So You Just Had a Baby…?

So You Just Had a Baby… !?

This baby feels like… a lot

Discovering that you are going to become a parent is filled with endless emotions. Yes, there is joy and excitement – A baby! They’re so cute..and squishy..and their squeals…gah! But there are also questions of uncertainty and often trepidation – How will I/we pay for this? Will I go back to work? Will my partner go back to work? Will I breastfeed? What if they cry all the time? Are we going to be bonded right away? I’m going to miss my friends. And, wait, do I need to set up a nursery?? 

Immediately following the arrival of a baby is also a time of increased emotion…You may feel like they’re the cutest human on the planet (they are!) or that they smell amazing (they do!) and that they are the sweetest (for sure!). But, you may also feel overwhelmed by the drastic changes  in your life. You’ve swapped out evenings with friends on restaurant patios with bouncing a baby on an exercise ball while simultaneously Googling the best burp cloths, diaper creams and swaddles. Or, you may feel like you’re just not bonding with your baby like you should (those Instagram moms made it seem different…). 

These shifting environmental and social stressors coupled with the hormonal changes that occur both during and after pregnancy are difficult to manage! You are not alone. This adjustment is hard…for everyone. Say it with me, “I am not alone. This adjustment is hard…for everyone.”

It’s important to take care of yourself as you go through this adjustment. Here are my top 5 tips: 

  • Accept help. There is truth to the “it takes a village” saying. Accept those offers for keeping you company, bringing over dinner, folding laundry, etc. 
  • Go on walks. Getting outside can be so helpful! If you have a newborn in the winter and it’s not too cold, bundle up! Trust me on this… we live in Minnesota!
  • Join a mom’s group. Whether it’s your 1st child or your 5th child, every baby is different and can present new challenges. 
  • Communicate with your partner and family about what you need. As much as we wish mind-readers existed (especially in this phase of life), they don’t; so speak up and let people know what you need from them. 

Remember to be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can and this will get better. 

Sometimes, it is also really helpful to connect with outside support. It may be that a postpartum doula would be helpful. Or, it may be that talking to a therapist would be helpful. Research shows that 1 in 5 women develop a Postpartum Mood and Adjustment Disorder (PMAD), so it’s more common than we think!  If you think this would be helpful, please give me a call: Katie Fleuriet, MSW, LICSW. Additionally, be sure to check out Postpartum Support International for more resources. 

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Home/About this blog

Families are our passion! Sentier Psychotherapy is a group of therapists in St. Paul, MN who work with all ages of clients. We all write entries and respond to comments that you leave us.  We use this blog to share parenting tips, information about family therapy and adolescent/teen counseling, and many other things. Much of this blog is dedicated to teenagers and parenting teenagers because we spend a great deal of time helping teens and families of teens. We typically write about topics that can’t be ignored in our practice. We can’t ignore these topics because many of you come to us to discuss these issues.

Please check back periodically if these topics are of interest to you. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the topics I write about or requests that you might have for our next blog post. Please email me directly if you have a subject area that you would like me to blog about: msigmon[at]sentiertherapy[dot]com

Megan Sigmon-Olsen, M.S.W., LICSW
670 South Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116

www.sentiertherapy.com

Sentier Psychotherapy Stillwater MN

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