Yes, your new baby is amazing — but your life as a new mom might be a little hectic. We discussed with experts about some of the big issues like dilemmas with breastfeeding, work, and losing the baby weight, we’re all guaranteed to face. Here are their best strategies for coping with each one.
You Struggle with Breastfeeding
Lisa Spiegel, co-director of Soho Parenting in New York City and co-author of A Mother’s Circle: An Intimate Dialogue on Becoming a Mother, with Jean Kunhardt says, “The myth is that nursing comes naturally.” “But for most women that’s just not true. It may finally feel natural after many weeks, but it takes work and practice to get it right.” Moms often feel intense pressure from their friends, doctors, and family to nurse their baby. Spiegel and Kunhardt strongly encourage moms to keep the breast-versus-bottle debate in perspective. “The most important thing is that feedings are comfortable for you and your baby,” says Spiegel.
How to cope: If breastfeeding isn’t going well, get help from another mom who has nursed her kids or a lactation consultant “Ask her to come over for a couple of hours to just watch and see what you’re doing,” says Spiegel. “She may have some suggestions that’ll make things better — or it may help just to know that you’re doing everything right and that it will get easier with time.”
You Hate Your Husband
You probably think about divorcing your husband at least a dozen times during that first year — and that’s totally normal. After all, adjusting to your new role as parents is unbelievably stressful to even the strongest relationship. New mothers feel that their husband doesn’t understand just how challenging it is to care for a baby round the clock. They may resent having to take on most of the household and baby-care chores that they thought would be more evenly split. On the other hand, men feel more pressure to succeed at their job and provide financially for their family. So it’s no wonder that the mood in your house is often anything but warm, fuzzy, or romantic.
How to cope: First of all, acknowledge that taking care of a child is really hard and it’s going to temporarily stress your relationship. Secondly, realize that your spouse is probably doing the very best he can. Talk about what’s bothering you. Let your spouse know what you need from him.