a tap on the shoulder to expect the unexpected. You won’t always be in control when you have a wriggly baby or curious toddler and need to revisit some of the unrealistic expectations you place on yourself,” says Clinical Psychologist and BabyLove Spokesperson Leanne Hall.
Hall suggests the following tips for managing anxiety in new mums:
- Know that it is normal. More than half of new mums will experience some level of anxiety.
- Switch off. Get off your gadget and get on the floor with your bub. Enjoy playtime, and remember that what you see on Facebook and Instagram doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.
- Take time for you. Invest in yourself, so that you have more to give your growing family.
- Say Yes! Knowing when to say ‘yes’ can be a great coping strategy – so when someone offers to help out, accept!
- Listen to your intuition. Get in touch with ‘you’ – whether this is through meditation, writing a journal or yoga – and you will not only reduce your stress levels, but you will feel calmer and more confident in your parenting.
Hall further comments that social media can lead to increased anxiety as many mums feel the pressure to measure up as well as curate a ‘perfect feed’ of motherhood and family life to the outside world.
“Many new mums will experience the additional pressures of social media and the need to present an idealised image of motherhood – which is difficult to pull off when you are fulfilling multiple roles and multi-tasking along the way.”
As a new mum its important to remember that what you see online is not reflective of real life. Be kind to yourself, proactively care for yourself and soak in every moment. Tiny babies grow very, very fast!
If you or someone you know might be suffering from anxiety please refer them to the family GP. Beyond Blue is a great resource for additional information on anxiety.
Clinical Psychologist Leanne Hall is a spokesperson for BabyLove. For more information on Leanne Hall as well as BabyLove Nappies, Nappy Pants, overnight SleepyNights Pants and Baby Wipes visit the website.