Becoming a mother for the first time indeed shifts your life entirely. You change in ways you have never imagined before, most of which can feel foreign or overwhelming. Being a mom in today’s time is much different than what it was like before the advancement in technology and the normalization of women having jobs.
The world now is much more progressive. The majority of new moms work, and the ratio keeps increasing as people start realizing the importance of gaining an education and making use of it. It impacts your parenting style and how much time you speed with your child. On the other hand, technological advancement makes the process easier in many ways since you can do your research and learn so much about parenting from the internet.
Let’s look at how your body might shift during and after you give birth and what common challenges you might have to tackle as a new mom.
The Changes In Your Body & Health
Giving birth is no less of a miracle. It is the most precious and magical moment in someone’s life. Expectant mothers go through numerous changes from the time of conceiving to delivery and beyond that. Whether mental or physical, some changes that women may face are as follows:
- Frequent mood swings due to the stress of experiencing something you haven’t before
- Anxiety due to reasons like not feeling ready to be a mom
- Sadness or depression
- Eating disorders
- Panic attacks
- Your senses of taste and smell may change
- Weight gain due to water retention, which may also cause swelling in feet, and hands
- Constipation and heartburn due to indigestion
You can find out more about mental health changes at Mental Health during Pregnancy, and you can learn more about physical shifts in your body and their causes at Physical Shifts In Your Body During Pregnancy.
Your mental health and body also experience some changes after giving birth, and those include:
- Hormones levels change really fast, which may cause baby blues or postpartum depression
- Feeling shaky and getting tired quickly
- Breasts may increase in size
- A blood discharge called lochia for around six weeks after childbirth
- You may experience vaginal dryness until your hormone levels stabilize
- Postpartum constipation
- Having difficulty sleeping or sleeping a lot
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Worrying too much
- Recurrent thoughts of something happening to your child
Learn more about the postpartum body and mental health changes in detail at Physical changes after childbirth.
How Climate Change Is Affecting Pregnant Women
Changes in climate have a stronger impact on pregnant women as compared to other people. They deserve a lot of care and precaution during this time. Some way climate changes affect them and their babies are:
- Floods and wildfires cause health issues like preterm birth, anemia, miscarriages, and low birth weight
- Extreme weather events or natural disasters may cause post-traumatic stress disorder
- Increase in water-related illnesses
- 16% higher chance of preterm birth during severe heat waves
- 46% higher chance of stillbirth during heat waves
Find out more facts related to climate change affecting pregnant women at Changing Climate and Pregnancy Health
Common Challenges of Being a New Mom
It is important to note that you are not alone. Most of the difficulties that you might face as a new mom are, in fact, quite common. It is essential that you do not hesitate to ask for help to cope with these changes or issues in a better way. Let’s have a look at the most common challenges that you might face as a new mom.
Moms Lack of Sleep
If you experience a lack of sleep during pregnancy, it won’t only affect you and the baby but also your labor, blood pressure, and delivery. Sadly, this is a very common symptom both during and after birth due to all the body and mental changes discussed above.
Once the baby has arrived, sleeping might seem even more difficult due to the erratic sleep cycle of the newborn. However, it is vital for you as well as your baby’s help, that you take as much rest as your body requires, whether that involves asking your partner or a loved one to look after the baby for some time.
If you haven’t held your baby in the correct position while breastfeeding, you may experience cracked or sore nipples. You might feel as if your baby isn’t getting enough milk in the beginning or is unable to latch on. But don’t worry; you will get the hang of it. Shifting between both breasts is always a good idea since it stimulates the milk supply.
A very common and painful symptom is breast engorgement, when you have too much milk stored in your breasts, causing a hard, tight, and painful feeling. Moreover, some new mothers may have difficulty producing milk and thus have to make use of formula.
Baby Blues And Postpartum Depression In Mothers
Baby blues are short-term and last for a maximum of two weeks, whereas postpartum depression lasts much longer and is much more severe. Baby blues includes symptoms like irritability, mood swings, restless sleep, appetite issues, and sadness. Postpartum depression may include severe symptoms like hopelessness, a hard time connecting with your baby, insomnia or too much sleep, anxiety, panic attacks, constant suicidal thoughts, or death-related thoughts. It is necessary that you consult with a doctor if the symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks.
Lack of Personal Time
Most new mothers spend the majority of their time looking after the baby. If you are a working mom, then you might be dividing your time between work and your newborn. However, in all this busy schedule, one thing is often neglected, that is ‘you.’ New moms often forget to prioritize their own health and sometimes hygiene too. However, remember this will do your well-being more harm in the near future. Learn to take out some time to pamper or groom yourself on a frequent basis.
A Mom’s Physical Health
Feeling out of shape is natural since you get occupied with mom duties as soon as you deliver. It isn’t easy to get the time and focus on working out or getting your body back in shape. To boost your health, you can eat healthy foods that help you recover fast. Taking vitamins is also essential to make up for the physical changes your body has gone through and is currently going through. Include light exercises like walking after consulting your OB/GYN.
Being a mom is no doubt a tough job. The immense challenges can wear out the strongest of women. But it’s important not to beat yourself down by focusing on the problems. Instead, focus on putting your efforts into getting awareness beforehand and finding solutions that will work for both you and your baby.