Happy Mother’s Day from the staff and physicians at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children! We want to recognize all moms for being the everyday heroes they really are. If you’re a new mom or expecting your first child, motherhood can be a big adjustment. Many new moms face unexpected pressures and demands, which could affect your physical and mental health.
It’s important for all new moms to take time out for themselves while caring for their baby. For new parents, maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, but your own physical and emotional well-being should be just as much of a priority as the health of your baby.
Motherhood really is a full-time job. According to a 2016 study from Salary.com, a stay-at-home mom works roughly 92 hours every week. If moms got paid to do their job, their annual salaries would exceed $140,000.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Child & Maternal Health Education Program outlines helpful tips and suggestions for new and expecting moms who are preparing for motherhood:
- Join a community or support group for moms — It’s important for new moms to connect with other mothers, get parenting advice from seasoned moms, and share their experiences with those who have been through it before. Find a mom’s group in your neighborhood or seek out an online community for mom’s that you can get support and feedback from.
- Don’t neglect your own “self care” while caring for your baby — In those first few weeks and months of motherhood, it’s not uncommon for new moms to neglect or push aside their own personal needs to care for their child. However, your mental and emotional health depends on making time for yourself and practicing “self care.” Take a bath, go for a walk or spend time with friends as a way to rest, relax and recharge from the demands of motherhood.
- Ask for help when you need it — New moms might experience pressure to be “Supermom” and do everything by themselves. Asking for help is not only necessary, but also a sign that you’re taking good care of yourself. Don’t be too afraid to ask for help from friends and family tell them what you need.
- Let go of trying to be the “perfect” mom — Caring for a newborn is a huge learning process and all new parents make mistakes. No one can be the perfect parent or doing everything right all the time. If the dishes pile up in the sink or the laundry doesn’t get done, it’s really okay.
- Spend time with others — As a new mom, you’ll obviously be spending a lot of time with your baby. However, not being around other adults could make some moms feel overwhelmed, lonely or isolated. Make time to spend with friends and family, who can offer support and dote on the baby while you take a breather.
- Sleep when your baby does — It’s easy for new parents to cut back on sleep when their baby is born. However, getting enough sleep is one of the most important habits for your health.
Moms should try to sleep when their baby does and rest while their child is napping. Lack of sleep can be detrimental to not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional state as well.
Motherhood is a big life transition — but it can also filled with many moments of joy.
At Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, we strive to offer the best care and treatment available for expecting moms, new mothers and women with children of all ages.