How to Cope With Stress As A New Parent
Having a new baby can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. But it can also be stressful, after all, you now have the responsibility of looking after this new human being who depends on you for everything. So how do you cope with stress as a new parent?
Becoming aware that you are stressed is one of the first steps towards dealing with it. Here are some more ways for how to cope with stress as a new parent.
Rest when you can
Having a new baby means saying goodbye to sleep. Sleep deprivation will make your day much harder to cope with, so try to catch up on sleep during your babies naps. If you find you can’t sleep, make yourself a hot drink (with no caffeine) and curl up on the sofa and watch a binge on some Netflix.
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If you’re breastfeeding, you can put your baby’s crib next to your bed to make night feeds a little easier. If you are formula feeding, or if your baby is taking expressed milk from a bottle, this will also work and it means you and your partner can take turns on the night feeds too.
Having a baby (or toddler) can be exhausting, and exercise may not seem like something you want to do, but exercise can be a useful tool in coping with stress as a new parent. It’s good for your physical and mental wellbeing, and can actually give you more energy. Starting off with gentle tummy and pelvic floor exercises is a good way to start, and you can progress to brisk walks, yoga, or aqua aerobics.
Going for a walk is a good way to get yourself and your baby out of the house, and babywearing can help make exercising with your baby a lot easier. Check online to see if there are any postnatal exercise groups in your area, but make sure if you aren’t going to a specific postnatal class that your instructor is aware you just had a baby and not to do anything too strenuous.
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Make time for yourself
Taking care of yourself is something a lot of new parents forget to do. After all, you now have a new life that requires all of your attention 24/7 and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed. If you live near a trusted relative or friend, ask them if they can come over and watch your baby for a while, so you can do things like get out of the house for a bit, or have a long shower and actually shave your legs for the first time in who knows how long.
Talk about it
If you’re finding it hard to cope with stress as a new parent, find someone you trust that you can talk to about your worries. Communication is often the first thing that tends to be neglected in any relationship, whether it be with your partner, friends, or family.
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Try to remember that these adjustments to your life as a new parent are also happening to your partner. Sharing your feelings can help to strengthen your relationship and can help you both cope with stress as a new parent.
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