New mom anxiety is incredibly common and completely normal. If you’re a first-time parent just remember: You’re not alone! At some point, every mother who has ever given birth was a first-time parent. Concerns for new parents are both understandable and valid. You’re embarking on a journey that is alternately exhilarating and terrifying depending on the day—how could you not be a little scared?
In this post we’ll examine what it’s like to be a parent for the first time, explore typical challenges that new moms face, and review common concerns for new moms.
About New Moms
You’re sleep deprived, your body isn’t back to normal and your hormones are off the charts. Sound familiar? All this means is that you’re facing the same new mom challenges that so many have faced before.
You’ve got this.
Whether you’re having issues breastfeeding (or deciding whether or not breastfeeding is right for you), suffering from Postpartum Depression (PD) or simply trying to stay organized as you navigate your new role as a parent, help and support is available.
The main thing is to stay calm, breathe and take each day as it comes. In time you won’t feel nearly as overwhelmed as you probably do now.
There are countless things that keep new moms up at night with worry and concern for their new child. Here are just a few (and some suggestions for how to help solve them):
You’ve tried everything—feeding, singing, reading, bathing, driving around the block and nothing seems to get your infant to sleep. Because every child is different, there’s not one cookie-cutter way to get every baby to sleep, but here are a few tips that have worked for other parents:
- Create a bedtime routine of cuddling. feeding, etc. and stick to it multiple nights in a row until the baby adapts.
- Experiment with sounds such as mobiles, music boxes, singing, radios with calming songs, etc.
- Ensure the baby’s nose is clear for unrestricted breathing by using a nasal aspirator or drops if it’s clogged.
There are many reasons why babies cry, and it can sometimes be difficult to know why while they’re still too young to communicate with words. Here are some common reasons they may be upset:
- Hunger is the most common reason for tears in newborns. They need nourishment often, and their only way of telling you is to cry for it. If they take a breast or bottle easily, you’ll know that’s the reason for the tears.
- Exhaustion is also a catalyst for crying. If the baby is overstimulated by frequent visitors or if their crib or bassinet is in an area of the home that contains a lot of activity, they may not be getting enough sleep. Be sure to create a nurturing space for them to slumber to avoid fatigue.
- A soiled diaper is another common reason for babies to cry. No one likes to feel wet or dirty, so be sure to check their diaper if there’s no other reason the baby could be upset.
- Pain is the hardest to determine, but many babies suffer from a common condition called colic, which is an irritation that causes minor tummy aches. Most babies grow out of this in a few months. If it’s not colic, check the baby for other symptoms such as fever in case they’ve become sick.
You may think that your baby isn’t reaching a certain weight fast enough compared to other infants you’ve known or based on books you’ve read, but each child is different, and there’s usually no cause for alarm. There are some things you can do to ensure you’re setting them up for successful weight gain:
- Test the baby’s latching proficiency whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Some babies have challenges getting the nutrients they need simply because they can’t grasp the nipple well enough. Try new positions, touch the baby’s lips to the nipple to encourage a good latch and make sure both you and the child are supported during feedings with pillows and cushions, if necessary.
- Keep the child awake during feedings, though it’s common for them to become so relaxed they may drift off. This will prevent the baby from getting insufficient milk.
- Check to make sure that you’re producing enough milk (if breastfeeding) and track how much the baby is ingesting in a journal or app to be sure they’re reaching recommended ounces with each feeding.
Other common concerns include when to vaccinate, when it’s appropriate to call a doctor or visit an urgent care facility and how to avoid the risk of SIDS. These are all issues that can and should be discussed with your pediatrician should you need advice or reassurance.
Talk to a Doctor
Western Washington Medical Group is made up of a team of compassionate, caring medical professionals that are sensitive to the needs of new parents. If you’d like to request an appointment with our Family practice, go here. Or for more general inquiries, complete the form on this page.